One fine day I received an email with an alarming disturbing title "help after being robbed". It was from an Austrian who was travelling to Mongolia, and he lost his gear in a robbery. Since he was coming to Kuala Lumpur next, Robert (the Austrian) was asking me via email if I could recommend some local dealers to get his camera replacement. We exchanged emails back and forth and he was here yesterday, we had lunch and coffee, and I believe Robert and Isabella were the first Austrians I have met in my life! I could be wrong, but I cannot remember any other Austrians I personally know before this.

Meet Robert and Isabella from Austria. Image shot with Olympus PEN E-P5 and M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO lens

You may follow their travel adventure here on their blog:

Robert and Isabella are currently travelling around the world for a year, taking a break from everything. I wonder if this is something that Europeans like to do, as my other friend Matti from Finland also did the same thing. Maybe I should just drop everything off and started exploring the world for a year, that would give me a lot of interesting opportunities when it comes to photography! And I get to meet many of you beautiful readers everywhere! Oh well, for now that has to be a dream, unless I can successfully finance the travel funds. We shall see, anything can happen and I sure hope it happens sooner rather than later. 

Unfortunately Robert caught me during my super, super busy time. I have multiple shoots, workshops for Olympus as well as events happening out of town throughout the duration of his stay in Kuala Lumpur! I wish I could be more helpful to show around and maybe introduce some Malaysian food. Nonetheless, I did leave them with some recommendations and suggestions of food and locations of interest to explore! I cannot wait to see his photographs after their Malaysia travel. 

Robert told me that he was originally a Pentax user (I do not know that many Pentax fans!), before exploring other options, including Sony A7 series full frame mirrorless. He finally settled with Micro Four Thirds mainly for the smaller size and light-weight setup as well as better straight out of camera JPEGs. He was showing me the shots he took at Mongolia and I must say I was blown away, and almost did not believe they were all shot in JPEG. Sometimes I forgot how amazing Olympus JPEG colors can be, since I have been shooting RAW all the time now. 

To Robert and Isabella I hope you guys have a wonderful time in Kuala Lumpur! And please do eat all the food you can. I do wish you both will come back again some time with a longer stay so I can show you around properly next time. And I must plan to trip to Europe, if I ever get there, I will stop by Austria for sure. 
Ever since I started writing at Ming Thein's site, where I share most of my recent and more serious photography work, curation process has become more crucial. I was being more strict in editing my images to final selection being published in articles. There were some shots that I personally liked but did not make it to the final curation and I thought why not compile all these random "rejected" shots into one album and show it here. These photographs may not have any connection or sense of cohesion to work properly in a series but hey, sometimes we should not think too much and just let the photographs speak. I am a believer of shooting more and as a result I did come home with tonnes and tonnes of images.

This image was shot in a Chinese temple in Kajang. I have always had fascination with incense coils. 

This was a sample image for my review of Sigma 16mm F1.4 lens, which was published quite recently. I have had a different shot of this gentlemen, a wider coverage which shows a lot more of the background he was in. I used other samples for close up portraits in the final article. 

This shot was taken during my exercise using the Olympus 17mm F1.8 lens. Not an easy lens to use for me,as 35mm equivalent focal length is my weakness, and my continuing struggle to improve my efficiency using this lens. 

This is a typical "street photography" shot which has become too cliche and somewhat overdone. Hence I decided not to include in my usual articles, but there is just something about it that I like. 

Newspaper is not really a big thing, but if I did not tell you the story behind this image, it does not carry any weight. This shot was taken the day after Malaysia's 2018 National Election day, and the opposition won and took over the ruling government for the first time in history since independence in 1957. It was a historical day but the winning announcement was made in ungodly hours in the morning after the election day, hence the prints were late. The distribution of the papers were also affected. The shot was taken in late morning when the fresh paper for the day was finally available and distributed freely to the public. 

I love how haircuts are so cheap in Malaysia. RM7. Less than USD2. Matti Sulanto, maybe you should try this one the next visit to KL. 

I like the chaotic color scheme all over the frame, but I also recognize that this was not sufficient to compose a meaningful image. Yet I love seeing this somehow. 

I probably have one too many flying birds images. 

