Category Archives: Photo Gallery

Land of the soothing wind

“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.”

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I have been home bound for months now. My last trip outside Malaysia was to Mongolia and Lake Baikal, Russia in March early this year. I am still not sure where is my next destination yet. I am ok with just anything …

Yeah … I do miss my traveling moment for sure.

The quietness, the feeling of being lost, the discovering, the learning and breathing the air of strangers land but I do believe in not exaggerating or over indulging upon something. Maybe because I get bored easily, too much of anything could kill my interest.

Well … I was not basically just sitting at home for this past few months. That travel addiction still stings me badly and I have a ‘secret’ way to sooth it down before I turned mental. I tagged along with my other adventurous soul group … my paramotor friends of course.

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At Kuala Selangor … enjoying the morning light

Of late they are into cross-country flying aka XC flying with paramotors.

I didn’t expect to experience such a rich and raw exploration moments while hovering low in the airspace. The landscape from high above is dreamy and mesmerizing, the air smells differently … it felt as if I am physically not here in Malaysia but somewhere traveling across different continental within 1.5 to 2 hours of each flight.

We would be in a deep forest for 10 minutes, in urban cities in another few minutes, on acres of acres of orchard, on some mysterious island, in a blue looking lake and sometimes just hover around a small town around Antara Gapi for maybe 10 minutes.

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From Kundang to Bukit Beruntung, Kuala Selangor on 2017.07.23

We flew in a small group … most of the time with well-experienced pilots, around 4 to 7 of them. As usual … I would be in charge of capturing the moments of us, flying. We started very early in the morning before the morning light is out, took-off from our flying base around 7:00 to 7:30 am so that we could catch the early morning light from the horizon … morning light is always our favorite.

For me …. the best way to end a hectic week is not through snuggling on your bed for the whole morning on the weekend but to do all this lol … mental? Yes …

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Inside a cloud at Tekah Airfield on 2017.04.15

 Unlike paragliding, thermals are not our best friend. The wind tends to be calmer early in the morning and we would experience the heat around 10 am when the sun is fully out. The heat created thermal heat on the airspace and our wings would swing according to the heat flow which is not good (dangerous too) for flying low.

So, by 10 am we are expected to land safely at our starting takeoff base.

And yeah … sometimes we drove out of Kuala Lumpur to the east and west part of peninsular Malaysia with our engines and wings and join our local flying friends from those areas.

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Kuala Besut, Terengganu from up on the air on 2017.07.16

Is it dangerous? Hmmm …

As I mentioned earlier in my previous post about paramotor, any extreme sport requires you to have a certain level of skill to ensure safety. And that skill is acquired from hours and hours of flying training or flying experience. And planning is very important.

Apart from making sure that the engines and wings are in its best condition … we tried to minimize our risk by ensuring proper planning before and during each flight with the help of technology.

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Is it scary?

Honestly yes … sometimes lol … but when you are already up there on air, your thought mostly would be on how to ensure that we are well prepared for the worst. I call it the survivor instinct …

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The shoreline of Kuala Besut, Terengganu on 2017.07.16

Flying cross-country gives us the opportunity to see the world in a way that most people would never will and it is a privilege for me to be a part of it.

And, sharing the beauty version of layers and layers of landscapes from up above through my lens with my viewers is very self-fulfilling. Some might get personal seeing me mingled around comfortably among my ppg friends … get it over with, after experiencing life I believe that there is more to it than getting hitched, In Sha Allah kot ha ha ha.

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From Kuala Besut to Perhentian Island, Terengganu on 2017.07.17

I might appear bias or might have inhaled too much dust while flying but I think it is a privilege for a human being to be able to fly at will either with a light-aircraft or a wing and glide on air doing paragliding or with an engine attached to a wing like a paramotor.

And I am not sure when this flying privilege could last as air regulation might change according to technological change or cost hike on flying kill enthusiast or in an extreme case, political change – so I believe that it is very fortunate for us to be able to fly at our own will today.

Sharing some snapshots from our GoPros during a few of our XCs here in today’s post as an inspiration and motivation for ourselves … fly high peeps! create your own moment.

To view photos from this post in better resolution … please click here

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Sunset flight from our takeoff base at Pulau Indah to Jugra Hill on 2017.08.13

Gotta run … tc and bye

MM

ps- some of our flying videos on youtube at here:

XC Kuala Besut- Perhentian Island

Exploring Antara Gapi, Kuala Selangor

Exploring Bukit Tabur, Klang Gate, Selangor

Tekah Airfield Taiping, Perak at 10,000 Feet MBOR challenge

 

 


Obsess with Faces

Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter? ~ Pablo Picasso

I am always puzzled when people ask me on what sort of photographer am I? And, before I could even finish answering that question … they’ll start pushing me into another question … do you shoot weddings? I guess everybody with a camera shoot wedding these days.

