Friday, June 08, 2012

Shutter Therapy in Wonderful Kuching

I have been away from Kuala Lumpur and my beloved blog here for more than a week. I was in my beautiful hometown, Kuching, and spent most of my holidays with dearest mum (went shopping and eating and visiting relatives together) as well as catching up with friends, and at the same time, making some new ones. Of course, whenever I could find some spare time, I would squeeze in some shutter therapy !! I really love my hometown Kuching, and unsurprisingly, I love shooting at my hometown. I attacked the streets with a few friends, and I shall just let the photographs speak more for now, as I catch my own breath. I have just returned to Kuala Lumpur a few hours ago. 

All images were taken within the past one week in Kuching, with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital lenses: 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and 50mm F2 macro


Strong heart

Gentle Greetings

Colourful girl


Traditional Carpentry


Beggar's street

Iron Man (title stolen from Allen Ang)

Walk and Drink together

Morning life


Old Court House


Boy and Transaction

Morning warmth

Stranger's gaze

Hot morning

Textile shop

Cool hat

Joyful children

On the floor

By the window


Shutter therapy buddies: Asfan, Madden, Ariffin and Rahiman

Kuching Sunset at the Waterfront

Through my viewfinder !! Photo taken with HTC One V phone camera

Astana, Parliament, and Dewan Undangan Negeri

Kuching CBD

Kuching is vibrant, full of life, and the people, the food, the culture, the life, the streets, everything here is just different from what I used to find and live in Kuala Lumpur. Being a smaller City, Kuching folks on the streets are very friendly and approachable. I did not even have to ask permission, I just smiled, pointed my camera at most of my subjects, and they willingly had their photographs taken. A grateful "thank you" after taking their photograph follows immediately, with laughter or warm smiles. I feel like I belonged to the streets, I could easily blend in here without worrying about anything at all, because after all, I grew up here in Kuching, I have spent most of my life here before moving to Kuala Lumpur and worked there, and I know Kuching streets inside out. The sense of familiarity is something that I have used to add into my photographs this time. I feel connected to my subjects, and I sure hope that is shown in my photos in this entry. 


  1. Robin yhe image of the little man with the crutches is just precious. He walks in the face of Danger and smiles while doing it ;-) Just because of the way you have portrayed him, I would be honored to meet this man.

    1. Hey Libby,
      I love that image too !! I wanted to shoot him up close but when I saw the signs (danger warnings) around him, I made a quick last minute decision to include them. Glad that you saw what I was trying to do !!

  2. Very nice set! Kuching is a lovely place, but haven't had a chance to visit in years.

    1. Hey Aizuddin,
      Thanks !! Air Asia tickets are cheap, make no more excuses !!!

  3. been waiting for this post, as usual nice heartwarming images robin..i haven't been to borneo yet, but i will in the future..=)

    1. Hello amiruddin,
      thanks mate!! Do visit Sarawak someday, its a beautiful state!

  4. Yes, indeed Kuching is a very nice place for street photography :) especially our old "pasar"

    1. Hey jin Leong,
      you still in KL? We should go out shooting sometime!

  5. that iroman uncle very funny haha he did a good 1. by andrew..

  6. Replies
    1. Sure, but your blog only has two entries. Blog more content and I am sure many will be compelled to write.

  7. all in all, very nice pitcha o Kuching..i'm amazed of ur diligence..every pic told a story..n i like it the most, wen it comes to the joyful children real..nt to forget the kuching sunset's too..GREAT JOB !! :)

  8. Hey anonymous,
    thanks for the kind compliments. kuching streets,culture and people are alresdy very wonderful and beautiful, all I did was capture them.
    also kindly leave a name when you post a comkent here next time. thanks.

  9. Long time lurker, first time commenter. Wonderful photos as always Robin. My favourites here are the child sitting in front of the textile shop (beautiful background) and the moment of pure joyful laughter that you captured so well.

    1. Hello Kamo,
      Those two are my favourites too. I am a fan of very natural burst of moments !! Thanks so much for commenting.

  10. The Kuching Sunset pic is simply splendid, worth to be featured in a magazine or something!!


    1. Hello Alvin,
      Thanks, but I wish the lower horizon of the sky was clearer so I can have a clearer sun as it sets.

  11. Very nice pics and very very good blog.
    Olympus user since 1 year, i read your blog everyday :)
    Thanks for your great blog and your philosophy of "shutter therapy"

    1. Thanks for the kind comments, sauclair !! Enjoy shutter therapy !!

    2. Yes i enjoy shutter therapy :)
      You make wonderful pictures of the street. I find it hard to take pictures of people.
      So for the moment only pics of mountains and nature on my blog !

    3. No worries, landscape photography can be very rewarding too!!

  12. Haha, Iron man doesn't seem to like you very much. From where I come this gesture is... well, not nice.

    1. Hello Vladimir,
      That is not a very good sign here either, but that iron man guy is quite famous locally here, so he was just acting cool and did not mean any harm. He is just being himself !!

