Early Morning Shoot

I like to begin my shooting session early. I normally do not spend more than 2 hours on the street doing my shutter therapy, and by then, I have spent most of the morning, but still have the rest of the afternoon and evening free, which I can do a lot of things with !! Plenty of time to have lunch with friends, catch that latest movie, or do some shopping (retail therapy is very good too). 

This morning, we (a bunch of crazy street warriors, waking up early even after staying up all night waiting for that Olympic Games Grand Opening) attacked Chow Kit, my favourite street hunting ground. I do have a lot of things I want to share and discuss in my blog, but I figured I should keep my mouth shut until I have sorted out my own thoughts at the moment, which have become really messy. Lets just focus on the images instead, that way, things are more straightforward and less complicated.

All images were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Lenses 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and 50mm F2 macro

Friendly Man
I like shooting close up portraits, mainly head and shoulder shots. What makes this kind of portrait works, is the connection you are able to establish with your subject. How the subject looks at you, the facial expression of acknowledging your presence and the mild, friendly manner of this man added the connection. 

Battle Scars
One of the things I look for when shooting street, is definitely urban decay. Stuff that has become torn or worn out. They usually live to tell stories. 

Umbrella Lady
If you asked me is there anything special about this image, I can honestly say there really was nothing. It was just a lady carrying an umbrella, and her walking along the five foot way, with the light coming from the side (look at the shadow) caught my attention. That was enough reason for me to shoot her. 

Stall Operator
I wanted to move to the front of this man and shoot him front on, but that would have produced very ordinary shot. Therefore, having part of his body hidden behind the canvas added that mystery and question, whats behind the canvas? And in this shot, the eye contact was important. 

Pause and Stare
The reason this man on the bicycle stopped was because there was a group of my friends shooting him from every single direction possible. I was standing quite far away aiming him with my 50mm, but for some reasons, in that very brief moment he paused, he looked directly into me. 

Market Buzz
I wanted to do a panning shot, but it did not turn out as well as I have wanted. Nonetheless, the slight motion blur added some sort of blurriness to the overall image, and the place itself being unevenly lit, with one corner being dark, made the atmosphere of the place seem pretty gritty. 

This panning shot was a much more successful attempt than the previous one, though I did not quite get the whole face in focus. Practice Robin, Practice until you get it !

Morning tea
This man was having Chinese tea, reading the paper. Sometimes, environmental portrait can tell a better story, including important supporting elements or secondary subjects to the framing. In this shot, the gate opening to the shop, and the teapot/cups on the table added the sense of place and depth to the image. 

What's in the pot?
That was the question I was asking myself when I saw this, and I captured that question. And the fascination of the roof truss system.

It was a hot morning. 
So cover your face from being burned with whatever you can get hold of. Plastic bag works. 

In the morning, market is usually a place full of activities. However during this Ramadan month when the Muslims fast, activities have become slower, and less busy than usual. 

Floating Bicycle
If only they can really float. 

Re-tiling the roof
Not the best image composition, I needed to go higher ground so that I can capture more of the KL Tower in the background. If only I have a bicycle like the previous image but in real life size and can truly float. 

I am not sure but those two separate towers being so close to each other does not seem right at all. Oh have I told you how much I love the Zuiko 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 lens? I seriously can't live without this lens now. 

If you have not noticed, I have decided not to include my watermark in my images, since a while ago. I figured there was no point "branding" those images, because I am still in the process of searching my own identity, and developing my own style which is a never-ending journey anyway. Do let me know what you think of me not including my watermark. I do think the images look cleaner, and better presented without them. 

My images may appear very random, and does not run in a consistent theme, but my images were real, and they represent parts and pieces of the things I have found out there during my short walk in the shutter therapy session. I think the randomness added the extra excitement, because you do not really know what you will chance upon. Unpredictability is what makes street photography fun. You do not know what you will get until you are out there shooting. 


