Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cheerful Faces @ Putrajaya Botanical Garden

It was only a few days ago I went out for a ungodly late night shoot at Putrajaya, which is not exactly that near from where I stay at the moment.... and earlier this morning I was back there again, with a bunch of overly cheerful people invading the properties of the Botanical Garden which is located right in the middle of nowhere. There are times when I truly wonder why the Gahmen would build certain things at such odd places where access is definitely going to be a troublesome issue for most people in the city.


One of the most common errors, eyes looking elsewhere !!

I have always had a thing for Botanical Garden. When I was in Perth here we go again the place I was staying was located exactly next to one of the largest Botanical Park in the world, Kings Park, and it is even bigger than the Central Park in New York.

Since it was so near, I went there very frequently for jogs, taking pictures, or even just for ordinary walk to enjoy the not so fresh air. The view at the top of Kings Park (at the war memorial) was just spectacular... and this is something that kills me inside for not being in Perth anymore.


Can you guys feel the heat of the sun already???

And so when my colleagues asked me if having a picnic/makan angin session at the Putrajaya Botanical Garden was a plan for this Saturday, of course I would exclaim a loud YES !!

Since I have not been there before, it just adds heaps to the excitement and thrill. I mean, who would want to miss out on witnessing what our tax money has turned out to be, right?

I have also noticed a shift of trend in my blog lately. When I was in Perth, I used to blog about two main things almost every week, mainly food that I consumed, and people that I met, or hang out with. Lately, these two major components that defined my blogging pattern a while back have been gone missing, and replaced by very, very random pieces of entries mostly relating to photography try-outs which I have been diligently indulging myself into every weekends. As much as I love sharing my noob, but still improving photography work and thoughts, I do miss blogging about more ordinary stuff. I love food, and I love people.

And I am going to make sure there is more of both to come in near future.


Making use of the mini stair steps, to create a different impact on people group pictures.


Capturing the natural garden feeling.

Also, reasons for not having people and food in my entries.. are plainly simple. I have been eating in a lot, trying my best to minimize dining out, unless hanging out with friends. Then that drags on to the next reasons, I am relatively new in this giant city, I have not that many friends yet, thus less hanging out sessions, and yeah, less food and less people materials.

I know I have done a ridiculously huge amount of shooting alone, that a few people have already questioned me if I feel lonely or depressed after having so many sessions of solo shootings. The truth is, I enjoy shooting alone, not that I mind company or people, but at least I have been shooting at my own pace. Of course, if I truly want to push myself further and step up the photography ladder, I need to find a shutter gang really soon. Anyone interested? I promise I won't scratch.

Alright, back to where we started, Botanical Garden.



First time there, I have to say I was surprised, and very impressed with the landscaping planning of the whole area. The garden was very huge itself, with almost everything man made, including the not that good looking lake smacked in the middle.

The greens, lots and lots of greens everywhere just somehow managed to take me out from the city feel, and allowed me to imagine myself being somewhere else far from KL.

There were plenty of places to walk around and explore, and photography wise, there were tonnes of stuff to snap !!!


I was not the only camera person around, check out Fang Liang's 450D !! It was a good feeling though, not being the only one with the camera...


In these shots, I was making use of the bamboo sticks to aid in framing the subjects, and adding vertical space by having repetitive lines.

My main focus however, was not the botanical garden itself, but more on shooting people for the day. I have always wanted to shoot people, and this is one rare opportunity. Overly joyful bunch of young engineers come together and spread their smiles all over the park, I just have to work my camera. Nevertheless, it was not as easy as it seems to be able to pull out good pictures, and most of the times, group photos of people turn out to be very, very dull and uninteresting.

Typical photo of human beings standing straight, looking at the camera, with fake smiles, and yeah, that was it. I tried to shift that perspective aside, and spice things up a little.

I went with loads of ideas for group, portrait and people photography, and obviously, a handful of them have come to life in the photos !!!



Horizontal lines can be useful too to project a sense of space and wideness in the picture.


No I did not copy Smashpop, they volunteered to jump. I swear !!