Not that I don’t shoot weddings. I do. I shoot weddings too if the price worth my effort. It seemed that everybody wanted a piece of a photographer. They expect diamond but paying peanuts.  Charging as low as RM500 to cover for a wedding is crazy. With the amount of effort, time and gears used to shoot the lovely groom and bride for a few hours … I think it is just cruelty and an insult to even consider offering that to a photographer.

Me … I tried my best not to negotiate with my potential customer, pay me on how much my work worth to you but bear in mind that I know how much I am worth.

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Pose 1: A sadhu that we met at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

Okay! back to my story for today. As at now … I am still obsessed with photographing human face. This is a series of photos that I took of a Sadhu in Kathmandu, Nepal.

He has a very long hair that he can even wear it as a turban. He has an amazing personality, charming and smiled politely during an hour of our photo session. Fyi, as you walk through the back lane of the temple you will stumble into a few sadhus that gather freely around the area. We spotted him and wanted to take his picture. And yes … it was not free.

Sharing some of his poses here.

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Pose 2: Capturing him in frames within frames

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Pose 3: Trying different angles that show his crown aka hairs

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Pose 4: He is a bit relax here with a hint of smile hidden under his mustache. Maybe he is amused by my antics

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Pose 5: Rapunzel … Rapunzel … let down your hair

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Pose 6: Namaste! My favorite pose of all

I love the earthy tone if his skin, his hair and his emotion shown on each poses. These pictures are a keeper moment for me. Gorgeous face …

Bye for now.

 

Cheers

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Light Painting with Fire

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Lake Gardens Taiping, Perak at wee hours

I was with my three (3) other travel companions last weekend playing with lights at Taiping, Perak. A short weekend outing to start off our new travel team (we called us the #gengbajetravel). We planned to travel together since God knows … very long time ago …  but it always canceled at the very last minute. Excuses after excuses …

Then, we decided to make it happened, by hook or by crook. The weather forecast said that it’ll be raining the whole weekend … oh boy! there goes our plan for sunset, sunrise and Milkyway. We had our backup plan though … if everything failed then we’ll experimenting steel wool photography instead.

We were at Lake Garden Taiping, Perak, Malaysia as early as 4 a.m, praying for a clear sky to shoot Milkyway …but the sky was too cloudy.  It was not possible so we headed straight to Plan B, light painting with burning steel wool. I was excited to try something new …

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The making of Dorayaki

It was fun, experimenting new technique with good companions while listening to the frogs’ orchestra performing live background music. Always … always … always surrounded with good people, am I blessed or am I blessed, alhamdullilah.

The four of us are super crazy. Well, crazy in a good way lol… crazy seeking for something new to uplift our skill. We are very competitive towards each other but our sense of humanity are still strongly intact. I adore friend like that.

People said that your friends are the reflection of you and if that is the case, well … I want to be my friend :-p  <— perasan kan?

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The Cinderella carriage

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Rain on fire

Steel wool photography is not as hard as I thought it would be. It’s easy to learn. I love the dramatic and artistic effect too and I am officially curious to explore more on this.

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Circle of fire

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My sunrise landscape

I set my camera on manual mode, the speed at 10-15″ and ISO at 250 to 400 accordingly (for those who are curious about the camera setting). Trying to incorporate “ring of fire” onto my landscape in future … just to feed my curiosity on how my landscape image would look like with this additional art.

 

Gotta go! Cheerios …

MM

 

ps – …

It’s better to know how to learn than to know ~ Dr. Seuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Beautiful lie

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Jugra Hill, Selangor, Malaysia: Paraglider TO base. The view before the storm strike

This year is going to be my third year flying and photographing Malaysian paramotor (ppg) pilots, with JanjiFly Aviation Club Malaysia. 2 solid years of experiencing the joy of flying and hovering around Malaysia’s airspace with our wings. Traveling with our gliders …
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SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia: A view down from my paramotor ride

Yeah … I realized that here in Malaysia, this sport is still dominated by men, unlike paragliding. The heavy engine, the tendency for the engine to create drama and the expensive cost of this sport are probably the major hindrance for just any woman to adopt this hobby.

Me … I have my camera and we go everywhere. No boundaries …

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SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia: A fishing trip up there on the cloud

How do I see all this? Well, I have the ‘explorer’ character in me that had been there for as long as I can remember. Being able to constantly fly with them allow me to explore and experience moments that are different from the ordinary.

