Thursday, September 02, 2010

Looking to Kuching Skies

It was on my second day home, which was quite an interesting day filled with much activities the entire day. It started with bringing mum to Saberkas for a Hair-do, and conveniently I had mine too. After lunch, I brought mum to MBO Cinemas at the Spring for the newly released Phua Chu Kang: The Movie which my mum enjoyed very, very much. Shopping, or more appropriately, window shopping at Spring finished off the entire afternoon, and I got home with mum around 5.30pm. I was dead tired, but the day was well spent.

I thought I had enough for one day, until I saw the sky. Yes, the sky. It never failed to get my attention, especially the skies in Kuching. They just called out to me and I just had to do something about it.

The sunset was roughly an hour away (around 6.45pm, if I am not mistaken) hence I quickly grabbed my gears and headed out towards the city area, on foot. I stay within walking distance to the Kuching CBD. Yes, I walk a lot, in case you have not noticed. How else did you think I managed to do my street photography sessions?

Kuching city view from 9th floor, Medan Pelita.

View taken from river level at a sampan jetty at Waterfront, Kuching.

The Square white fort looking thing.

The sun was very intense, which was unexpected, and for some reasons my subjects (the buildings) mostly come out overexposed. I tried to toned down the metering (-0.7EV to -1.0EV) which got the buildings correctly exposed, but at the expense of everything else on the frame turning out very dark. Oh well, one of the few limitations on Olympus 4/3 sensor which I have to live with, the restricted width of dynamic range it can record. Not that I am complaining much, the wonderful outdoor colours made up for it, and certainly the evening sun bathing the scenery was something pleasing to look at. The warmth somehow added a glowing quality to everything.

Approaching sunset.

Sarawak Astana (left) and the Sarawak DUN Complex building (right).

Lets jump in !! I mean into the sampan.

While I was shooting the sunset at the piers, overlooking the platform for the sampan (small boats) to dock and exchange passengers, I bumped into an American photographer who also happened to be there to chase the sunset. We instantly became chatty, and I was shocked when he told me that "the locals do not really appreciate the natural beauty, they just take things for granted !!". I was speechless for a moment, because what he has stated was very true. I never really appreciated the beauty of Kuching, the always open, wide and clear sky, the so easily accessible sunset scenery at Kuching waterfront in the city, and everything else that made this place such a breathtaking landscape setting. Only after being away for many years, that I have opened my eyes to all these.

The few lots of shops which was destroyed by fire not too long ago.

Gambir Street, with the old market building gone, which would have blocked the sun on the right if it was still standing.

The Sampan arrives.

Another note to ponder, is it not the "haze" season at this time of the year? Sarawak is usually very badly affected, since the smoke from the forest open burning traveled all the way on land from the neighboring Kalimantan, Indonesia. There was not even a trace of haze, and I do thank God for that. Seriously, for every single freaking year the whole Malaysia has been hit again and again by the traumatizing haze. It is indeed refreshing to have clean, fresh air throughout this season. Lets hope it remains the same this way all the time.

Kuching Sunset @ the Waterfront.

All photographs were taken with Olympus 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and Olympus 50mm F2.0 lens.

The emphasis on this session was obviously the sky. I still love the sky, and when there is a chance, I will look deep into it.

Gosh, I have Kuching-Withdrawal-Symptoms already !!


  1. You're not the only one robin. i too am missing kuching. and yes, i love the Kuching skies!

  2. Hey Ivan,
    Yeah man !!! Kuching skies rocks.

  3. Kuching Sunset @ the Waterfront is the best from this series. Great work, Robin! There is something magical about that scene.

  4. hey Bartosz,
    Thanks mate. I like that shot too, everything looks golden.

  5. Hi Robin,
    Are we so blind,can't we see this wonderful moment in front of us..

  6. hey Awang,
    I guess we are too used of seeing those things everyday that they do no appeal to us. Try go away from the country for a couple of years, when you come back, our eyes will be surely opened.

  7. im still baffled as to how phua chu kang can be so popular in msia but no one gives 2 hoots about it in sg! great photos by the way! keep them coming!


  8. Hey Marcus,
    LOL. No wonder they made the movie in Malaysia instead if Singapore.
    It was not too bad, some great laughs in the movie.

  9. nice shots. could not get any sunset at all last time i was in kuching:(

  10. Love the last 2 photos. Nice!

  11. Hey Podd,
    no worries, probably better luck next time !! Weather in Malaysia is generally quite unpredictable.

    Hey Shinky,
    Thanks !!

  12. Your photos are beautiful! I haven't been on your blog for a while - it's great to see you're still taking such lovely photographs.