I had three sessions of food photography with the team of ChefatWork. Edwin didn’t fail to give the entire team a good treat at the end of the day. I felt guilty because I was not used to eat good food and could not really appreciate them. He was too generous.
Tze Khit started joining us for Sunday beach volleyball again. Each time, he came over to the NTUC at my place to buy bottles of isotonic drinks for everyone. It was very thoughtful of him.
My team of volunteers had a gathering at Nancy’s place again. She took the trouble to prepare all the food by herself and presented them in a classy manner on the table. She hosted us well. Her effort was stunning.
I had a couple shoot with Derrick and Peisee. ET, my younger brother and mum tagged along since we had a gathering over Derrick’s place at night. Together we managed to create some nice photos. Derrick had the steamboat dinner prepared with the help of his family and he refused when we offered to share the cost of the food. He and his dad drove and sent all of us home at night from the West to Central of Singapore. I felt the love from everyone who had spent their time with me on that day.
I was still trying hard to upgrade my camera gears and finally decided to go all the way for it. As there was a daily limit in withdrawing money from the ATM, I was short of cash. Gilbert didn’t hesitate to loan a thousand bucks to me immediately. I appreciated his trust in me.
In the process of upgrading my photography equipments to do better photography, I was kind of being conned to buy a super over-priced second hand lens by a very good (in skill) salesman who took advantage of my softness. This guy simply played hard with words and rushed me to buy his old lens without detailed checking. He kept asking me to take photos and look at the result through the small LCD screen at the back of my camera instead of checking the quality of lens. The greatest trick of his was to arrive late and behave like as if he was in a bad rush.
Eventually I went to my favourite camera shop at Funan Centre – John 3:16. Samuel and Steven helped me to look at the lens, which I felt so uncomfortable purchasing and they verified that the lens had been badly abused before. Samuel gave it a 4/10 rating and Steven said 5/10, while the joker earlier mentioned 9/10. They showed me a second hand same model lens and I was devastated. At the rate my tuition agency was going, I would need more than a month to earn the money back.
There was a black particle, which was much larger than normal dust, inside the glasses that was not very easy to be seen without being guided by experienced users. Apart from that, there was dust inside. There were countless tiny scratch marks on the front of the lens, which could be caused by wrong wiping tool. At the back of the lens where it was supposed to be connected to the camera body, there was fungus. The turning of the zoom ring was unusually rough at certain focus distance. The external body was quite badly scratched as well – I didn’t mind the ugliness but I recalled that he told me the condition was 9/10, which made me feel very cheated (I was too soft at first). Anyway, he told me he had just sent the lens to Malaysia’s Canon for servicing and thus there should not be any problem with the dark particle, dust and especially fungus. Unfortunately, the result (photo) due to these problems would not be seen easily, unless by professional or being put under a test with the exact same model of lens.
To put it simple, the lens that was sold to me at $1180 could probably worth $600 or less. It required servicing from the manufacturer – Canon. The front glass with countless of tiny scratches would cost hundreds of dollars to be replaced. Overall, the scratches on the external part made the lens unappealing and it would definitely cost more than a hundred dollars to replace it. The lifespan of the lens was definitely going to be shorter than others’.
After being persuaded by the two heroes, I tried hard to refund the lens. I spoke to the joker professionally and told him that I looked up to him as an honest seller and I had bought the lens in a rush all because of him. Eventually, I took the pain to go to his place and had to meet him up again on the next day to get back my money. If he had not returned me my money, I would have made him famous online. There were many reasons to believe he had made numerous lies during the entire process and I would write a detailed story about it in my photography website’s Tips on Buying Second Hand Camera and Equipment in Singapore page to “save” others.
I did my first ever couple shoot with David and Michelle. They didn’t mind being my “guinea pigs”. Apart from gaining the experience of shooting couple, I tried a different style of shooting. David was an observer and Michelle was a happy-go-lucky kind girl, and it was really great to use them as models to try my first shoot with less pressure. Apart from having limitation with my equipments – lack of sharpness and wrong auto focusing – the quality was quite decent. We had a fun day together and they insisted to treat me to dinner.
Right before Chinese New Year, Meifeng took time out to have a cheongsam shoot with me. She had been working overtime for almost every weekday and had her church commitment during weekends. Thus, she took great effort to spend the day with me. Unfortunately, renovation work, new year decoration and early campers spoiled my planned shoot at Chinatown. I could have recce the location a few days before the shoot. Nevertheless, I had a great day out with her.