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.
Chinese folks from elsewhere go to the Ulu Yam area for one main reason. To try the famous Hokkien ‘lor mee’ there. It is a dish of yellow noodles cooked in a sourish vinegar broth. Although the dish originated in Ulu Yam Lama, several other restaurants at Ulu Yam Bharu serve it.
Apart from the now third-generation original shop in Ulu Yam Lama, the other popular ones are Aik Koon and Hock Lay in Ulu Yam Bharu. The former was closed when I was in town looking for food, so I settled for the latter. Fermented acetic acid isn’t exactly my cup of tea; so I asked for another recommendation besides lor mee. The head waitress suggested their signature dish of Shrimps In A Coconut, which she claimed is their creation.
The prawns are cooked in coconut juice (coconut water) and not santan (coconut milk). As a result, the mild curry prawns have a very distinctive fragrance and unique sweet taste. It comes with a tom yum-like dip that is spicy and sour. Excellent fare and reasonable pricing from Hock Lay Restaurant.
Waitress is also talkative, informative and cooperative. She helped me move my food and gear to a darker and cooler corner after I finished photography at a brighter side. Although this dish has no pork in it, the restaurant is not halal. Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/250 sec. The nearest decent hotel is The Leverage Business Hotel in Rawang. Available from MyCen Hotels at http://www.mycen.my/