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Meet Mr Harald

When he was 48, he was informed by a doctor that his illness will never make him to 50.

“One fine morning at 5am in my office while i’m getting ready my paperwork, I have a sudden shocking moment and the first thing to come out of my mind is god. What have I did in my life? the sins that I made….Everybody is terrified of dying”

Since then, he became a Bible Missionary. He originated from Europe, stayed at Australia for a few years before deciding to travel to keep his promise to god. In Malaysia, he travel to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kelantan & Sabah. I met him at Gaya Street after being in Kota Kinabalu for about 1 week and might be travelling to Sandakan by next week. He was Philiphine before coming over to Sabah.

While talking to him, he quoted numbers of verse from The Bible and I ask him how he memorize each verse.

“Young man, I know you like photography. I know you can explain me about the aperture and the shutter speed, the light and everything about it. Same to me, I have been Bible Missionary for more than 20 years and I’m reading it until todaay. Can you see the similiar concept here?

His life and travel mainly depends on public donations.

I was on my way to the office this morning and decided to drive though Gaya Street when I see this guy with superb beard sitting on a bench reading “Knowledge Magazine”. I drove twice pass his sitting place and finally I make up my mind that I must go to him and take his portrait. The fear of getting rejected is always the issue here, but in case on being rejected, take the pill, swallow it and digest it. Then I got the confidence to approach him, spend a little time to know him, and lastly get the portrait. To my readers, meet Mr Jeremiah Harald. Phew…

Jeremiah Harald, 71.

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Somewhere In Kota Belud

Actually this images already in my flickr account for quite some time. I personally like these images but I don’t have any idea what to talk about it due to lack of other supporting images.

 

 

 

 

 

Pekan Lama Kimanis

Count Your Age By Friends, Not Years. Count Your Life By Smiles, Not Tears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” 
― John Lennon

I Have Just One Second To Tell A Story

“One photograph takes one 250th of a second to take, So if I have an exhibition that has 250 pictures, that is just one second! I have just one second to tell a story.”

“You can sit in your house and be a great writer, but with photography the story is outside the door. You have to go and you have to go far.”

“I stood up to take the picture and the tortoise became shy and walked away. So I had to get on my knees and lower my shoulders and it was only when I was at the same level as the tortoise that it would let me take photographs. It was then that I learnt that it was important I respect other species in the same ways I respected my own. This is not dead nature I was photographing.”

–  Sebastião Salgado

Fujifilm X-Pro1 : Thaipusam Festival At Kota Kinabalu

Thaipusam is a key Hindu ceremony that is held each year during the full moon in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar – Thai – falling from mid-January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar. It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community including Malaysia. . It mark as public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kedah, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak,  Penang & Selangor.

I’ve been living in Kota Kinabalu for so many years but never heard of this festival being held around here. All this years, I only know this iconic festival attracts over one million devotees and tens of thousands of tourists at Batu Caves. I was looking for some photographic opportunity during Deepavali last year, when I see the note about Thaipusam at Sri Subramaniam Temple (KM22, Penampang-Papar Road in Lok Kawi). My curiosity about it lead me to ask one of the visitor at the temple, I am lucky enough to know that the person I talked to is one of the temple management team. He said it was actually held every year. Yes, every year here in Kota Kinabalu and I have never seen a picture of this festival that was taken from here.

With the information given, I managed to find the location where it being held. It was at Meruntum waterfront near Sabindo Traffic Light. I can’t wait a friend of mine, Rade to arrive when I saw the ceremony is already started. During the ceremony, I’m still curious will be there any piercing like what we used to see at Batu Caves. I decided to stay when the group of devotees carrying a pot of milk walks to Sri Subramaniam Temple. Then I just realise that the piercing ceremony will be held.

Since this was my first time covering Thaipusam Festival, I have no idea how and what to expect. These are some images I took this morning with Fujifilm X-Pro1 + Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4.

Pot of Milk

I can’t stay until the end of ceremony (I wish I could), I have another priority for family & to perform Friday Prayer. I learn a lot about this festival, next year I’ll aim for the eve Thaipusam. It much more interesting in Batu Caves, but I prefer to highlight the festival at Kota Kinabalu.

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Fujifilm X-Pro1 Shoots Landscape: Kota Belud – A Hidden Treasure For Landscape Photographer

I been sitting here like an hour just to figure out how I’m going to start this post. I wrote few lines, then I discarded it. Then I  start again but lead to another blank page in the end. I hardly describe the beauty of this place just by the use of words. But the scenery, sounds & smells are still fresh in my head. You don’t have to agree with me, but when we can remember every details of certain things happened in our past, that was the point we were experiencing a “clear” mind, live in present, not in our past nor the future. In our daily life, we been clutter our mind with thousand of thought, thinking about our future & our past, but not many live in present including me. Anyway, I’ll leave that introduction of this post just like this as I can’t find the best word to fit that beautiful scenery. Thank you Azman Jumat & Rade for inviting me for this wonderful trip at Kota Belud

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Mount Kinabalu Climbing For The First Time – Part Two

This post is related to the previous post.

After having good rest for the night, at 1.30am we get up & ready for the next climbt to the Summit. From Gunting Lagadan, The Low’s Peak is JUST another 2.6km. I was thinking, the distance is no as bad as we had on our first day climb (6km from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata). Because it was my first time at Laban Rata, i have no idea hows the second day climb looks like. We started at 2.30am after having supper, our mountain guide giving his last advise (that whoever not really fit to go are better not to, and he was looking at me?… Ohh… Come on…I can see clearly his eyes are looking at me! ) before proceeding scaling the mountain.

