It was after work today (yes I had to work on Saturday) that I decided to bring the ever-ready PEN to stroll along the village streets, venturing into less hectic and not so tainted by modern city culture place. It was Kampung Baru, which is easily accessible from my usual street hunting ground, Chow Kit. Kampung Baru (loosely translated from Malay as "New Village") is smacked right in the middle of the Kuala Lumpur City Center, with Malaysia's landmark Twin Towers about less than a kilometer away. Strange as this may sound, the village still maintains its olden ways of life, as you can still find many wooden houses, village folks dressed in simple clothings going about their daily "kampung style" lives, and kids playing in the backyard, running wild like nobody's business. There has been a long list of issues and political struggle over this piece of land.
The reason why I chose this place for my brief photo-walk was the slow paced, laid-back and relaxing nature of the village lifestyle. You gotta admit the friendly smiles I encountered at every corner I turned to was a welcome after a long, exhausting day at work. The kids even greeted me, some thought i was from Japan or Korea. They tried to speak English to me in such comical manner (very fluent though, for their age) but I politely replied in Malay, their native tongue, and they grew even friendlier and got closer to me, allowing me to nail some close-up headshots.
All images were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and the M.Zuiko 14-42mm kit lens.
I admit I have been dreaming about D700 or 5Dmk2 lately, and a plethora of powerful fast primes such as 24mm F1.4 and 85mm F1.2 lenses, all breaking the limitations of my current system. Greed is a very dangerous thing, is it not? For my shutter therapy sessions, I rarely need anything that powerful or fast, and even the Olympus PEN E-PL1 with the kit lens sufficed most of my shooting requirements on the streets. Yes, I did wish I have better bokeh, or zoom further, or have a wider view at certain situations, but lets face it, they wont improve my photography skills much further. Nonetheless, I must admit that when I shoot for assignment or paid jobs, having usable ISO6400 images, coupled with F1.4 lenses would open a whole world of flexibility, and assurance for some very tough shooting situations. Not that I need them for 95% of my shooting needs, but you know, that insurance can come in handy when you need them to deliver.
After so much thoughts and going back and forth, I decided to just shoot with PEN for today. You know, get back to basics.
I shall be happy with what I have for now. Who knows what will happen in the future. The revolution is happening, and newer and more capable camera bodies and lenses are entering the market. Lets just wait and see for the time being.