Category Archives: Personal Achievement

Circling KLCC by flying

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KLCC from my angle, 1000 feet up above the air

“If you can dream it, you can do it”

I guess my theory is right, that u can just be anything and be anywhere that you want to be with a camera in your hand. I had another unforgettable moment just recently, circling Kuala Lumpur city centre particularly KLCC and KL Tower on a flying machine, the lightest and the slowest aircraft ever … a paramotor.

It was totally unplanned.

My flying partner and I saw an opportunity and we decided to grab it. Our second time flying tandem together in a crowded city centre while our first experience was quite scary. We were new and inexperienced at that time while we took up a flying job to circle around Petaling Jaya area, a crowded highly populated city centre in the heart of Petaling Jaya.

We always wanted to fly circling Kuala Lumpur particularly KLCC, once was the tallest tower in the world. Who doesn’t want to do that? Had a goosebump though when we started our flight that morning. I smell fear.

Curiousity will conquer fear even more than bavery will

Flying in between congested building area is not easy. Wind in between tall buildings is unpredictably strong due to the funnel effect and obviously dangerous for a light flight aka paramotor like us. Yes … fear of the unpredictable.

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View of the city from the Royal Selangor Golf Club

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I love this!

We started with a good vibe.

The weather was good with a zero wind condition at our takeoff site, it added great confidence to both of us. We made our usual safety test while on air before heading to KLCC and KL Tower, we circled a few times around the Royal Selangor Golf Club and as we gained our confidence … we then proceed to the city centre airspace.

Uhhh … after years of taking photos at high altitudes while flying, I still had that ‘gayat’ or vertigo feeling especially if we were flying close to buildings. Scary but worth it!. Both my flying buddy and I love flying so much that little hurdles or challenges while on air so far couldn’t kill our spirits.

I set my camera at ISO 800 and put it on S mode and start framing my visual composition. Instead of my usual D810, I opted for a mirrorless camera with an equivalent of 24-70mm lens. For safety reason, I am looking forward to changing my photography gears to another lighter option.

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The other side of KLCC

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Wefie on air while cruising at 1000 feet up on the horizon

This experience honestly inspired me to dream further.

I want more experience like this. Am adding a few more things to my “to do list before I go senile”… a dream of flying across the pyramids in Egypt, flying across the beautiful landscape of Yemen and exploring the airspace of the City of Dubai. In Sha Allah, if Allah permits.

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I like!

I hope that I would never get bored of this.

Maybe my life is not as perfect as the rest of makcik and pakcik bawang out there at the kitchen corner safely curling in their comfortable nest. How I choose to live my life might look a bit weird compared to the rest of the so-called ‘perfect’ people … but so far I feel alive, contented and blessed with whatever presented by the Al-Mighty to me. I don’t give a damn … It’s my life, I’ll have it my way.

Good night!

Cheers

MM


Grasp of Technique

Being an organized freak, I always wanted to organize my thought during each photo moment that I had. What is the best angle, compo, light, subject positioning, mood etc? I would go back and forth figuring out on how to do it right and fast.

I want to simplify that process and reduce my mistake during each photo moment.

It goes back to the right technical knowledge, mastering the tools in your hand and having the technical understanding of visual compositions. As my mentor told me … before you decide on bending the rules, master the rules first.

So, I started with something simple as the classic six design elements. Understand the elements of color, line, shape, texture, space, and form are an advantage.

In the NST Bots Click! column for this year, I had covered 5 of the elements (line, shape, texture, space, form) and my friend Razz Rossfaisal of Travelberdua.com covered the element of color.

Sharing it here for my easy reference.

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1. The classic 6-design elements: COLOR

April2017
2. The classic 6-design elements: LINE
The classic 6-design elements: Shape

3. The classic 6-design elements: SHAPE

3 July2017

4. The classic 6-design elements: TEXTURE

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5. The classic 6-design elements: SPACE

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6. The classic 6-design elements: Form

Knowledge sharing works in both ways, the giver and the giving gained. As we are moving closer towards the end of 2017, I feel sad. Have I learned enough during this year? Have I worked hard enough?

Life has its own karma … if I didn’t work hard enough and if I didn’t learn well enough … life would come back and hunt me again with regrettable errors and mistakes.

Thanks for dropping by. Gotta run …

Bye

MM

 

ps- still trying to figure out on what topic to cover in 2018 … hmmm hmmm hmmm

 

 

 

 

 

 


A sub-zero journey in Siberia

“If you want to catch a beast you don’t see every day. You have to go places quite out of the way. You have to go places no others can get to. You have to get cold and you have to get wet, too” ~ Dr. Seuss

Love … love .. love that quote by Dr. Seuss about hunting for beast at the most difficult and isolated place. A place where I should get wet and cold. In fact, the place that I went to was far beyond cold but freezing below sub-zero type of icy cold.

Ulan Baator of Mongolia and Lake Baikal of Southeast Siberia via Trans-Siberian railway train.

I would briefly share the details of our journey and the actual transportation cost in this post. Hoping to inspire you to be a little adventurous and travel more.

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#travelers ~ Areza Mansor, Azli Wahab and Matsuda

Definitely the most chilling journey.

I haven’t been to either North or South pole yet …so I am not sure how to compare the difference, but I was informed that here in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia -36℃ during winter is just normal. It’s darn cold enough for a tropical girl like me.

For almost 2 years, I have been wanted to explore Mongolia but friends kept on telling me that travelling to Mongolia and Russia is difficult and expensive.

