Monthly Archives: October 2016

Wandering Soul

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Sulaiman: Danau Tarusan Kamang, Agam, Sumatera, Indonesia

New places always excite me.

I could spend hours just wandering and observing my surrounding for something to learn from or just something to look at. Sharing 5 of my favorite portraits that whenever I look at it … I felt like packing my bag and start wandering on the street again.

Pic above: Sulaiman, our local talent posing for me with his fish cages. Danau Tarusan Kamang is a natural pond that seemed to have a mind of its own mind. It dried up and swelled up with water according to God knows whatever rules … I think it has something to do with its underground geographical structure.

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Mr Freedom: Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia

Pic above: Mr Freedom showing off his ‘freedom’ … tattooed hard on his chest. What a coincident since freedom is my all time favorite words lol.

Meeting strangers from all part of life while wandering around is an eye opening. I learned to listen well too. Stories about their day-to-day life which is most of the time would be an opposite story from mine.

Engaging a simple and sincere chat with strangers on the street came naturally to me too… I like it. And, I think that it would be rude for you to just showed up from nowhere and suddenly just click on your camera on somebody’s face.

Have some respect … kot.

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A woman from Karo Tribe: Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Pic above: My lady from Karo tribe of Omo Valley, Ethiopia posed with my colorful shawl. We were curious about each other lol.

I smiled whenever I saw this photo. She probably has never seen a shawl as colorful as mine in her life (Malaysian women wear colorful clothing at every chance that we have and we have a whole bundle of choices to choose from hu hu hu).  And, I envied her beads collection.

So, she wanted my colorful shawl for an exchange with her photos and I ended up having a series of her photos looking satisfied with our deal ;-P .

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Omak/ Mother: Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia

And, I personally think that it would be more satisfying to have some sort of connection with your subject. Especially when I am taking portraiture or faces on the street, I want to have meaning to a face that I would probably keep for a very long time in my external HDD.

Pic above: A loving mother that I met while wandering at one of the morning markets at Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia. We had a loving chat together … talking about her children and how lucky she was to be surrounded by her loved ones.

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Chacha: Northern Pakistan

And lastly, the chacha (uncle) that we met at one of our stops on our way to Skardu, Northern Pakistan. Strangers in this part of the world are rare. I never expected that we would be treated warmly.  it is true then … “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met”. (pls ignore the salt bottle on the table … lol)

I am feeling grateful … for the soul that decided to leave me, the soul that wander together hand-in-hand with me and the newly discovered soul that decided to stay … the best word to express my gratitude is alhamdullilah.

Bye for now.

Cheers,

MM

 

 

 

 

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Leaving the Nest

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The little butterfly and its previous home

I was watering my garden last week … honestly not sure if I should label my 5 potted plants as a garden … I am a self-proclaimed minimalist, having more than 10 plants at my home would disqualify me from my minimalist self-titled hu hu hu … I shall think so (an excuse to remain as lazy as possible).

Okay … back to my story. I was watering my plants last week when I noticed a newly ‘born’ butterfly … she (I prefered to call it she because it was beautiful) just came out from her cocoon. She was drying her wings and strengthen her limbs preparing for her first take-off.

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Mesmerizing beauty

I used to shot macro. Quit doing it and focusing more on traveling and flying instead but … I am a moment photographer … I could just revert back to any photography genre just to capture moments, right?

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Drying her wings by flapping it slowly

I shoot this with my 105mm Nikkor f2.8 lens. I love that lens … the color and the bokeh that came out from this lens is dreamy. Photos were taken handheld … moments like this could pass by in split seconds and you need to be quick with you camera.

Looking at this little missy makes me wonder about my own life too. When the nest is finally empty … the one who left behind in the nest would either feel delusionally lost or probably decided to move on to the next nest.

Figured that … what makes a beautiful nest, is not the nest itself but the butterfly. Deep … 🙂 and  I want to be that butterfly.

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Little missy being impatient watching me

And at last after not more than 10 shots … my beautiful model decided to take-off and explore her new world. Leaving me behind … thinking that I should sharpen up my macro skill lol.

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Little missy showing off her new wings

Beautiful moments, only if you choose to open your eyes and decide on ‘seeing’ ….alhamdullilah.

Bye for now,

Cheers.

MM

ps- “The journey.” ~ by Rumi

Come, seek,

for seeking is the foundation of fortune:
every success depends upon focusing the heart.
Unconcerned with the business of the world,
keep saying with all your soul, “Ku, ku,” like the dove…

Even though you’re not equipped,
keep searching…

Whoever you see engaged in search,
become her friend and cast your head in front of her,
for choosing to be a neighbor of seekers,
you become one yourself…

Day and night you are a traveler in a ship.
You are under the protection of a life-giving spirit…

Step aboard the ship and set sail,
like the soul going towards the soul’s Beloved.
Without hands or feet, travel toward Timelessness
just as spirits flee from non-existence.

…By God, don’t linger
in any spiritual benefit you have gained,
but yearn for more like one suffering from illness
whose thirst for water is never quenched…

Leave the seat of honor behind:
the Journey is your seat of honor.


