So I was venturing into random places and shooting landscape pictures of KL under rare and stunningly breathtaking skies on the first day of Chinese New year. Then I bumped into hot French chicks who wished me Gong Xi Fa Cai, and joined them for a glass of drink. Just as I thought things could not get any more interesting, I am afraid the day's adventures have not ended just yet.
I went back to my place late in the afternoon, grabbed a quick shower, transferred the pictures, processed a little, uploaded to Picasa, composed a blog entry and published on the spot. Then, I reorganized the equipments in my camera bag, bringing only the pancake and the standard zoom kit lens. I dragged my tripod along, and stormed out the house for the second time of the day as the sun was laying low on the horizon. I was making my way to the Ampang Lookout Point to snap some night scenery photographs. Yes, my current landscape obsession has not ended, and my itch on clicking the shutter has yet to be satisfied.
LAMB CHOP SPECIAL
It was my first time to the Ampang Lookout Point, hence I did not know exactly what to expect, or how to prepare for this particularly spontaneous session. I guess staying alone in my room having instant noodles for dinner would be too depressing to take in, so doing something unusual and challenging with anything to do with camera was the best remedy for me surviving my Chinese New Year alone. I have been wanting to take night shots, but apparently not many vantage points were available for Kuala Lumpur.
The Lookout Point is also famous for its restaurants. I was expecting to fork out a large amount of cash for having dinner there while waiting for the sun to set. Surprisingly, the food costs really reasonably. I had Roasted Lamb Chop Special which was quite huge in portion, served with steamed vegetables, ham (fake ham dammit) with cheese and crinkle cut fries, and the combo for RM15 only. I would not say there was anything worth to shout about the Lamb, but hey, paying RM15 for this dish was something you would seldom find in KL. At least I was not eating instant noodles while wallowing in my miserable room.
I finished up the dinner, and I did enjoy it I must say. After that, the sky was gradually turning darker, as I climbed the Lookout Tower to its peak. I set up my tripod and was ready for shooting.
KL VIEW FROM LOOKOUT POINT
Note: You have got to click to enlarge the images. The smaller size displays somehow over-compressed the details, and the photographic effect is compromised.
Like usual, lets go on with my grumbles. I was not very happy with this shooting session. Why?
1) Annoying Kids from HELL.
Seriously, kids should be prohibited from entering the tower for the risks of being mauled alive by angry photographers. It was dark, hence I set up my camera on the tripod to utilize the long time exposure (setting the shutter open for more than 10 seconds). Even the slightest vibration could render the picture blur and useless. And imagine those devilish kids running around, jumping up and down... thomping the ground, while laughing like goblins. There were times I was so tempted to just BREAK their legs with my tripod and I kid you not. The other photographers present shared the same sentiments. Because of those kids, NONE of my pictures come out sharp dammit.
2) No Tele Lens
I was shooting landscape, little did I realize the necessity of my tele-zoom lens, hence I left it at home. And goodness gracious, the KL Tower and KLCC Twin Towers looked so puny from such a distance !! Even at full zoom on my standard zoom kit lens, they looked too tiny. I shall bring the tele lens the next time I visit this place again and get more prominent shots on those landmarks. Those towers looked so insignificant in my current shots, and they just do not stand out.
3) Hazy Blur
I thought the sky was very clear and haze free the earlier afternoon when I was shooting the KL city randomly. For some unexplainable reasons, there was a thick haze blanketing the horizon, causing an uncomfortable whitish tint on the whole picture. No matter how I tried to set the focus, the picture could not come out tack sharp, and the loss of detail and sharpness was too obvious. All I get in the end was soft picture, and this was just a disappointment. The sky was less dramatic as it was in the afternoon, making the sunset rather dull and uninteresting. I was also hoping for more interesting lighting on the sky.
Nevertheless I did what I could, and maybe I shall do better the next time should the weather permits me to do so.
ARIA AND NILOO
On my way back, at the LRT station, I bumped into two smiling faces. One very pretty lady, and a very handsome looking guy. They were both cousins, and they came from Iran. It started with friendly smiles, and the next thing I know we were chatting away like friends. And here comes my second official Chinese New Year greeting of the day, they wished me Gong Xi Fa Cai too !!!! Gossshhhhhh....
It was so special because this was my first time having people not from Malaysia wishing me Happy Chinese New Year. Even when I was alone in Perth last year, none of the Aussies, NONE at all I tell you, wished me Happy New Year.
And to think that I get strangers to greet me, and accompany me throughout my two important events of the day, I think God answered my prayers in very strange ways. In my prayers the night before, I asked for strength to go through the New Year on my own. I said I was afraid I would not make it. Well, what happened was more than I had ever hoped for. Those two encounters, first with the French girls and then the Iranians, they made my day.
So how have your Chinese New Year 2009 celebrations been?