I call him Chief. His official title is quite a mouthful: The Most Venerable Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana, Chief High Priest of Malaysia.
Always feel happy to see the man, albeit only once a year now. Before his ordination to highest office, I used to follow him on his many charity missions.
He is also the founder and driver of the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society that operates homes for children (orphanages), the elderly, the infirmed and also halfway houses for abused women.
Outside the community centres, the society provides Mobile Medical Clinics and Meals-On-Wheels for the underprivileged.
Incredibly, in spite his busy schedule and solemness required in official duties, he still retains his zany sense of humour and power of recalling little details.
Whenever he sees me, he’ll bring up a funny, forgotten, random episode from the past for us to reminisce about. We’ll both end up giggling or laughing to the bemusement and puzzlement of the people kneeling in line to get his blessings.
In the brief chat yesterday, we spoke about the time we were at a multi-faith prayer session for Dr M’s second heart operation. Then we ended up talking about his surprise visit to a Orang Asli home in the middle of a jungle.
The cramped office space at the Buddhist Maha Vihara temple required the use of the Samyang 14 mm FE ultrawide angle lens. Samyang just launched their Instagram at @samyanglensglobal. One of my previous pics is featured in their showcase there.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 2500, T4, 1/160 sec.
At the Buddhist Maha Vihara Termple in Brickfields is a tent where hundreds of oil lamps are kept lit. It is a photographer’s paradise.
Some newbie photographers think ‘bokeh’ is as simple as an out-of-focus background. It is more than that. It is how the lens render the out-of-focus point(s) of light in relation to the part that is in focus. There is an aesthetic and subjective quality that depend on the lens, aperture and distance.
Here, I manually set the focus of the Sony FE 70-200mm G OSS lens onto the middle row of glass lamps. The blue blobs are daylight from outside and the orange is a monk in saffron robe.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 160, f4, 1/250 sec.
Silhouette of a volunteer topping up the oil lamps. Love how the camera handled the colour balance of warm colors from the flames and cooler bluish daylight seeping through.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/125 sec.
Vesak or Wesak Day is celebrated today (3rd May) here in Malaysia and also in Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia and a few other countries.
Other Asian countries such as Thailand and Singapore celebrate on 1st June 2015. India, Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan and China observe the festival on a different day.
The variation is due to the different lunar, lunisolar and Gregorian calendars used.
Buddha Day, as it is also known, commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.
Golden statues photographed at the Thai Chetawan Temple in Petaling Jaya.
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Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1250, f4, 1/160 sec.