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Checking out the Streets of Malacca with my lens

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Over last weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in an event organized by my firm’s Photography Group (PSIG) together with the Singapore Office’s photography club, Aperture in Malacca. The idea was to have a street photography competition between the two clubs and the winner will get some prizes.

Everyone’s mind was filled with thoughts about eating actually and by the time we arrived in Malacca, it was really true! First order of the day was lunch at Equitorial Hotel and surprisingly the nonya food there was really good. All the dishes were delicious and the only downside was that the egg “cincalok” didn’t have enough “cincalok“.

By the time we were done with lunch, the group headed out to Jonker Walk and started firing away.

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Luckily enough there were some events going on at the street itself which gave all participants plenty of things to shoot. I started out with a theme in mind and I wanted to capture the workers at Jonker Street. Trust me, it wasn’t easy to capture all of them and I have to really give it to both Fazli and Johan for being able to go up to people and start shooting them in their faces.

It took me a cup of iced coffee, a cup of iced “mata kuching”, two bottles of mineral water and a bottle of 100plus before I got completely worned out. That was because I decided to walk through Jonker Walk twice to capture what I thought would be interesting.

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After that, I decided to take a break along the Malacca River. That was when I truly enjoyed the breeze and also the view of many tourist boats. Whilst I was dangling off a small wooden jetty, directly behind the new Hard Rock Cafe, I took the opportunity to shoot the area.

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As the clouds grew darker, it looked like it would rain and I decided to head back towards the hotel. I took the long route back, walking along the Malacca river towards the mouth where it joins with the Straits of Malacca.

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After a quick 5 minute walk, I arrived at “Menara Taming Sari” where for the first time in my life, I took a ride up the tower. The view from the top was amazing! Absolutely mind blowing.

From the top of the tower I was able to capture the video above and the image below.

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After the short ride, I walked about the main museum area located next to A-Famosa and took the following shots.

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Being the blur fella that I am, I thought dinner was nearby the hotel but instead it was located at Jonker Walk. After walking all the way back to the hotel, I then proceeded back towards Jonker Walk during magic hour.

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Dinner was at a place called restaurant Kucik if I am not mistaken. It was located at the street parallel to Jonker Walk. The food there was not too bad but I preferred the food during lunch. But I did save my stomach space for some street food which I was drooling over whilst I was walking along Jonker Walk.

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After dinner we went about for another walk, to me it was more of an eating walk instead.

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After walking through the streets, a bunch of us decided that it was a wrap and headed to Hard Rock Cafe. Over there we realised that chocolate milkshakes together with beer towers as well as the durian puffs I had prior to stopping at Hard Rock do not go well together.

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The walk back to the hotel wasn’t easy especially after a long day and after all that consumption. But as part of the competition rules, we needed to choose our best 3 photos, and submit them. I submitted the following images.

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The next morning, everyone gathered together to vote our favourite images. It was a simple system but it worked. Everyone rushed to submit their photos and also every tried to access the site to vote due to limited internet connections.

At the end of the day, I am glad to say that I won first place for the image below.

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But out of the top 11, Malaysia lost as Singapore got 8 out of the top 11 spots. We tried our best!

We learned that in order to get great images, we needed a tripod and to also wake up at 5.30am in order to catch the sunrise. As for me, it took me a 70-200mm lens to capture the image and also around 20 minutes of waiting about. Initially I wanted to capture this exact scene when I saw an old man with a yellow shirt sitting on the edge of his motorcycle smoking but by the time I was in place, he went off. After attempting to shoot a couple of other subjects, I saw a guy in a pink shirt cycling towards the wall and I just positioned myself there.

Honestly, it has been a very long time since I last went on a photowalk let alone street photography and this definitely was a fun trip that everyone wanted to plan one in Penang next. I definitely can’t wait for that.

To check out more of my photos from the trip, check out my Flickr set below.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markleo/sets/72157641446830064/

A relaxing weekend

Okay, I was just kidding myself. Yes, we had a long 3-day weekend and after two weeks of hectic living, it was good that I managed to get some rest. Note that I just said “some” instead of a good rest. Anyway, Friday itself wasn’t exactly a rest day. I was supposed to collect my car on Friday and then head down to Malacca with the peeps for a day trip but alas, I was utterly disappointed when the dealer messed up my registration hence there is yet another delay.

Nevertheless, the trip must go on so we headed down to Malacca for some great food (although I hardly know the various spots for eating even though I was born in Malacca and have traveled there countless of times). The trip down there was eventful as it is, especially if you like travelling in a moving sauna ;)

First stop of the day, Seremban for some good ole beef noodles and loads of sugar cane with lemon (yes, that is my new favourite drink!). The beef noodles were good as well and it was starchy as hell.

Traffic there was totally insane, everyone in Singapore decided to check out what Malacca has to offer as well. The meals started with the coconut shake off Klebang, then for some chicken rice balls in Jonker, loads of cookies and pineapple tarts and ending it with some crepe from Nadeje. So much for my dieting plans.

Saturday itself was relaxing with loads of sleep and SC2 and ending it with dinner with some old uni mates.

Spent more time in Ikea finding stuff for the new place, I am constantly finding new things to buy, or basically more things to get such as a wall clock and a dish drainer and other smaller items which we might have missed out initially. Also it was MW’s birthday as well so we had a drink with her as well at Sid’s TTDI.

I realised that a snake bite black can definitely keep me awake because I couldn’t sleep till 3am this morning. Was busy fiddling with the new Sim City Deluxe game which I bought on iTunes. Although the game was meant for the iPhone but because unlike my mum who has the new iPhone 4, I am still using my older one, hence it gets slow but playing the game on the iPad is just fantastic!

Here’s to a great week to everyone out there!

I ate too much in Malacca

It has been a while since I last came back to my hometown of Malacca. I think I can barely remember the last time but I know that I haven’t been back the whole of 2008  (not counting the times I drove past Malacca on the way down to Singapore and Segamat). Anyway I am back here over the weekend to attend my cousin’s wedding. Will be waking up pretty early tomorrow to help him out by being his photographer.

One of the things I miss the most about Malacca is the food. I managed to get my parents to bring me to a food court so that I could taste different dishes and I wasn’t really in a mood for “sate celup” so they brought me to the Newton food court. The Newton food court originated near the old jailhouse but they have setup a similar looking food court that reminds me of Ming Tien back in PJ.

Here are some of the photos I took of the food we ordered.

My aunts decided to order a very famous “hakka” dish which I really think it is just tortoise food.

My parents went for something more traditional, claypot chicken rice.

My sister stuck with her usual Uncle Bob fried chicken.

I went for an upgraded version of the claypot chicken rice with an additional egg and an extra chinese sausage.

Of course I wouldn’t sit down at a food court without ordering fried oysters.

And to top everything off, Portugese “Ikan bakar” or burnt manta ray (its not really burnt!).

I am still full from dinner and I did wish I had more time to try out my other favourites such as “sate celup”, “cendol”, chicken rice balls and other delicacies. My only dissapointment is that my all-time favourite coffee shop has closed down due to newer development and all of the stalls have split up to other locations in Malacca.

Time to head back to get a good nights rest before tomorrow’s shoot. I am still in awe of the recent development in this area.