About two years ago, I joined a few crazy friends to shoot the Thaipusam celebration of Hindu Indians in Malaysia at Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur. The odd thing that happened was the choice of shooting right in the middle of the ungodly early morning hours, and we left before sunrise. You get the idea... caves, before sunrise... very, very dim, poor, lousy available light, and I got away with mediocre (I would like to think they were mediocre, but now looking back those shots were nowhere near decent) shots. I vowed to myself to return one day to shoot Thaipusam again, but in the glory of warm, golden morning light glow, where available light quality just could not be any better than this !
I was asked by Luke Chua to join him to shoot in the morning of today's Thaipusam celebration. I met up with Ronnie, Peck Yah and Lonny at ungodly 4.30am in the morning and Ronnie drove us all the way to Batu Caves, parked at quite a distance away from the epicentre of the celebration activities and we walked about 2km to our destination. Along the way we were joined by Marcus, and subsequently I met up with Luke Chua outside of Batu Caves, just next to the river. Out of nowhere, Tennyson Lee decided to show up !! And he has got an interesting new toy, I was so jealous. I also bumped into the Sony gang, Meng Keat and Joseph, both happily shooting Thaipusam away with their amazing Sony Alpha A99 full frame cameras. Unexpectedly, I also bumped into Amir Ridhwan, whom I have not seen in a long time !! Spotted Amir was with an OM-D mounted with the OM 90mm lens. What a combination !
All images were taken with OIympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital 50-200mm F2.8-3.5
Just in case you are wondering what Thaipusam is all about, do visit wikipedia's write-up here (click).
This time around, I waited until the sun rose before I whipped out the camera from my bag, and with the morning's golden light, I managed to capture some better shots, in comparison to my previous attempts shooting Thaipusam at night. I have climbed up the 272 steps for the consecutive two years and shot what happened within the cave itself, hence I decided not to repeat the same process this year. Instead of following the devotees in their route to the end-point at a temple residing inside the cave, I actually exited the cave and walked around, exploring the surrounding areas. I then chanced upon the river side where some of the most interesting activities in the morning took place. All the photographs shown in this entry were taken from that one spot only. Maybe I have gone lazy and moved around less, but I have come to realize that trying too hard to document everything does not produce good results. Instead, focusing on something important and having careful plan can go a long way. Staying in one spot does not mean I am missing out on anything else. I am simply making the best of what I can.
Thaipusam on Sunday means, public holiday on Monday. You know what I am saying? Shutter therapy on Monday !