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Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Portrait of Dhurba & Raj

I met these gentlemen on our road trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara. It was just near the roadside where people stop for toilet, tea or just to have some fresh air near the Trisuli River. By the time I got out from the car, I knew that I want to photograph them. But I took my time building up some confidence for both of us. He thought I was attracted with the lady who was nearby making local delicacy, the Sel Roti. Made of rice flour, deep fried to make crispy outer but puffy inside.

Sel Roti

After spending few minutes photographing the lady and the food, I made my move to communicate with him. Mr. Dhurba, 36, is a lorry driver coming all the way from Kathmandu like us, heading further beyond Pokhara. I took a look at the lorry and quite surprise to find the interior look like you were sitting in our living room. It was well decorated. Accompanying with him is his assistance, Mr Raj, 51, who came to and join our conversation. After gained enough trust between us, I ask permission if I could take their portrait. Without hesitant they agreed to my request.

Mr. Dhurba, 36

Mr Raj, 51

I was using Fujifilm X100S belong to a friend of mine during this trip. The classic appearance of the body makes other feel this was old camera and nothing serious about it, people feel more comfortable compared to the big black DSLR with its bulky lenses. Nowadays, people thinks that you make big money when you took photo with DSLR. I have been using Fujifim system more than 1 year and never thinking of turning back to other DSLR, this is there camera system that suits me well especially for travel.

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Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Manakamana Hill Side Academy, Gorkha, Nepal

The gondola lift transportation has always steal the eyes of its viewer who pass-by Cheres, Chitwan after about 104km journey from Kathmandu – Pokhara route. The Austria imported cable car system connecting between the Base Station (Cheres, Chitwant) to the Top Station (Manakamana, Gorkha). Here is the fees for the cable car.

Screen Shot from Wiki

Screen Shot from Wiki

At the top station, about 1302 above sea level lies the Mañanakamana Temple, a Hindu temple which pilgrimage bring goat to be sacrificed in a pavilion behind the temple. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish.

As we walk around the village near the temple, we came across an elementary school slightly below the hill. There we found the Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy | Mr. Ghupta, 24, Teacher

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

All image are taken with Fujifilm X100S (Silver).

Photo Project Workshop by Zhuang Wubin

It has been a while since my last post dated on May 23th. It was month of Harvest Festival (Kaamatan) and I’m busy searching for Bobohizan’s ritual ceremonies. More to come about this in later post.

Well in June, I participate one of the most interesting, challenging and more brainstorming photography workshop. This workshop is not about technical on how to operate your DSLR or shoot a model and learn some post-processing techniques thats unique to the speaker. But it is more on what is your most important thing in your life, which not to be missed out, I’m speaking about finding your voice rather than popularity nor about monetary issues. The speaker is Zhuang Wubin.

Who the hell is he?
He is a photographer, curator and researcher. As a curator, he researches about the photographic practices of Southeast Asia. As a photographer, he employs the medium as a research tool to understand the Chinese communities within Southeast Asia. Zhuang also uses photography to visualize his relationship with Singapore.
As far as I know, he produced 3 books to date (Chinatowns in a Globalizing Southeast Asia 2009, Ten Chinatowns of Southeast Asia 2010, Chinese Muslims in Indonesia 2011). Visit his website to know more about him.

The photo project workshop starts on 5th June 2014 till the 10th. Organised by Jebat Photography Club, thanks to Jebat & Shamshahrin for recommend me this workshop which being held at Arena Belia. All participant are required to send an application prior this workshop proposing what is they going to do with their photo project. Series of interview to be done after qualified the application. He has to make sure that all his participants clear about their photo project. This was not the easy part, convincing him about your project, why do you want to do this? how important is this to you? does it has any meaning for you? what is your voice? why photography? But after series of brainstorming, the thing you should do became more clearer. I can’t express how glad I am after he allowed me to join his workshop together with 6 other participant (Kelvin Ah Kian, Paik Yin, Mark Chai, Abdul Salam, Mohd Afif & Razie). No, I don’t cry at this particular part. Another participant, Yuzie passed the interview but he can’t join the workshop due to unavoidable circumstances.

At the early stage of his workshop, he introduces work’s of other South East Asia photographer and their project. Each of them are basically giving us ideas and inspiration. This is where I get to know Rinko Kawauchi‘s work Cui Cui (published 2005). Every one of us are unique to our own photo project and we required to meet him at any time throughout the workshop individually to show our photo project progress.

Abdul Salam explaining about his photo project

In the middle stage, our photo collection being edited in every possible approach. Participant are being advised if there any missing element in their photo project and suggestion are given throughout the discussion. We also learned various way of photo editing for Wall, article, photo book and slideshow.

