Wednesday, July 23, 2014

KK... A LIttle Bit More..

I was flipping through the images I have taken during last weekend's trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and boy, I found a few more images which I thought are worthy to be shown here. I know I have overflooded the previous entry with more images than usual, but hey I do not get to travel to North Borneo that frequently, and even if I do I usually do not have the time to shoot that much. It was great to getaway from the busy city and immerse myself in a peaceful place, thinking nothing but photography, doing it together with like-minded friends. More importantly, they were all Olympus supporters. 

This image was taken with the 75-300mm lens. I needed that extra zoom (to about 100mm) to get this framing. It was an interesting composition which I rarely explore, where I placed quite a lot of elements within one frame. There was that man in the river looking for sea cucumber, a bird flying by on water, with the landmark State Mosque and the majestic Mount Kinabalu in as the backdrop, all this bathed in the magical morning golden sunrise light. And that mist hovering around the mosque was the icing on the cake. 

The same two kids playing in the water from last blog entry, but with a different place of shooting. They were under the platform of course, and nearby to the adjacent markets. This image was taken during the sunset, and again I just like how the golden light touched everything. 

I could not resist when I saw "Sarawak Kolo Mee" selling in KK, so I gave it a try. Unfortunately it did not taste quite like the real Sarawak Kolo Mee, though I do admit the noodles (whatever it was) was quite delicious. 

In the poluted city of Kuala Lumpur, clear, blue sky is a rarity. This was not the case for Kota Kinabalu, the air was so clean, the sky was always blue, and beautiful. Using a wide angle lens, allowing more sky in the composition, it allows for the gradual deepening in blue shades (similar to polarizing effect). No matter how you shoot this Mount Kinabalu it just looks so awesome. 

A night shot of the State Mosque, this one shot with the 9mm F8 fisheye body cap lens, mounted on the PEN E-PL5. For a cheap lens, it is not bad, and the distortion was corrected so it does not look fisheye at all. Even after correction, the lens is significantly wider than 14mm coverage (referenced in the subsequent image, which was taken at 14mm F2.5 lens). 

This shot taken using Panasonic 14mm F2.5, surely is sharper and better in every way than the previous shot (fisheye body cap lens) but hey, you can easily see how much width I have lost. Again, I am quite pleased with the performance of that Panasonic pancake wide angle lens. It may not be the sharpest or fastest lens out there but it does its job very well. 

For Malaysians, especially those who are in the Peninsular, if you have not visited Sabah and Sarawak, do kindly consider these beautiful places as your next holiday destination. You do not need to travel out of our country to experience beautiful places and diverse culture. This serves as reminder to myself too, as I have yet to explore every part of Malaysia. That means, MORE photography opportunity for me, and I will take it one step at a time. Malaysia is such a beautiful place, and I am proud to be here. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

I was away from the city last weekend to North Borneo, where the beautiful Kota Kinabalu (KK) city was at. This trip was partly conceptualized when I was visiting KK last year, in a conversation with Dr Soon Ruey (an amazing friend and great photographer). Dr Soon volunteered to organize a trip for members (local Olympus user forum in Malaysia), inviting us to go to KK for a weekend of shutter therapy adventures there. 

Kota Kinabalu is such a beautiful place! Mount Kinabalu (opening images here, plenty of them taken at different time of the day) is the peak of South East Asia, used to be the highest mountain of South East Asia but has lost about 6 meters over the years. This was my first time being so close to the mountain and gosh, it was such a majestic sight to behold. The KK city itself is located by the sea, overlooking sunset. There were markets setup along the sea and the place was bustling with activities throughout from afternoon till evening. With whatever little time that we had in KK, we attacked these places and what a wonderful experience it was, shooting in a beautiful city with fellow Olympus users. 

People in KK never failed to amaze me. I usually do not chatter up with strangers that I shoot, but one dude took off his shades, and asked me "what can I do for you, sir?". I was shocked, and was speechless for a few seconds. Then we had quite a bit of chat. Surely this kind of warmth is a rarity in Kuala Lumpur, and I sure wish KK will remain as it is for a long time to come. 

Considering this was a photography-centric trip, I packed in more gear than I usually do. I have with me the OM-D E-M5 and PEN E-PL5, with 9mm F8 fisheye body cap lens, 14mm F2.5, 25mm F1.8, 45mm F1.8, and 75-300mm F4.8-6.7

Peak of Mount Kinabalu during sunrise

Monday, July 14, 2014

Panasonic Leica 42.5mm F1.2 Nocticron

Shaun is visiting again, and new, shiny toys be brought for us!

He brought along with him the Panasonic GH-4 and the Leica Nocticron 42,5mm F1.2, the first F1.2 lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. 

Shot at wide open, F1.2

It was a brief encounter, I did not shoot enough to make any meaningful comments. However, I will be seeing Shaun again soon and I will rob the lens off him and shoot for at least a few hours, and you will see a blog entry full of F1.2 photographs soon. I will make sure that happens. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Back to Monotone

It has been a while since I last shot and displayed everything in black and white!

All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M5 or PEN E-PL5 with M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 or Panasonic 14mm F2.5