Wilfred and Chintia’s Wedding in Pekanbaru, Sumatra.

Beautiful flowers in the church in Pekanbaru, Indonesia

Originally posted 2013-10-15 12:20:52.

Beautiful flowers in the church in Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Beautiful flowers at the church in Pekanbaru, Indonesia

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.

Pekanbaru: The bride and her beautiful bridesmaids
The bride and her beautiful bridesmaids
The bridesmaids leading the bride to the altar
The bridesmaids leading the bride to the altar
Peaknbaru wedding: Pastor Kevin from City Harvest Church conducted the ceremony
Pastor Kevin from City Harvest Church conducted the ceremony
wedding portrait photographer pekanbaru
A portrait of the beautiful couple, Wilfred and Chintia


Peter and Akiko’s wedding at the Datai, Langkawi

Beautiful Wedding at the Datai

Originally posted 2013-08-31 10:17:41.

Beautiful Wedding at the Datai
Wedding at the Datai Resort Langkawi, Malaysia

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.

Beautiful Japanese Bride at the Datai

Akiko looked beautiful as she prepared for the ceremony at the Datai

Bride getting ready for her wedding at the Datai

Akiko’s anticipation is evident

Bride at the Datai Langkawi putting on her shoes

Last stages of the preparation before heading to the Datai’s beach wedding location

Brides mother at the Datai

The brides family waited for her at the Datai’s pool side

Grooms father at Datai Wedding Langkawi

Grooms father found the weather at the Datai rather balmy

Brides best friend Datai Resort Wedding Langkawi, Malaysia

Brides best friend from the MPO. We shot her wedding a few years later!

Ring exchange at Datai Resort Wedding Langkawi Malaysia

Hands communicate so much

kiss shot at Datai Resort Wedding Langkawi Malaysia

First kiss

Beautiful flower bouquet at the Datai Langkawi Wedding

The beautiful bouquet

Wedding portraits on the Datai beach

Portraits on the beach in front ot the Datai langkawi

Wedding portraits on Datai langkawi beach

The happy wedding couple

Wedding portraits on Datai langkawi beach

A classic wedding portrait pose. Cliched perhaps but will always be welcome on a mantle piece.

Wedding portraits on Datai langkawi beach


Wedding portraits on Datai langkawi beach

Sun has set

Wedding portraits on Datai langkawi beach

Beach portraits. It was much darker than it looks here.

An inviting wedding dinner set up on the beach at the Datai Langkawi

An inviting wedding dinner set up on the beach at the Datai Langkawi

Wedding dinner on the beach at a Datai Wedding

Wedding dinner on the Datai beach

Perhentian Honeymoon “Trash the Dress”

Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer

Originally posted 2013-06-14 13:20:16.

Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer

Last week I endured the heat and severe sunburn (left the sunscreen in the hotel room aaargh!!!!)  on Perhentian for a honey moon shoot…OK endured is a harsh word….in reality ENJOYED is a the totally accurate term!  :-)  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!

Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer
Drown the Gown!

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 me  as swimming in a gown isn’t something you can do with any real conviction….not that I have tried!  😀

Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer
Solid emphasis of my shoots is fun!!
Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer
….and romance….
Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer
…and more fun!!
Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer
The classic wet hair flick photo.

Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding PhotographerWe 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.  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.Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding PhotographerPerhentian Honeymoon Wedding PhotographerPerhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer

Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer
Sunset photos of the bride are always romantic

Perhentian Honeymoon Wedding PhotographerPerhentian Honeymoon Wedding PhotographerPerhentian Honeymoon Wedding PhotographerPerhentian Honeymoon Wedding PhotographerPerhentian Honeymoon Wedding PhotographerPerhentian Honeymoon Wedding PhotographerPerhentian Honeymoon Wedding Photographer

Sweet Sunset from Perhentian Kecil

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 all  :-(   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, but 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 poor  (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.  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.

Matt and Susans Wedding at the Westin Langkawi


Originally posted 2013-05-07 21:14:58.

Sunset Wedding at the Westin Langkawi

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.