Freshly printed from ProArt. Zhuang Wubin having walkthrough on Kelvin Ah Kian’s photo project. For This workshop, he use medium format film on TLR.

Paik Yin given a chance to make 5 photo editing on Mohd Afif’s Project

My photo project photo edit in progress

On the last day of the workshop, participant were all ready with their final editing and closed critic session among participant being held. At the end of this workshop, the result of the workshop being presented during Open House where we invited public to visits and share their thoughts on our photo project.

My photo project is about my own family. I started with my 2 kids. This can be a long term project. In my opinion, the best part of my life is to see my kids growing up. No matter how tired you are when you’re home, it disappear when we see them running after you on the door step. I will post another entry to let you see my final edit during the workshop. This edit however my change from time to time. I named this photo project as “When You Were Young….”

You can read more about this workshop here:

Travel Photography | Destination: Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

 

Photojournalism Workshop | Shamshahrin Shamsudin

On 28-30 March 2014, I joined Photojournalism Workshop organised by Jebat Photography Club featuring Shamshahrin Shamsudin. The workshop was held at Marina Court Resort Condominium, Kota Kinabalu. There are 9 other participant joined the workshop including 3 from Brunei. This was the second workshop by Shamshahrin organised by Jebat Photography Club. Unlike his first volume, the second workshop emphasis on Documentary Photography which to be presented in Photo Essay.

We were given 1 whole day on the second day to get our own stories with given guideline in his note. As for me, I have several stories in my mind for the assignment. As early as 230am, I was shooting at SAFMA market. Every night starting at 1am, SAFMA market is the busiest place in the city, this is the place where the deep sea fisherman dealing with supplier. After shooting for about 2 hours, I found that I need to be on the boat to get different perspective rather than just a lazy snapshot taken from the jetty itself. But none of the fisherman looks approachable, I was thinking about my own safety too as everybody being curious so see me carrying camera. It can mislead the fact that I was immigration authority because earlier on before entering this market, there are rumours about immigration team is coming. The way they look at you is enough tell that they don’t feel comfortable with you. Or maybe it was just my own issue. So I didn’t manage to complete this story. At 630am, I decided to forget about it and go home for some rest.

After jumping from 1 story to another, I finally decided to shoot about the young fellow with Rock attire. After waiting about an hour at the spot I normally see them hanging around, it was disappointing to know that this fellow normally stay there during Sunday. However I managed to find subject but is not in complete attire, but I decided to do it anyway as there was not much time left.

 

I learnt a lot from this workshop. It has opened my eyes a lot. For the photography enthusiast out there especially around Kota Kinabalu, I highly recommend you to join his workshop when available. You shouldn’t missed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Hotel Potala, Thangsyap Village, Nepal

Pengusaha penginapan berketurunan Tibet sedang memasak untuk hidangan sarapan pagi di rumah tumpangan milik mereka di “Thangsyap Village”, Nepal pada suatu pagi yang dingin berbekalkan stok makanan yang terhad. Selain kayu api, najis Yak yang telah dikeringkan juga turut digunakan sebagai sumber bahan api.

Hotel Potala merupakan salah sebuah tempat penginapan yang disediakan di Thangsyap Village. Ia merupakan salah sebuah tempat penginapan buat pengunjung sebelum meneruskan perjalanan ke Langtang Village dan Kyanji Gompa selepas seharian merentas hutan di banjaran Himalaya, Daerah Resuwa, Nepal.

Hotel ini penyediakan kemudahan asas seperti tempat tidur dan tandas. Bekalan elektrik yang terhad pada masa-masa tertentu menyebabkan pengunjung berada dalam kegelapan pada waktu malam. Setiap bilik hanya dibekalkan dengan sebatang lilin. Perkhidmatan sewaan selimut tebal juga disediakan bagi pengunjung yang tidak selesa dengan suasana suhu sejuk yang boleh mencecah sehingga -11°c pada waktu malam. Pengunjung boleh makan di ruangan yang disediakan seolah-olah sebuah restoran dengan pilihan makanan berdasarkan menu yang disediakan. Di ruang inilah biasanya pengunjung akan berkesempatan untuk berinteraksi dengan pengunjung lain, pemandu pelancong (malim gunung), dan “porter” selepas makan malam kerana hanya ruangan ini disediakan pendiang (Fireplace) kayu api untuk memanaskan badan.  Rungan ini akan bertukar menjadi bilik tidur bagi keluarga ini selepas semua pengunjung masing-masing berada di bilik mereka.

Selain penginapan, mereka juga memiliki 2 ekor kuda yang boleh disewa oleh pengunjung yang mengalami kecederaan otot atau ingin merasai pengalaman menaiki kuda di sana.

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