Friday, November 30, 2007


I took a train to Boston to meet and catch up with an old friend. After the meeting, I toured a bit around North Station and was able to take a few photos. Too bad, I didn't have time to go over the Cambridge side where Harvard and MIT are. Gotta catch the train back to Lowell. I will next time.

Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge
Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge

A cold full-moon night
Full Moon Over The Bridge

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Visiting my sister in Lowell, MA

It's been 3 years since I last went to visit my sister in Lowell, about 45 minutes from Boston. This time I decided to use thanksgiving break to fly to Boston but it was a long 6-hour flight from East to West coast. I brought a bunch of DVDs to watch on the plane to help shorten the flight and it did work.

Nevertheless, the trip paid off. It's good to spend time with everybody again.

Bang Moon's family

Nephew and cousins have all grown up fast since the last time I saw them.
Lux, Rett, Rott and Wat

My 2-year-old niece Visey

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pacific Science Center

Where the Boeing IMAX theater is. Got there only to find out Beowulf tickets were sold out. Oh well...

Pacific Science Center

Space Needle again

While waiting to see the movie Beowulf in 3D at Pacific Science Center, I thought of taking a few shots of the Space Needle. 10-22mm wide angle is pretty awesome.

Space Needle

Space Needle

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mount Rainier

Monday 10/22/07: A beautiful drive to Mount Rainier. We can go as far as Paradise at about 5,000 ft. elevation, 1/3 the height of mount Rainier.

Mount Rainier's Peak

Christine Fall
Christine Fall

Monday, October 29, 2007

Museum of Flight

Sunday 10/21/07: A fun learning experience at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Nate, Shaun and I spend our times there longer than we intended to. It's interesting to see not just how much Boeing has contributed to history of aviation, but also to World War I & II and Space Research (NASA). We enjoy walking through the history of aerospace, viewing from Boeing's first airplane to the world's fastest jet and NASA space ship.

One of Boeing's earliest planes, equipped with wooden propeller.
Early  Boeing plane

Lockheed SR-71, a.k.a "The Blackbird", is claimed to be the world's fastest jet ever built. It can fly 3 times the speed of sound. Currently no longer in service.
SR-71 - Boeing Museum

Another no-longer-in-service jet: Concorde, a co-production of France and Britain, the fastest commercial aircraft.
Concord - Boeing Museum

Concorde stretches 6 to 10 inches at supersonic speed.
Concord - Boeing Museum

Friday, October 26, 2007

Vancouver "Bumpy" Road Trip

My friends Nate and Shaun from Kansas City are over for a conference in Seattle. They decided to fly here a few days earlier to hang out with me and tour the Northwest. It's a good opportunity for a reunion since I left Kansas City 6 months ago. One of the top things we've planned to do is to visit Vancouver, Canada since it's only 3-hour drive away.

Friday 10/19/07 6:30 PM: Off we go on a rainy evening. Shortly after we pass Seattle my car is making a rattling noise I never heard before. The noise seems to come from the AC fan. I am like "Oh O! This isn't good.". So I have to pull over, pop the car hood, and take a look. We still can't seem to find what causes the clicking noise. So we decide to go buy some tools from the auto shop nearby to do further inspection. We still couldn't find anything after a thorough look at the fan and things around it. But this time the noise is gone. I guess we magically fix it. We joke about quitting our jobs and open a mechanic shop :). We think this could be some little thing stuck in the fan and just fell off.

So we continue our trip to Vancouver. Everything seems to go well and we get to the USA-Canada border. Surprisingly, we see a long line of cars ahead of us and a very slow bumper-to-bumper move across Canadian border. Oh Canada!! An hour later, we're still in the line. Then suddenly I hear something snap from the front of my car as I'm trying to turn to cut the line. My power steering is not working anymore. The Battery light is on. The engine temperature gauge points to Red which indicates the engine is really hot. This time is serious. But I'm getting close to cross the border. I can't just stop in the middle of hundreds of car. I want to cross the border, get out of the endless line and take a look at the car or get my car towed to Vancouver.

Half an hour later, without much choice, I manage to drive my car across the border despite all the problem indications. We stop and take a look at the car again as soon as we cross the border. Still we don't find anything breaking or leaking. We're only about half an hour away from Vancouver. We continue to drive for about a mile but the engine temperature gauge is pointing red again. So we decide it's better to stop driving and call a tow truck. Twenty minutes later the tow truck arrives. The truck driver seems friendly and asks us what is wrong with the car. Fortunately he knows something about cars. After taking a look in the hood, he points out that the Serpentine Belt is missing and is the cause of all these problems (Now it makes sense to me: the rattling noise as it's wearing out and the snapping sound at the border as it broke). He says getting the new Serpentine belt replaced is not very expensive and will fix the problem. I'm relieved to hear it's not somethings major with the engine system. But if I kept driving longer, the engine would likely be fried.

Now my car is being lifted and towed and the three of us are riding in the truck by trying to sqeeze in the passenger seat that supposedly accommodates only two people. The truck driver recommends to get my car fixed at Canadian Tire as they do "first come, first serve" service 7 days a week so that I probably can get my car fixed by tomorrow. Trying to cheer us up, the driver does the guiding tour for us as well while we're heading our way to Vancouver in the middle of the raining night. But all these don't come in cheap.

Eventually we get to Vancouver, drop the car off at Canadian Tire, pay the expensive tow (but admittedly the tow guy was really helpful to my car) and check in our hotel around 2 AM. Exhausted and hungry, we order the pizza and pass out immediately after.

