Friday, January 20, 2012

Kuching Through 25mm

I have mentioned this, and I will say it again. Time in Kuching seems to stretch longer than usual, and I get a lot more things done in a given period of time.

I woke up at 8am this morning (intended to wake up earlier), did some cleaning chores in the house, and got out of the house at 9.00am. I walked to Padungan area to do some light shopping for Chinese New Year (things that you can only find in traditional grocery stores and old markets) and while I was at it, I took a detour, a rather long one in fact, to do some quick shutter therapy. I have actually told myself not to snap that many photographs but my itchy fingers just could not help it and went happily clicking at beautiful things that caught my attention. It was not a dedicated session to shoot, but rather, as I went along my errands, I took a pause from time to time to shoot away merrily. I even had time to sit down and had a nice bowl of Laksa. Obviously tonnes of photographs came home with me.

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko 25mm F2.8 Pancake lens. Art Filters were applied to most images, as mentioned.

I am most familiar with Padungan, I grew up there.
Pinhole Art Filter applied.


Chinese New Year decors running around everywhere.
"Pop Art" Art Filter applied

The streets were rather empty in the morning, but I managed to "catch" some people.
Grainy Film Art Filter applied.

Love the weathered texture on the walls.
"Pop Art" Art Filter applied.

Padungan is made up of very old shoplots.
Grainy Film Art Filter applied.

Some old KMC Flats at Ban Hock road
Pinhole Art Filter aplied.

I believe Olympus Kuching is in that building. Never went in though.
Cross Process Art Filter applied.

Love the old styled window grills.
Cross Process Art Filter applied.
Kuching folks are really friendly.
Pinhole Art Filter applied

Old styled shops are just so nice to photograph.
Dramatic Tone Art Filter applied.

I got home just before 11.00am, to my mum's delight because I have brought home all the shopping items she has asked me to buy. After taking a quick shower, we went out in the afternoon to the nearest shopping mall, and continued shopping. We had lunch, and the weather was getting gloomy, hence we got home just before 3.00pm, satisfied with whatever we have bought that weighed us down a little.

Here I was, transferring the photographs and getting eager to blog about them. Old habits die hard, I have always believed a hot bowl of noodle soup has got to be served hot, hence the photos that just came out of the camera must go online as soon as possible, or else they will lose their appeal, at least to me. While I am still high and interested in the newly created images, I want to share them with my beautiful readers as soon as possible.

Spiral escape stairs, something which is not allowed for newer design practice.
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

BBQ the "Bak Poh".
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

A pet, or a slave?
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

Grocery shopping
Diorama Art Filter applied.

Waiting for customers
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

Arranging goods.
Diorama Art Filter applied.

Self portrait
Gentle Sepia Art Filter applied.

Five foot way vendor.

Towards Kuching CBD
Grainy Film Art Filter applied.

Tun Jugah shopping mall, one of the hang out places in my younger years.
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

I kept everything rather ordinary this time, not trying to over-do things, and stuck by simplicity throughout all my shots. I brought along the Olympus DSLR E-5 and the tiny Zuiko 25mm Pancake lens, and only used one lens for the whole duration of shooting. Did I care about how good my shots turn out? I did not really pay so much attention on getting that "high standard" shots, and I must admit, after reviewing the shots today, they lack the usual "robin wong" street shooting style. It was not a surprise, because I have had like a thousand things going on in my mind while I was shooting (must not forget the items my mum asked of me or she will yell, CNY is not the time to mess around). Did it bother me so much that I did not live up to my usual expectations? No, not at all. I just wanted to work the camera out, snap what I saw, record those scenes of Kuching, my beloved hometown, and share sniplets of those scenes with many of you. Some may recognized the Kuching buildings and places, some may see those views for the first time. All I want to do, is to connect with my viewers, and allow you to see what I see.

I was not using my usual workstation computer, hence I decided to just engage the ever-useful Art Filters from Olympus to present the photographs. I love how Grainy Film, Pinhole and even Pop Art can add drama to the photographs by just doing one click wonder. It is that simple. I know the exposure were all over the places and the color balance was nowhere near accurate, but hey, sometimes photography is not all about technical perfection. I understand and acknowledge the importance of technically correct executed photographs, but do cut me some slack, I am viewing the photographs on a dying loudy monitor of an ancient Dell laptop (probably more than 8 years old) and yeah, while it is struggling to open even a full size JPEG file, I find simplicity in my workflow to be a blessing. Using the Art Filter is a life saving experience.

