Friday, December 25, 2009

Aliya Irdina's pet KingKong..... the new place he calls "office".

The deal:
+ No "early morning rush to be in before the stated time line (otherwise you'll get it during the appraisal time!)" required.
+ No "you must wear a neck-tie" required.
+ No "office trousers & long sleeve shirts" required.
+ No "formal & shiny black shoe" required.
+ No "ridiculously expensive parking fee" required.
+ No "wear it all the time staff identity card" required.
+ No "listening to sickening small talks in the lifts to reach the sky-high office space" required.
+ No "smiles, appreciations, greetings and laughing at stupid jokes to make the boss & idiots on the floor feel good" required.
+ No "listening to idiots trying hard converse with some other bastardos on his/her otherwise underutilized Black-fcuking-berry" required (Wei poyo! No signal how can talk to the person on the other end laa? Pandai sangat!!!!
+ No "abide-the-stewpeed-mutha-HRM-policies" required.
+ No "meeting & discussion with no final outcome but just to make some mutha-f-ers look busy & important" required.
+ No "dealing with stewpeed idiots who never actually do real work but know how to make you suffer because he/she has good relationship with the higher position monkeys" required.
+ No "fulfilling the stupid & almost non-business related requests of people who thinks they own the country just because their dog-tag carries the logo of an oil drop design" is required.
+ No "writing the appraisal and dealing it with the boss & the higher position monkeys and beyond just to end up getting the fatal drop-kick in the final rating" required.
+ No "corridor conversation on what the number of months of the fcuking bonus are we getting for the kinda shit we have to deal with this year" required.
+ No "ear-aching conversation on how-am-I-going-to-spend-my-fcuking-money by those who are gonna get a big fat fcuking bonus & merits for caressing the bosses balls, asking stupid but oh-this-will-make-me-look-so-involved-and-oh-so-important questions during meetings when higher position monkeys are around, busy directing others during an event especially when higher position monkeys are walking by & gossiping on the phone all year long..while face-fcuking-booking & Yahoo!-fcuking-messaging on the otherwise underutilized Black-fcuking-berry" required.

.....oh I can do this all day long man.....but...the best deal is:

+ No "back-stabbing-low-life-cowardly-animals who knows how to fondle well the balls & butts of the higher position monkeys, parading around and claiming glory built by the sweat & commitment of other person who used to be called a friend, who in the end gets the fatal drop-kick passing through the rugby post @ PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS (and some moolahs just enough to survive a year without having to starve)"....all are forgiven, but never forgotten.

So what is required to be in this place where Aliya Irdina's pet KingKong calls "office"

Simple....only a big heart filled with fun and dedication, to play and get paid for living a decent & honest life...insyaAllah.

So, WELCOME, to wherever you are.

Woohooo!! I just love being a part of The REpublik Studios @ TRESfoto.

NOTE: The intention is not to make others feel bad but just stating the obvious, definite.
So, if anybody felt bad after reading the words above, too's your bad, not mine!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Taking a Break wonder the image looks kinda weird, apparently the LX3 was on 16:9 Aspect Ratio!!
Lunch break after a hectic morning. (My feet still ache as I wrote this!!!). Great days ever since we started the venture. While busy running around to get the office studio ready, we managed to secure some projects - big fish and small fish - more to come insyaAllah.
TheRepublik should be operational within this week, insyaAllah. Simple set-up, just enough to get moving and bring the moolahs back home for my babies!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Colorful beads

Caught using a Panasonic Lumix Lx3 on full manual mode on Leica DC Vario-Summicron 1:2.0-2.8/ 5.1-12.8 ASPH (35mm equiv.: 24-60mm).
The Lx3 is my recent "walkabout point & shoot camera" which I shall carry everyday & everywhere! ☺
Beedn wanting to have a decent and reliabe P&S camera ever since the P5000 was lost. The choice was tough - G10 (or G11) and Lx3 are top of the the last moment, the options are open. The deciding factor was simply the superbrandnew condition of the Lx3 (just a month old with 3 yrs warranty) and a vision in my dream couple of hours before the deal!

