Back when I first started photography, I tried almost anything and everything! Be it street, portraits, models, landscapes – everything also jalan. So when I went to Sapa for the first time, I really didn’t know what to expect. In fact, Crossing Bridges was the first holiday that I had ever done in my life. Before this, I never bother taking leave to go anywhere. This is very different from my life now where I try to go on vacation almost once every month!
Sapa is on the highland in the Lao Cai province. In order to get to Sapa, one will need to take a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. From Lao Cai, can take a van ride up the highlands. As one traverse along the road, we will see how beautiful the landscapes are. The sad part was that the weather was very cloudy. So the colours didn’t really popped out!
I still remember back when I was extremely active in photography. Every single weekend, I will be going out to the streets to shoot photo. Be it landscape, architecture or even street. Over time, I improved my skills and now, to me I can say that I am generally good in comparison to other amateurs.
Years passed by, my priorities changed. I have picked up many other hobbies like drawings and motorcycling. Recently – I gave up motorcycling because I didn’t have enough time to ride. I guess, there was a bit of fear in me and that kind of prevented me from riding every weekend. Yes – it was a very expensive hobby, but sometimes, we grew over it and change our priorities. Now – I am back at doing photography, but not as active as before.
The focus of my photography now, is more to do it during my holidays. This year, I’ve been going on holidays for quite often. In fact, to my count – I have been to the following places:
1. Chiang Mai in January
2. Yangon in February
3. Japan in March/April
4. Bangkok in April (slightly extended from my work trip)
In May – I was supposed to go to Manado for a colleague wedding, but due to work commitment, I had to change my plan. I regretted that to be honest, but I guess we need to focus on work. Holidays need money!
My next trip will be in 2 weeks time where I will be heading over to Hokkaido for 2 weeks break. In fact, it’ll be driving trip. First time ever. I have not done a driving trip before so I guess this is the time to try. It’s during summer thus it’ll be quite fun!
The following shows the video of my trip. This is the plan. All hotels has been booked and I am looking forward for the trip.
In preparation for the trip, I have started imagining what kind of photograph that I want to shoot. It is extremely important as in my previous holidays, I was not prepared for the photography aspect and felt that my gear was not good enough to enjoy the holiday. This time around, I went to a crazy extend where I bought a new camera! My Leica M10, though its very good, it is not suited to do landscape. I have not decided whether I will bring it along as it’ll add more weight! Still thinking about it. Let’s see.
In addition to the camera, I also gotten myself a set of square filters to help shoot landscape. Its an expensive investment I must say, but I guess square filters are things that you will buy once, and you will use if forever. One of these days, I should blog about it. I have not gotten the chance to fully try it. The weather has been very demotivating. Sigh. I have 2 weeks to go and I do intend to try it out!
I have a lot of expectation for my trip, especially on the photos. I hope I don’t disappoint myself!
It has been quite a long time since I did any street shoot, so today I decided to go for a quick street shoot with my camera. After the morning meal (Sahur) – I straight away drove to Chow Kit market. Was expecting some actions from the chicken section but unfortunately that place has been demolished – and awaiting rebuilding.
Thought of going to the noodle maker – but I guess no need la. I’ve shot that shop to death here.
Following are just my lousy shots. Last night before I went to sleep – was looking at some videos (really need to sharpen my streetshoot). The key that I got is to just shoot. Don’t care whether it’ll turn up good or not. Can always delete later 😉
On Sunday – I went out for a walk. After a heavy brunch and Sangeetha, needed to walk off all the calories. Thank god I brought out my camera 🙂 Its one of those rare Sunday afternoon that I took my camera out. Partly due to the fact that I wanted to shoot more photos. I have not been using my camera much, thus bringing it out will push me to use it more often, rather than keeping in on my table (not even in a drybox, since my drybox died!). The following photo above is the Malaysian Flatiron, located not far from Petaling Street (Chinatown), few steps away from Pasar Karat. No idea what the significance of Pasar Karat though. Perhaps I need to do a bit more research.
The photo below is the original Flatiron. Shoot this photo back in 2008 – when I went to New York for a holiday. One of those days that I took 3 weeks off to spend hell a lot of money and ate hell a lot of food!
Obviously – not so the same, but almost the same 🙂 I guess given how small is the Malaysian Flatiron, the narrowest corner is definitely not usable 🙂
Today – yet again I took my Leica camera out. I dropped it the other day in Penang, and hoping that there are no impact to the optics. I think there is but I am not particularly sure. I need to test it a bit more. Sigh. This is going to cost me hell a lot of money if I were to repair this camera. I am not really sure – is it because the shutter speed is too low that I don’t get sharp images. But of course at 1/30 – I am definitely not going to get sharp photos. I guess tomorrow I need to change my shutter speed to 1/125 and 1/250 and see how that turns up. Anyway – here are the shots from today.
Hari ini – saya sekali lagi membawa kamera saya keluar. Saya telah menjatuhkan kamera di Penang beberapa hari lalu, dan mengharap tiada impak kepada optik kamera. Saya tidak pasti. Saya hendaklah terus membuat kajian lanjut. Sign. Ini akan mengenakan saya dengan kos yang tinggi jika saya hendak membaiki kamera ini. Saya tidak pasti jika gambar goyang adalah kerana “shutter speed” terlalu lambat yang membuatkan saya tidak mendapat imej yang tajam. Tetapi pada 1/30 – saya memang tidak akan mendapat imej yang tajam. Saya rasa – esok yang akan tukar “shutter speed” kepada 1/125 dan 1/250 dan melihat imej. Sila lihatlah gambar-gambar dari hari ini.
