Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Even before I ventured into the world of photography - a rather short journey thus far, this date - I've always been fascinated by the pictures of human portraits, especially the candid shots of elderly people and displayed in black and white. Can't explain it, but I've always find those shots rather...mystifying, shall we say?

Since I'm still rather new, I found it quite awkward to take pictures of people, and have this fear that they might just balk on me were I to do so. However, I manage to brave myself and found that I do very much enjoy having a fellow human as my subject in photography. And the best I have come to experience, are those tender moment shots especially involving the affection of a parent towards the children. However, in this entry at Painting Pictures here, I am only uploading the pictures of children without parents. And 4 of those shots, were taken with an Olympus compact as then, I have yet to have this Canon.

As with the distortion of colours, with human subjects, some of the shots look much better either in Black and White, or Sephia, with warmify added in. Not very original, I admit, but I am still in the experimental stage.

InsyAllah, when I have enough collection, I will later upload pictures of adults and especially, the elderly.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Landmark

This entry is linked to the pictures here.

Nothing much to write about this episode, except for my frustration and anger at the security personnel stationed at the college, and the private school there.

I was walking around the private school, looking for shots to build up my portfolio. When I started clicking away, a man dressed in plain clothes approached and told me that I am not allowed to take any pictures. When I replied that I am on public ground - outside the perimeters of the school - the guy still insisted that I need permission from the school's principal to do so. I nearly blew my top as I was never trespassing nor had any intention to invade the privacy. So, I told the guy off and walked away. Off course, by then I already had taken several shots.

Then, at the college, which is the new landmark here in Kota Damansara, I really had the intention to take pictures from inside the grounds and politely asked permission. The first two security personnel said it was OK and I walked back to my car hoping to park inside. But as I reached the entrance gate, another security personnel stopped me and - he was polite and apologetic about it, saying his colleagues were mistaken - well, I had to make a U-turn. But he did said that it was OK for me to shoot from outside, which I did.

Watching the pictures of the college, I would have love to get nearer and shoot some angles which just could not be done from afar. But sigh...never mind, there's always other buildings and sceneries to be found elsewhere. However, when you think about it, why then would this people construct nice structures but would not allow the public to take pictures of them? Speaking of which...

I have come to notice that with each new building or residential area, Malaysia is slowly losing her identity. Take the college in Painting Pictures for example: Not only are the architecture non-Malaysia or even Asia in design (which is arguable to architects, I suppose), but they even had figurines of lions, which is an animal not endemic to Malaysia, or even South East Asia! This, again, maybe arguable to the owners as perhaps, their corporate logo might have a picture of a lion. But still, what about the local features then? If we do not take pride in our own design and tradition, who will? Sadly, many foreigners do.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Change of Format

For the past 3 months or so - in fact, soon after returning from the Desaru trip - I have been nursing a bad shoulder and upper arm. It is quite like a stiff neck, except that there is constant pain in one form or another. Having experienced it twice before, I thought a simple visit to the clinic would help me get over it. But that was not the case this time. The pain, lingers on longer than I had thought it would.

The pains I have been suffering are constant throbbing felt on the bone of the upper arm; sharp searing pain on the top of the shoulder joint; burning sensation on the muscles of the upper arm; lingering tiredness on the elbow; and unexplainable uncomfortable feeling at the shoulder blades. Any sudden movement of the arm would cause any of the above, or a combination of 2, to reach excruciating level, and finding myself writhing in pain and screaming with a voice that is inaudible.

About 2 weeks ago while at a hypermarket, I involuntarily raised my left arm trying to catch Emak's attention. The sudden movement caused a sharp pain rushing to my brain. In reaction to it, I raised the arm further up only to hit the bar of the trolley I was pushing. Double whammy! And I found myself on my knees screaming the pain out with a voice that just would not come out.

It is not that I have not been trying to remedy my mysterious ailment, I have. But it irritates me that whenever I speak of it to someone, they would relate it to coronary. It is not! Otherwise, the doctor at the clinic would have been the first to say so. Further, as I mentioned above, this is the 3rd occurrence. And I have been searching someone trustworthy in the art of massage, fearing a half-baked masseur would only aggravate matter. Alhamdulillah, I found one.

Haji Reduan is an Indian Muslim running his own business of car workshop in Padang Jawa. However, he and is wife seem to be gifted with the healing touch. When seeked by a person in need - normally recommended by those who know Hj Reduan or his wife - they would tend to the patient but only after Isyak prayers, in their house in Kelang. Having been informed of him by an acquaintance, I found myself at his place last Monday night.

Hj Reduan's treatment is simple, but not necessarily painless. Apart from massaging the affected area, he also uses heat treatment in the form of 'tuku', using a heated riverstone. This is a timeless form of treatment and is widely practiced throughout the world. Heat treatment, that is. What is used though, can vary from one place to another. Anyway, alhamdulillah, after the first sesssion, the pain has subsided considerably. Unfortunately though, the 2nd and 3rd session will have to wait till Hj Reduan recovers from a sudden bout of fever. Oh dear! I sincerely hope it was not due to me as my pain, his wife said, is merely flatulence, or 'angin' as we Malays say it.

By now, a mind might begin to wonder why I'm blogging about my pain here instead of My Neverland. Well, it is related in at least one way. Another is that I do not mean to, nor be seen as wearing my heart on my sleeve. Seeking sympathy from friends, is not my intention.

While shooting a new landmark in Kota Damansara last Sunday, I stumbled upon a sight I was searching for, not knowing it lies less than 2km from my house. Within the banks of what was once a stream, and now a monsoon drain - Sungai Damansara - I found the flock of egrets I once shot and uploaded at My Neverland. But I also found out another thing: that my left arm quivers quite a bit leading to shaky handling of the camera, and leading to blurry pictures such as the one below.

Yes, the pain in my left arm is always there. But to let it rule over me would make me a defeatist. Stumped and stymied I may have found myself in the past, but a defeatist? Never. InsyAllah. Anyway, the pain is only at its worst when I find my arm locked in a position for a long duration. Which is why, I seldom make an entry of late at any of my blogs. And which is why I'm taking my time making this.

Back to Hj Reduan, before going to his house, I found myself driving down to Banting and...I wouldn't believe it had I not been me, but I drove straight down to Tanjung Sepat! Well, OK, its only about an hour or so from my place. And though I did have the malicious intent to do so, I had quite forgotten the distance (not to mention the petrol!).

Dissapointed that the so called Birdwatchers paradise could not be found, I wound myself to Morib Beach for some sunset pics. Sadly, the sunset was not at its best that day, as can be seen from the first 5 shots. I did take more but while many are not worthy of uploading or repititive, several more are being held for other purposes. Anyway, it got me thinking that it is time for me to change the format of presentation.

With a varied mixture of pictures and no longer merely flowers and insects, I thought I ought to just upload something like 10 to 15 per entry and then at month end, recap all in a slideshow. Apart from headache of naming each entry, it would give me ample time to build up on the stocks. Well, not that I spend a lot of time snapping like a mad fella just out of an asylum, mind you. But yes, I would be able to pace myself especially in view of my still hurting arm. Anyway, 'kemaruk' is just another word for mad or crazy, is it not? (smile)

ps. As in the picture 'Need Better Timing', insyAllah, I will stalk the egret flock for a better shoot. The scene where something like 40 or 50 white birds flying low and heading directly towards you, is an awesome sight to behold. MasyAllah! And I do want to share that experience with my friends.