Malacca in the Weekend

An old friend Tan visited from Penang last weekend, together with another old friend, Hong (I knew both of them from Kuching) we made a day trip to Malacca last weekend. Our primary goal there was to eat, eat and eat until we can't walk anymore. Food is another great form of therapy, which I believe is ok to be indulged once in a while. What say you?

Since food hunt was at the top of the list, we walked around the town area in between small meals, and that was the small opportunity for me to make some quick snaps. I carried my Olympus E-5 and the 25mm Pancake with me. I know, the PEN E-PL1 would have made more sense because of its smaller size and lighter weight, since we did do plenty of walking for the whole day. However, at that specific moment I just wanted to use the 25mm F2.8 pancake. That itself was enough reason for me to pick up the lens, mount it on E-5, and walk around shooting Malacca. Since this was a casual shooting session, I made very quick snaps of whatever that caught my attention. I did not stop for too long, or took my time to wait for opportunities because, we were on constant move, my friends did not have cameras with them, hence me being in my "shutter therapy trance mood" would have slowed everyone down.

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko 25mm F2.8 Pancake

St Paul's Church, Malacca, some time near noon. 

Street and Sound
Music Sheets of a Street Performer

Towel Cover
This was an accidental shot, I set the camera to panning (with about 1/15sec shutter speed) and did not have the time to set it back when this frame happened. 

Family Outing
I like the kid's curious look on his face. 

Bicycle Ride
Glad to see that many folks in Malacca still use bicycles for short distance travels. We do not need that many vehicles to add on the already very polluted air quality.

There is no spoon
A reflex shot when I saw the kid playing with the plastic object that looks like a spoon (it probably is not a spoon).

Hanging car
Jonker Walk in Malacca has probably some of the coolest items on sale in the market.

I like how the side light illuminated this dude. 

Tourists and an Abandoned Church
St Paul's church is one of the main attractions in Malacca. It was built in the year 1521 by the Roman Catholic missionaries that came with the Portuguese. has rich history (wont bore you with that).

A cleaner composition of the church. 

All that is left of the St Paul's Church were the four exterior walls. 

Street Performing


Behind Dumplings. 
Many traditional Malaysian food can still be found, even on the streets along Malacca town area. 

Flying Dragon
The overhanging dragon statue was created for this Chinese Year of the Dragon. Not the best composition, but not much I could do with just 25mm field of view either. 

The Little Girl
Love how the lines and patterns come together on the varendah. 

Tiny Motorcycles
More interesting items on sale. 

Hope and Perseverance
The man just walked out after purchasing his lucky number at a local lottery joint, while a lady in the background was working very hard to make ends meet. 

Bola Raga
A tyle of ball made of rattans, used in a local Malaysian game "sepak takraw".

Street Food

Lady and Lanterns
In the first place, as I was composing this shot, the lady was not there. I was drawn to the lanterns. Then she appeared. 

Bubble Tea
Poopular drink these days in Malaysia.

Gotta love that Snoopy sitting on the tree branch !

Different directions
I intended to shoot just the drummer dolls on the table, but when the girl turned her head away I decided to include her in the frame. 

Thank You
Street performer was away, probably for a toilet break. 

Tiny Sandals
That probably costs more than actual real sandals

Everything is a bargain
The must adhere to local culture here is allowing for bargains in any market place. 

Moving Spectacles
I was not quick enough to set the camera to panning mode, which would have made this image more dramatic. Sometimes, when you see something, it is either you respond immediately to capture that shot, or you miss it entirely. I chose to shoot. 

Chips on a Stick
Fried potato slices on a satay stick, one of the popular street food in Jonker Walk

I saw this giant statue of some local Bodybuilding hero, wanted to shoot it, but it looked too plain. Hence I added this man in front, who appeared quite the opposite in physical condition to the statue. 

Open Smoke
This was a hip shot, meaning I shot without composing, and let the camera snap it by chance. 

Clinging On Mummy

However, this begs another question. I believe it is perfectly fine to take photos that you want to take. It does not have to be perfectly composed, or has the National Geographic worthy content. There are times we get serious down to business and really put all out to grab that best shot, but there are also times we should relax, and just let the camera click, without too much of a thought. Shooting should not be stressful at all, and if shooting helps you relax by expressing yourself, the way you want to, the way you see it, then why not? I shoot many things, because I did see something interesting in the subjects that attracted my attention in the first place. They all do not have to be first class images. It can be as simple as a street cat licking water off a puddle of water on a pedestrian walkway, or a young lady walking by a flower shop. Or it can be simply a slice of very delicious cake (which I did blog about last entry). It is important to shoot for yourself only, and shoot what you want to shoot. 

Last weekend had been too adventurous for me, but I felt that I have done many things, and spent time with a lot of people. I seriously cannot wait to have a real dedicated shooting session down to Malacca again some time soon. This time, I shall concentrate on getting even better images. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Scott !! Lets go Melaka and shoot !

  2. I was expecting more food photos than street photos. Haha. :P

    Nevertheless, the photos are randomness yet looked great!

    1. Chong,
      Lazy la hahaha, randomness is the new thing !

  3. Robin, time and again your vision welcomes me into the Malaysian street and gifts my imagination with a human connection from another side of the globe. I enjoyed each of these images and agree completely that it's the heart of the photographer, expressed through the photographic tool that makes the experience come alive. Thank you so much! -- Rev. Heng Sure

    1. Thanks Reverend for such kind remarks. I do wish I have more time and just concentrate on shooting in Malacca. Will do so in near future.

  4. I demand food photo...hahaha...well it seems u r having quite interesting weekend...nice photos btw....

    1. LOL, food photos were not so nice la, cannot show here.

  5. Hi Robin,
    Thank you for sharing those great street candid images. Nice to see Malacca in Black & White. I did captured Malacca in color during our 'Jalan Jalan Cari Makan Session'but your images in BW tell a better story with less words. I am really a white belt in this Hopefully in five years time (time frame that I give myself to be good), I can SEE as you SEE and capture it.
    John Ari Ragai

    1. Thanks John !!
      I think whether it is black and white or color, it does not really matter, what works is the subject content, and how you present your subject in your photographs. I am no better than anyone in terms of photography skills or experience, but what makes my photos different are the things that I chose to photograph. Sometimes it is not "how" we shoot, but "what" we shoot that makes the difference.

    2. Thank you for the important lesson 'Sometimes it is not "how" we shoot, but "what" we shoot that makes the difference.' From now on, I will put more emphasise on the 'what' or the subject content.
      Thank you, Robin. May you have a great day.
      John Ari Ragai

  6. Very interesting set of photos. Like.

  7. Delightful set Robin,

    I feel like I just actually had a stroll amongst the people on the streets of Malacca (I have yet to actually visit there).

    A most interesting phenomenon: It was only when I read "dreamie's" odd comment about the "color", and your humorous response, that to my amused surprise, I suddenly realized that this entire set WAS IN B&W !!!!!

    I had been so drawn into the variety of scenes, and the people, and the activity, by the quality of your shots that I actually had not taken separate conscious notice of the TECHNICAL fact that you
    had shot in B&W -- a tribute to your abilities and your wise choice and use of B&W !!

    1. Hello Ben,
      Thanks so much for the kind compliments, but I do not deserve such praise !! Using B&W eliminates the need to process color information, removing distractions, thus the eyes are drawn instantaneously to the subject content. Thats why its so powerful !

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  9. Awesome... Even I'm planning to visit Malacca in July...
    Hopefully the festival times would be great during then!