Anyway, it is a photographers camera and very similar to the Leica in the same class as it is. Shutter-lag is almost none, the colors are superb, handling is great, the built is tough. The price is below the market and warranty is more than I could bargain for.
So, am happy with it lah!

Why not a Leica?
That one will come from the business I am doing now, pure photography money.

Sometimes people gets overly tangled up with devices (or gadgets) to do stuff and they forget that what matters most would be the result or the outcome and the purpose of it.
In my case, some people who does not really knows me well tends to label me as a gadget guy - especially related to PDAs or mobile phones. Totally untrue because waaaaaaaaayyy back when PDAs are only in monochrome screens I have been keen to learn about these devices (my first was IBM WorkPad C3) and I spent my money of those devices where majority of other workers around me are still in the mindset of "those are just techy-toys".

I never change what I have just to have the next new available production - I only change when I know the platform has evolved enough so that I can benefit from the change and/ or I just somehow "outgrew" the performance of the equipment in have in my hands.

As a comparison - others may have to (or just simply must!) change their smartphones every year but my last smartphone lasted 6 years....and I don't think I am going to need to change my Nokia E71 in the next couple of years....but just maybe, I might get another E71 for my other business line! ☺

Come to think of it, all of my cars are more than 10 years old!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Horseland revisited

"Ehhh! Horse tu mata juling laa!!" ~ Neena
She still enjoys seeing the horses at the UPM place.
~ on Symbian mobile device

Cowland revisited

Used to bring them for weekend drive to this place in UPM as early as their first year of written in this blog.
Time really fly fast.
~ on Symbian mobile device

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Introduction To Photojournalism: Shamshahrin Shamsudin | CHAPTERSimages

Tea break. Workshop co-sponsored by SHALINI GANENDRA. the same instance, the works of Rahman Roslan, Vignes B., Adli Ghazali and my own (CHAPTERSimages) on homelessness are being exhibited at Annex Central Market.

More good stuff from us and for us in 2010, insyaAllah.....

Nice notepads huh?? Heheheh!-->

~ on Symbian mobile device

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Halfday @ the pool

Neena and her new friend Farra.
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Work and play and having a holiday....

Except for Aliya, the rest of Tok Mak & Tok Abah's cucu are in kampung, apparently wrecking havoc! Ahahaha!! But Tok Mak & Tok Abah are enjoying the time with them. We miss Alisya & Naufal...but hey... that is part of life, they need to be with the rest of the family, not just us all the time.
Tapi memang ada laa orang yg anak dia dijaga oleh orang lain almost all the time, giving the reason of being busy with work etc. etc. to them, I have nothing to say but they just don't know what they are missing in life. Maybe not, cuz they might not even have life after all kut!!!☺
They have been looking forward to balik kampung and the Eidul Adha celebration would have been too quiet without the gathering of the cousins! For the first time the kids had a taste of the cool (cold!) water of Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir). I really enjoyed the moments with Aliya explaining to her about the fish in the stream, the leaves floating etc etc etc....Aliya observes a lot and she would join the crowd if she feels like it, otherwise she'd be sitting near them and do her own stuff or just observe them...and jump in when she sees or hears something interesting.
The kids are just too cute in their baju raya...especially Aliya & alisya when they put on their telekungs for prayers!

Since Alisya & Naufal are back in kampung, Aliya has all the time and access she want to me and wifey. And since I am not in the corporate arena anymore (whoohoo!!!) I can plan my time so that I have all the time I want with my little baby. We'd go swimming in the pool or play at any park we want to after sending Mama to her office, sometimes until almost mid-day. If I have to do my stuff I'd bring her to an indoor park and I can work (read: play) while she makes new friends at the park. We'd grab our lunch and continue until late afternoon.
Really am enjoying the conversations and conversations and conversations with Aliya!

The precious moment that would happen often is when she'd suddenly hugs me and says - Neena sayang Ayah, Ayah sayang Neena tak?