Was it easy? Doing all this in my ‘conservative and judgemental’ Malay society? Nope … it has never been easy since my day one. My poyoness aka numbness attitude saved me from all those nasty words thrown at me lol. It has never been easy to be different.

Sharing another unexpected moment while flying at SSP Cyberjaya with beautiful morning light at zero wind and the subject was perfectly fit in. And we have a

And we have a ‘fishing trip with friends in the cloud’ moment.

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SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia: Beautiful reflection

Photos were taken from my paramotor tandem ride at SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia with my 70-200mm f/4 lens. For a moment like this, my advice is …be extra cautious with your camera shutter speed.
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SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia: Beautiful lie

Gotta run …. bye

 

Cheers,

MM

 

ps:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
~Lord Byron

 

 


Riding the Light

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A lady sitting on the floor of a market in Bantul, Jogjakarta

I was in Jogjakarta, Indonesia for a few days in mid-November last month. Hanging out at Kota Gede with my local photographer friend, Romeography of Studio 76. We planned to wander aimlessly around the east part of Jogjakarta with our cameras.

It was already the beginning of monsoon season here in Southeast Asia … and I was pretty sure that the sky would be dull and the light would be challenging in Jogjakarta too, as the raining season is here to stay until at least towards the end of January next year

After a few failed attempts to hunt for sunrises and sunsets, we decided not to waste our time wandering around hunting for gorgeous landscape anymore… we were out on the street focusing on human interest instead.

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Plaosan temple at sunset

We hang around markets mingling with locals selling all sorts of daily items. We snuck around a group of people selling roosters or cocks for the gamecocks or cockfights. Uh … scary sight of bleeding roosters fighting for its life.

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Spontaneous gamecocks

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6-months old  rooster was for sale at rp600,000

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Caged birds were for sale

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Mbah Madio selling palm tree sugar at a market in Bantul, Jogjakarta

Wandering around with motorbike hunting for subjects and lights has its pros and cons. Other than the pain in the butt (from sitting on a small seat for too long), it was also the risk of getting wet from the rain.

But … it was the easiest way to move around from point A to point B without having to worry about the condition of our routes plus we can just park the bike anywhere we wish. Talking about convenience right …

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The horses of Malioboro street were having their morning bath here at a river near Bantul, Jogjakarta

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Hunting for light at the nearby bridge in Bantul, Jogjakarta

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Farmers along side of the road in Bantul, Jogjakarta

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Spent a few hours here at Pak Sugiman’s workplace at Putat Village, Gunung Kidul, Jogjakarta

Well … the rain doesn’t stop me from achieving my primary goal for this trip lol … which was to have a stress free moment chasing the light. I had a great time … getting close and personal with my subjects, good food and good companion all the way … ahhh I couldn’t ask for more, alhamdullilah.

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My closing sunset for this trip. A dramatic sunset due to the unpredictable weather

We are planning for more future trips to explore more of the landscape surrounding Jogjakarta … maybe after the monsoon season is over. Who knows … In Sha Allah

And …. life goes on and on … and I am learning throughout the journey. Learning to be grateful for each moment that Allah presented to me. Learning to see and accept people as who they are. Learning to love every soul that cross path my journey … and letting go the one that decided to venture out of my path. People changed … a heart changed.

“Oh Allah, please ease my path. Guide my iman. Guide my every single actions. Guide me to love for Your sake. Protect what is in my heart. What lies in the future, only You know. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, Most Merciful and Most Gracious.”

Bye for now,

Cheers

MM


Same Old Same Old

 

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Class 6 of Sri Pintar Subang Jaya for the year of 2016

I always reserved a day of my time in October and a day in November each year for a group of children from Sri Pintar Subang Jaya school’s class photo and their convocation day.

It was a nice feeling of seeing the same group of children growing a year older each year.

The ‘same old same old’ moment with a reality that life moves on regardless of how sweet or bitter the ‘same old same old moment’ was at that particular time.

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Children of SRIP Subang Jaya 

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Children of SRIP Subang Jaya 

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A little angel sitting beside me during the event

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Another little angel trying to steal my attention

The idea of death being interlinked with photography caught my attention too. Most of us viewed photography as a method of freezing or capturing a moment in life but few of us regarded photography as the death of a moment.

The death of a moment captured and instilled into a photograph.

I am now … recuperating from hmmm whatever that bothering my life, here at my mom’s home. Sleeping … eating and enjoying the rain before going back to my nest again soon.

Bye

Cheers

MM

 

 

 


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