Originally posted 2014-07-02 12:24:40.
Originally posted 2014-07-02 12:24:40.
Originally posted 2014-07-01 18:35:10.
For years, I’ve been known as a wedding photographer but what people don’t know is that many of my couples go on to grow their families and when they need great birthday or family portraits, guess who they call? I love shooting kids…every shot is different and every shot tells a story. Call me to book a session if you want some great photos of your kids and family that tell a story or capture a memory. Pricing starts from an extremely affordable RM300 for shoots in the studio. Pricing at your venue starts at RM600.
NB: Please use the form on this page to contact me, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do NOT add a comment to this page where you include your phone number or email address as it can leave you open to fraud. Any comments you inadvertently post with these details will be answered and then trashed for your protection. Thank you.
Originally posted 2014-05-15 15:50:09.
This set of pre wedding portraits were taken at the Aloft hotel in KL Sentral. The Aloft Hotel is a really nice location for weddings and one of the really interesting features of the hotel is that the wedding couple can drive their wedding car right up and INTO the ballroom. Cool or what?
Originally posted 2014-01-11 23:35:30.
Tengku Badris and I met up to discuss his upcoming wedding back in September 2013. Career wise, he started as a news photojournalist and is currently a news editor with Agence France-Presse. He wanted unobtrusive photojournalism for his wedding to Mayuko in Negeri Sembilan.
On the day there were close to 40 overseas wedding guests from all over the world. many of whom were also photojournalists which made me quip to the groom when their coach rolled up that it “Looks like the press have arrived”. Most of them had not been to a Malay or Muslim wedding so they were fascinated and soaked up the culture and enjoyed traditional food. The Japanese guests especially enjoyed the completely new experience.
After the ceremony Tengku Bahar Idris’ mother thanked us for our being so discreet with our handling of the wedding which was particularly satisfying. A wedding photojournalist needs to move as quickly and quietly as possible as they anticipate where they need to be for each part of the ceremony, or where the best angle will be to capture the brides/grooms or other family members emotions as the story unfolds.
His Uncle HRH Tuanku Muhriz (Yamtuan Besar Negeri Sembilan) and Aunty HRH Tuanku Aishah Rohani, along with his cousins Tunku Ali Redhauddin and Tunku Zain al-’Abidin were present for the wedding and following lunch.
For the sake of their privacy I am not going to post up the photos, however they were very pleased and would like us to return to cover the next family wedding later this year.
I am looking forward to it.
Originally posted 2013-12-27 17:46:39.
“When you start planning your wedding, you enter into a whole new world that can come with a shockingly high price tag. It’s natural to look for places to cut corners, but here are some facts to consider before hiring an amateur photographer for your wedding day.
1. The number one regret of couples after the wedding is not investing more money in a photographer.
When the wedding is over, all you have left are your photographs. Unfortunately, it’s not until AFTER the wedding that most couples truly realize this.
“I’m a professional blogger whose wedding pictures were ruined because I hired an amateur. Even though I did all of the right things (showed her photography styles I liked, furnished a shot list, asked if she owned her own equipment–she lied about that one) I still got crappy, blurry, point-and-shoot looking snapshots of my wedding.”
Whet your appetite? Great. You can read the rest of the article here.
Originally posted 2013-12-14 13:14:47.
Jaclyn and Michael’s wedding was held in the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit, Greenlane, Penang. It was a smaller wedding but loads of fun as everyone knew each other. Jaclyn had a beautiful dress as you can see in her portraits. The other nice touch was on her shoes in the very first photo below. Very cute 🙂
The portraits were mostly conducted at the very crowded Batu Ferringhi Beach. (Some claim it is where “First Contact” originally happened 🙂 ). Lots of congratulations were given to Michael and Jaclyn but it was a bit of a challenge to find anywhere without capturing a myriad of sun worshippers enjoying the beach in the background. We had to get creative with the sky and the lighting. People who follow me know we have been using radio activated strobes for close to 15 years now. That experience came in useful for the portraits!
Dinner was held at the Park Royal hotel as was the tea ceremony which punctuated the banquet through out the evening. I have other tea ceremony photos on the site so for the sake of space am not posting any here today.
Finally I would like to point out how unobtrusive we are at weddings. Have a look at the church ceremony photos below. I mention this specifically as at two weddings we did last month the grooms mum and best man both thanked us that we were not in the way or obtrusive. I have become increasingly aware that this is a problem with a fair number of younger and less experienced photographers. Anyway, we believe the day is about you so we try our best to be the fly on the wall.
