A Cafe Inside A Bus

Last weekend I was away to a photography trip at Sekinchan to shoot the Milky Way. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side, the weather forecast indicating 80% chance of thunderstorm throughout the night. While it did not rain at all, the sky was shrouded with heavy clouds, with not a single star visible in the sky. To me, it was not always about getting the shot. What truly matters was being out there, surrounding yourself with the right people, people with similar passion and love the things that you do and support each other in this crazy journey called photography. Indeed it was possibly the largest outing for Olympus users in Malaysia!

Sekinchan is situated outside the city, about 2 hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur. Sekinchan is famous for their paddy field, the one nearest to KL. In the afternoon, I was invited by some of the participants to join in their coffee session in a nearby cafe. How could I say no to coffee? Little did I expect the cafe was actually a re-purposed old-school real life-sized bus! I guess a hipster cafe cannot get any more hipster-ish than this! I thought this could be the perfect opportunity to give the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II a much needed warm up before the night Milky Way shoot (that did not happen in the end, unfortunately). All images were taken with the gorgeous M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens, unless otherwise mentioned. Man I do miss the awesomeness of the 7-14mm ultra wide angle coverage!

The cool thing about having coffee in this bus cafe: it is overlooking the vast paddy field plantation just outside the bus, stretching endlessly! There is just something about being in the open space that gives the sense of calm and peacefulness. Which was a total contradiction to the limited seating space inside the bus. Quite an interesting experience. 

Menu was quite limited, and kitchen was downstairs preparing the food and drinks. I had coffee with Mango Cheesecake. They also serve lunch menu, with dishes like pasta and chicken chop. The coffee was good and the cake was really delicious. This shot was taken with Olympus 25mm F1.8 of course, for that yummy creamy bokeh. 

Almost everyone in the bus were participants for the Olympus Milky Way outing event. Many of the people who went were recurring/returning workshop participants, from my previous sessions. It was like a mini gathering and I was happy to see so many familiar faces!

I have been to Sekinchan several times now, but I am still awed at the sight of the paddy field. My only complain was the overbearingly hot weather, if only it was 15 degrees Celcius cooler, it would have been perfect!

Another view inside the bus cafe. 

The Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens was just the right lens for this situation. It was effective in two separate situations: firstly the wide angle lens effectively captured the breathtaking landscape of green paddy field with blue skies surrounding the bus and secondly, the much needed extra wide field of view for interior bus shots, which was quite cramped. While the choice of focal lengths always comes down to personal preference and shooting style, I cannot deny the need of certain specialized lenses for very specific shooting needs. The 7-14mm delivered the results needed in this case.

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  1. A crazy cafe Robin.
    Some very nice shots... Did you ever get down to 7mm wide wide wide angle?
    ps - here, 15 degrees is 'warm', so I agree about the temp :-)

    1. All the shots with the 7-14mm shown here were at the widest 7mm! Needed that extra width for the interior shoots especially.

  2. I love that lens, but as you mention, I generally use it at 7mm. I wish Olympus had a nice fixed-length 7mm, with perhaps an extra stop of light.

    1. I also wish the same! Though I am totally ok with a 9mm F3.5 pancake lens that is reasonable priced and is super slim in design.