Side Note: I am away from KL now, hence I am processing most photos with the laptop screen. I have been using an external 22 inch monitor which provided me with better colour accuracy and controls, hence using the laptop screen for my colour controls may not render very accurate results, or what you would normally see in my ordinary style. Do bear with the inconsistency for the time being.
It has been almost one long year since I was last spending time in my beloved hometown, Kuching, and now, I am home again. I arrived on the evening of 25th April (Saturday) and boy, do I miss home terribly !! God, it feels darn good to be back, and this time I intend to make full use of my time capturing as many shots of this awesome town I came from as I can.
SKY WAS BEAUTIFUL
Time I did not waste, as the following day, the lazy Sunday was spent fully with an awesome Olympus user I have known for some time now but have not met in flesh, Brandon Eu. Another cool guy that tagged along was Methos, whom I have known through the Olympus Forum and admired his macro shots on spiders !! Together we had a quick lunch, and off to a shooting frenzy for the entire afternoon. What was the theme for the day? Since I have just got home, and being away for so long, I wanted my pictures to scream Kuching all over. Hence we went around several places to cover the scenes of this lovely Cat City !!
We started off from the DBKU building, which has a raised platform significantly higher from the ground which provided us some height advantage over a long distance landscape shooting. The sky was not awfully uninteresting, as cloud formation was rather random and traces of blue sky was apparent. The view was clear, not entirely haze free, but it was definitely more desirable for photo-captures compared to Kuala Lumpur !! The views were definitely clearer and came out really clean. Since it was rather harsh in the afternoon with very unfriendly sun, the photos turned out very contrasty and saturated in colour. This I like !!
MERDEKA PALACE AND CIVIC CENTER
Most photos I have taken at the DBKU were utilizing the 40-150mm tele zoom lens, which gave me the reach necessary to cut in the distance. As you can see in the first few pictures, the view was extremely far away, thus ordinary wide angle wont be able to reach such distance. Who says only wide angle is necessary for landscape shooting? My advise is to carry along your long lenses, you might need it to get closer to certain parts of the frame, and isolate particular details. I use tele lens for landscape shooting very often, and I find it worked very well indeed.
After the DBKU, we were hunting for a place to capture Kuching from across the river. None of the three of us were familiar with the Petra Jaya area, hence a little hunting and guessing were involved. After going about a little, we have found our desired spot, the jetty for boats which overlooked the Kuching City from the other side of the Sarawak River.
The Sampan (boats) were still operating till today, bringing passengers across the river for a mere 30-50 cents per ride. It is a common transportation mode adopted by the locals who live at nearby villages and this was definitely the fastest and economical shortcut, compared to driving one huge round to the city via land. The Sampan existence along the Sarawak River added much flavour, and uniqueness to this place. It is one old beautiful custom preserved alongside the spikes of modernization.
ACROSS THE RIVER (with 14-42mm kit lens standard)
At this point of photo-taking, Brandon has managed to poison me with his 7-14mm F4 Ultra Wide Angle lens, which enabled me to capture twice as much (wider) in frame compared to my 14-42mm standard kit lens. This was my first time trying out the 7-14mm, and I have to say that I was extremely thrilled by what the lens could offer me. Not only I was able to capture more in one frame, but the perspective distortion (not barrel/pin-cushion which is attributed to lens fault), if used correctly can really boost the depth of the picture. The lens itself is self-polarized, hence there was no need for an additional CPL for the graduated/balancing effect to the over-bright sky. The contrast and sharpness, compared to the kit lens, somehow just popped out evidently as described by Brandon. You can observe the stark difference in the photos I am showing in this entry, and be the judge yourself. I am in love with the 7-14mm already !!
Somebody please save me.
ACROSS THE RIVER (with 7-14mm Ultra Wide Angle lens OMGGGGGGG)
THE UWA FITS EVERYTHING !!!
Note: The above three photos were taken with 7-14mm F4 UWA lens, borrowed from Brandon. Darn it Brandon, the next time I spot your 7-14 I will steal it I swear.
How better can I ever spend my first day-time in Kuching, besides photographing this beloved town with some very wonderful Olympus users, while exploring angles and perspectives that I have not tried before. Being away from so long made me appreciate this humble city even more, and see its beauty from an entirely different way. Do rest assured that this is not the end of my Kuching photo-frenzy, I shall continue snapping pictures to share with you beautiful people out there !!
The session of the day was of course ended with some drinks to quench the thirst. We all had Teh-C-Peng, while Brandon was hungry and he ordered the infamous Kolok Mee which has become the symbol of Kuching and Sarawak in some sort of way.
TEH-C-PENG on F/2.0
It was great being able to look to the Kuching sky again.
Anyone in Kuching? Lets look to the sky together !!