This photo was taken on Saturday 29 February. It was one of the days that I needed a walk to calm my nerves. It was a long emotional night for me, and I needed some time to digest. Yes – I was planning to have a photo walk the next day, but this day was different because so many things in my mind.
CRYPTIC MODE ON
Sometimes in life, we just need to get the shit out of our system, and today was the day. So much shit from the past was thrown at you and I just needed to digest those shit. We can dwell of the shit from yesterday, and only focus on the shit that will come out today and beyond.
Yesterday’s shit may be smelly and watery, but today is when we need to focus on the doing the right things to make sure the shit is better. Mornings are always better when you are shit are smooth and fulfilling.
Yes – its a shitty day, but we need to support what we take and do in order to make it less shittier.
The individual unit of the flat is very small. I was told that the units have two configuration – single and double bedroom types. From the outside, it looks pretty small. And from what I recall the last time I visited my friend decades ago, it was really small. The ground floor folks “extended” their units by building additional substructures, as you can see in the diagram below.
There are so many things that the people do with the substructures, ranging from shops to parking lots… to… central kitchen! Not really central kitchen but a bigger kitchen for those hawker stalls next to the main road.
I do not want to imagine what will happen if a fire breaks out, but it definitely looks like a major fire hazard to me.
I’ve been to many places in the world but to be honest, I’ve not explored my own backyard. I spent most of my childhood in Keramat, a predominantly Malay area.
Today after visiting my mum, I decided to make a stop and visit Flat Keramat. It’s a gem. I should spend more time here to do street shoots. I believe there are so many backstories that I can cover.
The flats are bunch of low-cost development by PKNS (Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor) or state-owned development company. I believe the flats were built during the late 70s, not very far from when I moved to Keramat.
The following photo shows the flats. As you can see, the flats are not far from the city. In fact, it is probably about 15 mins to town! There are a total of 18 blocks altogether.
There are so many photo opportunities here, especially in black and white. Today’s trip was just a recce trip for a bigger trip that I plan. Since I come over to Keramat almost every single week, it is very convenient for me to visit this place. In fact, I can park at my parent’s house and walk over here. Not far.
As usual – hang out with the locals. These are 17 year old kids who told me some of the stories in neighborhood. I will certainly pop by again next week – whenever I have time. In fact they did tell me about the silat and Muay Thai classes that’s held on Tuesday.
While walking around – obviously I was on the lookout for photos to shoot. Yes – it’s not as simple as it seems as I am still doing my 50mm challenge throughout February (at least second half). 50mm is a really tough lens because I am so used to shooting using 24 and 28mm. I wanted to push myself because I need to be more versatile.
While walking around Pasar Karat – thru the back lanes that leads towards Jalan Sultan, I can see a part that was shines by the open roof top (probably plastic). I immediately took out my camera and took this photo. Boom – lucky. But not much composition though. Just another snapshot.
One of things that I realized about Pasar Karat – some of the vendors are actually quite secretive, and does not want their photos taken. They do take the effort to cover their faces but does not object.
When such things happen, I generally will apologize. They will generally be OK after that. Question is – should I delete the photos, to me, yes if their faces are shown.
The photo above is an example of when I am in the situation where I need to apologise.
One of the tips during street shoot is to always get yourself ready. This technique require one to do zone focusing and know your camera (very well!). Since my camera is still very new (not even a month old), zone focusing is something that I am trying to get myself accustom to. The problem is of course I am shooting auto, thus when it comes to difficult lighting situation, it becomes quite complicated. Depending on the metering setting, I may need to reshoot. In fact for this particular photo, I shot a couple of times!
The output is as follows:
The problem with this photo is that, there are two sides of the photo that have at least 2 stops difference.
Here my original photo!
Can you see the issue with the photo! So I had to do few things:
Minor shadow edit in Lightroom – to bring up a bit of the darker areas
Open the photo as Smart Object in Photoshop
Masked the darker areas (use Polygon Lasso) and adjust using levels and curve
Usual post process – sharpen, exposure, levels for the whole image
This is the best-hidden secret on Petaling Street. In fact – I bumped into this place by accident. I was not planning to go for this place but was just wondering around on Saturday morning. As I was walking around Jalan Panggung, I saw a bunch of tourists gathering around a particular area. To my surprise, it was an art mural area.
In fact, further research – Project Kwai Chai Hong is a restoration project of 10 shop houses along Jalan Petaling (Petaling Street) and Jalan Panggung. This particular art mural place is in between both streets. Please refer to the map below for the location.
The video below shows the art mural that was done by artists.
What is Kwai Chai Hong
Lorong Panggung is also known as Kwai Chai Hong, and apparently, in the Cantonese dialect – it literally translates to Ghost Lane.
Based on the article from Malay Mail:
The origin of the Kwai Chai Hong moniker is, however, not supernatural in nature, with at least two credible theories floated regarding this name.
One is that migrant workers from China who settled here used the colloquial slang of “kwai chai” (ghost children or little demon) to refer to mischievous children running around Lorong Panggung.
Another theory is that Kwai Chai Hong’s past as an area filled with gamblers, drug addicts, drunkards and those engaging in vice activities led to its nickname, while another story claimed that Lorong Panggung was the hideout of the “Dragon Tiger Clan” whose boss would call his members “Little Ghosts.”
As a morning person, I generally do my street shoot in the morning. This is very beneficial because the golden hour is generally about 8am. Of course this is only relevant if the day is sunny. The weather has been very cloudy.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the sunrise is actually quite late, thus when I go out at 7am – I need to find places where there are additional lighting. In the photo above which shows a person selling used electrical items, he has an electric lantern to light up his shop. Hence you can see a bit of dramatic lighting.