Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kellie's Castle

I have been away (yet again) for the weekend with a group of my dear colleagues to Penang to attend a wedding dinner of our fellow friend. Basically I was requested to help out to photograph the event, and that was the main purpose of my journey all the way up to the wedding venue. I did my job, and since we have had Sunday to spare, we decided to make use of it to do some sight seeing. Though I was born in this country, but there were plenty of places that I have not visited yet, and today was not an exception.


We ditched the plan of going into the Penang Island since we did not have much time left, so we decided to explore the state of Perak instead. One of the places that we ventured into was the Kellie's Castle which was quite isolated from anywhere but worth every bit of your effort for a visit. To be honest I have never heard of this place before, and many of us in the group only found out about this unique castle today. I truly wonder why would the government keep such a potential hidden from the public. They could have made it into some huge tourism hotspot, if they really wanted to considering the historical significance.



The Kellie's Castle was built by an English man named William Kelly Smith, who travelled to Malaya at very young age to seek fortune. The Kellie's Castle was built with bricks and Marbles imported from Italy, utilizing 70 tough workers in the construction. It was intended to be the hub of social life for the area's wealthy colonial planters and administrators, a grand mansion with six storey tower, wine cellar, stately columns, Moorish arches and walls embellished with Greco-Roman design. Unfortunately Smith died before the construction was being completed, and the entire family traveled back to England, abandoning the entire place.


So here the castle is, standing proudly today in Malaysia, bringing back memories of old times during the colonial era. It was really an unexpected experience stepping into the entire place, I felt as if I was momentarily not in this country anymore. The atmosphere and accent of the whole castle and its surroundings portrayed the feeling as if you were in the foreign country. The adjacent lands being still on the wide open side and undeveloped added the depth to the previous statement. It was indeed pleasing to see that the place was still properly maintained, and if the right buttons were pushed without a doubt it could be a hotspot for photographers from all over the places !!! Come on guys, how many English standing castles can you find in Malaysia? Of course there was the Fort Magherita in Kuching, which is puny and nothing compared to Kellie's Castle !!



The place was beautiful, inside and out. The interiors was just stunning, and it was a rare chance to witness. The surrounding environments were lush green trees and grass. Perfect for wedding photography, or portrait shooting if you ask me. Of course it would be ridiculous to travel so far just for shooting if you were not from Perak, but hey, if you ask me, I would tell you I will pick one more chance to go there again and do a full out shooting. The visit with my colleagues was a rather brief one, and of course if I were there with a bunch of wacky photogs, it would easily be an entire morning or afternoon killed right there and then alone. The wall textures, the architectures, the landscape, even the walls were interesting to be photographed.


It was a rather sunny day, with superbly strong sun hitting right from the above on a wicked burning afternoon sun. Not exactly suitable for any portraiture works, since it would cast unwanted highlights and shadows all over the faces. Even the people would have problem smiling, and opening the eyes wide under such intense sunlight. Nevertheless I did what I could, and of course, once you were in such an awesome place, you would definitely want to bring lots of pictures back with you. On the other hand, such clear sky and harsh sky were ideal for landscape shooting !!


Finally after months since I purchased the Circular Polarizer (CPL) I finally found the right chance to fully utilized them. Almost all the shots shown in this entry were taken with CPL (like a piece of sunglass for the camera lens). The effect was nothing less than stunning !! The contrast was deeply toned, and colours popping out crisply. The blue and green were somehow more intense and bold looking, providing very powerful impact on the landscape scenes. Darkening the sky improved the drama of the shots too. It was such a joy toying around with the CPL, since I could rarely use it in KL skies which were usually boring gray or white.


Like I have mentioned a couple of times, I have a thing for landscape photography, but it is definitely a challenge. I wish I have a wide angle lens !!!!!

All in all, the weekend was truly a hectic but tremendously enjoyable one. Attending a wedding has always been a cheerful side of any story, and being able to explore new places (new to me) was an added bonus over the weekend activities. I have been running out of KL for a couple of weeks now, and I should really start to glue my butt to the chair soon. My weekends were gone just like that, not much time for proper rests !!! Nonetheless, it was because of those travels that I have lovely pictures to show you guys !!!

Anyone else has been to Kellie's castle?


  1. hey allen,
    deep blue sky !!!!

  2. too bad we didnt manage to go there the other day..


  3. hey jian,
    dun worry there is always next time !!!

  4. psst... i updated my blog..

  5. Nice pictures! Like the contrast with your polariser.

    Btw, you can always get the 7-14mm if you have at least 6k to spare.

  6. hey allen,

    hey ven,
    thanks !!! 7-14 ah.. crazy lar... 9-18 is more feasible...

  7. Didn't bring your tripod meh?

    Else, you'll be in the pics too.. Hehe.

  8. hey chong,
    ahaha, didnt see me in the pic meh? ehehe...
    it was quite rushed lar... next time will do more proper shooting there kekekekekke

  9. i really must make a trip there before i go back to kuching for good!

  10. hey silveraven,
    yes you MUST !! Its really a nice place !