The Sign

Fabrinet Chokchai

Happened by my former workplace and decided to pay a visit. This 230k square foot factory, formerly of Seagate, was where Fabrinet started. After sustaining a lot of water damages in the 2011 great flood, it was shut down and all operations moved to Pinehurst. I made many good friends and memories at Fabrinet Chokchai.

The Sign
ƒ/6.3, DMC-GX7, no, 12mm, 200, 1/500s,

Friday is shipping day.
ƒ/7.1, DMC-GX7, no, 12mm, 200, 1/640s,

DI Water Plant / สวมเอี๊ยม
ƒ/3.2, DMC-GX7, no, 12mm, 200, 1/200s,

These used to be class 100 and class 1000 clean rooms.
ƒ/2.8, DMC-GX7, no, 12mm, 640, 1/60s,

For my first work out of academia, my desk rest somewhere in this frame.
ƒ/2.8, DMC-GX7, no, 12mm, 1000, 1/60s,

Another angle of rows after rows of former clean rooms.
ƒ/2.8, DMC-GX7, no, 12mm, 3200, 1/60s,

Drupal2WordPress script

I am wary of blogging about blogging, but this deserves a post. I just migrated 645 posts with their comments from Drupal 7 to WordPress 4, using the excellent Drupal2Wordpress script. The script is by Liran Tal, who improved on original script by Robin Singh.  (Read more about the script at Liran’s post)

It worked extremely well. All I had to do was set up a fresh WordPress installation, config the database connection to the Drupal database and WordPress database, and voila! The process took less than a minute, and I was presented with these delightful messages:

Database Connection successful

WordPress Table Truncated

Tags Updated

Category Updated

Posts Updated

Tags & Posts Relationships Updated

Posted Type Updated

Tags Count Updated

URL Alias to Slug Updated

Comments Updated – 11 Level

Users Updated

Cheers !!

Speedlight Lighting Gears

For portability and to keep cost down, I decided to go the speedlight route as I start to learn lighting. These are the gears I am starting with.

The choices are partly dictated by what are available in, or easily shipped to, Thailand. This precludes quite a few items often recommended online. Brands like Westcott can’t be found. But at the same time, some decent Chinese brands like Godox are more easily available than in the US.


Yongnuo YN-560 III x 4

As far as manual speedlights go, this comes highly recommended. The built-in 2.4Gz receiver makes this very convenient to use.

Yongnuo YN560-TX

This newly released transmitter can trigger the YN-560 III as well as adjust the power and zoom. Very nice indeed, especially when some of my light diffusers require the flashlight to be mounted inside rather than the back, and adjusting can be a pain.

Olympus FL-600R

My trusty, native Micro FourThird, TTL flash. This is the very first lighting equipment I bought. The difference it made for indoor photography made me realize lighting provides a lot of bang for bucks compared to, say, lenses.

Light Modifiers

Phottix Octa Easy-Up Umbrella Softbox with Grid 43″

This is going to be my main key light. Or at least, that is the plan.

Godox 60x60cm Softbox

In the local store, the Godox S-Type bracket only comes bundled with one of these softboxes. There are 40x40cm, 50x50cm, 60x+0cm, 80x80cm. I got the 60x60cm to be safe that a single speedlight can provide enough power.

Godox Beauty Dish Reflector 55 cm White

I got this from a local store but the only place online with this available seems to be Ebay. Even with the diffuser (not shown) this produces considerably harder light than the softboxes. In hindsight I should have gotten the grid for this.

Godox Translucent Umbrella 40″

Basic white umbrella for fill.

Phottix 5-in-1 Premium Reflector (with handles) – 42″

Godox Speedlite Color Filters Set

Light Support

Phottix Multi-Boom 28″ Flash Bracket and Boom Arm

This is to light the 43″ Octabox. I hope 2 flashes will be enough, but to be on the safe side this bracket supports 4. It also allows the Octa to be tilted more freely on the flash holder.