  13. Hi Robin.

    Been visiting your wonderful blog for sometime now.
    These images makes me want to go back to my hometown. I grew up in a remote village in the Philippines but I'm living and working now here in Dubai. It's weird but your images brought back some fond memories of my dear hometown.

    As always, wonderful images! I particularly like the juxtaposition of the beggars, their head slightly bowed down, against the three ladies in the photo "Beggar's Street". "Joyful Children" is just as nice, too. Love the texture and composition—the three kids with their toothy smiles and the one who can't seem to control his/her laughter. "By the window" is a strong, colorful image. Nicely composed! Cheers!

    1. Thanks Wili for the kind compliments !! When you do get the chance to return to your hometown for holidays, be sure to shoot some photographs !! Because you grew up there you are connected to everything there, the people, the culture and the streets and no better people can capture the beauty than you.

  14. Robin:
    I enjoyed reading your blog tremendously, and bought one E-M5 recently afterward. Good camera. I like its size, body style and (good enough) picture quality.
    My wife is from Kuching, so I have visited the city numerous time. I love the food, the atmosphere, you know, everything that have lost in the big mega city.
    Are you planing to blog about Audio Hi-Fi too? Can't wait to read.
    What is your thought about filter for lens? Some filter costs up to 10-50% of the costs of a lens. Is it necessary to use a good filter?
    Thank you.
    Chim in Jacksonville, FL, USA

    1. Hello Chim,
      Thanks for the kind compliments !! Glad to find another person using Olympus, and more importantly being able to relate to my beloved hometown Kuching !! Next time you go there be sure to snap some photos !!
      Audio Hi-fi? I do have passion for good audio but I have not invested in any sound system yet. It is out of my budget at the moment. Perhaps one day when I do have the cash.
      About the filter, get the multi coated ones. Do not worry about getting a cheap one, the purpose of filter is to protect the lens. If you are serious about image quality, like most professional photographers they shoot with naked lens without filter. Any glass you add on will reduce the light going into the camera. For protection during general shooting, shoot with the filter. For optimum image quality, take the filter off.

  15. Kuching... Kuching... aawwwww......

    Btw, what's with the gesture from Iron man?

    1. LOL !!! I guess he was trying to act "cool" or "badass" haha.

  16. Hi Robin,

    *hi5* for Kuchingites! Stunning street photography you have there as always. Every picture paints its own story. Like like!

    Just one question to learn from you:
    1) For your street photograph, what setting do you use in order to capture and freeze the people's action? In terms if shutter speed, Aperture etc..Thanks mate!

    1. Hello Johnson,
      Thanks for the kind compliments. I do not have a fixed setting for everything. How you set the camera depends on what you want to accomplish in your photographs.
      For example, if I want a blur background, I would use longer lens and open up the aperture to the widest.
      If I want to capture movement I would slow down the shutter speed slow enough to induce movement.
      When I decide to capture everything clear (wide scene with sharp background) I set narrow aperture.
      The most important thing is to understand the mechanism of your camera, how shutter speed works, what are the effects of different apertures, and more importantly, how they all work with each other. Only by knowing how to fully control your camera, can you really shoot. It takes a lot of studying, experimentation and trial and errors. Being an engineer yourself, I strongly believe you would love the technicalities of photography, especially when it comes to operating the camera. There is no golden rule or fixed guidelines. You have to understand and take control and decide how you want to shoot.

    2. If you have not realized, all the photos on my blog has EXIF data embedded, meaning you can trace and see what settings I have used for each and every shot.

    3. Thanks man! :D

  17. Hello Robin,
    Welcome back to work. I know you have a great time back home in Sarawak as your images revealed the treasures of Sarawak has to offer. Great images as always which really bring nostalgic memories back home in Sarawak. Your vision and trained eyes captured the essence of street life and the beauty of nature.
    On my part, the wedding dinner on Saturday (09.06.2012) turned out good but I should have done better. I am abit tension while shooting as my friend want the memory card immediately after dinner. She bought the memory card for me to use. Meaning: I have to give my very best I can for every shot. I shoot in RAW and JPEG. I gave the JPEG version to her. Tough job but good pressure for me to deliver my best. Reason of urgent: She have to fly back to Hongkong on Sunday morning.
    Outcome: The couples thank me many times for the good images that I deliver.
    Angpau: Good red packet. (I never ask for the price)
    Robin, I really thank you for the words of encouragement and motivation which you have given to me before the event. It really help to wake me up and deliver the images they want.
    May you have a great evening.
    Happy Shooting.
    John Ari Ragai

    1. Hey John,
      Glad to hear that everything turned out well !! The most important thing is to have an open mind and heart when you shoot for your friends, which I strongly believe you did, and everything will just fall into plan nicely. Surely it is a great experience, and even more, a personal one, because you were able to do something valuable and capture important memories for your friends. I am sure they will cherish those images you took for many years to come.

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