  1. Hello Robin,
    Thank you for sharing another interesting images in Chow Kit area. And you top the images with a bit of explanation attract more people like me to roam the street and shoot. Today I am just too late reached Chow Kit and I will try to wake up earlier next time.
    Happy weekend.
    John Ragai

    1. Thanks John ! Will you be shooting next weekend? We should be going to Pudu.

    2. Robin, I won't be on the street next week and the second week also as I am doing an eight days Spiritual Course on 'St John of The Cross' (Aug 4th to 11th). I will be on the street again on Aug 18th.
      Love to join one of your Shutter Therapy session one day.
      Today I spend to much time on the street from 10.20am to 3.00pm and yet I took only a few images. I even got lost in the crowd at Jalan Masjid India. Too many people hitting the street for Raya. The other thing is maybe I am not full recover from my fever but my passion to shoot keep me going.
      Robin, shutter therapy is an addictive hobby and yet I love it. Thank you to you for making it more delicious and tasty and I know more people will join the wagon to shoot.
      Good night, Robin. I will be having a Theology class tomorrow. Happy shooting for you tomorrow.
      John Ragai

    3. No worries John. There will always be next time, the streets arent going anywhere. Do take care of yourself and get well soon. Indeed the Ramadan bazaar was not a very pleasant place to shoot, too congested. We went early to avoid the crowd. Not to mention the massive jam that follows.

  2. There are few images in this post, if any, that I could not immediately identify as Robin Wong photographs. Methinks you are further down the road than you believe, and also that you should stop torturing yourself! :-D

    Nice work, as usual.

    1. Thanks Bert for the kind compliments, and I will keep that in mind.

  3. Oh! Forgot to answer your question: you should always brand your images, with both name and copyright notice. Make it more discreet if you want (or feel like it", but don't abandon your images like orphans!

    1. Thanks for the kind note. Just experimenting different presentation, somehow I do feel it seems simpler and cleaner without the watermark. Will see how things go.

    2. It would just be sad that you wake up one morning to find out that some publication stole your work... and with the economy being what it is, such behavior is unfortunately becoming quite frequent. I understand your position, believe me, but don't make it too easy for thieves!

      Maybe you don't feel that today's images are worth protecting, but that's not necessarily true: if you become immensely famous, your early works will be worth a fortune one day. ;-P And even if today's crop were truly worthless, what's to say that tomorrow's images won't be worth gold? If you establish a pattern of not signing your work, it becomes inevitable that some will slip away.

      Anyway, be well, and have fun!

    3. Thanks Bert for the thoughtful sharing. I shall give it some thought. No worries, I don't think my images will be worth that much anyway, haha. It is nice to dream of what it could have been though. I do understand your concern. I do have my name embedded within the EXIF of the image, but I guess that itself would not be enough.

    4. I do have my name embedded within the EXIF of the image, but I guess that itself would not be enough.

      Well... we all know how the law works. Lowly ordinary people like me and you are supposed to know and abide by the 245,000 laws of the land, but God forbid you should expect a newspaper owner to be able to read EXIF info!! How silly of you! ;-)

      The signature might not need to be IN YOUR FACE (what? no blinking attribute?) but I believe it's got to be in plain sight.

  4. i love the motion blur shots
    ive become obsessed with them in general
    they feel more alive

    1. Thanks Mr ! I am trying to improve my panning techniques. Still in experimentation stage at the moment. Not everything turned out well.

  5. Superb photos again Robin - especially like the one with KL tower as it is.

    As to the branding question: again, I think, I'm with Susan Sontag here, who wrote that painters include their signatures, but photographers don't. This doesn't mean that their work is not art. But in exhibitions (on the web like here or on real walls) it's nicer to have little extra notes beside the images rather than right within them.

    1. Thanks Wolfgang.
      I think it is important to protect our images to a certain extent. Most photographers like to include their watermark within the image so that there is no way you can look away or not tell that it was the photographer's image.

  6. hey Robin,
    since I first chance upon your website on m43 gears, it has been a real gem reading your blog on a daily basis

    love the floating bicycle

    1. Thanks Eric ! I like the floating bicycle too.

  7. I enjoy your photos more without the watermark. Here's to shutter therapy!