Getting A Smile From The Stoic Baker.
The proprietor and original baker of the 70-year-old and famous Salahuddin Baker in JB is a pious and stern looking man who sat behind rows of fresh curry puffs, and with the sublime light from outside illuminating him. I asked him if I can do an environmental portrait since the scene had so much character.
I presented the portrait to him on a later trip and he cracked a very rare smile. Sharon helped me print and frame the picture in advance. Earlier, we presented a framed print to an Indian lady tailor who inspired the idea.
When I asked for permission to photograph her in her shop without walls and doors, she complained: ‘Every time a stranger photographed me, I never get to see any of the pictures”. Awww.
She, just like the baker, were surprised and happy. That made me happy too.
#jb #city #baker #salahuddin #portrait #documentaryphotography
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
I don’t know who this man is but he seemed to be the chief among the mediums at the Jinjang Temple. He can speak Thai and Hokkien. He reminded the RELA and temple security personnel that photographers must be given close access.
For that, I reward him with an intimate portrait which I hope to present him later as a print. He is probably a former ‘taikor’ (chieftain of the gangs).
I know some of you feel squeamish about the violent but voluntary rituals. Conversion to black and white hides the blood.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 2500, f4, 1/80 sec.
Putrajaya’s Ramadan Bazaar is refreshingly different and somewhat bizarre. It is more a showcase of clever marketing tactics, than of food.
Many of the stalls have banners with hipster catchphrases such as ‘the real original’, ‘no additives’, ‘infused’ and ‘yogurt-fied’, for example.
Quite a few proclaim a small town’s name where the dish and seller supposedly originate; leaving you wondering why they are not selling in their home towns.
If in doubt, one can always ask via their Facebook (and ‘like’ symbol) displayed on the stall.
Maybe I found all the hipster mantra odd because I spent the last two weeks at rural Ramadan bazaars where traditional food and a smile was the appeal.
Here’s sweet and sulky Aini selling red velvet cakes. I don’t like velvet cakes so I bought some layered blueberry and tiramisu cheese cakes from her.
How can I not? She baked all the cakes herself, all night, while listening to indie music.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f6.3, 1/80 sec.
Two cute siblings whose parents are traders at a Ramadan bazaar in Slim River. When they saw my camera, they happily flashed the V-sign, inviting me to take a snap. How can I say no? Haha.
Cute as it is, few kids know or care about the origin of the peace or victory (V) sign, its original meaning and colourful history.
For Asian kids, this hand gesture became an automatic and spontaneous reaction to a camera.
Its unexpected revival as part of modern-day Asian pop culture is attributed to the Japanese Cuteness Culture known as kawaii.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f2, 1/400 sec.