An Eulogy

It used to be a empty space or open air car park rented out for promotional activities during the F1 season. A distracting white tent would rise from the spot.

I was worried when I saw some construction taking place. After all, the strategic traffic light junction was the last unfettered view of KL’s most iconic landmark. A multi storey car park rose from the spot. It was short-lived as a guard told me recently that the covered car park was going to be demolished to make way for an MRT station. It is now closed.

The rooftop on the fifth floor was perfect as one can get a nice panoramic view of the skyline that included the KL Tower. Only problem with an isolated place in Malaysia was that it attracted many horny couples who came to park and make out in cars. That made the guards nervous and they would close off the floor to subjugate any acts of immorality.

Photographers can still get up by walking the staircase. I went on a lonely, rainy evening by intent. Reflective wet floors were perfect. It was lonely, unnerving and was easy to forget how a silent drizzle can become heavy. Me and camera were soon totally drenched.

On fireworks nights such as NVE or Merdeka, one can almost not find a spot to park the tripod. Every inch on the edge, on every floor, was taken up by one of thousands of photography enthusiasts congregating there. It was madness as it was an ideal location as it was elevated, there was shelter should it rain and the car can be safely parked nearby.

This picture serves an ode to a valued and unheralded vantage point. The venue faced another Malaysian problem while it lasted. Many photographers were selfish, protective or secretive and they hid the location from others.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f5.6, 2 sec.

‪#skyline #‎landscape #cityscape #nightscape #skycrapers #klcc #petronastwintowers #kualalumpur #landmark ‪#rain #‎sonyalpha‬ ‪#‎a7r‬ #zeiss‬ #tbt

Buka Puasa At KLCC Park

Since I was at the Petronas Twin Towers, I went for a walk at KLCC park after I finished my business. Wonderful to be able to enjoy the sunset and changing hues of the sky.

On the way back, I stumbled upon a Malay family breaking fast at one corner of the park.

Naturally, I asked permission to photograph them. I explained that it is a rare and blessed moment to have culture, architecture and a dusk sky so beautifully juxtaposed. The Azri Family graciously agreed.

Not only that, they kept insisting I join them by offering me whatever food they brought along. I am truly touched by their generosity, hospitality and friendship towards a stranger (and fellow Malaysian).

Am also glad I was successful in capturing them as they really were: humble, jovial and very warm people.

We chatted and Mrs Azri said they are looking forward to go back to their kampung in Rembau for the holiday. There’ll be prayers in the morning followed by a big feast on the first day of Raya.

Here’s wishing the Azri family and everyone a safe drive home and Selamat Hari Raya.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1600, f5.6, 1/60 sec with Sony HVL-F60M fill flash.

Conjunction of Jupiter And Venus – Part 3

If you were looking out for the conjunction tonight, you may have thought the two planets moved so close together that they merged into a single object. It didn’t happen here, as viewed from very near the equator. Maybe higher in the northern hemisphere or elsewhere they appeared closer.

Due to the haze in the Klang Valley today, it was hard to see both as clearly as last night. I can still see Venus shining bright though. Jupiter is the higher of the two and more faint. The separation is distinct and both were visible for a brief period.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 3200, f3.5, 1/40 sec.

Conjunction of Venus And Jupiter – Part 2

The weather forecast for Kuala Lumpur tomorrow night, when the planets are supposed to be closest, don’t look too good. Plus, I wanted a picture when the planets are not merging or merged into a single blob as some predicted, so I shot some tonight just in case.

This is my first time looking and photographing a conjunction of planets, so I really don’t know. Tomorrow could be even better, weather permitting.

There is no need to try to get very close with a very long lens. Although bright, the planets are still small and far, even when using long tele lenses. You will need a telescope with tracking mount to get really close.

You don’t want a a picture of the pair by themselves, anyway. Find a local landmark to juxtapose, if you can. This gives the picture a geographical perspective or identity.

City skyscrapers are good but tricky as the surrounding roads are usually polluted with light from street lights. This can cause flaring and other unwanted effects.

To expose correctly for lighted buildings, you may end up underexposing the relatively less bright planetary bodies.

Finally, you don’t have to photograph the celestial event at all. Watch it live with your naked eyes, take in its beauty and store it to to your memory.

This was photographed with the Sony FE 70-200mm G OSS Lens in 2X CIZ mode.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f14, 4 sec.