Phottix Varos II BG Flash Shoe Umbrella Holder

The 43″ Octa and potentially up to 4 flashes is going to be quite heavy. So, I wanted to make sure the umbrella bracket is strong enough and went with the Phottix recommended one. It is not that expensive anyway compared to the non-brand ones.

Godox S-Type Speedlite Bracket

This bracket holds any speedlight and comes in Bowens or Elinchom mount. I got the Bowens mount.

Godox E Speedlite Holder

Simple, but good quality, umbrella bracket

Lightstand – 10-foot air cushion Lightstand – 8-foot spring cushion


Responsive design and viewport tag

I was just asked to help fix a problem for a website. Their responsive design was working correctly on desktop browsers, but fail to response on both iOS and Android. 

After some 30 minutes, everything seems to be done correctly. Where could the problem be? With my limited knowledge, I thought that perhaps max-width is one of those CSS that does not work well on mobile browsers, but that does not turn out to be the case. After some further fumbling, I noticed this meta tag.

<meta name = "viewport" content = "width=1280, initial-scale=0.75, minimum-scale=0.75, user-scalable = yes">

Why 1280 wide and 0.75 scale? I had no idea and no one to ask. But this seems to be overriding the width that mobile browser reports, thus render (pun intended) the responsive design inactive.

When I commented that out and replace with the standard

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

Everything seems to work again now.


Mulling real estate photography with Yongnuo YN-560 III and the new YN-560TX

In a few months, we will be moving to a new house. While I am not looking forward to the actual transporting of stuffs, there is an aspect of it which I am about: Taking picture of the current condo for listing.

I have started to use an Olympus FL-600R flash with my Panasonic GX7–my first external flash–and had been happy with the results. But I know real estate photography is a whole new ball game.

After hearing about Scott Hargis’s The Essential Guide to Lighting Interiors, I decided to get the ebook for 2 reasons. First, it looks to be easy enough to follow for a newcomer. Second, the approach taken in the book relies on a few small flashes, rather than larger lightings.

Example of Scott Hargis's works
Example of Scott Hargis’s gorgeous, gorgeous works.

In the first few pages, Scott laid down the assumptions, which include having at least 2 lights. Boy, I know my lone FL-600R is not going to be enough. But this thing is not cheap at $299. And he seems to imply 2 is only the minimum. This project might cost too much!

Olympus FL-600R
Olympus FL-600R

But in the 2nd Chapter which deals with equipments, it was quickly made clear that Scott’s approach rely on manual flashes, instead of Through The Lens (TTL). He uses multiple Nikon SB-80 DX, which is an old model not available new anymore. (Used, it is about $150) But the point is that any flash can be used as long as they can be reliably triggered off-camera. Scott himself advocate optical trigger for its reliability.

So, I started to look around for manual flashes I can use with my GX7. Very soon, I found that the Yongnuo YN-560 III is a very popular choice. The reviews sing praise of the build quality, feature sets, and most importantly its affordability. And inded, at $77 a pop it is a steal compared to the Olympus flash. The Yongnuo does not support TTL and has no video light. But it is has stronger maximum output and should be sufficient.

Yongnuo YN-560 III
Yongnuo YN-560 III

And as luck would have it, the YN-560 III has just got even better. How?

YN-560 III uniit has built-in radio receiver. So, one doesn’t need an extra receiver to use it with radio transmitter like the Yongnuo RF-603 II. But the RF-603 will only trigger the flash to fire. Power and zoom adjustments had to be made on the flash unit itself. But in fact, the YN-560 III is designed so these settings can be adjusted remotely with upcomign transmitter. Only said transmitter, the Yongnuo YN560-TX, is not availabe until a few weeks ago! This is working out to be even more convenient than the optical trigger I first sought for.

Yongnuo YN560-TX
Yongnuo YN560-TX

And the best part, I can potentially grab THREE of the YN0-560 III flash plus the YN560-TX trigger for $282. Yes, that is still cheaper than a new Olympus FL-600R. And shipping is free if you order from Yongnuo’s Ebay store.

Time to go strobist?