Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good Bye October

Phew! I'm so happy that October is finishing soon. It's the busiest yet most productive month! So what I've achieved this month?

- 2 exams (one of them is due tomorrow)
- 2 wedding photoshootings
- 2 advertisement shootings
- new/old projects from my day job started/ended

Everyone is given 24 hours a day. I consider myself to have a full-time job and two part-time jobs. None of them are really related to each other: computer networking vs automotive detailing vs photography. If you ask me "Which one you love most?", I might answer you "I love all of them". Now I wish I have 72 hours a day so that I can give equally full attention to all of them. OK, stop dreaming.

For the past one year, I had been struggling to find an answer to my question of "What do I want to focus on?". Do I want to be a CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert) qualified network consultant? Or to be a fulltime professional photographer?

I guess I've roughly figured out what I really want for my career path. Yeah, I chose to pursue CCIE certification and hopefully will be a network consultant very soon. CCIE is the highest qualification in the networking world. According to the statistic from Cisco, there are 18084 CCIEs worldwide as of 10th October 2008. Among them, 82 CCIEs are from Malaysia. The country with the most CCIEs is USA, a whopping 5076!

There are 5 tracks under the CCIE certification program:
- Routing and Switching
- Security
- Service Provider
- Storage Networking
- Voice

Each of these tracks specialize in different areas of networking world. Routing and Switching is considered the most common/favourite track among CCIE candidates. As for me, I plan to take the less common track which is the Service Provider. Why SP? That's because I love routing, especially BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) and MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching). I love dealing with large-scale network, which makes things more complicated, yet exciting. At the same time it's rather easy to do mass destruction (lol).

To prepare for my CCIE pursuing journey, I have done the followings:
- Drop wedding photography (starting Jan 2009)
- Decrease car detailing frequency
- Obtain basic (stepping-stone) certifications (CCNA, CCDA, CCNP, CCIP, CCDP)
- Mentally prepare for almost-no-social-life
- Collect study materials (not fully done yet)

To clear-up whatever is left in 2008 (2 more wedding shootings in December), I will only officially start my CCIE (Written Exam) studies in January 2009. There are at least 9 books to be read, such as:

- Routing TCP/IP, Volume I, Second Edition (Carroll, Doyle, ISBN# 1587052024)
- Routing TCP/IP, Volume 2, (CCIE Professional Development) (Doyle, DeHaven Carroll, ISBN# 1578700892)
- CCIE Practical Studies, Volume I (Solie, ISBN# 1587200023)
- CCIE Practical Studies, Volume II (CCIE Self-Study) (Solie, Lynch, ISBN# 1587050722)
- MPLS and VPN Architectures (Pepelnjak, Guichard, ISBN# 1587050021)
- MPLS and VPN Architectures, Volume II (Pepelnjak, Guichard, Apcar, ISBN# 1587051125)
- Traffic Engineering with MPLS (Osborne, Simha, ISBN# 1587050315)
- BGP Design and Implementation (Bartell, Zhang, ISBN# 1587051095)
- Definitive MPLS Network Designs (Guichard, Le Faucheur, Vasseur, ISBN# 1587051869)

I'm not too sure whether is this going to be worse than my Masters studies, but I know for sure it's going to be darn tough. It's not uncommon for CCIE candidates to sit for a few attempts of lab exam before they get certified. And each attempt will cost more than RM10K, which includes air ticket (Sydney/Tokyo/Brussels/SanJose/etc...), accomodation and exam fee.

Whatever it is...I have to focus and suffer (or rather enjoy the studies) for at least a year before the right time comes...

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Monday, October 27, 2008


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meguiar's Ad

Meguiar's advertisement photos...


Friday, October 17, 2008

Swift Club Malaysia Detailing Clinic

23rd August 2008, Meguiar's Show Car Detail Center (Jalan Templer)

Full Gallery

Bimmersclub Detailing Clinic

16th August 2008, Hypercoat Enterprise.

Full Gallery


Kin Sun & Jane's Wedding

Last weekend I shot Kin Sun & Jane's wedding for the entire day. The morning session took place at Jane's house and the Methodist Church. Church wedding is always more organized and in slower pace, allowing me to have time to move around for various framing angles. Though the light level was very low, but thanks to IS (Image Stabilizer) and low sensor noise on my EOS5D (EOS5D MkII will do even better job). The dinner was held at Tropicana Clubhouse's Tai Thong Restaurant with extremely low light level. The only way for me to light up the moderately high hall was by flash. Here are some shots for sharing, more shots can be found here.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Art Wolfe's 70-200

Art Wolfe is an American professional wildlife and nature photographer. He's one of the photographers featured in Canon's Explorer of Light. Canon USA has a dedicated website to feature Art Wolfe's work - Art Wolfe's Travels to the Edge. Recently he had replaced his EF70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM with EF70-200mm F/4L IS USM due to the F4 version offering huge advantage in weight saving for traveling shooter who work on location. Also for the same reason he preferred the EF400mm F/4 DO IS USM (1940g) over the EF400mm F/2.8L IS USM (5370g).

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Jeff's 70-200

I'm a fan of Jeff Ascough. He's one of the best wedding photographers in the world, from UK. His shooting style always amazes me. He's currently shooting with Canon system. A few days ago he updated his blog, mentioning that he just got his brand new EF70-200mm F/4L IS USM. The reason being, he's tired of the weight and size of his previous EF70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM. I'm quite surprised that even a professional like him would have the same complain as I do, but due to the excellent image quality of the F/4L IS version, it's rather easy to sacrifice a stop of light/speed.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

EF70-200mm F/4L IS USM @ The Gardens

I take a day off from studies and brought along my EOS5D attached with EF70-200mm F/4L IS USM to The Gardens, Mid Valley. Overall I'm very pleased with the result. Even if I do 100% pixel-peeping, every detail is recorded clearly on the focusing plane. The best part is I don't feel tiring to carry this body-lens combination for the whole day. Here are some sample shots...

165mm F/4 1/125s ISO200

200mm F/4 1/125s ISO200

150mm F/4 1/100s ISO400

121mm F/4 1/100s ISO400

If you often shoot at 200mm and wish to have an even smaller yet faster lens, I would recommend EF200mm F/2.8L II USM, as for APS-C shooters, I would recommend EF135mm F/2L USM. Both are light weight (765g and 750g respectively), short (136.2mm and 112mm respectively) and discreet (black in color).