Originally posted 2013-12-14 06:00:14.
Just a quick post from this weekends wedding in Penang. It was held at the Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit. I will post some more photos later but am busy packing now for an overseas flight tomorrow to cover a destination wedding.
Originally posted 2013-12-12 16:30:02.
“Do you cry at weddings?” The question floored me. On Thursday while we were shooting sports equipment one of the fitness trainers come models asked me what I normally shoot. When I said “weddings” she said it must be a lot of fun (and it is!) and immediately asked THE question. I am not often speechless but this really made me stop and think. For me, weddings ARE about the emotion of the day and then it hit me right between the eyes. While I grew up in a country and time where men DON’T show their emotions, I realised that more often then not I really do get that lump in my throat during a moving speech, a secret look between the bride and groom, or perhaps knowing the wedding has been moved to an earlier date because mum or dad are nearing the end of their fight with cancer or some other terminal disease.
So YES, I can answer. I do cry at weddings quite a lot, only in my own private way.
Originally posted 2013-12-07 13:17:50.
Day two of Pavin and Paveena’s wedding in Seremban was at the Allson Klana Resort in Seremban.
Originally posted 2013-12-06 13:15:42.
Thought I would share some photos from Pavin and Paveena’s Hindu wedding at the Sri Balathandayuthapani temple in Seremban.
Originally posted 2013-10-23 16:12:21.
I went to Pulau Redang for a Scuba diving trip last weekend. These photos are taken with the iPhone so saturation, sharpness and quality are a bit “Applely”. Needed to go for the trip to finally get my Scuba licence. I nearly completed it 12-13 years ago but due to other commitments I had to drop it. A bit of a shame as I had completed 5 open water dives around Tulai and Malang already with a group that trains in the CMAS qualification. I wish I had pursued it as most people don’t know what it is and it’s certainly more exclusive and less commercially oriented than PADI. But both work.
Well that aside, I needed to be retrained and complete my dives again and PADI was the quickest and easiest to do. Due to the impending monsoon closing in it had to be done by last weekend because it’s the end of the season and the resorts and dive centres were all closing down. Diving season is now closed until March next year I believe.
Water was not super clear but it did clear up to about 10m. Completed 5 dives on the increasingly choppy sea (2 other divers got sea sick) and managed to see some reef sharks, puffer fish, stingrays and moray eels amongst other things. The morays were LARGE. One of the sharks was as well. Black tipped reef sharks grow to a length of about 1.6m and one of them was likely very close to this size.
The day I arrived it was splendid weather but once the weather closed in…well you can see from the last photo above.
Getting there: FLY. I was told I should take the bus. Did that on the way up and the 15 hour trip was murderous. I “burned” the return and took a flight back with Berjaya to Subang. To me it’s a no brainer.
Where to Stay: The Coral resort is nice. IÂ don’t like slumming it. So it was an easy choice. 3x meals a day are included and the drinks at the bar are reasonably priced.
OK that’s it…I gotta go back to editing.
Originally posted 2013-10-15 12:20:52.
Just back yesterday from covering a church wedding in Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia. Saw lots of friends from City Harvest Church in Subang Jaya as most of the friends in attendance know the bride and groom from their student days studying in Sunway/Taylors colleges. Pastor Kevin from City Harvest Subang was in attendance and made mention that it was the biggest reunion of the Indonesian contingent from City Harvest. All the old leaders and many familiar faces from many years ago when we covered Pastor Kevin’s own wedding.
Originally posted 2013-09-13 00:29:38.
This is going to be a fun post. Last Sunday’s wedding in Kajang. Chinese tea ceremonies run the whole gamut of emotions. Sometimes they are just outrageously fun! This was certainly one of them. I strongly believe weddings should be F-U-N. In this case the traditional Chinese Tea ceremony was an opportunity for some early morning hijinks in the form of Wine, Brandy, Coffee mix and some outrageously large beer jugs! Well, I will let the photos speak for themselves. Fantastic.
Originally posted 2013-08-31 14:54:54.
We covered a Chinese wedding in Kajang over the last two weekends. I didn’t know of Restoran (restaurant) Fei Chui, nor that it was such a capacious venue. I think it is busy with weddings most weekends as it is likely THE major wedding banquet restaurant venue in the Kajang area. Very good banquet experience. The food was good (not always the case at wedding banquets) primarily because they are a restaurant and not a hotel, and the couple and their friends were great fun.
Originally posted 2013-08-31 10:17:41.