She's growing up well and she's a smart little lady. No, I am not bragging but just stating the obvious. Of course I would never claim my kids are my achievement, they are not objects to claim glory from...but I will always be there for them when they need me as best as I could possibly be...

Today I will spend half of the day in the pool with my baby. As Neena would like it - she'd be The Little Mermaid and I will be King Kong, assisting her in her voyage (in her inflatable boat) to imaginary islands hunting for dinosaurs (with her water gun) in the deep pool.

According to her, dinosaur meat tastes like strawberry.....hahahah!!

So, I understand you have to work, good for you but please excuse me while I enjoy my life.....☼

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Swim swim!

Aliya Irdina having her tuna spread sandwich break after an hour in the deep pool. Gonna do kiddy pool after the break.
~ on Symbian mobile device

Friday, December 04, 2009

Ta-taaa Petronas!!

My baby Aliya Irdina playing at the KLCC Park. Waving goodbye, with the washed-out background of the PTT...intentionally...because my baby is much more better looking than the PTT! ;o)

The past couple of weeks been fun & rewarding. The past couple of days been more rewarding - since we got out first payment for professional service....and more to come insyaAllah.

Laughing and having fun with my babies, and playing with my cameras (and get paid while at it)....and laughing all the way to the bank with my partners, InsyaAllah.

Just 2 entries below, I mentioned about not receiving the salary & package to that date..and now, I can lepak SFCoffee for breakfast everyday if I want to...but no, why should I? :o)
....ALHAMDULILLAH. Murahkanlah & berkatilah rezeki kami semua Ya-Allah!
Doa orang yg teraniaya....

Ta-taaa Petronas!! Good luck ajer lah in the Global Championship (now that I am out here it sounds like some sort of tournament la plak!! Ada mau shooters for that specific "championship" kah? We'll give good rates - at global champion punyer level lah....but our cameras cannot shoot some of your staff cuz they are not worth to be shot except by a glock! Whahahahaha!!!)

MasyaAllah!! I am a happy dude!!!!!!

Recent conversation as we were sending Mama to her office:
Aliya: Mama look, KLCC Mama...
Me: Pandai baby Ayah, tapi Ayah tak jerja KLCC, no more work with Petronas, Ayah kerja apa sekarang?
Aliya: Ayah....Ayah is a photojournalist!
Mama: *chuckles
Me: Apa nama company Ayah?
Aliya:, TresFoto!
Me: Good girl....(*pats her head)
...yeah, for the past couple of weeks since I left the towers, I have trained my kids to tell people that I am a photojournalist and my company is TresFoto.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sky scraper view from a sky bar

For the past couple of weeks, I have been busy adapting to the new life, Alhamdulillah. It is not as easy as it seems but it is something that I have to deal with, and I sincerely would lie to say thank you for the wishes & doa from all. Alhamdulillah.

So, the reality is I can only view the PTT from a distance now. No more access into the building thus no more opportunity to frame interesting views from the towers but very recently I went shooting with my partner to complete his assignment for NY Times and I took the opportunity to frame some views of the PTT from other places.

The first location was the Sky Bar before we proceed to No Black Tie. Nice places but not really my type of lifestyle. Not saying that the places are not cool, they are cool to a certain etxtent but I just cannot fit in. I would not be comfortable to spend many hours there. Simply because I have my priorities set and to be in such places mean I have to use an amount of cash and time, which are very sensitive items for me nowadays. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the shooting, of course.PTT view is really nice from there. I should have brought he super-wide instead ofthe 35mm prime...but it works, can do lah....maybe not too qualified for NY Times, not yet! :)

It was an interesting assignment, such a great privilege to shoot alongside a talented photographer, Rahman Roslan.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Closing deal of the day, the kids had sushi.
Wifey belanja, I don't have gaji this month lah! Use to belanja them sushi at least once a month. Tak apa laa, next month and more months ahead ada laa rezeki insyaAllah... :)
Fancy sushi for breakfast everyday?? Ahahah!!
~ on Symbian mobile device

