Sri Lanka Top of my Wish List

Sri Lanka’s a destination on the top of my wish list, and we traveled to Mirissa Beach in January 2019. 

It’s one of those locales that needs careful planning, and at the time a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia wasn’t available. Flight time to Colombo was approximately three hours, followed up with a three-hour drive to Mirissa. 

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Studio Based Portrait to Street Portrait Photography

From Studio based portrait to street portrait photography. This was a natural progression considering I no longer have a photography studio base to work from.

This is due to leaving my homeland of New Zealand in March 2011 to live in Phuket – Thailand. In 2015 I relocated to Malaysia spending one year exploring Penang, and I’m now a resident of Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur Photographers

Kuala Lumpur has a very active community of enthusiastic street photographers devoted to their craft. They get together for photo walks, organize regular gallery exhibitions, and manage several popular online forums for sharing their photography. Which is ideal for inspiration and is a valuable support structure for the members.

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Street photography in Kuala Lumpur is Hot Work

One of my favourite street photography breakouts from the heat and chaos of Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur is Coffee Amo. The cafe is not on street level (and perhaps a little difficult to find) if you’re not a regular.

It is well signposted once you’ve reached the address. You climb a small flight of dimly lit creaky stairs, the coffee aroma and the fun illustrations greet you at the top of the stairway and entice you to enter the cafe.

Coffee Amo
Coffee Amo signage directing you to a very good coffee 🙂

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Shop Mannequins Photo Series

Shop mannequin size is a hotly debated topic, and most criticised are the fashion store mannequins for being too thin and promoting unrealistic body ideas.

This study examined the size of mannequins used in national fashion retailers on the high streets of two English cities.

Still Life Shop Mannequins

Mannequins are good portrait studies as they don’t move, and are generally  posed under shop lights. Therefore, I consider mannequins to be more still life subjects.

The challenges posed by the shop lighting or lack of lighting is what inspires me most. Reflectivity, and shape also makes for an interesting photograph.

Of late, I’ve also been focused on individual body parts and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the occasional missing digit.

Shop Mannequin Photo Series

This post includes some of my favourite mannequin photos. What’s beautiful about this fascination of mine is that the window displays often change, the clothing, their poses, and the sets.

For more photos of mannequins please visit my photo series gallery.

I try and keep it current, and update it regularly with new images.

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Ipoh a Relaxing Weekend Exploring

Ipoh was on my list of must visits while living in Kuala Lumpur. Ipoh is the capital of Malaysia’s Perak state and travel by electric train from KL Sentral is approximately 90 minutes.

Ideally, we wanted to stay somewhere within walking distance of the Old Town with an agenda to escape the city buzz and relax walking around the Old Town, experience great food, and visit the cave temples.

The boutique hotel Sarang Paloh, only  a short walk of 600 metres from the train station sounded perfect. Sarang Paloh is a heritage stay in the Oversea Building and the Yick Woh building.

The art deco façade is beautifully restored along with the interior which is decorated with antiques and preloved old furniture. The restoration is of a high standard and materials as close to the original have been used. The staff are knowledgeable about Ipoh and very helpful. I loved my stay in at Sarang Paloh.

Sarang Paloh - courtyard
Sarang Paloh heritage hotel in Ipoh – Malaysia

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Portraits taken in Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park

This morning was beautiful, and  I headed out at 8:30 am to the nearby Kuala Lumpur City Park (KLCC), armed with my camera and 85mm lens to take some portraits.

My aim was ten portraits, and to photograph people using natural light only. My desire was to approach strangers and ask for their portrait, and then ask them for a few minutes to ask a couple of questions.

In reality ten portraits was too ambitious. I was at the park for ninety minutes and spent time with people enjoying conversations, listening to their stories and sharing some details from my own story. Having this exchange is far better, and more interesting than speed shooting and collecting random portraits of strangers.

The questions I posed were influenced by a recent ‘Chase Jarvis 30 Days of Genius’ interview I watched with Michael Meade – storyteller and author of The Genius Myth.

QUESTIONS:

What makes you happy?

What is your gift to the world?

Everyone I approached was open to having their portrait taken and answering my questions.

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Graffiti Artist Kenji Chai

On Saturday I visited the White Box gallery in Publika Solaris Dutamas – Kuala Lumpur to view the finalist portraits exhibited by the Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards (KLPA).

KLPA is founded by explorenation.net, and organised by a team of dedicated photographers and project managers, based in the UK and Malaysia.

The Awards are held annually with a theme and open single image categories. Culminating in an exhibition which is well worth a visit if you enjoy portrait photography.

Coffee Date

I was heading toward Fahrenheit 600 for a shot of fine coffee and delicious cake, and was stopped in my tracks.

Final touches on "Escape from the City."
Kenji Chai a.k.a Chaigo – Final touches.

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