I have been moving all of my older weddings from decaying DVD’s onto a new server and have been coming across some real gems of weddings that we have covered over the past 15 years(!) I realise now that when I moved from my old HTML 1.0 web site to wordpress that hundreds of my older wedding posts never followed us along! Ouch! So I am busy picking out some of them for reposting as time permits. This wedding is from December 2005. Back then we were shooting with the Nikon D2x and Canon 20D. Just viewing the images today I realise just how far camera sensors have come! Visible noise in ISOs as low as 400. Back then we were still transitioning from film so it wasn’t a concern, but in light of what we have today…wow! Now the tech talk is out of the way let’s talk about this wedding.
Peter and Akiko are members of the Malaysian Philharmonic orchestra. They are still there with them 8 years on so do look for them when you visit the MPO! Their wedding was at the Datai Resort in Langkawi. We have covered a few weddings there and I do hope to put more up as time permits. Peter is Slovakian, and Akiko Japanese. They decided on the Datai as it is a classy resort and neutral ground for both families. Peter’s family flew out from Slovakia while Akikos came from Japan. It was a small and intimate wedding. The Datai did a great job with very tasteful arrangement of flowers and the dinner setting. Akiko’s good friend Maho, and Peter’s brother Miro also attended. Both are also in the MPO and it turned out were courting. We covered their wedding when their turn came about! More on that in a future posting.
Originally posted 2013-08-23 13:48:51.
These photos are from a recent product photography shoot we did for Hartelega. Hartelega employs about 6,000 people and make 1 BILLION gloves per month, mostly for export. They are an OEM rubber glove producer for medical companies all over the world including Japan and the USA. The term “rubber gloves” covers both Latex and Nitrile glove materials. Nitrile gloves complement normal latex gloves as they are more resistant than natural rubber to oils and acids** and are about 300% more resistant to punctures than normal latex gloves. They are also used by those with latex allergies. On the other hand (that wasn’t an intentional pun but worked well) latex gloves are a lot more stretchy!
All of the gloves have to either meet or exceed international standards. The photo shoot was in one of their testing labs and I would have to admit it was nice to be in research and testing facility again. The model for this shoot was…..me.Â :-)Â We needed someone with western sized hands so I ended up as the obvious choice and had one of those rare moments of being on the other side of the camera.
**NB while this is a photography web site and not a chemistry one, I would hate for anyone taking this as a blanket statement. Strong acids and especially Nitric Acid can cause Nitrile gloves some problems. If you are handling nitric acid on a regular basis I am sure you are well aware of these potential issues.
Originally posted 2013-08-23 12:36:01.
Unless you are in the industry, many people don’t know that Malaysia is well known worldwide for making rubber gloves for many international brands. I know I didn’t until we headed down to Hartalega to take photos for some of their managers and directors for their Annual Report. I will do some posting of our product shoot – in which I was the hand model! 🙂 – in another posting but for now lets see how great their managers look.
These images were shot in their new office foyer using their entry way back wall as the photo back drop. Ended up as a three light set up.
Originally posted 2013-08-09 17:52:34.
I do family photography in various studios or on location all over KL. This one is in Puchong for one of my former colleagues.
Originally posted 2013-08-01 14:37:41.
Geoff and Ellie had flown in from Canada so they could celebrate with Ellie’s parents in the town of Taiping where they held a traditional Chinese Tea ceremony and banquet dinner for the family. Geoff’s folks flew down from Canada to enjoy the ceremonies and they were also joined by his brother and sister in law from Japan. Traditional Chinese weddings include giving of tea by the couple to all of their older relations, and receiving tea from their younger relations. It is a great way of getting to meet the family and understanding the relational links. The bride and groom also receive a lot of gifts, both jewelry and cash. This provides a good “kick start” to married life.
The dinner banquet had the traditional cake cutting, champagne popping and table-by-table yumseng. We rounded out the end of the night with a series of family group photos, one of which is shown below. With family group photos the secret is to work quickly, professionally, and be able to banter with the family to get everyone relaxed. And as always – shoot RAW for best results. We used a total of 6 flashes for these photos. Setting up that many lights quickly requires you to know your gear.
Four days later we all headed to Putrajaya where the legal technicalities of getting married in Malaysia were taken care of. Then we headed off to a nice location for a small private ceremony by the lake. I have to admit I was a bit concerned about this part of the day as it was going to be mid-morning, and the heat could have melted all of us…me included! Fortunately the sky was overcast, and a gentle breeze started which kept temperatures moderate. All in all it was very pleasant.