Sunday, November 22, 2009

....on the other side of the line

The kids are getting better, Alhamdulillah. Mak & Abah called and asked when are they gonna be back in kampung (aheheheh!). The school holiday is in and for the first time I am going to be able to spend it totally with the kids, insyaAllah.
Yeah, Alisya, Naufal & Aliya are my buddies now. Geng borak. Geng makan. Really glad to have them around, Alhamdulillah.
Other than that, bulk of my time is spent on getting the compensation package and making Tresfoto@TheRepublik ready....the latter is much more interesting, of course....when the boredom starts to kick in there're always Facebook, Ym and the groupie mail list to divert the attention....since I have been on the other side of the line, I realized that the closest buddies other than my kids would be my partners of Tresfoto, the photographers community and the CTOsg buddies....others are probably too busy, while some - I have sensed - just prefer not to be associated with me anymore. : )
Hahahah...tak apa, hari ini hari aku. Alhamdulillah.
....time to sleep, tomorrow morning I have to shoot. Playing and get paid while at it...Alhamdulillah.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Little Mermaid.... not feeling very well since this afternoon and has been asking me to carry her all the time - "...cannot walk, kaki Aliya sakit Ayah..."

That's just her, when she's not feeling well she tend to be more manja and talks a lot more...she's already talkative, so just imagine how it is like lah!!

I have been working on my WangsaWalk event shots editing all day and after sending it to WWM office we had some ice-creams and the kids played a while at the playground (tak berapa sihat pun bila nampak playground boleh sihat la sekejap!!) Then we went to pick up Mama at her office, where Aliya was already too tired to talk and wanted to sleep on the co-pilot seat of our Wira berkarat....but when mama came in out of the sudden Aliya woke up and started talking, telling what happened during the day and all...and suddenly told Mama - "Mama, Ayah is a photojournalist, Ayah tak work Petronas dah ok Mama?".

: ) so blessed to have her, Naufal & Alisya. They'll grow up to be better person than me, insyaAllah.

...time for some sleep...looks like I am gonna have to take leave and look after the kids...ehhhh wait se-moment....I AM ON FULL TIME LEAVE ! Ahehehehe!!!

...but I have to play tomorrow and maybe a bit over the work it is ok, that one already history lah...cuz now the deal is - no play no money! : )

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Evolution of Classroom?

For the past 2 days, I have been attending this workshop which was being set & sponsored (wahahahah!) by my previous employer. The participants would be those who are now in the same fiasco I am in. Majority (if not all) of those involved are actually happy to finally be out of the system and though some has already set their next moves, some are still handling the situation and taking it a day at a time.
The workshop went well. There are areas to improve but since it I don't actually work for "the sponsor" anymore I should probably be better off not providing them any input because it may be taken as an intimidation by those who made this arrangement.
To the consultants involved - KUDOS.
To the buddies in the session (CTOsg huh?! Kool! Hantam sajalah!)
Nice to meet you all and welcome the the bigger world and fresher air! :)

Actually, I have lost count of days being unemployed.....hmm lemme see...owh yes, 9 days....
...and I don't feel like something went missing out of the sudden even though every day I drove my wifey to work and get to see the iconic PTT....I just don't have the heart to go there anymore....and I have been spending hours at any stall that I choose, editing my works for submission to clients etc etc....until I have enough to sign the contract for our office/ studio (soon insyaAllah...).
I was made to know that the promised package of cash I am supposed to receive will be delayed and I am not getting any salary in November (was told I should be getting some amount but it was put on hold due to some slack of arrangement by those in-charge, maybe it is their responsibility to treat us like this...anak-anak diorang yg involved managing this matter ni tak makan & minum kut that's why they don't seem to treat this issue seriously enough).
So, I am relying on my business now to keep

Well....this is my day! Maybe gloomy but hey it is still a day being able to breathe & be with the kids & family, so, no big deal!