View at 6000ft

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at Tekah Airfield on October 01, 2016 with my flying buddy

I wonder … how would our earth look like from 10,000ft high up on air from a paramotor ride? Just you and your machine up high above the cloud looking down upon the earth … both of your feet dangling in the air at 10,000ft … wohooo!

I decided to hang out with my PPG friends (powered paraglider) for a Malaysian Book Of Record (MBOR) challenge to fly as high as 10,000 – 15,000 feet up on air this coming December as their professional photographer.

They had a few rounds of training at Tekah Airfield, Taiping, Perak. I tagged along as part of the team …and as a tandem passenger to one of Janjifly PPG pilot. Last weekend on October 1st and 2nd were their second MBOR training. They planned to test their physical endurances and engine capability while attempting to reach at least 6000ft to 8000ft.

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imagine your feet dangling in air at 6000 ft

The wind was gusty that morning. We were swinging from left to right … up and down on the airspace. I nearly vomited out my early morning ‘nasi lemak’ (breakfast) 😛 … oh boy! after hours and hours of flying with them I still experienced air sickness … it shows how gusty the wind was that morning.

Fyi …’giving up’ has never been my favorite words. So … we kept on going.

The gutsy wind finally settled calmly as we ascended exceeding 3000ft and we started to feel the chill … and the view was splendid. Oh … the word ‘splendid’ was so underrated … the view was awesome A+++.

{please checkout our flying video in youtube at JanjiFly at 6000ft}

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at 1935m = 6354 ft … bulls eye! we reached the target

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the view at 6000ft

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the view at 6000ft

One of our wildest dream (which is yet for us to achieve) is to fly through a group of clouds 🙂 . Due to engine low fuel, we were unable to wander around that fluffy clouds on our left side (refer to the picture below) … too bad clouds, wait until the next time!

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at 6000ft … and that fluffy clouds on the left

I often get misunderstood by my viewer. Guess that professionalism is still unknown to some of my conservative audiences.

It may seem like I am the only woman in the team but as a frequent traveler and a professional photographer …this is a normal on-the-job environment for me. I didn’t feel awkward at all as I am not doing anything wrong … religiously or morally.

People do talk but having a mutual understanding between me and my subjects makes my work comfortable and easy … truly blessed!

“To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people just exist. That is all.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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at 6000ft we blend well with the surrounding

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been here, done that!

Yeay … been there, done that! and I am slowly moving on to my next project.

Preparing myself to get lost in Jogjakarta, Indonesia in mid-November. This is going to be my 3rd time wandering in Jogjakarta … this time around I will be joining my local photographer friend hunting for lights around the beaches, jungles, hills, paddy fields and some bushes outside Jogjakarta. Wish me well …

Bye for now

Cheers,

MM

 

ps – I am leaving it all to Allah, he is the best of planners. Ameen …

And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners. [Al-Anfal verse 30]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Art of Seeing

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Shangri-La Resort at Skardu, Northern Pakistan against the mountains

Yes … I am still digging into my collections of external HD, hunting for hidden treasure. A continuous quest for me or for every photographer out there … a never ending chore to filter thousands of photograph  for just one or two killing images.

While digging … I found a few interesting photos that related to ‘reflection’ that I wanted to share here.  Sharing some photos of the landscape surrounding Shangri-La Resort in Skardu, Northern Pakistan (please excuse my watermark).

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View of Shangri-La Resort at Skardu, Northern Pakistan from a different angle

Capturing reflection either on a puddle of water, on a lake or on some mirrors have a satisfyingly calming effect. The sense of calmness came from my need to be super quiet and totally immersed in the moment, to be able me to notice details in my surrounding such as reflection.

The camera setting to capture reflection is the same setting as capturing photos of any landscape. But our eyes need to be more cautious though, aiming at various angles and at the same time maintaining the best composition. And don’t forget to wait for the right light and the moment when the wind decided to stop meddling with the water surface.

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View of Shangri-La Resort at Skardu, Northern Pakistan with an interesting foreground

Looking back at these photos brought back sweet memories of us in Skardu, Northern Pakistan, we were hanging out at the edge of the lake while waiting for the wind to stay idle for us to capture a perfect reflection of this place.

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Me … enjoying my moment

I think I am more of a traveler than a photographer. Photography is just another reason for me to pack my bag and travel.

So it is kind of annoying when some ‘real’ photographer judging my photography skill based on whatever that I posted on FB after each trip. They’ll ask to see my winning photos of each place that I went … and questioned on why were I still travel to such places when I knew for sure that I can’t even shoot people on the street.

Hmmm. Speechless …

I need to remind myself that I am a traveler first before a photographer.

Having a good photography skill helped me to sharpen my eyes towards details around my surrounding. So … when I traveled … I can see more. The more I see the more I learn. And, if traveling with my camera could turn me into a ‘real’ professional photographer … then I am truly blessed.

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Me … looking down to make sure that my feet still sit on the ground

The world of photography has no boundary … you can be as unique and as creative as wish you could be.

Bye for now

 

Cheers,

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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