I guess the important thing about taking pictures of people, would be the natural appearance. The pose, has to be natural, though exaggeration may be allowed. Smiles, must be wide and happy. Variety is another must, to prevent redundancy. Framing the people at the right spot, considering the backgrounds were also essential. I have got so many ideas on how to place the groups of people for my shooting, but unfortunately a few good ones were left out, since it was a rather hot day, and posing under the sun was not exactly the desirable thing to do for most people on a lazy Saturday morning.

That was totally understandable, and the main purpose of being there was after all, having a great time, and enjoying ourselves. No stress, no worries.



For portraits, this time around, I was paying more attention on the backgrounds. I tried to place the people in a way that the backgrounds can support the focus on the main subject, yet still be able to tell their own story.

The weather was a bitch. KL sky is playing cruel tricks on me. The week before, I was shooting on top of the hill for landscape scenes, and it was hazy and cloudy. Today, I was shooting PEOPLE and it was BRIGHT and the sky was clear. Being under the harsh sunlight, many of my shots turned out unusable, having deep shadows on the faces, and uneven exposure across the entire frame.

I am very satisfied with the turn out of the pictures. I believe I managed to capture the mood and atmosphere of the day, something along the lines of the theme "sunshine happiness and joy". Bright pictures, with overloaded beaming smiles shooting right out of the pictures. I was hoping to achieve greater varieties, but this was the best I could come up with given the situations. This was one of the rare sessions that I was actually happy with many of the photos.


Instead of standing up, try to get everyone to sit down.


Now this is what I call a group shot !!! I like this one.

It was after all, my first time to the park, and I went there unprepared. This added up to my experience, and I am dead sure there would be a next time, probably somewhere in the similar location, and by then, I shall test out the rest of my group photography ideas.

Aaaaaaahhhhhh it is Sunday. Hope it is a good one.


  1. wow u really have very willing subjects to camwhore for u! still i don't see u in any of the shots.

    are u sure king's park is bigger than central park in new york? where did u get that fact from? hmmm...


  2. u are right! a quick check says that central park is 843 acres while kings park is a whopping 1003 acres!

    u are right robin!


  3. Hey marcus,
    not many people know that fact ahahahaha... Perth is a humble place, they did not overly advertise that fact.
    Ahahaha... It is trouble some to transfer ollie around, and the main purpose there was not taking but having a decent picnic, dun want people to start screaming at me !!!!!

  4. Robin, nice shots!! I love almost all your photos..
    Next outing lines up!! Deal?!!


  5. hey lihshiong,
    Thanks !! Glad u liked them. Of course, next outing !! Bring it on !!

  6. It's good to have someone that's willing to pose for you and not complaining the pictures after you post them on the blog... Unlike mine...

    *Hopefully they don't stumble on your blog and read this comment*


  7. hey hao,
    LOL... yeah... i guess im quite lucky !!! ahahahaa...

    u just post up nia, dun care, ahahahaha when people say nice things about them they will "gien" already...

  8. Gosh! Ur friends all so young one!!! I'll have to avoid u should I go to KL...Later u post my photo, people will think I'm ur grandfather!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!

  9. nice group pix, esp the bamboo ones.. shoot more lenglui! :p

    i feel that the highlights were a little blown out because of the sunny day.. oh well, nth mch can be done about that i guess. sigh.. the limitations of the oly sensors.

    jz posted a photomatix link on my blog for HDR. u can check it out if u'd like

  10. Great tips for group/portrait sessions! I tend to shoot alone too, except the few (late) night photography, which I usually drag my girlfriend or mate for company.

  11. hey suituapui,
    aiyoo no need think until like that !! as long as u are young at heart enough liaw !!!

    hey brandon,
    yeah, the highlight was a problem, it was too sunny for good portraits/people shots...
    ahahaha so ure getting urself into HDR?

    hey raymond chan,
    ahahaa thanks !! ahahaa late night shooting doesnt exactly feel safe eh? but i love shooting at night !!

  12. I see your photography skills have improved. Haha! Keep up the good job! One day when I get married, you must be my photographer! For free! hAHAHAHA...

  13. Hey M,
    Thanks !! We all learn and improve !!
    Wah.. wedding photographer ah? not ready for that kind of feat yet LOL...

  14. Nice shots!!!Next time I also want to follow to get a shot for me!!!