I know a lot of photographers like to see how we shoot a wedding. I have attended a few weddings where you see more of the photographer and video crew than the wedding couple!!!! There were 2 of us covering each of these days. Take note of where we were shooting from. One of us (my shooting buddy for +10 years)Â is way off doing long shots, while I am up “close”. I like to use the professional 70-200 f2.8 lenses for their versatility and reach as well as their quick focusing and sharpness. Do note where I am shooting from. It does mean I have to move around fairly rapidly (walking not running) but ensures I never block the family. Why stop the enjoyment of someone who flew thousands of miles so they could witness the wedding?
After the ceremony we did a quick series of family groups and some portraits before the weather closed in and it started to rain.
Originally posted 2013-07-13 22:41:49.
A Punjabi Hindu wedding. Anusha’s mum had just outlined her daughter’s upcoming wedding day in Melaka as we sat in the local Starbucks enjoying a coffee. I have been the photographer for many Hindu weddings in the past and I have shot quite a number of Sikh weddings as well, so the fusion of the Punjabi culture and Hindu religion promised a very colourful couple of days with lots of fun.
The wedding day started with the Saainth ceremony (performed with oil) at the brides house, followed by the bangle ceremony. I was at the brides to cover these events while the team headed over to the grooms and awaited the priest who would perform the reciprocal saainth ceremony at his home. After the groom performed these rituals his family performed the Sehra bandi ceremony. This is a meaningful time whereby he gets dressed and puts on the traditional head dress and veil (known as the Sehra).
The wedding ceremony was held at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC). Both Punjabi and Hindu wedding traditions were observed when the groom Karun arrived at the wedding venue. Traditionally the groom arrives on a horse, typically a mare, along with his “best man” (who is called the sarvala). The families met and greeted each other with bhangra drums, dancing and Milni (exchange of garlands between our fathers, our brothers and our uncles).
The Punjabi Hindu wedding ceremony is quite different from the south Indian traditions. Immediately on meeting the bride and groom garland one another (Jaimala). Rumour has it that the bride and groom should be careful not to bow as it is a marriage of equals. As you will see in the photos the parents are integral in the ceremony itself. Once the wedding ceremony is over the groom is finally permitted to remove his veil. To everyone’s relief it was Karun underneath!
Later in the evening we all retired to the brides house where the bride and groom were welcomed. Karun had to bargain his way into the house and the bridesmaids/cousins and sisters all made good on his lavish donations. A tearful goodbye was expected as Anusha left her home. It is quite a dramatic event for any woman.
Two nights later the final wedding banquet was held at the Equatorial Hotel Melaka. It was a very colourful event, with many family members flying in from overseas. The bride and grooms first dance turned out to have a flash mob made up of cousins and friends.
Originally posted 2013-06-24 13:34:27.
Just a quick post today as I am very busy at present with a variety of photography shoots: On Saturday I had a short studio portrait shoot with Freda Liu of BFM. It was a fun, relaxed photo shoot and we were finished in what seemed like no more than 60 minutes.
For those who don’t know Freda (most probably those living outside of Malaysia) she is one of the producers and presenters of “Enterprise” and “Tech Talk” on BFM 89.9. She has conducted thousands of live on air interviews with various people of note, both in business and people of interest including Julian Assange and meÂ :-). I met her way back (“in another life” according to Freda) when she was the Communications Manager for IBM Malaysia.
Originally posted 2013-06-20 11:31:40.
Agnes contacted me from Japan where she has been living for the past 8 years. She was coming back to Malaysia to get her marriage with her fiance Isao registered with the government. As she had been away for so long she was a bit out of touch with the wedding industry so asked me if I could:
That’s a tall order when you contact your wedding photographer a mere 2 1/2 weeks before the date! Even more so when you realise I was in the midst of a heavy shoot schedule with photography for the annual report with one of the big banks in KL as well as heading off to do the Perhentian “Trash the Dress” shoot you will find elsewhere on this web site. Other than the car which they found on line before I could get back to them (Perhentian is a remote place to do business from!) I organized and advised them with everything else. So yes WE CAME THROUGH!
We chose St Barnabas Klang as its a great wedding church and has nice air-conditioning! I also know the minister well so there were no issues. We respect the rules the church puts in place for us. (Photographers: Please remember that in a church you are a guest and you should always respect the location).
