Caught In A Spiderweb

Inside the tunnel of an underpass, I decided to have some fun with the camera. For safety reasons, try this only when you are a passenger.

Set the camera’s shutter speed to between 1 and 2 seconds. Click and rotate your camera during the length of the exposure. The rotation need not be a full or perfect circle. Your mileage may vary.

To make the light bluish at the end of the tunnel, change the white balance to one of the presets by pre-viewing to see which works best.

This may be one of the last of such colour combos as the city’s street and infra lighting are gradually converted to daylight-coloured LEDs. The spider web patterns here are the result of warmer and older sodium lights.

I wish there are more taillight reds but many local motorists fail to see the need to turn on the lights when entering a tunnel. The red streaks are cars braking into a traffic jam at the end of the underpass.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 50, f22, 1.6 sec.

Tiny Chewbacca Flowers

Trampled by humans and decimated by grass cutters, the plants survive somehow.

Each pod is smaller than a finger nail and a closer look reveals its understated and strange beauty.

Macro photography with the Sony FE 55mm prime and Raynox DCR-250.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1600, f4, 1/1250 sec.

Macro At The Night Market – Putu Mayam

Outdoor macro is hard enough in the daytime with a close-up lens’ extreme shallow depth-of-field. It requires very precise focus. At night, at the pasar malam, it can be a nightmare.

I not only need to light the subject but also to handle the side effect of a curious crowd attracted to the lights like moths to a flame.

Is a challenge but doable if you can find a stall with tables. The ‘assam laksa’ stall usually has some tables and chairs to dine in. They won’t mind you shooting other food there provided you order from them, and explain what you are going to do.

Putu Mayam is the popular Indian vermicelli dessert made from rice flour, steamed with coconut milk and fragrant pandan (screwpine) flavoring. The string hoppers are eaten with grated coconut and golden (gula melaka) coconut palm sugar.

Because the ingredients are nicely textured, the aim was to light it in such a way to create dimension while highlighting the textures of the coconut shavings and golden sugar crystals.

Two Litepanels units were deployed.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f9, 1/60 sec.

Punk Rave

At the raffia string barrier to the rave party, one guy asked what ‘house music’ do I like. A question that was to serve as a secret handshake for admission. I told him the DJ is playing techno, not house. (I like techno too, though).

Reminiscing a bit: I spent a year, almost every night, at the decadent and legendary Backroom KL , the clubbing venue that was famous globally, in its relatively short lifetime.

It was finally busted for opening past 9 am daily and for clubbers possessing every known designer and recreational stimulant.

The dance floor was divided into straight and gay people on each side. On the center, dancing on top of a podium, was a shirtless local celebrity chef who is now a grandpa. Haha.

What memories. It was there that local club music transitioned from techno to house and its many sub-genres and beats.

Back to present. That kind of street cred is of little value here with the Burmese youths.

Bouncer: Quick, what kind of house?

Me: Percussion Tech House? (To sample, google/youtube: ‘Percussion Tech House DJ Mix by Dani Tejedor’)

Bouncer: Huh? Never mind, go in.

I like this unique youth subculture with members proclaiming to be punks and gothic rockers (cybergoths actually) and a liking for techno music.

These youths, like many here, have little access to formal education or a chance to break out of a vicious cycle.

Many were born here, grew up in the ghetto and got sucked into poverty, as their parents before them because of their unofficial and semi-official migrant status.

Call it youthful rebellion against the longhi sarongs their parents wear or the betelnut the older folk still chew. The teens are, at heart, polite gangs with tattooed scalp and dyed spiky hair. They are surprisingly tolerant and respectful of my presence as the only outsider here.

I met many punk gangs while in England and Europe during the 90s. The encounters weren’t always as peaceful.

Picture processed with grunge filter.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/60 sec.