Around the streets of KL Top

I do enjoy walking around the streets of KL. There is just so much to see and you always encounter at least one unexpected thing throughout your jouneys. During the day you can discover all sorts of interesting things, if you are a little attentive and dare to move away from the main streets a little. Not only do you see childrens playgrounds that seem to have suffered over time and not seen a child in years, you even come across things like incredible art at a sign post.

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Butterfly Park Tour Top

Today was a rather nice Sunday morning and Robin Wong invited me to join him on a tour through the Butterfly Park of Kuala Lumpur.
Unfortunate circumstances made this slightly more difficult (he forgot to message me until last night and I forgot to charge my phone, so I only got the message this morning, haha), but eventually I arrived and joined Robin, Jackie, Carmen and Calvin on their photo tour. However, the target was not, as one might be tempted to conclude, butterflies. Instead the objective was to take macro shots of insects, such as spiders, crickets but also flowers and the occasional butterfly.

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KLCC at night Top

As it had been nearly six years since I last visited the area around KLCC (and back then I had a more then crappy camera and no photo experience whatsoever), it was time for a revisit.

Obviously this had to be at night, since the quality of light is so much more diverse and interesting. And to my amazement, KLCC had installed a water fountain system with LEDs that correspond to the music played, resulting in a number of people just sitting down to enjoy the show. And on top of that, a couple of completely new buildings have come up in the meantime, changing the cityscape (on the outskirts that is even more severe, completely ruining my favorite photo spot. It is now blocked by 2 large apartment buildings – what a let down).

Once again my Olympus setup allowed me to run around without a tripod and without worrying about blurred images (thanks to the fantastic 5 axis image stabilizer, I can almost always get away with an ISO lower than 1600). Whenever I go out at night, I leave my zooms at home and switch to my primes, since they are smaller and let in more light. The M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 is a must and always with me. Additionally I either take the 45mm f1.8 or 75mm f1.8 with me, rarely both. For indoor gatherings where I want close-up shots, I tend to bring the 45mm. If I am walking around outside on the streets, then the 75mm it is (most of the times), since I can more easily take a step back out there (not so much when sitting at a table or being in an enclosed space).

As always, I hope you enjoy the images.

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Contrasts of Chow Kit 1 Top

As some of you already know, I’m currently in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur to be more specific. On top of that I had the opportunity to go for a shutter therapy session with Robin Wong. He led our small group (among them Jackie Loi) to Chow Kit, where we walked through the wet market and a few streets in the area to do some street photography.

It is a rather fascinating place of contrasts, old and new, dark and light but with so many friendly people. Not only can you find the contrasts in the market itself, but also in the way it interacts with its surroundings. For example the opposing conditions of buildings. While you can find buildings in the front which are somewhat rundown and improvised (still retaining a really unique character), you can see new and shiny buildings in the background. You could say it is sort of a motive you find all around KL, but I particularly noticed it around this area, since it is somewhat more condensed.

We were a little late, so the sun was getting quite hot, but that didn’t stop us from taking our time to wander through the depths of the market, which is well worth exploring.
Even if you don’t want to buy anything, you should consider paying a visit. And if you are a photographer too, you will most certainly enjoy this market even more for it’s manifold subjects and possibilities.

And last but not least, before the pictures begin, I want to thank Robin Wong for letting me borrow the fantastic Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 Pro lens for the day. It is definitely going to be my next lens!

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Mac Pro travel bag that doesn’t cost a fortune Top

As of recently I am the owner of a 2013 Mac Pro.
I’m not exactly rich but needed a rather powerful workhorse to do the job, so that was quite a hefty investment. Unfortunately it seems that third party manufacturers of Mac specific accessories automatically assume that you won the lottery or have been born loaded.

Of course there are still (for Apple standards) somewhat moderately priced options, like The Flight Company’s Mac Pro Carry Bag or the Waterfield Mac Pro Go Case. Each of those are already around 100 Euros however. And if you have the need for heavy duty protection, there is the Case Cruzer Mac Pro Carrying Case, which would protect your Mac even if you accidently drop it from a flying helicopter. Roughly triple the price of the previous cases and it is yours – not the most portable but certainly the safest choice.

However, those weren’t really for me. I’m not constantly bringing my Mac along, it is not replacing my MacBook and I don’t want to bring it with me wherever I go. It is far too expensive and I don’t want to risk having anything happen to the machine that my daily work depends on. But of course occasionally I do need to transport it and I don’t really wish to use the original packaging for it all the time. The bag needed to be small enough and preferably not too obvious. So I was looking for a well padded inexpensive alternative, which proved to be more difficult than I anticipated.

Since I’m somewhat of a drummer, I figured that there might be cases for Toms that are rather long and may fit the size of the Mac Pro just perfectly. To no avail, unfortunately. While the Mac Pro does remotely resemble a drum, there doesn’t seem to be anything in that size out there – and even less a nicely padded case for it.

Not being ready to give up, I came up with another idea: since I do photography quite a fair bit and camera bags are always well padded, if I could just find something about the size of the Mac Pro for a reasonable price, that would just do the trick.
Initially I looked on eBay, but they were either too large or too small. After spending some time on Amazon however, I managed to find one that was long enough and barely too narrow for the Mac. However, most of these bags are a little stretchable, so I figured it might be a tight fit, bet on that and just ordered it. And I can say, despite it really is a tight fit (a little fiddly to get inside), it’s a perfect match.

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So now I have a Mac Pro travel bag for 26 € that doubles as a camera bag. And it can fit a Buffalo LinkStation Pro Quad as well (not at the same time though). Quite a reasonable choice.

May I present the winner of the day: Amazon Basics DSLR Bag Large

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Gear Upgrade: Tripod Top

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I realize there hasn’t been much activity on my blog during the past couple of months, but I assure you that it isn’t dead yet and I still keep on doing Photography.

You can find my recent pictures both on flickr as well as 500px. I will also start utilizing the blog a little more in these upcoming weeks, since I plan to do more long exposure shots and (subtle) HDR shots again.  For that very reason I just purchased a new tripod and a fitting ballhead, both from Benro. After some research I decided to go for the Benro B-3 head on a A3580T tripod.

The Benro head arrived already and I’m eagerly waiting for the tripod now, since I can’t wait to try them out on the first shootings. Stay tuned, more details and pictures are on the way…

RC car shooting Top

RC Car

A friend of mine, Ansgar, brought along his RC car. He had wanted some pictures of it for quite a while, so I took my camera along and did some shooting. It proved to be more difficult than I had expected, because the sky was overcast, the car (despite it’s 1:8 scale) still somewhat small and with 70km/h extremely fast.
I had to shoot with f2.8 at ISO 1000-4000 to get a sufficiently fast ISO, but f2.8 at 200mm resulted in a seriously small depth of field.

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New camera, starting fresh Top

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I jumped the gun and finally made the switch to a full frame DSLR, namely the Canon 5D Mark III. I currently use 3 lenses on it, the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS, Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM, Canon 50mm f1.4 USM.

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