Friday, January 18, 2008

Place: Penang


f/8, 1/100s, D80

New and Old ?

f/8, 1/60s, D80


f/8, 1/500s, D80

Lorong Madras

f/8, 1/80s, D80

Pay up !

f/8, 1/80s, D80

Thinking inside the box

f/8, 1/30s, D80

One of my favorite places in Malaysia is Penang. The historic Georgetown, with buildings in various stages on neglect and disrepair on one hand, and on the other, beautifully restored, and sometime garishly colored, is one of those places where time has stood still in some corner and got turbo-charged in some others.

I recently had the good fortune to visit Penang, and I set out to capture some of Georgetown in photos. As I always do, I had an objective for my little walkabout / photoshoot. I wanted to capture bits and pieces of the feeling of being in Georgetown.

I am not a street photography kind of person, and I'm not very keen on capturing people, so I knew I wanted to capture objects - street signs, buildings, and other things that embody Georgetown in my mind.

Photoshoots in urban settings means a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes and clothes are the first order of the day. Also, you may want to choose a time when the weather is more favorable, perhaps avoiding the hot afternoon sun, both because it'll be really hot, and also because the light is too harsh.

And of course, a telephoto lens with good wide angle and decent zoom is important. The 18-200 VR from Nikon is perfect for this. I'm still saving up for that, so I used the 18-135 kit lens instead. The lens gives me the ability to take good landscape or panorama photos when required, and the zoom allows me to pick up subjects from afar, without being too 'in-your-face'.

'Rainbow' is a favorite, although the photo itself is nothing to shout about. The horizon isn't even straight ! I like it because I don't see rainbows that often !

'New and Old ?' reflects Penang the way I see it - old temples, mosques and churches set in an urban environment with apartments and condos.

'Facade' captures the quintessential Penang imagery - that of old shop houses. Some of you might be asking about the deep blue sky. I didn't use a CPL filter to get that. I realised that if I use a slow shutter speed against a clear blue sky, the blue turns out in a very dark shade. To make this work for this photo, I had to find a facade facing the sunlight, else I would underexpose the facade since the shutter speed was set to 1/500s.

'Lorong Madras' was begging to be photographed. It stood out instantly when I saw it - a green sign against a bright red background.

'Pay Up !' sets two parking meters against a crumbling wall in the background. I really like the fact that I managed to capture the texture of the wall in the background.

'Thinking inside the box' is a scene I caught at the New World Park food court. While having lunch, I noticed this young girl being placed in a box while her mum busies herself preparing food. She was awfully adorable, and was the center of attention of a number of people around her.


pelf said...

I miss those simple parking meters. We now have more sophisticated (and digital too) machines that sometimes don't work, and coupon books that are made from numerous trees that are unnecessarily cut.

What's wrong with just inserting the coins into those machines?! *sigh*

Chev said...

Nice shots :)

Yeah, i told u i hardly take any picture of Sarikei earlier on, and come to think of it.. i seldom take picture in Georgetown too. Most of the time i only take picture of sceneries in Penang. One of these days i shall bring my camera out ;)

Applegal said...

I love Facade :) The blue skies and the colourful buildings really appeal to me!

moz monster said...

pelf: I miss the old time machines as well, but they really fail more often that you think ... and they get stuck very often too. I think replacing them with digital meters is perceived as progress by the authorities.

chev: You're living in Penang, so it makes sense you don't take any photos of Georgetown - it is always the places we're unfamiliar and fascinated with that end up with the most photographs taken of !

applegal: Thanks ! :). I just shared how I can produce the dark blue skies over and over using the Nikons, maybe you'd like to try it out.

Che-Cheh said...

That rainbow photo is stunning. Period. :)

moz monster said...

che-cheh: Thanks ! I didn't think the photo was any good, if you look carefully, the horizon isn't even straight ! But thanks anyway !