I have just watched 2012 last night with a bunch of crazy colleagues, and I have got to say, after all those hype and wrecking anticipations, the movie did live up to my expectations. I have always been a huge fan of Independence Day, though I did think that The Day After Tomorrow did fall short in certain areas that could have made it a great movie. Nonetheless, being familiar with the preceding works of Rolland Emmerich, 2012 did blow me away. I have always loved John Cusack since I first watched his acting in Con Air (yucks to Nicholas Cage).
Photo Note: I have always loved shooting motorcycles, or pieces and parts of it. I do not know why, but it has become my usual hunt when I do go street hunting.
Coming home late from the movie, it did help me much in my already dysfunctional sleep patterns lately. I had to wake up early Saturday morning and make myself available to coordinate with a Site Engineer who is supervising a current work, and the fact that he was relatively new simply meant that I had to work relatively close with him to ensure everything went well. I got my first call in the morning at an ungodly 7.50am (that is ungodly to me on a Saturday ok). Thankfully nothing went wrong.
Since I was already up so early, I figured out, I should be heading out for some shutter action. I have been trying really hard to pull in a crowd to join in photography sessions, but somehow everyone has got their own things to do. Totally understandable, so do not blame me for not asking people to go shooting with me. Besides, I think not many people are that willing to spend hours and hours walking and hunting for photographs like I would. I have been working my ass off the entire week, if I do not do something I love in the weekends, just for myself, I think I could just very well lose my sanity. Therefore, with or without friends, I will storm out the door with my gears.
Photo Note: It is amazing what you can see in many places on the streets do reflect the thoughts and characters of the local crowd. Ideas are not meant to be kept silent, they must be heard, and they always find their ways to the surface.
The sky was unfavorably cloudy and completely washed out in dull and ugly white all over KL. I originally wanted to do some improvements over my Panorama Experiments which I have been doing quite a lot lately. Chong has kindly pointed out to me that in order to achieve better results I have got to zoom in a little bit and not shoot the pictures wide open. That was the mistake that I did, I used full wide angle on my lens and the results of the stitching exhibited excessive destructive distortions, and I have been hammered for that. As much as I wanted to try out this newly learned improvement, I had to make a change of plans since I know, shooting city-scapes under such horrendous sky would just result in unflattering photographs.
Photo Note: I looooovvveee water when it comes to photography !! Freezing water is one of the super powers my camera can do.
So what could I do on Streets of KL, if I could not go wide? I made a quick decision, that was to go LONG. Instead of mounting my 14-42mm all the time, I made the 40-150mm tele zoom lens my primary shooting lens on my Olympus. Both lenses are designed and built for different shooting purposes, and can obtain very different results. Though I may be running through the same streets, but chances are that I would come up with different set of photographs just by having a change of lens. I took a direct train to Masjid Jamek, where all the adventures started. After grabbing a quick bite at Macca's (you Malaysians call it McD for whatever reasons) I was ready to attack the streets.
Photo Note: Now you have seen the shadow which is WHITE, behind a Cross.
I am not a street photographer. I seldom do street photography, especially on streets on KL, for very sane reasons. There are all sorts of people who would do all sorts of things to get to you, and flaunting those set of gears that everyone knows worth thousands of bucks, is not a bright idea. Hence, I chose to stay on the main streets, and avoid the back alleys. I also realized that the most interesting photo opportunities lie at those hidden lanes, but as much as I was tempted to wander off and have my shutter clicking, I have to always remind myself that this is not Perth, and I cannot afford to lose another camera. Most importantly, I do not intend to attract danger to myself in any other way either.
I find it difficult to photograph people. I have come across countless opportunities, but I just have to stop short, and not make it happen because I do not want to risk confrontations. After all, they are all strangers and taking photographs without asking permission is only asking for trouble. As far as my lens can reach (approximately 10x zoom on a compact camera equivalent) I still have to play safe, and not putting myself into any unnecessary risks. Some of my photographs in this entry could have been better, if I have dared to move myself closer to my subjects and the perspective would have been more dramatic. Sometimes I do wonder how people like David Chua does it on the streets.
Somewhere along my course of street shooting, I chanced upon an Anglican Cathedral called St Mary. It was just near the Dataran Merdeka which I have been to a couple of times before, but the cathedral was not open the previous visit. This time, I saw the gate was wide open, and I could not help it but to make my way inside. As I was at the East entrance, I heard the choir team practicing for the coming Sunday worship. It was one of the most beautiful tunes I have heard in a long, long time. It reminded me of my worship services back in my Home church in Kuching, St Thomas. I have always been the traditional Christian (not so much into Praise and Worship and Charismatic type) and I have not been to one traditional worship service..... since forever !! The sound of the music and vocal harmony were uplifting, moving and deeply refreshing at the same time. I felt a deep sharp cut in my heart, because I have been longing to come back to worship.
I know this may be just total coincidence, but as I was there, I spoke to the people at the lobby area, and told them that I was from St Thomas and you know what? The Choir Practice happening there at the moment, the one I was so in awe about, was in fact, from my my own home church !! The choir team from St Thomas visited KL at the moment and would be having their sessions during the Sunday worships. This is scary, I must admit this much. I think in some ways, I am being called to that St Mary's Cathedral. No I did not take any interior shots, because when I was inside, all I could think of was how much I have drifted away from my faith, and how much I would, and should do to come back to restore myself spiritually. The fact that none of my active friends (yes friends are lacking these days, what else is new) are Christians, I should do something on my part to push myself back on course.
Screw Sunday mornings. I shall rise and shine. Wait, there is that evensong service on 6pm... Hmmmmmm....
Photo Note: Ok ok, I lied. I actually did wander off into the back streets for a little while, and made some very quick snaps. Was that a drug dealing I was just witnessing?
After the brief Church encounter, I continued my street shooting programme, and headed towards the direction of KL Tower. My original aim was to end up at the KL tower and take a shot of myself camwhoring there. So I made my way, not knowing which roads or streets to take, just seeing the tower from quite a distance and slowly finding my way to it. No, I do not get lost easily. By truly finding your ways on the streets, only then you can find the best photo-opportunities. As I ventured further and further, the sky was acting really cruel to me, and it got gloomier every minute. The furthest I have walked was at the Dang Wangi LRT station, and from there, just when I arrived in the shelter, the drizzle came, followed by the inevitable rain. Good thing I got myself in the station in time. No I am not crazy enough to shoot the streets in the rain, at least not yet. Even if my camera is waterproof (like an E-3) but I am certainly NOT !!
I have walked a total of approximately 6km (according to Google Maps) and at the end of the walk, there is the obligatory self-camwhoring shot of me.
There are of course many ways I can do to improve my shots, but I think I shall save my usual photo-related rantings this time, and not complain so much. I sure hope you guys enjoyed my very rare, and few attempts of street shooting.