Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Musical journey (52)

Sigh. Looks like my short four-week break from a workplace infested with lazy-arsed expats has ended but before I leave tomorrow, I think a musical post is in the order. In fact this is the second part of the clip posted previously, when I just received news that I have been given the Papua New Guinea stint. Actually I really shouldn't be complaining about work as most of my Melbourne colleagues are going to be retrenched in 3 days' time. Also it is becoming increasingly rare to get a job that gives you the time and opportunity to travel so frequently (I have just returned from a week-long Bangkok trip where I did two very different but very fulfilling photo shoots). So I shall not whinge about my job... for now.

This month's musical post features a live clip of me singing along Melbourne's busy Bourke Street while waiting for a friend to arrive for dinner or what I call a preview to how Kim the busker would look and sound like if he were to do that for real. I have not seen the girl playing the guitar (the actual busker I "hijacked") since that night, if not I will record a few more songs and post them here. The joy of singing in front of an audience and experiencing their immediate positive response is something that cannot be described by mere words. However that is a feeling that will most certainly get diluted if I were to perform routinely or as a living and so to a large extent I want to reserve performing as a special occasion, much like doing photo shoots. This will ensure that when I appear in front of people or the camera, I am fresh, energised and in the best position and light to impress the pants off my audience. In this clip, I especially like the end when someone shouted out "one more song" in Mandarin—too bad my friend arrived soon after and I couldn't do that "one more song".

So enjoy my rendition of my idol Faye Wong's "紅豆" and I will see all of you back in the remote Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea (*major groan*).

Monday, November 10, 2014

DIY shots fit for a magazine

Recently I started the third installment of "One Kim a Day" on Facebook but one of the pictures got reported which was of no surprise because the moment I posted it I felt that the self-censorship was too "light" (you will see what I mean a little later). To prevent myself from being banned for 30 days yet again, I took down the album after only having put three pictures on it (ie. after three days into the month).

I used to think that it must be the prudes from my friends list who make such complaints but now I think the likelier culprits are other photographers/models (especially when you start to tag other people thereby increasing the pictures' visibility). Since these people cannot post racy pictures themselves (as they have been banned by Facebook before) they are bent on preventing other people from doing the same perhaps out of spite or jealousy. This "vigilantism" on social media has caught me out frequently but recently I have managed to evade the Facebook axe several times. That being said, I still decided to play it safe this time round. In my opinion although Facebook has evolved, its users fail to do likewise at the same pace. Here are the three pictures that I deleted along with the album and tell me if the level of self-censorship in that last picture is adequate or not.

The above series shot at Brisbane's Mt Coot-Tha is quite significant to me as it was featured in a gay online magazine based in UK called The Male Form which showcases only nude men (who are all extremely hot and hence I was incredibly honoured to be in the same publication as them), as well as on DNA online.

While I decide whether to re-edit the the degree of masking to ensure Facebook censors approve of this series or simply post it on my blog as is, let me first share with you another Brisbane set taken by the crappy camera of my previous phone (HTC Desire HD) and self-edited using GIMP (this free program is highly recommended as it easily makes amateur shots look great). These were shot at Coolangatta Beach along the Gold Coast last year and although that is not a nude beach, I couldn't care less. I posted these on Facebook on the last days of winter (and hence the text on the pictures) and they passed the censorship test even though people reported them. Looking at the shadows in some of these pictures, it is evident that Facebook has risen above the prudes and relaxed its definition of nudity. Now the rest of the world just has to keep up.

So enjoy this mini series while I finalise the itinerary of my upcoming Bangkok vacation before I head back to the miserable remote mountains—I have already got a shoot lined up with an excellent Bangkok-based photographer who took these and am currently in the process of arranging for another one with the man behind these amazing shots. Super excited!