Category Archives: Reflections

=811= Word: Imagine

Man, this video really got to me.

“What is the worse thing about being old?” “Not being able to do things you were able to when you were young”

I recently designed a lamp for a module. I designed it for kids. For one of the tagline, I put down, “Learn . Explore . Imagine.”

I remember back when I was in primary school. I would always sit in the back seat when my dad drove me around. I would imagine scenes of my favourite shows and imagine how it would be like to change certain things. Like what if I used Taurus to fight Pikachu? I would imagine the fight sequences. I would imagine bending elements like avatar and imagine bending everyday objects. HAHA.

Without realising, I stopped doing that. I stopped letting my imagination run. Or perhaps I let my imagination run a different way.

I guess I am older now, the shows I watch are different, the relationships I make are different. I now imagine being interviewed by people for a certain accomplishment. I imagine making a song that would make people feel things. I imagine stories that are more mature.

I guess I also gain a whole lot more experience, I know what works and what don’t. I know what would gain people’s confidence. Subconsciously, I steer clear from making people disappointed, so sometimes I keep my imagination to myself.

Did I listen to the advice given to me? I think I have. I saw wisdom in doing certain things and kept to it. I tried things of course, but do I have regrets? Of course I do.

Sometimes I do wonder what would happen if I did some things differently. I guess whatever heartbreak and mistakes mould and shape us to who we are today.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I think it would be, “Kiddo, the world is big, life is complicated, gain confidence, try your best and love people around you.”

I think I am probably too young to be saying this, but yes, I think that the pain and burden of being old is to see the young ones not make the same mistakes as you did, or perhaps just to support them and help them when they do. I hope my kid would never make the same mistakes I do.

God, at your time, at your will, I submit to you.

-Kelvin-

=810= Word: Coder Mentality Vs Artist Mentality

I was thinking about a recent incident. I have a friend from hall which everyone puts in high esteem. He is very talented and is very good at doing a lot of things.

So we were designing a product and honestly the design wasn’t very great. So why is that?

I thought about it and I think I narrowed it down to different mentality. He has a coder mentality. My colleague puts this so well, he found that after working with many companies, he concluded that they care more about the output but not so much about the outcome.

An example would be coders would do a bit of research and offer you what they found, it works fine, but it may not be what you want. The output works, but what about everything else that comes with that?

The artists on the other hand has a very different mentality. They will do what they think is the best even if it isn’t what you want. They will try and do something up and convince you after.

Strange isn’t it? One gives you what you want but not exactly. One gives you what you don’t expect. I think it takes a bit of both to help someone get what they want exactly, but it is indeed difficult.

-Kelvin-

=809= Stories To Tell: Why?

“Hey why did you do that?” Asked Regina.

“Do what?” I asked.

“Why did you suddenly text me and chat with me about things not related to work?”

“Well, I just wanted to know you more.”

“Why? Are you interested in me?”

“AHAHAH! I guess so, but hold up! All guys will be interested when they see a pretty girl, I just wanted to know you better, not really chasing you yet”

“Is this normal? Do guys just chat to want to get to know someone better?”

“Hmm, I have no idea, but I think there is a need to get to know someone before chasing. It is important.”

“Can platonic friends exist?”

“I have no answer, but I do have quite a few good female friends. I do keep my distance a bit more when they are attached.”

“Why? Are you guys platonic?”

“Well, I am honestly just considering the other guy’s feelings. I wouldn’t be happy if my girlfriend texts a close guy friend everyday. Not that I will force my girlfriend to stop texting every guy, but I mean, a close friend will stay close even with some time apart. It may hurt of course, life isn’t kind to lonely people. I don’t think it is a comfort that friends are seasonal, but I think being apart is part of growing. Making an intentional effort to maintain a friendship in spite of distance is admirable.”

~

Life has been chaotic, but honestly, I think having some friends in my life is really quite nice. Studying has been quite different this sem too, I have been busy with a lot, cutting down on other things is really challenging. I think using Insta has made me a bit more reliant on that platform as a source of entertainment, perhaps that is why I haven’t been posting here for a while. It is indeed convenient but not ideal at all. Creating an insta for my Hall’s Jamband is quite an eye opening process. Life on Insta isn’t just about consistency and stuff, it take a lot of work to gain traction for your profile. Just relying on community isn’t quite enough. Hmm, things really aren’t what it seems.

=807= Word: Prickly

I often wonder what attracts people. It certainly isn’t telling the person everything he wants to hear. It certainly is not.

I noticed this funny contradiction that people have. When someone agrees with you too much, people start to doubt. There is no way someone is right ALL the time.

Of course, we wouldn’t want someone to challenge everything we say, for that would be too tiring.