SMILE ajer laa Torque!! : )

One of the thing that I always remind myself - if the company you are working in does not have the photo of your dead ancestors on the walls or the name does not sound like the name of your father/ ancestors - you better be prepared with "Plan E".
(E is for escape, eject, engkau-punye-sukalah!).
Plan B is ok, most of you may have it...and most of you may not be dead serious in making it work, simply because it is just Plan B like everybody else have in mind anyway....

I bet everybody is working on their Plan B all the time....heheh...

The school break starts tomorrow. I have some plans for the plans while at the same time executing the stuff for me to stay afloat and able to provide enough on the dining table for my family lah.
It is going to be an interesting time this couple of months. Adjusting, adapting, reflecting, more lamenting though Allah ajer yg tahu sakit jerih perit hati ni kena dajal dgn orang2 yg terbabit...but sakit hati tu standard la, dah memag ada Hepatits-B pun so same difference meh! :)

Whatever it is, ada ramai lagi orang yg lebih susah dari kita kat luar ni...not that I have not realized it all these years....but there are many who still think the kueh served for the morning meeting did not meet their requirement, the teh or kopi is too sweet (health freak la katakan, abis office hour bukan nak jumpa anak tapi jumpa gym instructor dulu!!!) is an issue that needs to be addressed by the clerk/ secretary in charge.....heheh...rilex aa bos...kat luar ni orang tidur tepi jalan dpt minum air bersih pun dah bersyukur sgt tau....

The matter of fact is, some people will never learn, because they'll always think they'll get what they want (no matter what they do to get it lah)....being in power and having so many valid reasons they made up to do stuff (like getting rid of orang2 yg mcm aku & kawan yg tersebut di atas tadi) extending their comfort zone, securing the future for the kids & relatives (owhhh this IS happening, definite!) the end, we'll see lah.

Like I said, this is my time (and same goes for the CTOsg buddies mentioned above)....but we are happy to face it with a smile & constantly saying Alhamdulillah...

...dan bukannya susah untuk angkat tangan & berdoa, lebih-lebih lagi bila dah masuk kategori teraniaya...kan?

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The kids got the opportunity to join a coloring competition at Wangsa Walk Mall couple of weeks ago.

It is nice to have them in such events but I always remind them, whatever they do it is not about winning all the time nor showing off to others that you are the winner.

What matters most is the courage to try and along the way, make more friends (for them it will build their characters with more confidence & social interaction insyaAllah) and if they win any prize, it is a bonus, otherwise after such event we'd always celebrate it somewhere anyway (eat at some affordable restaurant for instance).

Some people took competition (or even a simple game perhaps!!) too seriously, thinking that they are walking example of achievers persona 24x7 or they are building their kids to become achievers perhaps...and brags about it in the office (if the kid won anything, otherwise they'd just be hush about the whole event anyway?!)

No, I am not saying what they are doing is really wrong...but it is good to look at things in this simple fact: If there are no losers, there would not be that one single winner... kids got some prizes and they did it all on their own.....what I mean is, some of the parents would go to the extend of telling the kids what color to use, help to sharpen the broken color etc etc....but not me & wifey (and quite many other parents, of course!)

How good (or bad) is that?

...may be it is not just at the younger ages, even at adults still "use" the "help" of their parents to place them high and above others (...well hey! look around in your workplace lah once in a while!) - boy am I glad I am out of the game already!

Think about it....unfair advantages....not abiding the simple rules....just to get that right to be proud (read: BRAG) of what the kids achieved (...not totally on their own!).

To these type of parents - oh well....let them be, as long as we are not going to be anything like them..

...are you the same type of parents/kids? Maybe not...cuz you are my buddies, right? : )

NOTE: No I was not the OP (official photographer) but it just so happened that I had my 35mm with me and nobody was seriously covering the occasion so I took some shots for WWM, got in touch with the personnel in charge and gonna send a CD of shot to them, hoping they'd want to use my team in the future....insyaAllah!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

FW: Kamaiii!!