This is not the smallest wedding we have shot, its TIED with two others we have done. One in Four Seasons and the other in Assumption. All three had a bride, a groom, and officiant and ….us. In this wedding blessing both myself and the makeup artist were called on to be witnesses 🙂
The ceremony was very moving and significant for both Agnes and Isao.
Afterwards we spent about 30 minutes taking portraits before heading back to the hotel. Job well done.
Thank you for the wonderful memories!
Originally posted 2013-06-19 02:35:17.
Ben and Yin’s wedding was both a special day for them and a unique one in Malaysia’s wedding photography industry. Why? Because my friend Mr How brought along his brand new Canon 200-400 F4L, The first and only one in Malaysia. I will share more on this lens at the end of this posting and have tagged several of the images below that show it in use.
Ben is the last of three brothers who have asked us to be their wedding photographers. Each one has been fun and it was like old times being back with the family again. The wedding was a traditional Chinese one. For those not familiar this means the groom and his friends come to the brides home (in this case the Berjaya Times Square hotel) and have to bargain their way in to collect the bride. Once the bargaining is over there is a tea ceremony with the family of the bride, and then another one with the grooms family.
Ben’s family are committed Roman Catholics, so the church wedding mass was held in St Johns Cathedral, in the centre of Kuala Lumpur.
In the evening the wedding banquet was in the Berjaya Times Square hotel. Ben very pleasantly surprised Yin by hopping up on stage and singing her a love song. She was blown away by this as any bride would be by such a pleasant surprise.
Enjoy the photos and for a quick opinion piece on the new Canon 200-400 F4L please skip down to the end of this post.
Mini review of the Canon 200-400 F4L: My friend and co shooter Mr How of Photowerkz picked up the very first 200-400 into Malaysia. Apparently it caused quite a stir when it appeared in YL Camera. He is primarily a sports photographer and also owns the Canon 400 F2.8L.
So what’s the new Canon 200-400 F4L like. Three words, sharp, versatile, pricey!
This was the lenses first outing on a photo shoot, and the lens gave a very sweet taste. So is this a killer wedding lens?
If being able to take photos completely unobtrusively is your goal this lens is excellent. Coupled with the Canon 5DMk3’s silent mode no one will know they are being photographed, however getting yourself into position with this or any telephoto lens of +200mm takes a lot more thinking as changing angles with these lengths takes a lot of walking to do so. There is also the additional hazard of being so discreet that videographers and family friends with cameras do not know you are there and will block your view. Unfortunately in Malaysia a lot of weekend photographers (and some non-thinking pros) have “educated” the populace that the proshooter needs to be joined at the hip with the couple thereby blocking everyone’s view, so this type of lens can come as a surprise.
As I am an NPS member, Nikon have kindly loaned me the Nikon 200-400 F4G on ocassion and it is a very nice lens to use, however it certainly wasn’t light and required the use of a monopod at all times despite my being a regular gym goer. It also precluded the use of other lenses unless you have an assistant to hand it off to so you can use something shorter. Fortunately with three of us shooting this wedding my friend How could concentrate on using the Canon 200-400 F4L exclusively while my other partner Hock Seng and I could cover the more usual bread and butter photos. As you can see from How’s set up below, a monopod is definitely required to make the most of it. This helps relieve the strain of carrying the lens, and also gives much sharper photos.
The built in 1.4x teleconverter makes the lens even more versatile, enabling it to rack out to become a 280mm-560mm F5.6 lens. The recessional photo shows the lens to be very sharp when it is engaged. The lever’s operation is very smooth and positive.
All of this comes at a price. Shashinki lists the Nikon 200-400 F4G at RM22,000 and the Canon 200-400 F4G at RM34,000. Either lens requires a heavy financial investment, and that means a lot of weddings to recoup ROI.
Compared to the Canon 400 F2.8L: How is looking at selling his unit (let me know if you are interested in buying it) so in his opinion the versatility wins out. The only issue may be that you do lose a full stop of light. This may be an issue with some sports as the difference between a photo at 1/1000th of a second and one 1/500th of a second for freezing motion may be a possible issue.
Compared to Nikons 200-400 F4G: The Nikon is a good performer. I know some people complain about softness but I have never had a client do so. Most clients can’t see the difference between an 85mm 1.8/1.4/1.2 either. That said, as a photographer you probably will notice a difference if you shoot both lenses side by side. The big advantage with the Nikon is that you can buy one AND a D800, monopod and flash for less than the price of the Canon 200-400 F4G.That said, the Canon 200-400 F4G is very sharp throughout its zoom range and trumps the Nikon in this area. I do hope to borrow Nikons 200-400G along with a D800 (I shoot with the much lower resolution D3) so we can do some comparative testing.