There is a huge difference between going against someone and having a different opinion. One just tires each other, the later might actually work towards something better.

I think when you get to a certain age, there are certain things you do when starting a conversation with someone. It may not be planned, but you kinda bounce certain things off someone and expect a certain response. When someone don’t give you that response, you get thrown off and either get curious or taken aback.

Getting thrown off isn’t a bad thing either. I am glad that there are so many different types of people, it just makes life so much more interesting.

Life need both agreements and disagreements to be balanced. Just the right amount of prickly to make someone interested.

“Leaves can look like these too?” Said the man that sees a cactus for the first time.

I remember watching the first season of Terrace House and how Momo told Tecchan that he is all sugar and no spice. I get it, HAHA, I mean, it was very clear on camera which characters were more attractive. Tecchan was probably one of the nicest guys in Terrace House, but he wasn’t mature enough back then.

I think we are all attracted to beautiful things. There is always a reaction to a pretty girl or a handsome guy. However, after that, other factors matters. Personality, habits, character, etc etc.

I realised I do act a little weird, and I mean even more than usual HAHAH, when I am talking to someone I am attracted to. We all do don’t we? We become more childish, more mature, more cool, more hot, more warm, more everything so that we can get the attention of someone we like.

Can we ever show our true selves in front of someone we like? I wonder. HAHA

-Kelvin-

=805= Word: God at the Center

I remember once asking my pastor for prayer. I told him my life seem to be all great except my walk with God. He then corrected me, he told me if God is supposed to be in the center, if your walk with God is not good, how can your life be good at all?

It made a whole lot of sense.

Today, a good friend gave a comment that I seem to have my life together. Almost like a knee jerk reaction, I immediately said there is nothing further from the truth. I don’t think I have my life put together. I see people being wise, doing certain things to inch towards a goal. I guess I do put in effort to inch toward it, but is it enough? Fact of the matter is effort isn’t enough. God, you are enough. Help me to always remember this.

-Amen-

-Kelvin-

=804= Reflections: Street Photography

I recently read this article about street photography being exploitive. While I do agree with some of the points of the article, I must say that the article was pointing to a very specific style of street photography. It isn’t fair to use a headline that covers all street photography.

First, let me just clarify. I have been through several conversations with friends of mine saying that taking photos without their permission is against the law. I have done some research and honestly, there seem to be no clear answer. There seem to be no law against taking photos of someone without their consent in public, I may be wrong, whoever can clarify, please do. You can read what I read here.

I think it may come as a shock to some friends that there is no law regarding photo taking without consent. I should add, people can still sue you for harassment and stalking, so please be careful. However, I think that this aversion to having your photo taken is actually quite a recent thing.

Cameras weren’t aways as accessible as they are today. With the invention of the smart phone, it became so easy to have a camera and take photos everywhere we go. This accessibility is both a good and a bad thing.

We now have the ability to record our lives on photos and have precious photos on hand at any time. We now can communicate with pictures across the planet. We now have busybodies that would take videos of other people’s misadventures to have them laughed at and ridiculed online. When we see something is wrong, we take photos or videos to record it. Catching someone red handed has never been easier.

Back in Poly, when I was in PFP, I taught my class how to play bridge, so it became such a fun activity for us. Our WhatsApp group was even named after a phrase we say when someone burns someone’s card. We played a game before our class outside our lab. While playing, a teacher walked by, saw us play cards, took photos/videos of us playing cards. He kind of assumed that we were gambling. We weren’t of course, but we were afraid of getting into trouble. (We didn’t, by the way) It was interesting, my friend noticed his camera and we immediately linked it to getting into trouble. Why? It seems like we have grown into it. A health inspector taking photos of people violating health laws. A person taking a photo of someone slacking off at work. Such ideas get out into our minds without us realising at all.

While there are exceptions, I believe this thinking of someone taking a photo of you equates to you getting into trouble is in fact, very recent.

Okay, I kinda shared why I think this is recent. Now, let me shared why street photography is interesting to me.

I think it started back in Poly. I was doing the photography module and I really enjoyed it. I learned what aperture, shutter speed and ISO was. I enjoyed taking photos. I went around church and shot with the school Nikon Camera. I met people in the park and took photos of them. It was really a simple thing, but I really enjoyed taking photos.

Back then, taking photos was really exciting to me. It was a fun way to capture the life around me. I remember going to different places and trying to get that nice picture that people would post. I watched many YouTube videos on photography. I began researching on cameras. Haha, I even asked my teacher what he thought of Sony and he gave me some history with Minolta etc etc.

