Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Day Out at Sekinchan

When the week was long and it weighed you down, and the weekend came, the only thought that came to mind was run away as far as we could from the city. My friends and I did just that over the past weekend and we decided to do a day trip to Sekinchan (about 2 hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur). It was not exactly a spontaneous plan either, originally this outing was intended to be a model portrait shooting, but somehow plans got shifted last minute and we decided to just head out and have some fun, being silly exposing ourselves under the blistering Malaysian sun, stuffed ourselves silly with cheap and good seafood and just randomly clicked the shutter away, Somehow it was not really a photography trip, and I did not want to focus on shooting so much, but I did come home with a few shots that I was rather happy with. 

I brought along a Silver Olympus OM-D E-M1, and M,Zuiko lenses 45mm F1.8, 25mm F1.8 and the kit lens M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3. I also brought along the E-PL5, as a second body, with the fisheye bodycap lens attached to it at most times. 

This was easily my favourite photo of the day. We actually drove past this scene and I requested the gang to turn back so I can capture this. I know there really is nothing that spectacular about this shot, but everything seemed just rightly in place. There were the strong major colors, bright yellow and red against bold green and soft blue background, there was a reflection by the water and the nunbers on the container added some interest to the overall rather simple and straight forward photograph. The lighting for this scene was just nice and I could not have asked for better. Nothing fancy, but it caught my attention!

Sometimes, photography is about luck. When we arrived at this temple there was a lion dance practise session, and I did not really know the routine of the lion dance. I decided not to shoot the lion dance in the first place, because I could not find any suitable background as it was taking place inside the temple. So I walked out and shot a wide angle shot of the temple, not expecting anything more than a usual temple wide angle shot. Then, as I had the camera settings ready and the camera low on the ground, the lion dance troop came walking out of the temple, toward my direction, passing by the front of my lens! I would not have predicted this, but as I mentioned, luck, being at the right time and the right place. 

I was not happy with any of my paddy field shots. Sekinchan is known for their paddy field and I failed to capture just that. I did shoot many frames but they all looked mundane and too ordinary. Hence I decided not to show them, and just this, a shot taken from high ground. Being out there in the paddy field did have some soothing and calming effect on the soul. I felt quite refreshed and relaxed, even just standing there looking into the endless paddy plantation. 

A simple, close up shot. 

I was hoping a dragonfly or something would just pop into the frame. And I gave up waiting because the sun was getting cruel on us. 

Dusting the crops. 

I rarely took photographs of dogs. However, this one dog stared at me for a long while so in return to decided to frame him. Of course the day would not be complete without some black and white photographs. 

There is a fishing village nearby Sekinchan which we walked around and explored after lunch. 

It was low tide so there was not much activities going on (boats can't go out or come in due to low water level). 

Chilling on boat

You find hammocks everywhere. 

Jackie's spanking new White Olympus PEN E-PL7 with 9mm F8 fisheye bodycap lens. we were setting it up for selfie of course. 

The selfie we took from the previous setup of Jackie's E-PL7. Photo credit: Jackie Loi
Bloggers/Photographers present in this group:

MORE Selfies. MORE. Well, the sun was so bright we could not open our eyes. Literally. 

Our AWESOME Seafood Dinner. When it comes to food, trust Jason Lioh. 

And, the gear of the day. Spot the difference!
Note: This image was taken with Oneplus One. 

Interesting note: My favourite photos from this trip (first two landscape photographs) were taken with the mere, humble kit lens, M,.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3, which has always been looked down and neglected by many Micro Four Thirds users. I still think it is a wonderful lens and it can produce beautiful photographs. 

It was a super exhausting trip, but a super fun one too. I enjoyed myself thoroughly spending time with friends. Special thanks to Jackie for being the driver of the day, which was no easy feat! If you are visiting Malaysia and you have plenty of time, do consider Sekinchan in one of your stops. Quite an interesting place I must say and the people there are super friendly. 


  1. Your food pics are absolute torture! I drool all over my keyboard ... like a hungry Pavlovian dog.
    Due in part to your fine reviews, I swapped my Panasonic 20/1.7 for an Olympus 25/1.8. Not because the P20 is a bad lens. Far from it. I just feel more comfortable, always have, with a "normal" (50mm full-frame equivalent) FOV and perspective. The O25 does not disappoint. Sharp as can be, and the background bokeh is soooo smooth. Life in the m4/3's world is good.

    1. Thanks for the kind words! And yes that 25mm F1.8 is a great lens! I am sure you will make many wonderful photographs with it.

  2. Nice set of paddy field landscape. Anyway that was not 'dusting the crops'. They are spraying harmful pesticides or herbicides.

    1. I thought applying pesticides and herbicides is part of the process called dusting?

    2. Sorry for my poor English vocab. I thought crop-dusting is specifically for aerial spraying /dusting?

    3. Sorry for my poor English vocab. I thought crop-dusting is specifically for aerial spraying /dusting?

  3. Hi Robin.
    Thank you for sharing these beautiful images of Sekinchan paddy field. And the B&W images also very interesting. Actually we are planning to make another short trip to Sekinchan and maybe in one week or two will be good to visit Sekinchan. Now I am getting myself familiar with the buttons on my 3 days old OMD as this weekend, I am gooing to use it for a very important event at our Church.Thank you and have a great day.
    John Ragai

    1. Hey John, in a week or two the paddy will turn yellow and very soon after that it is the harvest season! Those would be interesting indeed to be photographed.

  4. I love the 12.50mm kit lens. I got it used new box..Warranty
    .lens hood..Oly uV filter for $200.
    It takes great pictures and the macro function is very useful

    I put it on Omd em10 for my wife (also used $500 new in box with warranty) kit zoom and body for $700. Very nice.

    Bob. For Cathy will be using them to take new photos for our Veggiepowerburgers.com site. B