Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Street Photography with Sarawak Bloggers

I returned to my hometown, Kuching, Sarawak (in Borneo Island) for the recent weekend, which was also the long weekend for Malaysia's Independence Day celebration. Therefore I have decided to stay away from blogging during this brief trip home, to allow myself more time to spend with mum, relatives and friends. The long weekend has been really fulfilling, and I felt that I have accomplished so many things in such short period of time.

Who says only female can be loving and affectionate? Guys can do so too you know.

I find this scene so moving, that I did another shot of it. There is love on the streets !!

Probably waiting for his wife to grab some spices from the shops in Gambir Street.

Before my trip home, I have contacted Cyril Dason, the founder of Sarawak Bloggers (a portal for Bloggers originating from Sarawak) for a simple meet-up/breakfast session. Soon, our plans evolved into a shutter therapy session, which was originally intended just for a small group of common friends. Somehow, in the end, we asked ourselves why not turn it into a Sarawak Blogger's event? It has been a while since there was any photography related event. Furthermore I have always expressed my willingness to help out in whatever way I can, when I can, and this was my small window of opportunity to contribute to this awesome society of Sarawak Bloggers, though in a very, very small way.

Sifting the Dried "Ikan Bilis" (small anchovies).

Made of plastic paper.

A new level of boredom.

I wonder how old this clinic is.

A group of photographers (around 10 of us) gathered in front of the Sarawak Tourism Complex (the previously Old Court House) at Waterfront at ungodly 815am on a Sunday morning. I was requested to give a very short sharing on Street Photography, which I did, in a very simple and quick manner. We do not want to bore people on sleepy Sunday morning now, do we? I emphasized the importance of developing, and having "photography vision" and generally a few common tips and tricks on the streets.

I did think that I was not exactly the most qualified person to give the sharing, since I was not exactly a professional, I am just merely a photo-enthusiast that shoots whatever I fancy. Furthermore, everyone else has higher-end and newer equipments than I do !! Nonetheless, the most important thing I want to get across was to spread the passion and interest in street photography, which I think many photographers can benefit from, and truly enjoy while immersing themselves into it.

Behind the giant metallic fan.

Stuff can get really cheap in India Street.

Gaze into that mysterious 50mm F2 Olympus lens. Gaze harder.

Waiting for the rain to pass?

We started our trail towards the Gambir Road direction, walking along the old shops selling groceries and spices. It started to rain lightly, but it did not stop us from having our camera clicking on areas under shade. Since the rain showed signs of getting heavier, we diverted to India Street instead, where a nice, huge canopy had been set up for the Rammadhan Bazaar there. We spent quite a bit of time travelling along the Bazzaar, and thankfully at the end of the trail the rained has stopped. From there onwards we walked to the Old Mosque near the central bus station, and proceeded forth to Carpenter Street. After Carpenter Street, it was already approaching 11am, and we decided to stop and walked back to our meeting point via Main Bazaar.

Fruits vendor.

Forced child labour. And you think you can watch cartoon in the TV on Sunday mornings?

Sunday Papers

Raincoat biker.

This was my first time doing a real street photography on the streets of Kuching. I do not travel home very often, and I was glad I had the chance to do so. The more thrilling part was being able to do so with many blogger/photographers from my hometown, some were friends and people I have known, but many were new people that I have just met. Making new connections was refreshing, and a great bonus considering my very limited time in Kuching. I enjoyed myself thoroughly throughout the session, I only hoped the rest of the gang enjoyed themselves too.

Friendly young man.

Buses in Kuching can really stretch your patience.

Red shirt on the red double door.

Green is good.

Kuching streets were definitely cleaner in comparison to KL streets. You find less troubling subjects, such as homeless people, or anyone lying motionless on the walkway. Basically the people you find on the streets were very ordinary people living their daily lives, shopping for groceries, selling/trading on the marketplace, or passer-bys with nothing particularly specific in mind. People were also generally friendlier here, as you can see many of them smiled, and posed for me when I pointed my camera directly at them. Kuching community is basically safer, and less threatening, and this is very evidently seen on the streets.

An uncle who loves camera people.

Like this also can sleep ah? Haiyo.

Looks like a prison window to me.

Attendance List (not in any particular order)
Yong Lim
and of course me, simplyROBIN

A group shot.

We have wished more would have turned up. However, it was Sunday morning, many people would have slept in (weekend is for sleeping, no?), or go to church, and it was a fasting month for Muslims. Taking all this into considerations, I must say the turnout was quite good. I also think that smaller group did have its own advantage.


The morning ended with a round of Laksa Sarawak (one of the best local dishes here) session at Golden Arch, near 3rd Mile area.

*slurp. I want another bowl !!

It was rather sad that my short holiday has come to an end. I have just landed in KL a few hours ago. Yes, I am in my place in KL now, hence I can resume my blogging activities as usual. Do expect more Kuching-related entries to come soon.

Thanks Cyril for having me over. Also, thanks to everyone who came and supported the event. I cannot wait to return to Kuching again. (logs into Air Asia website.....)


  1. All look so bored..... I mean your subject

  2. hey Ghostly Nana,
    It was a Sunday morning, ahahah.

  3. If fact i wanted to join but at last minute i was ask to go to Sarikin,Bau.How i wish i can join & of course i wanted to meet my sifu(you)hehe...
    From the group photo,if i was there,maybe i'm the oldest blogger around hahaha..
    Have a nice day.

  4. hey Awang,
    Oh no, really hoped you could come too. Aiyaks, I cannot be a sifu la, I am also very new to this photography thing. We all share and learn from each other, that should be the way.
    Do not worry, there will definitely be a chance in the future. Kuching is my hometown after all.
    Cheers, and continue making wonderful images !!

  5. Despite it was a sunday morning,everyone was in their jolly good mood.Looking forward to this Street photography 101.

    You Rocks!


  6. hey Eve,
    Thats because Kuching people are jolly good people !!

  7. hop 2 c u thr on 10.10.10,hahaaa...

  8. hey adeline,
    I don't think I will go home so soon, ahahah have to save up money, have been spending a lot lately.

  9. oh why oh why do i look fat in this photo? :(

  10. but each shot I missed made me much faster in getting the next coming one.