Am I going to buy one? That is the RM34,000 question 🙂
Originally posted 2013-06-15 22:06:25.
After my trip to beautiful Perhentian I thought I would do a quick write up on my experience. If you have never been I have one word for you: GO!
How to get there: There are three ways I know of. Take the bus, drive, or fly. I have heard the bus trip is 9 hours, driving all the way is likely only an option if you have two drivers (please do not be the sleepy dead hero and do it solo in one go), or fly. I decided to fly with my preferred airline, Firefly. I like their aircraft and as a corporate account holder I get some small perks if I need to change flights/passengers. The fact you leave from nearby Subang instead of the horrible cattle shed waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy out at the KLIA and dont have to worry about buying luggage allowance or food are also factors worth consideration. Also it was the cheapest!
One thing you have to watch out for on the firefly aircraft is that the over head compartments are very small. If you are a photographer a smaller Lowepro back pack will work. Into this I was able to fit the following: Canon 5DMk3, Canon 650D (backup), 135mm F2.0L, 85mm f1.2L, 24-70 F2.8, 16-35mm F2.8L, Speedlight 600EX. I could probably have gotten by with my Nikon D3, however it is a taller and noticeably heavier camera, all part of the price for being more rugged.
If you check in to the same hotel I used then you will get picked up from the Kota Bahru airport and driven south for about an hour to the jetty. You will be asked to pay an RM5 tax by a customs officer before boarding your boat. This is supposed to be put into a fund for the protection the marine environment. I have no idea where you can find updated information on what these efforts may be.
The fast boats takes 30 minutes to get to the island. Make sure you know which island you are going to as there are two of them.
Where to Stay: If you are on a tight budget or want to “slum it” you have lots of options. Most places have fans and likely have hot water for limited times during the day. My own criteria was:
My back packing days are more or less over and with over 25 countries under my belt by the time I was 25 I think its time to have some comfort now and again. With these as my criteria there was only one location that would foot the bill: Bubu Long Beach Resort on the small island of Perhentian Kecil.
Boat times do not sync very well with check in and check out times however that will give you time to chill out and take in the venue.Â Below you can see the general layout. The ground floor rooms open out towards the beach front while the middle and top rooms open towards the rear. They are accessible via staircases either end and an open walk way facing the hill side jungle, and if you are over towards the right of the photo you will see the power generators. My room was the one in the top right of this photo and despite being the closest to the generators I didn’t find the noise disturbing.
The beach bar offers two free cocktails every evening if you are staying there. Either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, so the kids can join you too. Be warned that a long day on the beach will make that second Maitai a wee bit more relaxing than you were prepared for Â 🙂
My room view was simply awesome. I could wake up to this every day and reminded me of my childhood home. The breakfast area is in the thatched building to the left. They have a proper coffee machine and barista which translates into: Best coffee at any resort I have been to up to this time.
Here’s a look at my room interior. Good air conditioning. Clean interior. No phone. No TV. Comfortable bed. Perfect.
Bathroom was clean, has hot water all day and good pressure in the showers. I did find the shower floor slightly slippery and it nearly caused me a problem. There is a compound available in hardware shops that can alleviate the slipperiness. I hope they apply it soon…hint…hint
The in room safe was perfect. Easily big enough to accommodate all of my camera gear and then some. It provides peace of mind when you are out and about. While crime is certainly not in your face like in a big city, I heard petty theft is an issue and a friend who goes there regularly knows of someone having their camera stolen. Better safe than sorry.
The primary purpose of going to the island is the beach and sea. The beach is very nice powdered coral and the water is very clear compared to the Klang river and Port Dickson, so you will find it an amazing experience. Right next to the Bubu there is a dive shop which takes out several boats in the morning so you can snorkel. It costs RM60 for the full morning with gear rental additional. The gear rental covers mask, snorkel, flippers and life vest. Most people wear the life vest while snorkelling for safety sake however if you are an experienced free diver you don’t need to wear it when in the water. There are 4 locations they take you to see. The first is usually turtle bay. This is a sandy bay with a sea grass growing on the sea bed. It is about 4m deep and we saw two good sized turtles I would estimate were 1m across and 1.5m long. If you are a good free diver then you will love diving down to the sea floor to get a closer look at the turtles. Just be careful coming up as there are a LOT of boats and other divers. Someone mentioned there had been someone hit by a boat a few weeks earlier so please stick with the crowd.