Sometimes street photography is all about timing and how quickly you can react to the moment. While it was a rare occurrence seeing two people doing the same gestures at once, I was hoping there were three. I know, sometimes I am greedy like that. 

A recent photograph of me, holding the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO lens. 

Ming Thein did ask me to share my curation process and write about how I think it is important and relevant for today's photographer, from my own perspective of course. Maybe that shall be the next topic I tackle. How do you curate your own images?
About 2 years ago, I published my review of the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO lens here, and in that review I featured Carmen in the sample gallery. As you all know I do not do much portrait shooting but I particularly enjoyed shooting this session. Special thanks to Carmen, the final samples of her portrait shots successfully displayed the capabilities of the F1.2 lens. I have still a long way to go when it comes to shooting portraits, but looking at these shots my hands got itchy I just want to do a session right now!

I still remembered we finished the shoot within 2 hours, a simple and casual outing. All shots were done with natural ambient light, during the day at various locations around a building, but I did pay attention to how the light hit her face. All these shots were taken with the Olympus PEN-F, with only minimal adjustments in post-processing, and the images were as good as straight out of camera.
Recently, Olympus Malaysia organized a trip to an island off the East Coast of Peninsula Malaysia called Pulau Lang Tengah for bloggers and social media influencers. The trip was filled with numberous photography activities such as portrait shooting, landscape shooting, underwater photography as well as night sky shooting. I was there to conduct workshop and field shooting on night sky photography. For the rest of the day I pretty much had time to myself and I took this opportunity to shoot some photographs as well. Most of my main images shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko lens 12-100mm F4 PRO will be published on Ming Thein's site very soon. I am sharing images shot on my own smartphone, the Motorola G5S Plus here on this blog, as a teaser and preview to the upcoming article.

There is something about the blueness of ocean water that calms the soul

I wish I could be as peaceful as the sleeping cat

The scene looks surreal even when it is under rain. 

And oh yes, I have plenty more shots coming up with the E-M1 Mark II! Stay tuned!

I have written about Saharil Hasrin Sanin, a local writer/visual artist/blogger/artist/fitness-enthusiast that I have come to admire and respect a lot previously here (click). Saharil made another appearance at a book and arts festival in Publika last weekend, and I managed to catch him just before my short trip away from Kuala Lumpur, which I will be blogging about next. It was super awesome seeing Saharil again and getting some of his awesome new art prints and a booklet!

You may find out more about Saharil and his art work here:
His FB Page:
His online store:

 When there is a cat in the drawing, I BUY! NO QUESTIONS ASKED. 

My loot from the festival, and yes all from Saharil only. Immediately went to a quiet cafe, got some overpriced coffee and started reading his latest "Keladi" issue. 

 Saharil, in the flesh! This time, I have a photo of myself and him. 

Rough translation: I envy the cup as they kiss your lips everyday. 

I only wish I can be half as talented as Saharil. The way he sees the world is mind-blowing. I do secretly hope that he revives his old blog, Saharil Conteng and uploads fresh contents daily, like he used to many years ago!

Saharil, if you are reading this, thanks for being a great inspiration and do continue writing and making awesome art. We all treasure your contribution and stay awesome always!

Recently, Charmaine Hon, an old friend whom I have known since my DotA 1/early blogging/university days came to KL for a visit. She brought along a little piece from Perth - a huge bottle of Pale Ale from Little Creatures in Fremantle. Little Creatures is a brewery, restaurant and bar all combined into one huge warehouse-like dining and drinking space just by the seaside overlooking the Indian Ocean during sunset. It was such an amazing place to just chill and have some fresh off the tap beer. I have spent a fair amount of time there on casual outings, as well as occasions when we celebrated someone's birthday.

Image shot with Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO lens. 

I do not drink and people who know me, know this, but man, that Pale Ale is something else entirely. To quote what Charmaine said - no one really does Pale Ale like Little Creatures, and I could not agree more.

Maybe I should plan a trip to Western Australia again, and just a purely for fun, photography trip with some time to spare catching up with awesome friends there.

Sometimes I do wonder, are there anyone who reads this blog from Perth, WA? Identify yourself!