Note: I am trying to improve my Malay – as such I will be trying to provide the blog post in two languages, as much as I can. As it is now, I am not even have time to post pictures!
After acquiring a new gadget, am surely will go out and start shooting. This camera is seriously a beauty. I still trying to learn how to use this camera. The multipoint focusing is good, but most of the times it kills what the images that I want to shoot. Reason being is that instead of focusing on the person, I ended up focusing on another high contrasty subject. This is not good, but after going thru youtube after the shoot, I figured out how to overcome this issue.
This morning shoot was at Pudu Market. It’s probably one of the only city market in KL, that majority of the KL-folks will go. I know there are other market like the Selayang or TTDI market, but this definitely tops it all because of its city vicinity. The folks there are definitely friendly. But one thing that I noticed is that most of the workers are either Bangladeshi or Indonesian. Except for the non-halal sections which is majority chinese (and maybe Myanmar). Interesting indeed.
I need to tell myself that I need to go out and shoot every single weekend. I can tell that my streetshooting skill is super rusty. Looking at my photos, I hardly go out to shoot. This is just painfully annoying. But I guess this is what you get when you abandon your hobby. Well – I did sold my Leica M9, so now I guess i need to work hard!
Last Saturday, did another photography walk, this time around together with the Olympus Pen Group. I am not really sure what’s their website/forum/facebook page – but I was referred by a fellow photography Scott Chung. The group was really big, in fact to my count it was about 10 people. I have not been in a such a big group in a long time, especially when visiting places like a market. The photo below shows some of us yum-cha at Pudu Plaza after the shoot. What’s a shoot without have to minum? No?
Well – now back to the real stuffs. The walk itself was pretty shot. We met in front of Pudu Plaza at 8am. I was right there sharp at 7.55am – and the rest was all there. They decided to came early to go for breakfast. We headed over to a beef noodle shop right down the corner. I didn’t ordered anything as it was pretty complex food for such an early morning breakfast. A fried egg and toast will be ideal.
Immediately after the not so short breakfast (30 mins+), we headed over to the Pudu Market – shooting things along the way. As we are such a big group – it was impossible for us to be able to shoot without gaining any attention from the public. One thing that I should remember – when shoot with a big group think about the food that you going to eat throughout the shoot and not the pictures!
To cut short – I did not managed to get any good pictures as it was horrifyingly not my cup of tea. It was really difficult to walk and shoot – I would prefer a walk sit eat and shoot (if opportunity arises). That explains why photography is not such a healthy venture for me! So we got to Pudu Market , first stop chicken stall. The auntie does not look friendly at all… He kept staring at me… **scary**
And here’s another wide shot of her… Not so sure if this photo works. Terrible exposure – but it does show how good is the camera in handling difficult lighting situation.
As I walked around the market – then I stopped over at a Porkie stall, and I quickly snap. I have no time to play around the exposure as it was a smack opportunity. Did not turned out as good as I thought it would be 🙁
And then….. GOLD MINE. I found the subject to shoot. It was an uncle that was manning a key shop. Lighting was fantastic, though it was a tad drastic. I took gazillion photo at this shop…
Six photos on one subject – that’s interesting isn’t it! Well – shoot as much as we can. Figure out later 🙂 Next stop was a petai seller – which was towards the end of the market. Decided to do a type of framing that I overused when I was in Tawau and Siem Reap. Well hopefully it worked better here.
Towards the end of the market – I saw this sleepy seller. I probably ended up like that when I got home! Hwiwiwiwi..
Those who wants to visit Pudu Market – head over to this google map link…
I am now in Shanghai for business purposes. As part of the company’s growth strategy – we look at expanding our international business. Making China as one of the key market for us.
With that in mind, I would also need to expand my business to China. So far, it has been good – and I am hoping to send more of my guys over to China (Shanghai to be exact) in the next coming months. In fact, my vision is to have probably 10-20 people under my division to be based in Shanghai permanently (that means China would be a major revenue stream for me).
Anyway – this trip is rather very interesting, as this is the first time I am in China alone. Typically I would go to China together with my colleagues. Its not easy – as I am not a Mandarin speaker (still trying hard to learn). But I think i’ll get around it eventually.
The picture above is captured on East Nanjing Road, as pictured here:
This is not my first time in Shanghai. Previously, I was in Shanghai for a short period before heading to Suzhou (where my R&D office is). Shanghai is a busy place – its huge and rather colourful. Then again, I have not been to all the places in Shanghai. It looks big, it looks awesome for street photography and it feels like its full of conman.
Then again – being a foreigner in this land, I would need to be respectful to others. Despite being offered DVD, handbags and stuffs while walking around the road – i feel that they just treat me like a tourist (kinda obvious). Its the same as another tourist comes to Malaysia and walk around Petaling Street. Am sure they are treated the same way:p
Anyway – I would love to come back here, with a nice camera – and have a day or two of walkabouts. In fact, winter over here will be awesome. Foggy.. misty.. old man on the bicycle … 😀 He he..
p/s Will post later on youtube my video on Maglev. Youtube is blocked from the firewall!