The second location was above a reef which had myriads of fish. They were very friendly and delighted many of the snorkelers as they swam up to have a closer look at us.
The next location was Shark Bay. Hopefully you will be able to see black tipped reef sharks here. They are harmless but most people feel a tinge of trepidation about going in. That’s normal so don’t worry. Swallow your worries and head on in. I was fortunate enough to see one on our trip. It’s not guaranteed. Water is about 5m-6m here.
The last location was a sandy bay had completely different fish, made for speed and agility.
I was keen to get some photos under the water. I rented a Canon G9 from a diving instructor (RM100 per day) along with Canon’s underwater casing for it. It was a good job I did as I found the Dicapac DCP-WPS10 totally unacceptable due to its buoyancy, poor focusing and near impossible control system. The G9 was marginally better. After shooting with a DSLR the response speed of the G9 when in its underwater case the control system was soft and sluggish. Under water it was pretty much spray and pray. All of these photos were taken in water easily accessible and only waist to shoulder deep.
Originally posted 2013-06-14 13:20:16.
Last week I endured the heat and severe sunburn (left the sunscreen in the hotel room aaargh!!!!)Â on Perhentian for a honey moon shoot…OK endured is a harsh word….in reality ENJOYED is a the totally accurate term!Â :-)Â I was approached by Pina and Ahmed’s close friend Zina from Germany a few weeks ago and asked whether I would be open to heading up to Pulau Perhentian Kecil to cover part of their honeymoon. For those outside Malaysia reading this “Pulau” is Malay for “island” and “kecil” means small, important as there are two islands in the Perhentian group.
The photography shoot was going to be broken into two parts. First was above water portraiture and the second part was a trash the dress. Above water was going to be no problem provided I compensated for the very bright sunshine which tends to give very harsh shadows. The way to do this is usually to use a diffuser to shade the face to eliminate “squinting” and then use a fill flash to rebalance the shady parts with the strong sunlight. As there was only me and no assistants we did what we could. Big thanks to Ahmed for being my impromptu lighting stand!
Part of the plan was to trash the dress or “drown the gown”. This can be fun and romantic. While we were shooting some Malay girls in Tudungs from one of the dive boats walked over to have their photos taken with Pina, and later on the main beach we certainly attracted attention. It’s only when you get in the water that you realise how buoyant a bridal gown really is. Safety was also a primary concern for meÂ as swimming in a gown isn’t something you can do with any real conviction….not that I have tried!Â 😀
We planned the trash the dress shoot to include underwater photography. A lot of people were really supportive for this. One of my scuba diver friends loaned me her Canon Ixus which came with an Ikelite underwater housing and my good friends at FujiFilm Malaysia loaned me one of their waterproof cameras. Unfortunately both are jpeg only cameras without the ability to shoot in RAW so editing after the event would have been exceptionally difficult. This is because a jpeg photo has very little additional information that is crucial to properly editing afterwards.Â Shooting underwater imposes challenges due to the rapid fall off of light and absorption of the red to yellow part of the colour spectrum in the first metre or two underwater. With jpegs you lose all the important info so I really wanted to use a camera with RAW support for the underwater images. More on this further down the page. BTW ALL of these images were shot in RAW and developed in post production. I don’t like the word photoshopped as that implies major fakery. I develop images in a similar fashion we used to do in the darkroom, brightening and darkening parts of the image and either increasing or reducing contrast. That’s it.
UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY: Ok, the glaring omission is the lack of the underwater photos. The sea didn’t agree to work with us and due to overnight rains and the inevitable rain water and soil run off the water was not clear at allÂ :-(Â Â A big disappointment considering the amount of preparation I had done but it also showed some shortcomings in the gear I did eventually choose to use. I purchased the Dicapac DCP-WPS10 underwater DSLR soft case as I read some very positive reviews about it. Seems like the reviews were shot either in swimming pools or nice clear ocean water, as in less than optimal conditions it was hard to use and couldn’t focus even if its life depended on it. It may have been the camera I used, a Canon 650D, butÂ I was not too keen to trust either my Nikon D3 or Canon 5Dmk3 to the Dicapac bag as they are very pricey cameras to replace! I am used to pressing a shutter button and the camera giving me a very positive feed back that a photo has been taken. The Dicapac was a big fail here. I had no idea whether it was firing or not…and it turned out it did, once in every 20 clicks….aaaargh! The other thing is viewing the images on the back of the screen was exceedingly difficult so I gave up on the Dicapac. It is now relegated to swimming pool shoots. One tip if using the Dicapac DCP-WPS10: when you open a Dicapac after it has been underwater be extremely careful as water is trapped in the folds so there is a good chance of some sea water falling on to your camera.
