2017 Recap

Happy New Year!

I have not wrote on this blog since my last post in 2016. I thought it would be appropriate to write an entry to summarize my 2017 as a whole.

In summary:

  • Film photography
  • Writing
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Life and happiness

Film Photography

This was probably the biggest highlight of my year. Out of the blue in June to July 2017, I researched on film photography and plunged in. I was toying around with a Praktica MTL5B which I have purchased in 2011 for a Helios 44-2 lens (58mm, f/2.0). I was intrigued by the manual camera. I bought two rolls of film after researching colour profiles I have seen online and went out to take some photographs.

I stepped out of my comfort zone by doing street photography for the first time on Sungei Road Thieves Market's last day of operation. It was kind of a scary experience because I remembered a photographer being told off by one of the vendors for taking photos of her products.

I fell even deeper into the world of film photography as I learned more. I learned more about the art of photography (and an appropriate YouTube channel named that by Ted Forbes). I learned that I quite like abstract photography, especially the ones made by Saul Leiter. I would love to get hold of some of Saul Leiter's books one day.

In September 2017, I also won a camera giveaway through an Instagram competition.

I learned more about street photographers. I learned more about composing more than I did with my DSLR. I learned to fear less of failures with a manual camera. It's okay to make mistakes. I have photos coming back from the lab being badly focussed, underexposed, and bad composition.

I learned to process black & white film chemistry. This was the fun part about film photography. Seeing the photos you take come to life after chemical processing. I hope to be able to afford a 35mm film scanner some time soon.

I am still learning. I have finished 12 rolls since July 2017, of which only one of them is a black & white film (Kodak Tri-X).

Writing

I have been writing offline on a paper journal. Thus the lack of posts on this blog nor any tweets on Twitter. I felt like I did not want to share my thoughts online any longer.

However, I have been using Twitter again. I needed my fix of events that are happening in the technology scene. For example, I did not really know that cryptocurrency blew up until mid-year.

I will continue writing offline for my personal thoughts and emotions. If I do feel like sharing any thing related to my passion (technology or photography) online, I will do so on this blog.

Cryptocurrency

Late into 2017, I realized that I have an account on Coinbase since 2012 with 0.005 BTC (not a lot, I know). It costed $0.07 back then. I could go around saying, “Man, I wish I had put in $7 or $70 into Bitcoin back in 2012.” But nah, no regrets. I did not have much savings back in my polytechnic days.

By the time I had some savings in 2013 - 2014 when I was in the national service, I didn't want to buy since I had the mentality of owning a single Bitcoin (1.0 BTC) and it costed around $200-300 per coin by then. Who would have known that it will hit an all-time high of about $20,000 in December.

I had a dream on 29th December. In fact, three consecutive times in the dream I was told to check my old password manager for a cryptocurrency wallet. In the dream, I checked that I had an IOTA wallet with about $44 worth today. I woke up to finding out that I had a Ripple wallet I've created back in 2014. I totally forgot about it, not knowing why I signed up for it. I retrieved the wallet but to my dismay, it contained nothing.


I do not know why I forgot about my interest in cryptocurrency. That said, I am really happy to see that blockchain technology is taking off and soon we will see more decentralized web stuff.

Life and Happiness

I have been feeling unhappy for a while. Maybe a little miserable. It was the sole reason why I stopped using social media. I have been seeing posts of people having fun and felt like, “Damn, I have no life.” Maybe I need to socialize more often.

One thing that made me really happy this year was when I woke up one day and had about 3 hours to purchase a concert ticket. Scooted off to the Korean Pop concert for Red Velvet and enjoyed the night. I felt really happy the next day. I felt like I have not been so happy for maybe a year. It was something missing from my life.

I have the mentality that if I enjoy myself too much, I am not putting effort into my work or productivity. I refused to watch TV series or dramas (despite them being able to make me happy, or sad for some sad dramas) because I felt that I would have lost productivity.

Then again, I feel sentimental easily thanks to nostalgia. I should change my mentality.


Here's to a better year ahead for everyone!