While researching on my camera, I found DigitalRev TV. It is a great channel, I really enjoyed watching their fun videos of them doing camera comparisons and reviews. Not all photos were great, but the video on film photography really struck me. Kai’s photos on the XPan was simply amazing. I loved how he managed to capture the environment and the subject. What was even more mind blowing for me, was that those photos were not posed. They were candid photos, they were real. I fell in love with it.

Then of course, through them, I found the works of Henri Cartier Bresson. Dunno who he is? Haha, trust me, Google his name, see his work and you will love how amazing his street photography is. They are surreal, imaginative and really captures the decisive moment.

Why is Street Photography important?

It is a form of photography that doesn’t depend on good looks, good figure, expensive equipment or even the camera. It simply depends on the moment. Capturing a moment that isn’t staged for the rest of eternity, isn’t that beautiful?

Everything can be beautiful, even the simple streets around your apartment. There are stories all around you, images all around you.

I love this fact. This has freed me to take images without being afraid of taking a bad picture or missing a good photo. If I miss the decisive moment, I will just take the next moment.

My approach has changed over the years. I have grown to be more considerate, but confident. I have tried and learn tricks to take nice photos. So with that, I started a simple project, “Streetsofhome” on Insta.

The concept is simple. I will go to every single MRT station in Singapore to take street photos around the station for 15 mins. Why 15 mins? For practicality and insurance. Practicality because 130 stations x 15 mins would equate to 32.5 hours of shooting time. That doesn’t even include any traveling time. So there is a need to be objective and make the project manageable. Insurance? HAHA, if I took a bad photo, I have an excuse to say that I only had 15 mins.

So yeah, more photos are coming, keep a lookout! 🙂

-Kelvin-

=802= Word: Smart

Before I go into the post, I guess I will just explain why I haven’t posted in a while. Actually, there really isn’t much of a reason. I just had nothing to say. Life went on and it was good. I was busy, but not overwhelmed. I had good conversations, but just didn’t feel the need to post. I guess the whole staying at home as gotten a little to me.

Anyways, here goes.

I was thinking about how when I was younger I used to admire and see certain people as smarter than the rest. We all thought C was crazy talented being able to play guitar and sing so well. We all thought C(another person) was extremely good at speaking. We all thought L was a very strong woman and can hold her own. We all knew that A is very talented and musically inclined. We all knew.

Now that it has been more than 10 years since we were all 13. My perspective on “smart” has changed quite a fair bit.

Recently, I met up with a group of friends. We were sitting down to talk about politics and how the migrant workers situation should be handled. V held the conversation with such confidence and depth, it really impressed me. It was something I knew close to nothing about and hearing her share what she knows about the situation with her research done for her thesis was just so interesting. Both L and I could only give comments on stuff we know. We took what she said in and learned something. Mind you V wasn’t someone we thought was “smart” back when we were young, but she was really impressive and cool that night.

Personally, I didn’t think that I was smart 10 years ago. 10 years ago, I couldn’t play drums. I don’t take photos. I don’t mix. I wasn’t particularly good at any one thing. Ok maybe reading manga and watching anime!😂 I was in Normal Acadmaic Stream while my peers in cell were from places like Raffles and Hwa Chong. Now I am such a different person. I love music, I play drums and now have an opinion on how a song should be structured or arranged. I mix music, I know how to edit and transform a track to make it even better. I take photos and understand how the camera works.

What makes someone smart? What makes someone impressive? Being knowledgeable about general affairs? Being able to hold a conversation well? Being able to play a musical instrument?

Honestly I don’t have a simple answer.

I think someone is smart when they know what is important and treasure important things like family and friends.

I think someone is smart when they can communicate and make something clear and simple.

I think someone is smart when they have done their homework and knows what they are talking about.

I think someone is smart when they can handle things I cannot.

I think someone is smart when they notice things that people miss out.

I think someone is smart when they are well planned out and well put together.

I think someone is smart when they know how to quickly relate and bond with people.

I think someone is smart when they know the line and stop before they anger anyone.

Truly if you take a “smart” person out of their field, they might look really foolish and dumb. Take me out of music and put me into finance and business and I will be extremely lost.

Is a smart person only smart in their field?

I think my experience in audio engineering has truly shaped me to have quite different thinking from people. I know there are many ways to do one thing. I know that having a connection with people will help with many things. I know that there are many things I can do on my own. I learned to search something up when I am unsure.

Are smarts really just practices that you learn from experiencing life?

I really don’t know.

One thing that I am sure of is this. Your early education would probably affect what you do in the future, BUT it doesn’t limit you to being stupid and hopeless and without a future. You can pick up stuff as you grow older. You can. So don’t let anyone tell you you are stupid, you have a lot of potential.

Am I smart? HAHA guess I am getting there! 🙂

-Kelvin-