~ on Symbian mobile device

-original message-
Subject: Kamaiii!!
From: "Khairil Faizi Jamian
@ torque" <>
Date: 2009/11/05 09:10

Such fun to work with kids no matter what arena....this Aikido class is at Little Tots, one of my client.
...used to train kids for Taekwon-do, when I was much younger & fitter lah! : )
~ on Symbian mobile device

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Flash of life

*Aliya running across the living room in the morning as the family prepares for office & school.

A recent conversation with my babies:

+Me: Listen here, Alisya, Naufal, Neena, Ayah nak cakap. Nanti tak lama lagi Ayah dah tak kerja kat KLCC ok? Boleh tak?
+Alisya: Kenapa Ayah tak kerja kat KLCC lagi?
+ Me: Sebab orang kata Ayah dah tak pandai lagi, kalau tak pandai tak boleh kerja kat KLCC, orang tak nak Ayah kerja kat KLCC
+Alisya: Tapi Ayah kan pandai. Kenapa orang kata Ayah tak pandai?
+Naufal: Naufal suka KLCC. Kenapa Ayah taknak kerja kat KLCC Ayah?
+Me: Sebab orang dah tak suka lagi Ayah, Ayah nak buat camana kalau orang dah tak suka? Ayah tak bolehlah lagi kerja kat KLCC, tapi Ayah kerja sendiri, boleh?
+ Alisya: Yayyy! Alisya suka kalau Ayah kerja sendiri Ayah tak payah pergi office lama-lama.
+ Neena: Neena nak Ayah dgn Neena sahaja
+ Me: Ok tak apa lah kalau Ayah dah tak kerja KLCC lagi kan?
+Alisya: Yes, Ayah tak payah kerja KLCC lagi,
+Naufal: Ayah boleh jaga kita.
+ Me:(Alhamdulillah...) OK nanti Ayah boleh hantar Neena pergi TSCH, lepas tu hantar Alisya & Naufal pergi sekolah, Ayah work kat studio. Petang Ayah jemput semua orang balik & masak kita makan sama2, ok?
+ Kids: Yaay!

The past 14 days have been like a dreamy surreal episode in my life. Being handed the VSS option out of the sudden really took me off my feet and to consider it within just a couple of week, before I can even get a proper performance rating for the first half of the year, is nothing short of being asked to jump the boat without having a proper safety vest fastened to the body.

It is not an exaggeration if those affected would define this decision of the powers that be in one word - cruel.

...but c'est la vie. KPI, PPA of those involved have to be met.

The truth is - humans are nothing but just part of the resources needed to run the show and achieve the desired end-state.

So, for me, there is no point staying when I have no more respect to the organization & system that seems to focus more on the greediness of some at the pretext of being a global champion.

Too much already, after 13 years, it is time to end the journey.
Too many false promises, too many back-stabbing incidents, too many manipulations.
The final glory belongs to the few who seem to be excellent professionals, so to say. Bludgeoned victims are deemed as worthless weaklings, whose effort & contributions would somehow or rather end up belonging to these glorious elites...for them their survival in the journey is the key game they play on daily basis and when that time of the year come, they will do what they can to stay afloat above and beyond the rest. No matter how one would try to go against them, they will end on the victorious stage and those who tried to go against the grain, will end up with a bad reputation and horrific scar for the benefit of them to easily give the rating for the next cycle.

For the vast majority, playing save is the ultimate rule of the game. Standing the line with the glorified masters, continuing to be the creatures of modern enslavement with a bountiful reward that acts as a comforting blanket of fear and insecurity....a tunnel vision, only one way to live the life, i.e. continue to be attached to the whole system....the matrix.

I do not fancy coming to office as a whitehead in the age of 50 still being a servant...I should already be framing the beautiful colors of the world and enjoy the company of my kids & grandchildren by then.....and spend more time preparing to meet The Maker instead of still clocking long hours on some project!!

