Category Archives: Photo Gallery

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

 

 

 

 


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.


Portraiture around Me

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PokNik, a farmer that rears hundreds of cattle, sheep and goats

August  is always an exciting month of the year as we celebrate Malaysia’s 59th Birthday (Independent Day). Malaysian flags could be seen on the streets and business premises everyday in August. The best time to go out and capture the ‘flag’ moment around the street corners.

Again this year, I have the opportunity to contribute some photograph for the Merdeka day photo exhibition. This time around Yaman Ibrahim’s exhibition photo theme is on Faces of Malaysia.  As I dug out my HD storage for any Malaysian portrait that can qualify me to join the exhibition. I realized that I have none … hu hu hu

I have been traveling and taking photos of faces around the world and … I have nothing in my HD storage that could portray the faces of Malaysian. Shame on me …

So I decided to open up my eyes and my mind towards my surrounding and attempted to capture faces of Malaysia around me in a short period of time. Talking about working under pressure … and wallah! … I managed to capture some beautiful portraits of Malaysian and as always I have my own private story for each photo that I took … lesson learned story that drove me to capture their moment <— dreamers statement 😛

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Pak Musa, a carpenter for 34 years that I met at the farm

I was at a Chinese Opera show in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur hunting for a backstage moment with the actors and the actresses. Then, I spent a few days at a private farm (cattle, sheep and goats) in Kuantan, Pahang to capture some moments with the animals and the shepherd.

And, a few days after that I tagged along with my JanjiFly buddy for his Paramotor MBOR training at Tekah Airfield, Taiping, Perak. Yes … I believe I can fly hu hu hu and I captured  some moments with the Commando Vat 69 team on parachute training that day. Talking about luck … this is what I called durian runtuh hu hu hu

Well … it was tiring but worthy. My moment of learning to find beauty … at every imperfect moment presented to me by the All Mighty.

The good news is … my two(2) images below are currently exhibited at Yaman Ibrahim #OrangMalaysia (people of Malaysia) photo exhibition together with another 59 photographs. 33 photographers and 61 photographs …

Do come and visit the 61 selected photographs of ‘People of Malaysia’ on display now. Details are as follows:

  • Theme: Yaman Ibrahim #OrangMalaysia Photo Exhibition
  • Venue: MaTic Gallery, Malaysian Tourist Center, Kuala Lumpur
  • Date: 15th August to 17th September, 2016

I am moving on to the next project … 🙂 … next please ….

Bye,

Cheers

MM

ps – “Between what is said and not meant. And what is meant and not said. Most love is lost”~ Khalil Gibran

 

 


Street walk in Skardu, Pakistan

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A sundry store located behind the main road of Skardu town. 

Morning start late at most places that we stopped in Northern Pakistan. Business venues and markets started around 10am. The time where morning lights were at the most unforgivably harsh.

Not the best moment for a street photographer who love to chase morning ‘dramatic’ lights. But the opportunity to be here … and to witness the  uniqueness and authenticity of this place overcame all my “chasing the light” needs.

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The shop where restaurants or street stalls get their roti supply from.

Everything looked brown, old and rustic here. It felt as if I was in an old movie set.

It was 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon when we decided to stroll along the street and watch life around this small town. The sky turned brown and dusty as a sand stormed has just passed through the town leaving behind a trail of thick lingering dusty air on the street … a normal occurrence around here I guess.

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Old and rustic looking sundry shops 

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Life goes on as always

Fine dusty sands laid everywhere here. My face was dusty and same goes with the rest of the people on the street. I bet I looked rustic too like my environment … I blend well lol.

But … we still looked ‘obviously’ foreign here. This town seldom sees tourist or foreign traveller walking on the street. In fact we were the second group of foreign visitors that stayed in the hotel (that we stayed in) for this year.

I like to walk like an invisible soul when I am on the street. I always imagine that I am invisible … when I am in public 😉 . But the four (4) of us caught too much attention while we were here … maybe because everybody knows everybody in this small little town.

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A fruit seller at the street side

Honestly, I am used to being stared at while I am on a strange or foreign land. Most of the time people would be curious seeing me maybe because of my head cover or my shawl … but I could overcome their curiosity with a sincere smile and a brief greeting.

But here in Pakistan is different.

In a male dominated society, women does not walk on the street without their men. We don’t see women wandering around restaurant or markets too. I saw one or two short glimpse of women on the street but most were fully covered by their long shawls.

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We attracted attention

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The curious crowd circling us

It does felt weird in the beginning of the trip to experience an intensive stares came from the male crowd but as always I learnt a few tricks to get around as I went along.

Maybe next time I should wear a cotton Kurta when I am on the street.

The morning before we catch our flight out of Skardu to Islamabad… we climbed up on our hotel’s rooftop to catch the full view of this town. Mesmerising view we got up there … this place is surrounded by gigantic mountains.

The thing that I like about travelling is … when I have zero expectation about a place and decided to take a risk … and I ended up falling in love with it. It taught me to be open … to stay receptive regardless of whatever condition that I am in … as the end matters the most.

“The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.”~ Rumi

I am signing off right now … 🙂 . Bye …

 

Cheers

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lesson of Acceptance

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Quran teaching at Jami Masjid, Agra, India

I stumbled upon this particular poem of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi’s while I was struggling to understand the existing and the departing of certain people around me. Sharing it here with y’alls.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi
We are bombarded with all kind of emotions or thought daily … at least I am. A good reminder to a stray soul like mine … beautifully written indeed.
As I strolled through my photo collections, I felt like sharing these photos of a very patient Quran teacher that I saw at Jami Masjid, Agra, India. Why did I thought that he was a patient teacher?
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A humble place to learn to read the beautiful Quran

I was  watching him while he was teaching.
His voice was calm and soft towards his student. And … my friends and I … strangers with cameras clicking around him doesn’t annoyed him at all.
I was comparing this situation back home in Malaysia whereby …certain people, especially those who has certain level of religious knowledge more than the average, would easily get agitated with strangers ( I am being carefully polite here).
But … yeah, I might be wrong though.
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Another shoot from above. A nice warm feeling whenever I looked at this photo

It’s hot and hazy here in Kuala Lumpur. Feels like staying indoor 24×7.

