Monday, November 10, 2008

A Night at Malacca

Side Note: Sorry Jian, dunno why photos of you at the jetty come out of focus... I must be more careful the next time I take pics.

It was not until during dinner time that Fred and I actually met up with Jasonmumbles and Akiraceo (aka Jian aka Miao.. and dunno what other names he has) for a meal, and a round of night shooting at Malacca on last Saturday night. When I told both Fred and Jian I was going to spend my weekend at Malacca, they both asked me along for night shooting, and I figured this could be one of the really cool thing to have my camera work for during my brief trip down there.



Note: Caught the transparent Jasonmumbles at the back !!

Interestingly I packed everything I could into one relatively small sized backpack, fitting my change of cloths and even the camera bag with two lenses into it. I brought along the tele zoom (obviously, for the Zoo shooting) and the pancake, which I had plenty of flexibility to squeeze it anywhere. Yeap, the pancake returns. I left the standard zoom, and challenged myself to just use a fixed focal length (no ability to zoom) lens for most of my shots. The luxury of getting closer, or further away from your framing is set aside, and you have no choice but think of ways to get that shot that you want, and isolate your subjects by other means. I even utilized the pancake for night landscape shooting. The 25mm focal length is rather versatile I must say, and the tiny size of the lens with its super light weight made it such a joy and comfort to travel with anywhere !!


Our first stop was none other than the over-photographed place in Malacca during night time, the Jetty at the beach side. This was my first time here at night time, and upon arrival, we were greeted with sounds of gentle waves crashing on the shore rocks, and the air was just something really different from anything you find in big cities like KL. This was the reason why I went away from the city for a while, just to breathe a little, and try not to worry or think about anything at all. The beach side at night was just right, and nothing beats being there with a bunch of cool friends who happened to be as crazy about photo-taking as I am. The weather was good, it was actually soothingly cool in temperature, in stark contrast to humidly sweaty hot air you get in KL whole night long.


Note: Was toying around with slow synchro flash, which I have set everything to full manual. Slowing the shutter to 0.5 seconds (mounted on tripod) to capture the background light, and fill in flash with toned down intensity to light up the face without over blowing it.


Note: Shot was taken handheld, but unintendedly chopped off the top part of the wheel. But I do like this picture somehow.

Our next stop was the Eye of Malaysia, which was originally on display at Titiwangsa, KL, but currently shifted to Malacca. The Eye of Malaysia has just recently been open to the public, one day before the shooting session to be exact. It all happened in such good timing, and I had an extra subject to photograph during the night. Bright structures being lit up against the pitch black sky could be really dramatic.


This was my first attempt on doing full out shooting session by just using the pancake lens. I was amazed by its versatility, and usefulness in general, negating the need of zoom. Of course should you have the zoom option, life would be much easier, but the 25mm (50mm equivalent in 35mm format) coverage was surprisingly sufficient for a handful of landscape shots, and even more suited for portraits. The F2.8 wide aperture coupled with the built in Body Image Stabilization made it possible to take a few shots hand held even under the night sky.

To cap off the shooting session, we drove all the way to Tampin for their famous Char Kuey Tiaw and lots and lots and lots of PORK Satay. My first time feasting on Pork Satay, and I admit it was freaking good. Will definitely head there for more if opportunity arises.


I love outdoor shooting, be it day or night, and this particular session undoubtedly successfully satisfied my itch for the weekend. I could easily point out many ways to improve the pictures I have taken, but I guess I shall stop myself for now. There will be a next time, and whatever I could have done better, I will do so in the coming session.


  1. wow.

    your work is getting better and better, man.

    keep it up! :D

  2. heyyy your favorite shot is also my favorite shot! u can use that photo as malacca tourism promo material! i like the way the eye and the lamp post are positioned just side by side and the glow from the lights is so soothing...


  3. "Yeap, the pancake returns"

    Get my sigma 30 1.4 ler... no one wants it, and its feeling reealli lonely :(

    OR better leica 25 1.4. i tested it on sunday, and i was like .. Holy crap!! its freakin sharp ! i think it rivals any canon L primes in terms of image quality

  4. hey aaron,
    thanks !! I see you have been doing some serious shooting yourself too. Sorry for not commenting.. been kinda overloaded with stuff lately, its amazing i can update.. ahahahah.. will try my best to comment on other blogs when I have time.

    Hey marcus,
    yeah !!! I modified the color though just to have the soothing effect, otherwise it would just be plain white. Tourism?? nah... not qualified yet LOL...

    hey brandon,
    i am amazed you actually read that ahahah, coz most people would just skim through the photos only.
    if I were to have the sigma or leica, i would not be able to fit either of them into my backpack. I travelled alone to malacca, so it would not be a good idea going all the way on bus displaying the camera bag proudly, so i need something small enough to be hidden.
    btw.. cashless though... ahaha

  5. What's Malacca like these days? I haven't been in YEARS! Totally was my favourite little town when I was little, it looks totally different now I bet!

  6. hey clara,
    I have not been to Malacca in the older days, so I have nothing to compare to. But I like it as it is today, the people and the food are simply amazing.
    The place is pretty much alright, not that many places to go to, but the historical places are quite well maintained. Good stop for camera crazy people like me.