Only those with dignity & pride would not succumb to the ordeal.
I would not. I do not deserve to continue being in such filth. As for the rest: to each, his own. seems that my journey to the middle of the Peruvian jungle, center of the Moroccan Souk will start much early than I have anticipated.....heheh...but let's settle the more important priorities first...insya-Allah!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Semua taruhh!

Banana leafs first and they love it.
~ on Symbian mobile device

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kopi Tenom Secawan

Thanx to Syed Din who just came back from Sabah.

The mug in this photo has been with me since I started working, more than 13 years of service to me lah! It costs no more than Rm4!

Unlike some superiors & leaders who never seem to appreciate what their subordinates may have contributed during years of loyal service, I will still appreciate & continue using this mug, instead of replacing it with other contemporary and classy design glasses or the likes.

...perhaps, if I ever made my first million RM, I look forward to celebrate it with a round of kopi using this same old faithful mug of mine.


~ on Symbian mobile device

Thursday, October 29, 2009

instax + instant office

Testing the Fujifilm Instax 100 for this weekend's job. The background wud be the office of PassionCreative Photography (*winks). Next up, setting the studio for the other company....(*winks, again).
~ on Symbian mobile device

Gagah the gajah

Souvenir from my new team member - Hazrin.
Gajah mahal Jim Thompson tuuuu!!
~ on Symbian mobile device

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Belum-Temengor Photography Expedition sponsored by EMKAY & IDR.

The fat guy there is no other than me lah, shot by Setiawan, a talented photographer who were amongst the 30 selected photographers for the Belum-Temengor Photography Expedition sponsored by EMKAY & IDR.

It was an interesting trip, considering the last time I really get myself in the mud & dirt was more than 12 years ago!! :)

The trip started with a long journey to Grik from Menara MK and I almost did not make it thanx to the traffic situation in Kuala Lumpur and the taxi driver who is not quite familiar going about from KLCC to Damansara...and the decision to gas up the taxi since the NGV is almost empty.....hahahah....not good for the heart if this is a daily event.
After a short briefing by the EMKAY staff we were given our photographers vests and other stuff, embarked on the coach and off we go!
The photographers have already known each other - majority at least - so, the 6-7hours trip was not too boring. Some played cards, some had conversations, some watched stuffs on their laptops, some listened to music or played games on their iPods/ PSP etc.....and some just simply slept most of the mile away.
The arrival was quite a surprise because everybody was quite energetic after stopping for meal & freshening up in Tapah.


The next morning came an early surprise for me & my roomies - A.G. & Nassir.
Being the early riser type, we woke up and prepared for Subuh. I went out of the room and shouted to the neighboring photographers' room telling them to wake up for prayers.
The wake-up call received an immediate response - from a being who's not a participant of the expedition (well. at least not in the official list!!!). A screeching scream, one came from the jungle side and a couple of moments after, the similar scream but from the lake side of the Banding Island.
My roommates were stunned. We taught it was a bird of some sort but deep inside we know that it was not a bird nor any kind of animals at all. It was a pontianak.
(After the trip, we asked the rest of the participants if anybody else heard it buy nobody seems to heard the screaming, only the 3 of us.)
Anyway, after a good breakfast, we had a detailed briefing on the expedition before finally embarking on the assigned boat to the destinations, at about 8:00am.

First stop was actually the army check-point, where we were advised by the sponsors not to hold our equipments - no photos allowed. It was a brief stop because it is already a routine for our sponsor - EMKAY - we did not even have to present our ID to the army officers! :)

Our boat - Team C & D - continued the journey to a Jahai Tribe settlement.
Being held responsible to lead and orchestrate the team, I did not have the luxury of time & opportunity to run my routine of doing a proper documentation of the event. In other words - gambar2 aku tangkap muat tourist shots jer la!!

Responsibility is amanah so I have to play the role as best as I possibly could. Now, being a naturalist, photojourno, documentary, precise moment kinda photographer, it is a massive challenge for me to coordinate a shooting of flora & fauna, plus the natives and environment, using a model! The best way to move was riding on the expertise and skills of others in the group that has done quite a number of model/ commercial photography and provide the input on the elements needed to add in terms of capturing the nature & natives elements and some minor technical aspects of the shooting arrangements.

