Saturday, January 29, 2011

Olympus E-5 in Kuching

I took an early Air Asia flight early this morning returning to my hometown, Kuching, a place that I have missed dearly. The most recent trip home before this was in August 2010, which was almost half a year ago.

What was the first thing I did upon arrival?

I ate Tomato Fried Kuey Tiaw for lunch.

What was the second thing I did in Kuching after that?


I brought my Olympus E-5 with the 11-22mm and 50mm out for a spin along the familiar streets of Kuching. It was great to see open clear, blue skies, and breathe in fresh air. After being away for so long, suddenly everything in Kuching appears so surreal and beautiful. This was not exactly a street session, which I do intend to get deeper into perhaps some time later. In this session, I emphasized more on the clear skies and all the scenes that caught my eyes as I walked and walked all day long.

Since I am currently away from my usual working computer, I am running my photographs and blog entry on a rather old laptop (possibly 5 years old). Hence, the LCD screen has limited resolution and depth of colours for me to produce my usual post processing routine, on top of the sluggish hardware performance. Therefore, during the course of my stay in Kuching, I shall be posting my photographs on this blog as JPEG straight out of the camera. My main reason to return home was to spend time with my family, relatives and friends, celebrating the coming Chinese New Year. I shall spend less time on computer, thus skipping post-processing can save me tonnes of time. Do allow for some inconsistencies, especially when it comes to exposure and white balance accuracy, as I have difficulty fine tuning those two parameters using my dying laptop.

Padungan shops, still standing strong after decades.
Grainy Film Art Filter applied.

Kuching CBD.
I-Enhance applied.

Warehouse along Abell Road, near the river.
Dramatic Tone Art Filter applied.

White building against blue sky.
Dramatic Tone Art Filter applied.

Along the river side by Tunku Abdul Rahman Road and Abell Road, there are ships docking.
I-Enhance applied.

A restaurant worker taking a break by the river.
In camera B&W conversion.

Life on deck.
In camera B&W conversion.
Dramatic Tone Art Filter applied.

A pulley system.
In camera B&W conversion.
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

The corner shop is Sky Book Store, a famous shop for many school goers to grab their nation-wide standardized text-books.
I-Enhance applied.

Song Kheng Hai food market. Many great local delicacies can be found here.
I-Enhance applied.

A Grocery/Hardware shop at Padungan.

Crossing the road to Tun Jugah shopping mall.
I-Enhance applied.

St Thomas's Secondary School (AD 1848), my alma mater. First school in Borneo. Had lots of nostalgic pangs as I walked around the school. Emo alert !!
I-Enhance applied.

One of the old wooden buildings near the old Odeon Theatre.
Dramatic Tone Art Filter applied.

An old building near the old train station of Kuching.
In Camera B&W conversion.
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

The tower like structure that protruded up from the Open Air food court opposite the Electra House. The window was open, allowing the sun to shine through the tower's body.
In camera B&W conversion. Pinhole Art Filter applied.
Aperture set to F16 to achieve the star burst effect of the sun.

One of the remaining structures of the destruction due to blaze on the shops along Gambir Road.
Dramatic Tone Art Filter applied.

Happy Sampan folks. Top down shot leaning outwards from the railings along Kuching Waterfront.
Pop-Art Art Filter applied. Saturation set to "-2" for more balanced output.

View from across the waterfront. Astana (left) and DUN, Sarawak (right). I just can't get enough of the blue sky.
I-Enhance applied.

Sampan carrying passengers crossing the river.
In-camera B&W conversion.
Pinhole Art Filter applied.

Jumping into the boat. Love the late afternoon light.
I-Enhance applied.

Puddle of water.
Dramatic Tone art filter applied.

Approaching sunset.

Calm water = good reflection !!

I waited for the lights to fall off so I could use long shutter speed. I did not bring a tripod, hence I rested the camera at the ledge of the river wall.
ISO100, F18, 25 seconds

DUN Sarawak building in the evening.
ISO100, F7.1, 60 seconds

It was a very rejuvenating shutter therapy session, probably the best I have had in a long while. It was not so much of capturing impressive shots, but more importantly, enjoying my walk on the streets, reacquainting myself with the places which I used to frequent a lot as a local boy growing up in his hometown. There was just something about walking around Kuching that you do not quite get at other parts of Malaysia. There is the sense of peace, and serenity. Though it was physically tiring walking for almost 5 hours, my mind was clear and refreshed. This was exactly what I needed, to empty my mind off any negativity which could have been the excess baggage I brought along from my working life in KL.

I look forward to meeting and catching up with awesome Kuching people, and of course, feast on Kolo Mee and Laksa. More blog entries and photographs will come soon.


  1. Very nice work - beautiful photos. E-5 is sure capable of capturing some nice details. I also noticed that you use art filters a lot.
    I have one question... Do you shoot jpg with art filters turned on or do you make in camera raw editing later?

  2. These are some of my favorites of your work. Very relaxing images.


  3. Hello Deep,
    Thanks for your compliments !! In this session, I shot JPEG with Art Filters turned on.
    However, ordinarily, I would prefer to shoot RAW and worry about the art filters and settings later in post processing. Im running on an old laptop hence I really try to avoid loading any software.

    Hey Brian,
    Thanks mate !! Appreciate that.

  4. Awesome shots bro! I actually got an E-5 due to your reviews and shots... now I need to polish my skills in photography...

    Am truly inspired by your photos!

    Rock on \m/


  5. Hello Glenn,
    Thanks a lot man, I appreciate your kind comments !!
    I am sure you are loving your E-5. Do go out and make great photographs happen.