“Missed it all cause they could not have been captured with merely a 70-200 lens”
It was supposed to be a routine day – a couple hours on flight, a couple hours on the road to our destined location and then take in the possibility of endless hours on boats and on foot hiking through a pristine limestone forests deep in Borneo. That was the plan.
Though it was a short two night expedition through the Kinabatangan river, there were more than many unexpected surprises from this somewhat over 500km river. Gleaming with life, this is the most immaculate places (in my books) for wildlife photography. Countless species of aves, mammals, reptiles and amphibians found here almost resemble paradise, an untouched land depicted by ancient travellers, where wildlife thrive without knowing the existence of man. Some of the great wildlife here includes hornbills, various kingfishers, darters, raptors, elephants, proboscis monkeys, orang utans, and saltwater crocks. Truly a wildlife Photographers heaven.
Though it was a shame to have missed out photographing the star subjects – it was a spectacular delight to have witnessed a large crock splash into the river with great might, elephants grazing in the fading light and proboscis monkeys feeding in the canopy – all from the safety of our small boat. Missed it all cause they could not have been captured with merely a 70-200 lens (slap forehead!)
I’m not sure when i will be back there again (hopefully soon) – all in all, it was a great ‘reccee’ trip to immerse & sample the richness of biodiversity in the Malaysian rainforest with wildlife conservationists that truly care for the greater good of our natural heritage.
Sometime back in November 2012, some of my dreams came true – to use a medium format camera, take it outdoors and simply go wild with it! (And return it in one piece)… blown away by its image quality from my 8MP cameras – I set out to gain more from the Phase One 645AF fitted with Schneider 80mm LS f/2.8 & the P30+ digital back
I’ve always had (and still have) a fond admiration with water – its colossal force carves and shapes the earth from the highlands to the sea, and the forest surrounded by freshwater gleams with life. Its majesty in view at lakes and the ocean transcends and soothes the human mind – the endless open space. Water – the lifeblood of our heartland.
This fascinating facet that surrounds us gives not only life and provides us with the essential for everyday use, apart from the adrenalin rush to adventure seekers – as an adventurous photographer myself, it’s the movement, the sense of calmness and intricate details from which surrounded by water, eclipsed in one frame to bring home the emotions of this great force.
We’ve been busy – now that’s a great thing. Taking off could be easy but staying up is quiet a task and that’s exactly what we’ve been ‘up’ to. We’ve been up till 5am last night, had two hours of sleep and back to work once again.
Most of our passions in photography is more than clicking the shutter. And going through wildlife images for a photo competition brings back fond and frustrating memories of which were the best times in my life. Fond for the shots we’ve nailed, frustrating for the shots that got away – but it doesn’t dampen my spirit – I take it as motivation to get better in what I love doing.
Wildlife photography boasts some of the best images worldwide and much appreciated by many. Wildlife photographers such as me spend weeks in the forest seeking the most illusive and sometimes almost impossible shots to execute. This makes the entire experience worth the while.
I see myself as a mercenary for that great shot and after a week in the wild, out of reach to the outside world – I was inflicted with the ‘Doolittle’ syndrome. I have found myself silently talking to wildlife in the forest, in hopes that they would understand me for me to get that shot. ‘Tilt to the light’, ‘turn around’, ‘smile for the camera’ (though it’s impossible for birds to smile – they have beaks)
5am – I was talking to my pictures – and I just told myself to smile.
It’s unlikely to take a camera (which would have cost a lifetime of savings – or at least just mine) which has no weather sealing or any sort of protection whatsoever and furthermore a camera strap to the wild. Slippery by wet rugged terrains, unpredictable weather and every possible danger like twigs, branches and thorny bushes seem like flying daggers out of the forest tempted to make their mark on the camera – in this case, it’s the Phase One 645AF fitted with Schneider 80mm LS f/2.8 & the P30+ digital back.
Honestly, it was my sheer curiosity of how this camera would perform in wild that got me into a weekend spiral of hunting ferocious primates such as the stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides) also known as ‘bear macaque’ and river landscapes.
It is my first time working with a medium format camera, which is usually tucked comfortably in a studio – now in the big ‘wild’ world.
I’ve always been charmed by places of worship. It’s cultural resemblance to the country, the spiritual connection and ancient architectural styles. Furthermore, being Asian, superstition binds society alike regardless of ethnicity.
The temples of the Angkor area number over one thousand, ranging in scale from nondescript piles of brick rubble scattered through rice fields to the magnificent Angkor Wat, said to be the world’s largest single religious monument. Many of the temples at Angkor have been restored.
Angkor had been the largest preindustrial city in the world, with an elaborate system of infrastructure connecting an urban sprawl of at least 1,000 square kilometres (390 sq mi) to the well-known temples at its core.
The Angkor Wat complex was built by a Khmer king around 1,150 AD, required thousands of laborers and hundreds of tons of sandstone to complete over a 40-year period. A symbol of national pride – Angkor Wat, considered the Sixth Wonder of the World.
Today, it contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th centuries. The influence of Khmer art, as developed at Angkor, was a profound one over much of South-East Asia and played a fundamental role in its distinctive evolution.
Its history tells of hard work and perseverance, truly a place for inspiration.
It was approaching the weekend and our fabulous friends from The Expat Group (TEG) buzzed us on the intention of shopping. Not really our daily diet of gears and gizmos for our cameras but more on to photographing the result show of ‘Truly a Shopper’.
The show, being Malaysia’s first reality TV show on shopping, is almost any shopaholics dream come true. All you need to do is shop. The catch is to have its contestants to undergo tasks that challenge their shopping skills, where factors such as budget, strategy, discount, taste and fashion will be put to the test. Twelve contestants battled it out for six weeks (six episodes) until we were there for the grand finale.
Held at Celsius Restaurant + Bar KL, the event was studded with various sponsors, celebrities and cheers from the crowd. (view full sponsors list here… http://www.trulyashopper.com/)
He’s always aspired to be part of the elite. With various media coverage and shoots almost in all parts of Malaysia. He’s constantly on the prowl, and ever constantly wishing he’s out ‘there more’ often, hunting to photograph the best of Malaysian wildlife. Sanjit was hunted down for a special feature in the May issue of Persian Tourist Monthly (touristmy.com).
What happens when your eldest bro, Wheel Love (wl33.com) extraordinaire and a spunky inked artist (tattoomepink.com) gets hitched? You are sure to have lots of smiles and echoing laughter in the registrar department, the best of company and truly the best of times.
Congratulations to the newly weds!… Keats & Lynda.