Sarawak Plaza, another "lepak" spot.
Pinhole Art Filter applied

Just outside the Tun Jugah shopping mall.
"Pop Art" Art Filter applied.

Love the colors.
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

Newspaper is everyone's best friend in the morning.
Diorama Art Filter applied.

You don't see that many bicycles in Kuching. Not sure why.
Grainy Film Art Filter applied.

Some of the tallest buildings in the city.
Cross Process Art Filter applied.

One of my favourite food place is shifted to a new location.
Dramatic Tone Art Filter applied.

This place sure brings back many memories. They serve the best roast pork in Kuching.
Dramatic Tone Art Filter applied.

I used to shop for my CNY clothes here at Upwell, but Upwell here was closed down.
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

One of the newer buildings, Somerset Gateway
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

Grand Continental Hotel, which used to look quite good, until they painted the sides orange. Such ugliness !!
Diorama Art Filter applied.

SARAWAK LAKSAAAAAA !!!!!!! Arguably the best breakfast in town.

Close up on the fresh steamed prawns. Yummmmm.

Now allow me to turn on my defensive mode. I am SICK and TIRED of people from semenanjung, who obviously have NOT tried the authentic Sarawak Laksa, and dared to make general statements about this important local dish of ours, which were MOSTLY fiction. Sarawak Laksa is NOT curry laksa, it is NOT even close to anything curry at all. Sarawak Laksa should not be compared to Penang Laksa, because they are both COMPLETELY different dishes, using different noodles, and different gravy to start with. Enough already with the assumptions and false facts. Buy a cheap air ticket down to Kuching, Sarawak, and I guarantee you, Sarawak Laksa will be in your next favourite food list.


After I am done writing this entry, it is still afternoon, and I shall continue with the house cleaning routine: something all Chinese would do just before the celebrations of Chinese New Year. After cleaning as much as I can, I will have a nice dinner with mum, and later at night, a gathering session with some old Kuching friends.

Did I say time in Kuching seems to last forever? I don't seem to remember to be able to do so many things in one day when I was in Kuala Lumpur !!

18 comments:

  1. Upwell must be DownWithFlu. Seriously, Brandon said Penang Laksa tasted like fish that was off. I guess we all have our preferences. What goes into Sarawak Laksa?

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  2. Nice... somehow its extra nice when its your hometown during CNY.
    How i wish i can go back to the land of DAP.

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  3. Miss S'wak Laksa. Yumm.. As for Penang Laksa, it's a acquired taste. I love a bowl of good Penang Laksa.

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  4. Ananda, I never said anything bad about Penang Laksa, but it is entirely different thing altogether. Sarawak laksa is Bee Hoon (rice vermicelli) with gravy made of prawn paste. The Laksa gravy paste is only manufactured locally in Sarawak.
    Usually served with shredded chicken, eggs, and taugeh. Prawns too.

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  5. hello Calex,
    Thanks !! It is nice to be home during cny.

    hello Chun Chung,
    Thanks !! Yes, both Penang Laksa and Sarawak Laksa are so different. They should not be compared.

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  6. nice album here. now fred is back. both can capture more hometown shots :)

    anyway, is that the legendary photo-monk in the photo-17.. hehe

    happy new year to all :)

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  7. Thanks CJ. Will be meeting fred up tonite.
    Ahaha... more like photo-noob lor !!

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  8. The Sarawak Laksa looks soooo good! Really like the close-up shots taken.

    Happy CNY to you! :)

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  9. thanks li foong!! I love laksa!!

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  10. in spore we call it bak kwa!!! happy lunar new year my dear friend!

    -Marcus

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  11. hey marcus,
    long time no hear from you!!! Gong xi fa cai to you too!!!!

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  12. Arrghhh.. Bad timing to look at your last two photos at this hour! >.<

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  13. Chong,
    LOL !! Come Kuching !! Me and Jian bring you makan.

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  14. hahaa dah biasa lar..

    a melaka friend of mine also like that until i brought him over here last year XD

    oh speaking of which, I have not have my Laksa yet.. grghh

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  15. Jian,
    Mari makan laksaaaaa !!

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  16. Robin, Wishin u Gong Xi Fatt Choy and a Happy New Year to you and family. ^_^ - nafim

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    Replies
    1. Sorry mistyped my flickr address. www.flickr.com/nafiimm. hehe..

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  17. Thanks for the well wishes Nafim !! Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too !

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