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#stuckonice: Rashaant Village, Bulgan province, Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia

Early this year (2017), out of the blue I posted about Eagle Hunters of the Kazakh people of Mongolia on my facebook timeline and my trekker friend (I met during my last trip) invited me to tag along with his backpacking trip to China- Mongolia- Russia- Europe. They plan to explore Mongolia and Russia via Trans-Siberian Railway.

Being the green brain with an impromptu mind, I agree to travel together with them. But decided to join only for the first half of the trip (15 days) covering Mongolia and Lake Baikal, Southeast Siberia.

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Shuvuun Am, Valley, Altan Bulag village, Tuv province, Mongolia

We started in Beijing. I traveled alone from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and met them at the airport. Pick up our train ticket and took the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Ulan Baator, Mongolia and continue to Russia.

Traveling in-between boarders is challenging on its own especially in winter. Dealing with the language barrier and the immigration procedure requires a high level of patience.

Having a good travel companion is a bliss.

My travel companions were a gift from heaven … my first time traveling with them but the understanding and tolerance between us were excellent, we wickedly clicked! A blessed again … Alhamdullilah and I have no complaints.

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#metime ~ Resting time before lunch at Lake Baikal, I miss this moment

Some people love to travel alone and some just couldn’t.

As I traveled along this trip, I realized that I don’t prefer to travel alone. Having a good companion while traveling especially when you were stuck on a train for days and when you were traveling in hard places like this … a good companion is a blessing.

So, we spent 27 hours on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Ulan Bator, Mongolia (rm1340). Explored Ulan Baator and its surrounding for 8 days and continued our journey again to Irkutsk, Southeast Siberia via Trans-Siberian Railway from Ulan Baator to Irkutsk (35 hours for approximately rm822).

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#minimalistme ~ Every day means of transportation here in Lake Baikal

The train ride was comfortable, the heater available at all time along the journey.

Our only issue was on power point. We constantly need to charge our gadgets and the only available power point is in the hallway in front of our room. We were basically hibernating like a little squirrel curled up in its little burrow in winter. Thank God we did not miss our Irkutsk station.

We reached Irkutsk train station at a wee hour, grab a car (200 rubles/ 500 rubles)  in front of the station heading to Irkutsk bus station and tried to catch an early bus to Olkhon Island of Lake Baikal, Russia. Never thought that it would be this easy though.

The 10.00am bus to Olkhon Island was right across the road in front of the bus station (800 rubles per person/ 1100 rubles per person). The arrangement was quite easy but the language barrier seemed to be the major problem as the English language was like an alien language here at this side of Russia. (actual cost/ ripped off cost)

Lake Baikal in winter is beyond words.

Totally an alien place for the 3 of us. Amazingly different. It was freezingly cold but the view and experience of spending our moment there is priceless.

We stayed for 4 days in Lake Baikal exploring North (800 rubles) and South (1000 rubles) sides of the frozen lake. When we were there, the weather was a bit disturbing. It snows heavily a few days earlier and most of the frozen surface was covered with snow.

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Lake Baikal the frozen lake

We booked our accommodations online and decided to go easy with our transportation arrangement as booking for transportation through the internet was quite expensive. We stayed in a shared hostel in Olkhlon Island and discovered that arranging for transportation to and from the Island was surprisingly very convenient.

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Lake Baikal, Southeast Siberia, Russia

We took a public bus on our way back from Olkhlon Island to Irkutsk for 800 rubles per person and grab a car from bus station to our hostel, which turned out that it was just a few km away (200 rubles/ 500 rubles) lol. Well … opportunist is everywhere and things just happened.

We spent a day wandering around Irkutsk… an industrial city but in winter, there was nothing much to see. I would probably come again one day and wander around interesting places in Russia too. Who knows … right?

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My article in NST click! sharing tips on taking photographs in extreme cold

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Us in 3 at Lake Baikal, Southeast Siberia, Russia

Conclusion: Traveling as a true traveler (not a touch and go tourist) matures us but I do understand that not everybody is built for an extreme adventure like this. I agree that the journey from Beijing to Ulan Bator and to Lake Baikal is challenging. To be able to enjoy this type of adventure you need to be healthy and well prepared.

I admit it was tough. Not everybody can do this especially when we have such a comfortable and warm life at home, and for me, if you want to experience and learn more about life, you gotta step out of your comfort zone. I am currently pushing myself out of it every day now …

Owhhh … am very sleepy, I need my power nap! gotta run … bye

Cheers,

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Keeper Moment

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The first is always the sweetest, right? Here is another first for me …

Yeszza! I made it to the front page. A baby step indeed but I feel honored. I am posting it here as a reminder to myself to keep on creating my craft … just the way I wanted it.

I am smiling right now … 🙂

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I haven’t posted anything yet about my adventurous moment in Mongolia and Lake Baikal here in my blog. The journey truly blew my mind … something totally new to me but I am still in a fermenting mood.

I am fermenting both my story and my photos during that trip to a perfection lol.

It’s an excuse … the truth is my mind is still preoccupied with something else right now. A mental block!

I am feeling sleep deprived lately and all that I can think of is just my pillow and my blanket. I am in the middle of adjusting my sleeping pattern … instead of being a night owl, I am thinking of switching to a lark. Waking up early before dawn preparing my grips.

Okay lah … I gotta go and get my beauty sleep.

Cheers

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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