It worked nicely for the team - at least when the result was out for the posters and all other categories, quite a number of team D & C won prizes. KUDOS to their hard work & discipline, they are really talented photographers!

From the settlement, we continued the expedition to a waterfall, which required us to jump off the boat to a dry but very very soft shore and do a bit of trekking up to reach the waterfall. Good for me i was equipped with my Teva (first time to really trash it for an expedition and it holds!) so there was no issue of getting wet & muddy. The only concern of all the participants would be our equipments - whatever happen, save the equipment first! (Bwaaaahahaah!!! Typical photographer attitude!)
The trip to the waterfall was really worth it. I let Jidin & the rest to set-up the shooting arrangement and coordiante with Ais - the assigned model to the team - as they do their part I shot a few and then jumped into the cool water with the other blokes who has very minor "preference" in shooting models - hehehe...kaki photojourno/ documentary mmg in general very sengal kalau kena shoot model nih!

The walk back to the boat was much faster than the walk into the jungle to reach the waterfall, maybe because we were already familiar with the path, maybe because we were just too hungry already! :)
We had lunch in the boat and continue to the next destination, the saltwater source of the animals. Quite a pleasant landing shore. We were welcomed by a group of anglers and their guides. After doing our jama' prayer, we had a quick discussion we decided not to go to the saltwater source because the walk will take about 30 minutes and we are running out of sunlight and the next destination is more important - rafflesia - and chances for us to get some animals at the saltwater location is too small anyway.
We end up doing a quick shoot of Ais on the suspension bridge, just so we have something documented on that landing we did for the expedition. The leading line of the lang suspension bridge & green ambiance of the place was quite interesting to be left undocumented.

The rafflesia landing was quite a challenge, lotsa submerged trees and very steep hill as the landing point but everybody made it safely the only "near death" moment would be when Mior's lens decided to try and have a run from the backpack for a cool dip into the deep lake...luckily, Mior's reflex was admirable, the lens did not managed to have that cool plunge (and Mior did not have to worry about find a couple of thousand Rm to replace the lens!)
A pleasant surprise awaits us on the hill. Apparently the famous Dr Ali was there with another team - macro-shooters - so it was like a small gathering of photographers for a couple of minutes. Then we set the shooting prop (sempoi jer CLS setting & positioning the model with proper minimal props). Jiding did most of the shooting since the space is quite small, only one rafflesia was blooming and the hill was so steep that we had to assist the model in order for her not to slip down into the nice lake couple of meters below (deep plunge and waaayy deep into the water beb! Scary!).
After getting what we wanted, we moved on the the final location.

The final location was where we were supposed to be able to frame the sun setting and find some more interesting flora & fauna to frame. Unfortunately, the sunlight was so scarce and the group that just came down from the location advised us that it is already too dark when they were framing. So the team end up using the available bamboo rafts as their main prop to shoot Ais.
....and I end up trying the 5D MkII (Impressive work of art actually, this Canon...heheheh!!)

The final challenge of the day was maneuvering the boat between small gaps of submerged trees....2-3 bumps and one of our engined had a small problem. With the experience of our guides Kamarul & Suhada, the problem was addressed fast and we found ourselves speeding to the jetty of the resort.
The end of a tiring day? Not really....we had to continue throughout the night - editing & designing for submission.....
Not easy but it was fun nevertheless....especially when you have a cool bunch of friends in a room doing the same thing. Does not feel like competition at all....more like working an assignment together!

The next day was just for editing, submission & price giving.
The best of the best won, the rest, are still the best and what matters most would be the experience & camaraderie we built during the expedition...including the journey back to KL & "Teh-tarik masa kecederaan" - dah nak siang baru masing-masing sampai rumah!

Thank you all, see you in the next expedition insyaAllah!
(Best betul bila taiko terue menerus mau sponsor expedition nih!!!)