When we first stepped out from Gunting Lagadan, I can felt the sudden change on the temperature. It was really cold. There was no light along the summit trail this is where your headlamp become your best friend. Just few minutes after passing the gate at Gunting Lagadan, my pace begin to get slower. I stopped more often, I found out that the second day climb is tougher than the first. Not because if the trail, but maybe I’m not fully recovered. I tried to keep my pace with other climber passing me, but only ended with my heart beats really fast. I stopped whenever it get really fast. I need to keep alive here. Our mountain guide was just behind me, he advise me that I can always go back, we must reach Sayat-Sayat (Check point) at 0430hrs. I do thinking of going back, but I keep move forward. When I nearly give up, I take a deep breath, look at the stars &  the mountain. No, I’m not turning back. This will be my first and the last time to climb Mt. Kinabalu.

Then I reach at a point where we have to use provided rope to lift up our body. The angle is around 75-80 degree, it is impossible to go up without a rope. I’m not ready for this, I was thinking my body is too weak to do this. At this point, again I was thinking to go back to Laban Rata. I decided to give a try. Surprisingly, climbing with the help of the ropes actually much more pleasing because now not only your legs, but our arms too took part to lift our body.

The trail before reaching Sayat-Sayat Station (until Lows Peak) is totally on granite rock. When I felt tired, I stop and look behind me. It was cold & silent, and I can see clearly the peaks of Mount Kinabalu in front of me (about 180 degree), and further down there behind me, I can see street light probably from Kundasang & Ranau. That view is one of unforgettable sights, I can still clearly remember every details of that very moment. The sound of the wind, the starts, light trails of th climbers, The Korean Group (I don’t really get the point that they need speak almost shouting even the people the talked to is just few feet away).

I reached Sayat-Sayat at 0430am. Refill my drinks and continue, the first 5 minute from Sayat-Sayat is what I call honeymoon because trail is almost flat. But you that wasn’t the end of the story, there are about 1KM left but when we get tired, now this last 1KM is the most toughest among all the trail of The Summit Trail. If you use a helicopter and landed here, I’m sure we can walk easily here, but now is different story. This last 1KM is where I climb with not only my last energy I have, but full of conflict in my mind. I think about AMS, heart attack, stroke, anything related to sudden death. The guide tried to persuade me to stop, but every time he asked me to stop and go down, I get stronger to move forward.

Finally, I made to the body of The Low’s Peak. Only few people left when I reached 8.5KM, the last 150m to the Summit. But because it was too late, I was advised not to go further beyond that point. I was disappointed, however I proud to made it to that point. For people that has climbed to the peak, they know how tough is the last 150m.

The Lows Peak

8.5KM

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” – Ed Viesturs, America’s leading high altitude mountaineer

That morning, I’m among the last person decent from Sayat-Sayat to Laban Rata. It took about 1 and a half hour to reach Laban Rata. I almost missed the breakfast. 11am me and Rade made our way down from Laban Rata to Timpohon Gate. Going down is not tiring, but it puts a lot of pain to my knee. At 1620hrs, we arrive at Timpohon Gate and there was a transport waiting for us to bring us back to Kinabalu National Park HQ & get our climbing certificate.

Kota Kinabalu Night Market

After having coffee session with friends on one night, i took a short visit at Kota Kinabalu Night Market which located just in front of Le Meridien Hotel. This Night Market normally operates from 5pm to midnight. It was about 1130pm when i reach here. Nothing much happening other on this time except the hawkers busy cleaning their stall which then “transformed” into a cubical cabinet.

With very minimal lighting available, I was looking for any photographic opportunity. Besides, this is the time where the high ISO capability to be tested. These set of images were taken with Fujifim X-Pro1 with Fujinon 14mm XF lens. I am quite impressed by its performance.

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Gaya Street Sunday Market

Gaya Street is one the tourist attraction in Kota Kinabalu. For many years, it held local market start from 0530hrs to 1300hrs every Sunday. You can find almost everything here, live plants, pets, tortoises, antiques, fruits, drinks, various local food and local cookies.

During the World War II, most of the building are bombed by the Allies. Only 2 building survived after the war. Upon reaching the end off Gaya Street Market, just about 1-2 minute walk from Jesselton Hotel toward Oldtown White Coffee is “Sabah Tourism Building”. It is one the survived building. Located just in front of the building, there is Plague of “Zero KM” marker.  Start from Jesselton Hotel towards “The Party Play is actually one of the earliest post-war building which appointed to a Hong Kong contractor by British.

This morning, I made a visit at Gaya Street SUnday Market looking for any photographic opportunity. I do not want to get distracted to have another lens in hands and keep on my focus on making a photograph, so i just have 1 lens with me. Furthermore, I can always come again and use another lens. I always bear in my mind that having so much gear sometimes distracts us to think about which gear to use rather than how to make the photograph.

Last night, i was thinking what kind of moment I want to photograph. Being common to this place made me really hard to think what was it to make this market  so interesting. There are plenty of photography opportunity like candids, portrait, etc. It also best presented in colours to show people how vibrant of this market could be.

While on my way to Gaya Street this morning, I decided to go back to basic and just play with light & shadow which to be presented in B&W. Here some images i took this morning. All images are taken using Fujifilm X-Pro1 with Fujinon XF 14mm 2.8.

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