There Is No Smoke Without Fire

This candle stand is the start of the smoke chain in the temple. The devotees light their joss sticks and incense papers here, spreading smoke as they move from the altar to the urn outside.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f2, 1/3200 sec.

#streetphotography #temple #flame #candles #smoke #chinatown #chinesenewyear #cny #sonyalpha #a7r #zeiss

One Moment In Time.

Through the doorway: the skywell, sun rays, smoke, spiral joss sticks and ancient Chinese architecture appear like art. It can happen only in that one moment in time when the light, smoke and objects combined perfectly.

Photography Tip: Use a tele lens not just for reach. Here; I used the compression effect of the Sony FE 70-200mm lens to reduce the perceived distance between objects. I wanted the roof to appear nearer to the spiral coils than it actually was.

Exercise extra care when changing lens in a temple environment. There is a lot of fine ash that can get into the rear element and sensor.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/1000 sec.

#streetphotography #temple #chinesetemple #architecture #smoke #art #josssticks #chinatown #chinesenewyear #cny #sonyalpha #a7r #sonyg

That Soothing Smile

I was sitting on a bench drying my eyes in the smoke-filled temple and breathing fresh air when this cheerful 11-year-old plonked herself next to me. I immediately asked her to move further from me. Hope she wasn’t offended as I knew right away she is very photogenic, even through blurry eyes.

Photography Tip. I asked her to move as I knew she was sitting too close for this particular lens to focus. Know your lens’ minimum focusing distance without even having to look through the viewfinder. This will save you time. Fiddling about is also unfair to an obliging subject, especially when it is a stranger.

I consciously kept her off-center to include the two worshipers in the background. Sometimes, just ask your model what’s going on behind you and she’ll look unsuspectingly over your shoulders. That’s when you click.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f1.8, 1/2500 sec.

#streetphotography #smile #temple #street #portrait #candid #chinesenewyear #cny #sonyalpha #a7r #zeiss

Smoky Inside – The Guandi Temple In KL Chinatown

The Guan Di Temple (关帝庙) in Chinatown KL is a must stop for many Taoist devotees during Chinese New Year. It is also an annual pilgrimage for me as a photographer. It offers many wonderful subjects for the camera. The temple was built in 1888.

My post yesterday entitled “Those Halcyon Days (Blue Skies And Candlelight) was from this temple.

After acquiring so many shots from inside over the years, I decided to try one from outside this morning. Love the blueish, smoky interior chamber as seen through the main doorway. The smoke is from the burning joss sticks, joss papers, candles and incense spirals fired up by worshipers.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f10, 1/200 sec

#chinatown #kualalumpur #chinesenewyear #temple #taoism #kuanti #guandi

Those Halcyon Days

There were (only) Geocities, Blogger and bare knuckle hand coding of html during that era.

Soon content management systems (CMS) entered the market. It required not only frequent and tiresome software updates of the core system but also updates of plug ins.
One of my WordPress blogs had issues that made it inaccessible for a long while. It was resolved only recently. Before that, I already moved to Drupal, another CMS, with its own host of issues.
I will write about how I resolved the WP problem another time.

Anyway, from the revived blog, I found a treasure trove of images. One of them, is this shot of candles and blue sky captured in a Chinatown temple on the first day of Chinese New Year 2014.
This was posted at

Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f11, 1/800 sec.

#cny #temple #flame #fire #candle #sky #tbt #blog