Saturday, August 29, 2009

Oh Malaysia!

Come Monday, it is Malaysia's National Day again; I thought this is a good time to "blog" this shot for the world to see!

I like this symbolic picture, it should be titled "Formula Malaysia"!

Oh... I actually entered this picture in a photo contest called "Formula Malaysia" in 1999. The contest was organised by some MEGA organisations in Kuala Lumpur and heavily publicised in the New Straits Times and the Chinese Media.


But so typical of Malaysian contest and after one postponement and another, the organiser declared there were NO WINNER in the photo section!

But down the grapevines, a photog friend of mine told me that his friend was at the judging and my picture won THIRD prize but the judges decided there will be no first and second prize!

I cannot confirm his story and I did not receive the supposedly RM15,000 third prize money! Malaysia Boleh again? :-)

Hey... judges, if you are reading this; "what is the story?"

Back to the picture....

This symbolic picture was shot for the book "Soul of Our Nation" published by The Star in Malaysia. Before you rush off to buy one, don't; because this limited edition was only meant as "gifts" for VIP visitors to The Star. Are you one? Hee hee...


A lot of effort has gone into this shot.

The concept to the execution took more than two months of preparation.

First, we cannot find a flag of this size, so it was hand painted by a group of children. And because of the haze that forever covered Kuala Lumpur sky, waiting for a clear blue sky was pure luck.

Young Malaysians (multi racial) with the national flag was made to march towards the Petronas twin tower, another most recognisable Malaysian symbol. Many shots were taken with mainly Canon EOS 1n. with 14 mm and 17-35 lenses.

More pictures of Malaysians-ku for the occasion.


I was at Kuala Selangor fishing village looking for pictures for the book, "Soul Of our Nation" when I saw this little boy with the Malaysian flag.

My Kodak DCS 520 digital camera swung from my shoulder upwards and I grabbed two rapid shots with the Canon 17-35 lens, all of a sudden "cutesy pie" started crying and ran away!

What did I do? Ha ha ha... I disappeared before his father threw me into the river!

Famous last words:

Always have your camera ready for the unexpected, this is what "grab shot" (ala candids) are all about.


Waves of hands and eye catching colour entertained the crowd at the year 2000 Merdeka celebration at Shah Alam, Selangor; Malaysia.

To effectively compressed all the "layers" of colour together I choose the 70-200 zoom plus a 2X extender on a Canon EOS1n.

Famous last words:

Understand what your lenses can do, their properties in depth of field, perspective and effect.

Learn to look at a scene and be able to decide quickly what focal length to use.

Hey... do you know what it was like in those days when we only have "fixed" lens? The modern super sharp zoom lenses supposed to improve your composition, do they?
Learn to use them effectively.


Flags of Malaysia at the 43rd National Day celebration at Shah Alam, Selangor; Malaysia.

I shot straight into the sun to get the back lit flags all "lighted" up. Pun intended... ha ha ha

Famous last words:

A photography "teacher" once told me:

"NEVER shoot into the light!" Back lit pictures are taboo!

Don't believe him! I find back lit pictures have that special 3D quality that front lit shot lacks! Experiment and experiment some more!

One For The Album...

The most photogenic subjects are our fellow beings! No? When was the last time you shoot a classic "one for the album" shot?

The newspaper's editor called this type of pose "firing squad" picture, I think this one is bright and cheery! :)

Malaysia Inc...

Breached white "dudong" against the Malaysian flags, the Shah Alam Mosque... blue sky, all gel together for this very Malaysian, art like composition at the 2000 Merdeka celebration.

A candid shot of Sam Tham, Star photographer extraordinaire ; my favorite pupil. Keep up the good work, Sam!!

Lastly....

My friends tell me so what it is Malaysia's 52 years of independence, with all the issues I should say "Mow Ngan Tai!" (Cantonese for No Eyes See)... like the picture above!

But years ago I decided to be a photographer who RECORD what little part of history I can, to remain neutral even though my heart is bleeding for Malaysia!

To my friend Jeff Ooi and thousands of Malaysians who are fighting for a cause, for a better Malaysia; I salute all of you!

Happy Birthday Malaysia!

2 comments:

heather said...

Happy Birthday Malaysia! The land of photo opportunities!To get a photo of KL with a blue sky would have been a major accomplishment on it`s own, and I like the photo of the boy in the fishing village. That sort of photo is truly a photo op because of the fickle nature of kids..imagine if he started screaming and his dad came,, ha ha.Anyone seeing these photos will get a "sense" of Malaysia.. a feel for the essence of Malaysia.Really cool photos!

zainabdullah said...

Happy Independance Day Malaysia!
CY, it is always a great pleasure reading about your past experience accompanied by nice photos. :)