The next morning we check out the hotel, walk around the city, take some pictures and do the local brewery tour at Granville island while waiting for my car to get fixed. Vancouver is a beautiful city indeed despite the cloudy and rainy day. The city's hype, the surrounding nature and the architectures are well blended with each other. At about 2pm I get a call from Canadian Tire that my car is fixed. What a relief! Our plan doesn't get ruined! We then go get the car and drive back to Seattle and go to the NBA game (Seattle Supersonics vs. Houston Rockets) as planned. It feels good to drive and be on the roads again!

Shaun, Myself and Nate at a park in Vancouver.


A little celebration after going through all the troubles.
Grandville Brewery, Vancouver

Sunday, September 09, 2007

View of Seattle from Queen Anne Hill

This is one of the best places where you can enjoy the glimpse of Seattle Skyline and Mount Rainier in the background (white glacier mountain on the right) during sunset.
Seattle Skyline and Mt. Rainier

The view is still terrific during the night.
Space Needle

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

The moon is shot on different time frames and put together in Photoshop.
Series of eclipse shots

It is my first time to witness and photograph one of nature's greatest phenomenons: the lunar eclipse. Today's lunar eclipse can be seen from North and South Americas, Oceania and Asia. I call up my dad to look for eclipse when the moon is rising in Cambodia. Delightfully, the Northwest gets the best seat for watching the entire show this year. So I do not want to miss this opportunity. I bring with me my camera and tripod and set it up just outside of my apartment.

The weather is generously cooperative for the entire eclipse. Although it's about 50 Fahrenheit outside, the night sky is clear and quiet which makes photography a lot easier. I just need to remember to occasionally clean off the dew from my lens filter. The full moon is setting from the opposite side of the bright stars which enables it to dominate the dark horizon and thus makes observation more joyful.

Starting at 1:51 am Pacific Time, the Earth's shadow starts creeping slowly across the illuminated moon taking one bite at a time until the moon is fully overshadowed. Suddenly the moon becomes orange, then turns into red-blood and lasts for about an hour. That is, to me, the most eye-catching part. Unfortunately, I am not able to gaze at the second phase of the eclipse where the Earth's shadow moves away from the moon. But I think it is similar to the beginning phase. By now it is already 4:30 am and unfortunately I am not a full-time photographer :). I have to get up at 7 am for work. I'd better get a couple hours of sleep so that I can function at work.

Sacrificing a few hours of sleep is worth the experience. From beginning till the end, I enjoy gazing at the eclipse, taking photos and sipping beer in between.

Full moon before eclipse
Full Moon before eclipse

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pike Market

These are the things one usually sees at Pike Market in downtown Seattle.

Chili peppers anyone?
Chili peppers anyone?

Balloon man
Balloon man

Street music band.
Nice tune

Man's best friend

Police riding horse. This horse is an officer too. Look at the badge.
He's an officer

Chewing gums on the wall. It's pretty gross but I guess people have their own ideas of creativity.

...and busy crowd.
Pike Market crowd

Cambodian Cultural Heritage

I was delighted to see the Cambodian Cultural Heritage celebration in Seattle yesterday. This event gives others the opportunity to get to know our country and culture. The program included a variety of shows: from Cambodian Classical Dance to the documentary about the Khmer Rouge genocide which killed 2 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979.

It was a good event overall. We had an enthusiastic audience and all the performers did a good job.

Cambodian Classical Dance
Cambodian Dance

Cambodian Dance

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Blue Angels at Seattle Fair

These jets fly at lightening speed with aerobatic style and synchronize in team. They are the NAVY's Blue Angels. They perform over Lake Washington.

Please don't try this at home :).

Blue Angels

Blue Angels

Blue Angels

Blue Angels

Downtown Seattle at night - Take 2



Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Test new lens

Taking my lunch break at Solo Point park with view to Puget Sound (arm of the Pacific Ocean), about 10 minutes from Intel and using the opportunity to test my new lens. The weather is great today.

Wide angle puts more scene into the picture and creates more dramatic look.
Test shot with 10-22mm, Solo Point, WA

Catching some water skiing action at the bay with 28-135mm.
Water Skiing? Solo Point, WA

How wide can it get?

Here are test shots from my two other lenses comparing to 10-22mm from the same distance.

With 28-135mm at 28mm
Test shot @ 28 mm

With 18-55mm at 18mm
Test shot @ 18mm

With 10-22mm at 10mm
Test shot @ 10mm

Gotta love the 10-22mm. It's great especially for landscapes and indoors with tight space.

Monday, July 30, 2007

My new lens

It's Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM super wide angle. It's now the third member of the lens family. More pictures will come from this lens.

Canon 10-22mm

Sunday, July 29, 2007

See the moon through camera's lens

I shot with my 28-135mm and 2X lens extender (thanks Pa! In addition to the lens, I find this extender very handy indeed). Then I cropped the moon with the max resolution. The result is quite good considering not using the expensive telephoto lens.

Full moon

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Experiment with portrait photography

As the famous photo expression goes: "The camera looks both ways. In picturing the subject, we are also picturing a part of ourselves."


This is my favorite portrait shot of my friend's daughter, Aria, because it's not just a portrait photograph but photograph with feeling. What a graceful look! Very natural. I like the depth of field in this shot that shows the details of her hair. The picture was taken at Seattle Center during "Bite of Seattle" event last weekend.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy July 4th!

Watching fireworks from Harbor Avenue on 4th of July, American Independence Day.