The Simple Joys Of Life

The boy may have no game controller nor a tablet screen to tap. His display shows endless rice fields and his controller is a fishing rod. The natural sound effects are from chirping birds and buzzing insects. The country kid is richer with the simple joys of life.

Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f8, 1/400 sec.

Stay in a hotel in Sekinchan and go irrigation canal fishing yourself.

#rural #landscape #nature #documentaryphotography #malaysia #sekinchan


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.

Family Business

At the Slim River market, Sabri the grocery shop owner, is doing his accounts. His daughter Mina, 5, is doing her kindergarten homework alongside him.

I wanted to capture a candid of both concentrating on their respective work but the kid does what she does best upon seeing a camera. Automatically pose without prompt. What a sweet smile.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f8, 1/100 sec.

Anguish Of Attachment

Mummy has more errands to run and the boy is not allowed to follow.

I must commend the mother for not letting the kids run to the shop on their own, even though it is just a short distance. She waited until the busy father came out to get them.

Too many times, we see a driver letting kids wander to the doorsteps on their own because it is near. A curious child can run towards the middle of the busy street instead. Or in this case, run after the bike.

Photography Tip: When composing (or cropping) for a news, documentary or candid type of shot, select the visual elements carefully even when the moment is fleeting. If you can’t think fast, shoot a wider shot and crop later.

Emotional cues can move the viewer on a subconscious level. Firstly, get down and shoot at the child’s eye level.

It is easy to be drawn to the teary face and go for a close-up. I decided to include the face of the sister behind, as she shows empathy.

See how the boy’s hands (as part of body language) are flung out indicating helplessness and resignation?

The father’s hands are both restraining and comforting; conflicting in a way.

Taken as a whole, it is all such elements that make an image more powerful.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/320 sec.

Forgotten History: Battle of Slim River

Continuing my stroll down main street, I met this family on a bike. The mother is dropping the kids in front of P.K.Mohamed Mastan & Sons.

I learned that the Indian-Muslim grocery shop was founded before World War 2. They stressed their grandfather settled here before the Japanese Occupation; perhaps as a reminder of the turbulent history the town went through.

The Battle of Slim River was fought here in 1942. Some 500 soldiers from the British Indian Army lost their lives fighting the invading Japanese Imperial Army. 3,200 men were captured.

The assault force using tanks was commanded by Major Toyosaku Shimada. The British commander was Acting Major-General Archibald Paris.

Indian soldiers were from the Hyderabad, Gurkha and the Punjab Regiment. The experienced Punjabis set fire to a few tanks with molotov cocktails.

Destroyed tanks caused a bumper-to-bumper tank crawl on Federal Route 1. That left the enemy exposed and vulnerable but unfortunately artillery units did not arrive on time.

Staring at the road, I made a silent salute to the brave and unsung men who defended Malaya. Read more on the fierce Battle of Slim River on Wikipedia (

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/250 sec.