A Bolt Of Lightning

A girl cycling past an old shop wall with a big crack. It looks like wall art featuring a bolt of black lightning. Something else hit the town dwellers.

Tanjung Malim people seem to be unusually curious and conscious about the presence of a stranger with a camera. And I don’t even use a neck strap or a big camera.

A few stopped cycling, walking and even driving just to watch me work. At this spot, several courteous pedestrians and cyclists crossed the street to avoid getting into frame, thinking I wanted to shoot the wall alone.

During my walkabout, some came forward to talk instead of me approaching them. One guy ran after me to tell me there is a interesting building in the opposite direction.

Good people.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f5.6, 1/250 sec.

The Way It Used To Be

Like a fading 3R print, this scene in Hulu Bernam is reminiscent of days gone by. Kampung houses on stilts and children kicking around outside.

While one can still find many such settings in rural areas, this one has an invisible modern element in the air. This village at the border of Perak is billed as a Kampung Tanpa Wayar (Wireless Village).

Photography Notes: Things to do when you are bored in a small town hotel and have a laptop with you. One of the most noticeable self-destructing effect of old colour prints is the magenta shift due to dye aging, light damage and latent chemical reaction.

To achieve the old picture look, I altered the magenta and green balance and added the finger print with Photoshop CC. Scratches, staining and dirt were added via Snapseed Desktop.

A subtle pixel shift in focus was also required as the modern-day a7R is very sharp. Looking at some of the prints from my Canon T90 film camera (dubbed The Tank by Japanese photojournalists), they appeared reasonably sharp too in spite of the subsequent colour fade.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 640, f4, 1/640 sec.

Happy People Of Kampung Bilal

Wawa,11, and her friend Mia, 10, riding alongside my car. Love her very contagious smile. Kampung Bilal is a tiny village off Federal Route 1 in Hulu Bernam.

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

Serendah The Pleasantville

Many refer to Federal Route 1 as the ‘Old Road’. This is the old road of the old road traversing Serendah. On some stretches, original sections of the trunk road were bypassed instead of widening it.

Serendah faded away after the opening of the NSE but slowly bounced back as a pleasant retreat for city people clamouring for nature and greenery.

Narrow as the road was, an invading army marched through it. According to Wikipedia, Federal Route 1 was the main route for the Japanese Imperial Forces moving from Songkhla to Singapore during the Battle of Malaya between 1941 and 1942.

I used hand-colouring with faux Technicolor tones to depict the town’s gradual return to life; from black and white to sepia to full colour. The concept was used in the 1998 film, Pleasantville, starring Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon. More of Serendah coming up.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f6.3, 1/800 sec.