A good reason to start preparing myself for my next gateway. Emptying my expectation and straightening my judgemental mind. A blank canvas could be a canvas full of possibilities … right?

Bye

Cheers

MM

 

p.s – Learning to be at peace with myself. Oh Allah … please be gentle with me and never leave me alone unattended by You. Indeed oh Allah … You are the best Protector and the best Helpers

 

 


Shadow and Storytelling

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Wayang Kulit Kelantan

 

I am in a very productive and ambitious mood this few days ;-P and I am not very sure on how long will it last hu hu hu. I did an extensive housekeeping and re-organisation on all my external HDs … yeay! for me. I edited some of my old and forgotten image folders.

Sharing with y’alls my Wayang Kulit Kelantan aka Traditional Shadow Puppet show images from a few months back. I wanted to explore more on my local culture this year, so I signed up for any cultural performance or any local art gallery around town.

Uncle google has the detail explanation on what is Wayang Kulit Kelantan or Traditional Kelantanese Shadow Puppet show. My late father never failed to remind the ‘rebel’ me that I am a Kelantanese. He would force me to watch and listen to Mak Yong (traditional Kelantanese dance) and wayang kulit. So, watching this group of street Wayang Kulit performers performing the shadow play at Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur recently, did bring back the sweet memories of my childhood.

 

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Back stage preparation before the show begin

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The show is accompanied by a group of traditional musician playing gongs, barrel drums, cymbals and flutes. 

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The puppet master is called Tok Dalang

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The story was mostly about an ancient epic story from India called Ramayana

Well … my D800 never failed to impress me. In such a low light … I managed to capture the ambience moment behind the stage. I was telling my photographer friend about the stages that we had been through during our photography journey.

I started with just clicking my camera on auto mode. Then I move up further by capturing high key images on manual and aperture mode. At that time, every image should look bright and clear, as bright as possible. Dark and shadow was a no … no. Then, I was crazy about IR images (infra red) … playing on contra and false/ fantasy colours. And …. now I am all crazy about dark, shadow, chiaroscuro, emotion and all those fine art things … a continuous learning process.

bla … bla … bla … babbling. Gotta run now … I need to edit another old image folder of Kuda Kepang dance that I took last year and some more old folders before my next trip.

Bye for now,

Cheers

MM

 


Chasing The Light

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Seri Mahawangsa Boathouse at Pedu Lake, Kedah

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose 

I learnt from observing and listening to people around me, therefore most people that I met are my teachers and mentors in their own way. Yup … a bit cliche, I know but well … a lazy middle aged woman like me doesn’t have much time to spend on trials and errors 🙂 .

I have been following Yaman Ibrahim for closed to a year now. Observing and learning from him, a great teacher who loves doing whatever that he is doing. He has that eyes for spotting good lights around him … he called it “Yaman’s Eye”.

By all means … the “good light” in photography yeah peeps. Not that near to death moment light or that spiritual spotlight or that seeking the light aka mysterious haunted light thingy huh.

So, I spent a ‘rich’ 3-days with him and a group of great companion at Pedu lake, Kedah, Malaysia last weekend. We were ‘chasing the light’ around the lake. Good light that can creates a sense of drama to our subject.

Yaman has been working closely with tourism Malaysia for years. He has the experience and opportunity to explore Malaysian culture more than other photographers that I know. Looking at his photos made me longing for the same opportunity to shoot and document my own home culture through my own lens.

Sharing some martial art moves from the boys of Silat Gayung Nusantara Kedah with y’alls. Fyi … I got a lot more interesting shoots around here in Pedu Lake but well, every picture has its own moment.

So, I had my first opportunity to shoot subjects that close to my heart. A traditional action-packed Malaysian Malay martial art. The morning light and the rays were superb.

I was enjoying my moment. The backlight from the morning sun rays were a bliss.  There were 10 of us … photographers from various genres. And listening to our camera shutters sound at the highest possible burst rate, at the same exact time … was interestingly comical.

Listening to them (and myself) again and again, commenting and admiring our own photos was hilarious too. Yep … photographers and their egos, right? We were ‘high’ with our own moment, self achievement moment … lol, I am guily as well, it felt pathetic now … as I recalled back the moment he he he

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My second favourite spot after the hammock

I had a good time while in here. It was super quiet … no phone coverage, no wifi, no TV … a total disconnected from the noisy life. And, having surrounded by a great companion was a bonus too. The owner of the boathouse is a very talented host. He is the boatman, the cook, the wireman, the karaoke man, the technician, the talent etc. Yaik … talking about him … I still owe him a collection of his portraits.

If I was not holding my camera … I would either chewing on food or daydreaming in the hammock … enjoying my quiet moment, snoozing. My companions were as noisy as always hu hu hu yep! a very cheerful and lively crowd but my mind was at peace … alhamdullilah what matters is the heart … right?

I will repeat this trip again in March 2016. Thinking of spending more time there … like a week of totally disconnected from the world. In Sha Allah …

Bye now

 

Cheers

MM

 

p/s … “You wander from room to room … hunting for the diamond necklace … that is already around your neck!” ~ Rumi