Sunday, 22 April 2012

off on a vacay!

gil: yays! we're going on a vacay!!
stargal: gil, if u're not planning to help with the packing, stop fooling around and get out of there!
gil: *pout*

Thursday, 19 April 2012

picmonkey photo editor - it's in english!

a few days ago, i wrote about meitu xiu xiu photo editor, a chinese based photo editing tool for our photo beautification needs. it's a good app but for the chinese language-challenged lot, it does pose a bit of a... well, challenge.

so just imagine my delight when i came across a post by howaboutorange talking about picmonkey, an online photo editing website. if you're a picasaweb user, you'll know about picnik, and also the fact that they're no longer available to people without a google+ account. that's not really a problem with me as i have an account, but i decided to check picmonkey out anyway, just for the heck of it (and also coz i'm attracted to its quirky name).

anyway, the team behind picmonkey is the former engineers of picnik (which maybe explains the "pic" in the names), and they've decided to come up with this new website after picnik was bought over by google. like meitu xiu xiu, it's free without a need for registration, meaning anyone can just pop in there and start editing their photos without having to have everything connected to each other (email connected to your facebook, which is connected to your twitter, which in turn is connected to your picasaweb account and your flickr and god knows what else...).

for those who've used picnik before, you'd notice that while picnik's interface is more on cute butterflies-ladybugs-picnic-basket-ish look and feel, picmonkey's is more cool-summer-laid-back-yesteryears-ish feel. and it offers much more cooler photo effects than picnik! for now, all the cool effects are free, but i suspect they're gonna start charging for those tagged with the "monkey king" head soon, something like added features or extra special effects or whatever.

one thing that i noticed lacking in picmonkey that meitu xiu xiu has is the background feature, that i specifically wrote about previously. but they do have some cool frames and other features that we can play around with. here's a sample:

this is a sample photo that's provided by picmonkey for us to edit and play around...

here's another sample photo by picmonkey. to get this effect, i chose the frame feature, daguerreotype effect #2 and the film effect of "brady" (all circled in red), and a fade of 0%... the top photo is the same, only with the fade of 25%. so cool, right? oh, see that crown thing i circled in blue? that's an indication that this is a "monkey king" feature, so it MAY mean that it won't be free anymore next time!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

ski dubai

this is a damn long overdue post... :P

late last year, a trainee from our sister property in penang came over for a month of cross exposure, and was based in my department. so being the head of the department, other than making sure she's well-taken care of in terms of living arrangements, daily needs etc, as well as getting the proper "exposure" on the job, i should also properly introduce her to the city, it being her first time here and all... what a good excuse reason to go out jalan-jalan and be all touristy, right? :P

anyway, i've been in sandland for more than a year, and still i've not been to the famous snow mountain right smack in the middle of the desert. so what better time to do it than now?

actually we didn't plan to go here. my trainee, shopaholic shelby, is... well, as the name suggested, a shopaholic.  so as ski dubai is located inside mall of the emirates, we decided to go in while we were shopping at the mall.

boots, jumper, gloves and socks are already costed in the entrance fee... and we get to keep the gloves and socks.

quite excited to be touching snow, albeit man-made (i don't think this was my first time touching snow, but all are man-made ones). don't be deceived by the happy smile. it's blardy cold in there! we were breathing frost out of our mouths...

snow! :D

there are a few rides and "snow games" in the snow park area, like this sled...

riding down the slope on twin tubes...

rolling down the slope in this giant ball...

actually i was afraid to try this, coz i thot i'd be really ROLLING down the hill. i dun wanna puke all over the snow and embarrass myself! but then i found out we won't be really "rolling" inside the ball. as you can see in the picture, i'm halfway down the hill and still in the sitting position. the inside of the ball is slippery and so we're actually just sliding along inside while the ball is rolling...

but after rolling down, we need to trudge back up the hill, which is mighty hard work!

our entrance ticket included a ride on the ski lift up the snow slope...

we're not allowed to disembark when we arrived at the top, coz we're not skiers. we could only remain on the ski lift and ride down the slope again. the top is quite far and high up!

our pass was for whole day, but we lasted for only 1 hour coz we were freezing! even our toes have started to numb from the cold... here's one last camwhoring before we exit.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

meitu xiuxiu photo editor

updated (19 apr 2012): if you're looking for an english based photo editor, read this!

sweet sheila introduced me to this super easy to use photo editor, meitu xiu xiu (美图秀秀). unfortunately, it's all in chinese (for now. let's all cross our fingers and hope they come up with an english version very soon!) anyway, it's still a good photo editor app and if u're not doing any serious designing or photo editing work, i feel this is good enough for us. and really, it's quite straightforward and easy to understand, even for a banana like me!

still, if u're really clueless about which button to click on, you can refer to this blog which i came across for a quick basic tutorial in english.

they have a web version, so you can choose to either download it or work with the web version. you can either click on the link or from the main page, choose the web version as circled in the pic below. my chrome browser automatically translates everything into english (except those embedded text lah), so your browser might not show the same english words as below.
as you can see, they even have versions for iphone, android and ipad!

for those of you bananas who can understand spoken chinese, you can also go through the video tutorials by clicking the button as circled in the pic below.
so many types of tutorial to suit your needs...

anyway, biow was asking me about the background that i used for my globetrotter amineko in my craft blog. so here's where you click to add the background, as circled and numbered below.
there are lots of background to choose from!

other than these features, there are many more other features to play around with, such as lomo, vignetted,  cosmetics, adding in icons, texts, etc etc. so just take your time to explore, click all the buttons and see what they do! it's kinda fun! :)