Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lights of Putrajaya

I guess all those ridiculously intense photo shooting sessions are starting to take a toll on me lately. It all started from that hill climbing trip (which some of my friends claimed to be more dangerous and treacherous in comparison to Mount Kinabalu !!!), followed by a full on BBQ party on Saturday night...... and my hands being itchy on Sunday did not help at all, shooting at the Orchid Garden, and there was the Bowling session on Monday which I joyfully went to snap action pictures... and I thought Tuesday would have been one day sufficient for recovery.

Therefore, thanks to cool Andrew, I joined him for a night out shooting at Putrajaya. I was wrong... the supposingly sufficient rest was never enough.

I have always loved taking night photography, and I particularly adore night landscape. On the previous conversation I had with Jason (click), we agreed that landscape picture taking is not as easy as it seems, and we often fall into the trap of taking shots that turn out to be too ordinary, not distinguishable from tonnes of other similar shots which were already taken by other photographers before. What is the point taking similar shots, which was already taken by others?

Consequently, it is an immense challenge to add that extra dimension to ordinary scenic photos, and much thought must be spent before getting that perfect shot.

Unfortunately for me, after all those crazy shooting sessions on previous encounters, and me not being fully recovered, plus having been in the office from early morning, fulfilling the entire full working hours, I was kind of drained towards the end of the day.

I did not anticipate, and obviously underestimated the level of exhaustion, but how can I resist the opportunity to shoot Putrajaya? Many photo-enthusiasts and professionals make countless trips to Putrajaya at night, and they have never gotten bored over that place.

Putrajaya is indeed a huge piece of land, where all our hard earned tax-money has been poured into, turning it into something rather eye-catchy at night. Other than that, I see no other benefits coming out of our hard earned cash being dumped into the whole area. There were structures, buildings, and bridges of unique and rather unusual designs all over the places, and the amount and variety of lighting covering the land were nothing short of fantastic.

This was my first time visiting Putrajaya at night, and it did not exactly take my breath away (no it was not THAT incredible) but I was quite impressed by the landscape on the whole.

I had no problem getting the right exposure, and capturing the light just as I wanted into the photographs I was shooting, but being physically and mentally drained, I was somewhat, very lazy to begin with. I did not bother much about relocating myself, shooting from better positions and angles, which would warrant too much walking around, and I was not in such mood to move much. I was also pretty much fixed to a set of camera settings, which I only then varied the shutter speed to control the amount of light coming into the sensor. I did not even bother to use the viewfinder much for better focusing, since my eyes were already sore and feeling heavy, and I relied on the not so reliable Live View function on my camera's LCD screen.

I strongly believe that the pictures could be drastically improved, if I was more willing to move around for better compositions, and fiddle with the in camera settings more, as well as better focusing using the viewfinder too, but alas.. my body was already telling me not to strain much further, thus I just did what I thought was best at the moment without much thinking.

Nevertheless, I do think the pictures turned out alright, provided my circumstances.

Andrew drove around quite a number of spots, and we covered several places. It was very, very fun, being able to go shooting in the night once again. Putting aside my dangerously low body-battery level, it was a tremendous experience, being out there in the open, watching the sparkling and shining artificial man made lights in the night views. One can truly appreciate the creations of man by witnessing the grandeur behind the scenery. I felt really good, and it was fantastic to be able to do what I have always loved most in photography, taking night landscape.

Is it not ironic, since this was my favourite category of photography, but I am not exactly good at it?

Was I happy being there shooting Putrajaya? Yes, I was more than thrilled. Was I happy about the turn-out of the pictures, well, to be honest, not exactly, but I was quite satisfied with a selective few. Nonetheless, this could only mean that, the next time I go to Putrajaya (of course there is a next time !!!) or to do any night shooting, I will be more prepared, and have a decent level of energy left in my body to concentrate more on getting better shots.

We all learn, and we will all improve.


  1. wah... putrajaya..
    i nvr did a shoot there before.. XD maybe i shud do one for my next trip!

  2. hey dude,
    ahahhha yeah u should come shoot the night scene at putrajaya man !!!

  3. :D you bring me ya!

  4. hey allen,
    LOL no car wei...

  5. Hi Robin, I love night photography. It is one of the first techniques I learnt in photography after the basics and have never stopped loving it.

    Just a tip - try playing around with the metering modes when you go for your next night photoshoot. I find spot pretty helpful in some building shots =)

  6. Hey raymond,
    yeaahh I love night photography to bits. You just have to love it when you are at perth !! Shooting from mill point or kings park for the city scape is just awesome.

    For landscapes I usually set my manual focus to infinity, with multipattern metering. I wouldnt consider spot, unless there is something specific I want to target.