Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Hajj(2)

More photos from 2006/2007 Hajj

Pilgrims emerging from a tunnel in Mina.

New construction at Jamrah.

Pilgrims in Mecca.

Pilgrims walking back to their tents after throwing at Jamrah.
New construction in Medina. This photo was published in a UK newspaper.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Hajj

At this time, millions of Muslims are in Mecca to perform the Hajj. Here are some photos that I took in 2006/2007. All taken with Canon EOS 350D and 1994 28-200mm Tamron Lens. Even though the lens was already 12 years old at that time, it still performs very well.

Pilgrims gathering in Mina. This photo was recently published in a text book (double page spread).

Pilgrims relaxing in front of Nabawi Mosque in Medina. The photo was published many times in various publications.

 Old buildings being demolished in Mecca.

Pilgrims living in private tents in Mina.

Tents in Mina looking like Darth Vader mask.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New bridge

This is a new curved suspension bridge for pedestrians in Kuala Terengganu. It connects a new man made island named Pulau Warisan ( Heritage Island)  to the mainland.

The bridge connecting Pulau Warisan on the left and the mainland on the right.

Friday, October 1, 2010

World Gamelan Festival 2010 (3)

The Japanese Gamelan team at the festival.

One of the participants at the World Gamelan Festival is the all women team from Japan.

A photographer braving the rain at the show.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Horse drawn public transport

Horse drawn carriage as a public transport still exist in Lembang near Bandung in Indonesia. This is not for tourist. Just like you hop on to a bus in other places, you hop on a horse drawn coach here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Zakat booth

Temporary Zakat booth - 2010, Canon EOS 7D
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia - During the Muslim month of Ramadan, special booths are set up to enable Muslims to pay their alms (Zakat al-Fitrah).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eid 2010

This is our last year's Eid family ...err...gathering. Maybe we should ban hand phone this year!

Eid celebration in Malaysia for the year 2010 was declared to fall on 10th September. Happy Eid celebration to all muslims.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ramadan bazaar

Sunray filtering through Ramadan bazaar in Kuala Terengganu - 2010, Canon 7D 

Every year in Malaysia, during the month of Ramadan, temporary stalls are erected for traders to sell food for breaking fast and cookies for Eid celebration.

Tapai - A traditional food in Malaysia - 2008, Canon 350D

Cookies for Eid celebration - 2008, Canon 350D

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Breaking fast

The bell keeper keeping track of the time to ring the big bell - 1971, Konica C35, Tri-X ASA 400. Developed in Microdol-x

In my hometown, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, during the month of Ramadan, signal for breaking fast used to be by ringing of a big bell and firing of a cannon. The hundred years old tradition of ringing the bell was discontinued in around the year 2000. The firing of the cannon is now replaced by firing of a single firework that gives a loud boom.

The sound of the bell can be heard in a very wide area of the town because it is located on a hill (Puteri Hill). It is the sound everyboby will be very keen to hear at sunset because they can break their fast. The bell will thereafter be struck on every hour until midnight.  At midnight, ringing of the bell is long. It begin slowly, then it gets faster in rapid succession, a pause, ending with a single ring. It is called Goncang.

The person responsible to ring the bell is said to be from one family. It is passed from one generation to another.

The bell house at Puteri Hill - 1971, Konica C35, Tri-X ASA 400. Developed in Microdol

Friday, August 27, 2010

Malaysian commandos

Malaysian commandos, looking like Ninja Turtle demonstrating hand to hand combat on the beach.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Solution for diarrhoea

If you are suffering from diarrhoea and public toilet is hard to find, see below for solution!

Friday, August 13, 2010

World Gamelan Festival (2)

Sarawak's energetic and spectacular traditional dance at the World Gamelan Festival 2010 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. It was perfomed by dancers from Peninsula Malaysia.

This show is a camera's metering nighmare. The lighting changes all the time. Both intensity and colour. There are very dark areas and very bright spotlight. It makes your meter goes wacky. The dancers move all the time - which is a challenge for focussing. I use manual exposure for all the photos. Camera is set at ISO 1600, f/5.6. To adjust shutter speed, I wait for a bright scene then take a reading off a light coloured dancer skin using spot meter and add one and a third stop. That turns out to be 1/100 sec. That's it. When the lighting is right, shoot. Sometime the light intensity change and you made some adjustment. This is the opposite of what I normally do - which is to meter according to a scene. This time I set an exposure and shoot when the scene lighting changes to your exposure setting!

The Canon 7D and 17-40mm f/4L lens focus very well in this condition. I use single point focus with expansion. Focussing method varies between "One shot" and "AI servo". Sometime I do pre focussing. There is some noise reduction applied for all photos. There is one with a little tweak on colour balance. Other than that, all are straight from camera JPEGs.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tangkuban Perahu

One of the main attractions in Bandung is the volcanic craters at Tangkuban Perahu. There are many small shops selling souvenirs near the main crater which is known as Kawah Ratu (Ratu Crater). A trail along the rim leads you to the other side of the crater. It is an interesting walk. Don't miss it. A casual walk while taking photos may take about half an hour to reach the other end. Highly recommended for nature lovers.

We arrive early. Most souvenir shops are still closed!

The other side of the crater.

Black tree trunk near the rim.

 Benches are provided for visitors along the trail. Cool surrounding.

Part of the trail around the rim of the crater.

Mosses covered rock along the trail.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bandung, Indonesia

I went to Bandung, Indonesia, after the World Gamelan Festival. It is only 2 hours flight from Kuala Lumpur.

With a population of around 3 million, the city center in Bandung is very crouded. In a traffic jam, even motorcycles cannot move.

Chess is a popular pastime on the sidewalk.

People in Bandung are not camera shy. I took the shot above after this guy made a request.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

World Gamelan Festival 2010

I was at the World Gamelan Festival in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, last night.  Gamelan is a traditonal music and dance in Indonesia and Malaysia. Fabulous performance by groups from Malaysia, Indonesia and even Japan. A very entertaining show.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Praying alone

I was travelling in a bus across the Syrian desert. Miles and miles of dry empty space. Than a lone figure standing motionless caught my attention. I took a few shots as we went past the man. There was only about three seconds time gap from time I spot the man and the bus speeding by. Checking the image later, I realised that the man was praying. In Islam, praying is mandatory five times a day. Somehow looking at this image of a man standing motionless alone in a vast dry desert feel surreal.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rare and exotic fungus

This rare and exotic tropical fungus is commonly called long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn or veiled lady. It is normally found after an ovenight rain. The scientific name is Phallus indusiatus. The photo is currently licensed for an advertisement on TV in Japan.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Alien mothership

Once in a while you may see rare cloud formation when you look up to the sky. Normally it don't last more than 5 minutes. I saw this "alien mothership" cloud in 1999 and was lucky to have my camera ready to record it. That was the last time I saw that type of cloud formation.