I also rented a Canon G9 along with Canons specifically made housing for it from a PADI diver on Perhentian. He was raving about how good it was until I told him I am a professional photographer. His “nOOb spiel” was then replaced with a more realistic set of expectations and afterwards we had a most excellent chat about underwater photography. The images I took were marred by the murk however it was an excellent experience for me. The “feel” was really not responsive and I wasn’t sure if images were being taken or not while shooting. I would say about 70% of the time photos were being taken but pressing the shutter and not being sure if it was firing was a curious phenomena for me. It was spray and pray…with many images deleted in post. Again the viewfinder was quite poorÂ (might be awesome if in deeper water – say deeper than 3m?) but it was useless for framing within 2m of the surface so it was a real cowboy shoot from the hip experience.Â One tip when using the Canon G9. Turn it off when not shooting. The camera is fairly warm when on and fogs up the front plate really fast with condensation. A bit of tissue around the lens sort of helps but not a lot.
So where to from here? It’s time to drop about RM16,000 for a proper casing for my pro level DSLRs and get some underwater strobes. Professional is professional.
Originally posted 2013-05-24 11:15:00.
This shoot was taken in the Nikko Hotel at one of their bridal fairs. The bridal gowns were by Jovian Mandagie & Carven Ong Fashion. Gorgeous models including Xandra Ooi.
Originally posted 2013-05-17 12:34:11.
This is an ongoing project we are working on at present for an upcoming annual report. We are shooting on location and are bringing a full lighting set up and backgrounds on site. Being a photographer for trophies and awards has quite different challenges than photographing people. While there may be a lot more control over lighting, the reflections and transparency of the crystal and glass pose their own challenges. One of these is making sure the lettering is readable. White lettering on a white back ground poses the question of how white should the background be. If it’s too white then the advertising agency will have great difficulty in cutting the images out for later placement. Make it too dark and the clear glass awards will look dirty.
One of the images below, the blue one, took well over an hour to light properly due to its rounded base and sloping top. The writing on this award is immensely more legible in our photo than it is on the actual award!
Camera: Mamiya Phase One P30+. At one stage I was keen on getting a Nikon D800 due to its similar resolution to digital medium format cameras and comparatively affordable pricing, however viewing images side by side of these two cameras I would have to say there is no comparison. If you can go medium format and make money from your images, get one.
Originally posted 2013-05-07 21:14:58.
Matt and Susan contacted me from Singapore to ask me to be their wedding photographer to cover their destination beach resort wedding at the Westin on the beautiful island of Langkawi. I love beach weddings as they are usually small, intimate informal affairs. The wedding photos speak louder than words so please enjoy. Cameras used for this wedding were the Nikon D3, Canon 5DMk3 and both the Fuji Xpro1 and XE1.
Originally posted 2013-05-07 20:41:44.
Dinesh and Urscilla had a beautiful wedding at St Barnabas Church in Klang. The ceremony was carried out by close family members who are in the clergy with the Anglican and Methodist churches.Â The brides saree was very beautiful and the long veil was last used by the groom mum at her wedding. As Dinesh’s dad is a pilot, it was fitting to arrive at the reception in a helicopter. The dinner was held at the Grand Dorsett in Subang Jaya. It was a BIG reception of about 1,000 pax. Dome dinners always provide great Indian food and this was no exception.
Originally posted 2013-01-17 00:07:38.
This afternoon we took Hari and Shangkeree out into the country side outside of Kuala Lumpur to take their pre-wedding portraits.Â I was equipped with my Nikon gear (Oooo……. the weight builds up after shooting with these for so many years!) and also my trusty Fuji Xpro1 equipped with the 35mm f1.4. My shooting partner eyed it with great interest. He also shoots with a pro-Nikon body (D3s). Admittedly the speed of operation between these two cameras should not be compared as the D3 series is designed for sports and costs 3x as much as the Xpro1 . That said, the Fuji Xpro1 performed admirably and easily matched the D3 as far as image quality is concerned. One thing I have noticed on the Xpro1 is that it is really easy to hit the “Q” button instead of the focus button….grrr! I must send an email off to the Fuji engineers regarding this.
After the shoot was finished Hari surprised Shangkeree by bringing out the ring. Lovely!