The Fate of Broga     

Broga Hill taken in 2008

Broga Hill taken in 2008

Broga Hill taken in 2009

Broga Hill taken in 2009

“Leave Broga Alone”! This was a message delivered to the BN government 7 years ago. Broga is a small town that straddles the border of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. The place was widely made known to the public, when the Malaysian Government proposed a RM1.5 billion incinerator to be build there, back in 2002. Since then, the residents in the surrounding Semenyih area have been protesting against the federal government to scrape off the mega project.

In June 2008, I followed my gang to hike Broga Hill, a reef knoll full of wild reeds (known as lalang in Malay), situated some 1km from Broga Town. It was an easy trail for beginners. Journey from the foot hill to the 2nd peak (3 peaks in total) takes around 1 hour leisurely. It was a great hiking trip and the rest was history. You can view my Broga Photoset taken back in 2008 here.

In December 2009, I went back to Broga Hill with my colleagues. To my surprise, now it looks more like a tourist attraction than a hiker’s heaven! It’s like a night market now for god sake!

By 6am, there are already 2 rows of cars parked by the roadside, stretching for at least 200 meters.

0600 - Night Market

0600 - Night Market

By 7am, people “invading” along the trail to the 1st peak.

0700 - Invading

0700 - Invading

By 7.30am, 1st peak conquered and a few hundreds heading up to 2nd peak.

0730 - Conquered

0730 - Conquered

By 8am, people still coming up the hill!

0800 - Still Coming

0800 - Still Coming

Click here to see my 2009 Broga Photoset.

Posted 8 years, 10 months ago at 1:23 pm. 1 comment

Season Greetings     

Christmas always give me a peaceful and joyful feelings. It’s a season full of fun and laughter. Since Christmas is around the corner, I would like to share some inspiration about shooting Christmas Photography.

  • Subject
  • There are many subjects which relate to Christmas, e.g. decorative ornaments, Christmas tree, gift packages, snow, etc.

  • Day or Night?
  • I personally prefer to shoot at night, with the glittering decorative lights.

  • Handheld or Tripod?
  • If I choose to shoot at night, tripod is an usual and necessary equipment to bring along.

  • Close Up or Wide?
  • It’s a personal preference when come to this, I usually do not restrict myself to this factor.

  • Location
  • You can choose a place with many people gathering for the joyful season; or simply your neighbour’s house with Christmas decorative, why not?

I have chosen to shoot my subject at Pavilion KL. As it is a night shoot, I’ve packed my widest aperture lens, and of course my tripod. I’ve also grabbed a macro and normal zoom lens as backup. Speedlite? Nope I won’t need that. The shot below was taken handheld with a 50mm Prime Lens. Wishing everyone a Merry and Joyful Christmas!

Posted 8 years, 10 months ago at 5:38 pm. 1 comment

Hiking @ Ulu Bendol     

Located at north eastern of Seremban town, and approximately 75km from Kuala Lumpur, Ulu Bendol Recreational Forest is one of the favourite hiking spot for trekkers and nature lovers. This natural heaven also offers a lot of unique shooting subjects, especially for macro photographers.

ISO 1250 | 1/20 | f5

Regular hikers may takes around 3-4 hours to reach the summit of Gunung Angsi (823 metres), one of the mountain peaks around Ulu Bendol. The first hour hike is a moderate flat trail until you reached a stream crossing. From there, it will be a steep climb all the way up. For photography purposes, it usually takes me 2-3 hours to reach the stream crossing and I will turn back from there.

ISO 1250 | 1/20 | f5

Shooting macro at this kind of location, shaded by large trees and often in low light condition. My advise for beginners are you need to prepare to shoot at low angle, get dirty and wet. If possible, bring the following gears with you:

  • Tripod (those that can get low)
  • Shutter release cable (or remote shutter)
  • Speed light (or flash unit)
  • Ring flash adapter (if you have it)
  • Reflector (not too big)
  • Rain coat (in case you need it)

ISO 400 | 1/10 | f2.8

Posted 10 years, 9 months ago at 5:06 am. Add a comment

Spider’s Webs @ Tabur West     

During January of each year, shooting spider’s web at Bukit Tabur is very rewarding, at least to my experience. Some articles I found through Google explains that arachnid likes to spin web when the weather is not too wet and not too dry. If that were right, this explained why, because January is post-rainy season in Malaysia.

ISO 200 | 1/250 | f5

In order to capture dew on the web (like the one above), you have to get up early in the morning (before sunrise), and hike up to Bukit Tabur. You will generally find these orb-weavers and their spiral-shaped web lying around small bushes and tree branches. I would not recommend a tripod when shooting webby as they are prone to movement even of a slight wind. It’s even more difficult if you want to narrow the depth of field to isolate the background.

Another good tip when shooting spider’s web is to use manual focus. After you have pre-focused your subject, you may want to move back and forth a little bit to get the perfect focus before clicking the shutter button. If you are lucky, you may sometime find a web with it’s owner resting in the center! This might be your catch of the day.

ISO 200 | 1/250 | f3.8

Typically when you are shooting these silky webs, you may want to adjust your shooting angle or composition so that the background is darker. This will create a contrast for your subject to stand out in the shot. If you got a macro lens, use it to focus close up and fill the frame. The result will be surprising!

Posted 10 years, 9 months ago at 9:35 am. 1 comment

Hiking Tabur East     

It has been quite some time since my last hiking experience. We are conquering a rocky quartz hill, located north-eastern of Kuala Lumpur (At the foot of Taman Melawati). It is also the location of Klang Gate Reservoir, sit in between the quartz ridge, documented as the world longest (From The Charm of Klang Gate). On top of the ridge, you can see clearly the dam and its surrounding forest. The beginning journey is not easy, you have to climb up muddy slope, pass through jungle, and before you reach the peak, is the quartzy surface that you need to go though. If you are planning a trip there, make sure you gear up properly, a hiking shoe with good grip, hiking glove and cap (depends on individual), plenty of water, clothes for changing after the hike, towel, and most importantly camera!

View Klang Gate Entrance in a larger map

Bukit Tabur (Tabur Hill) is a popular hiking place in Kuala Lumpur. However, not many are aware that there are actually 2 trails at Bukit Tabur. The more popular one is the west trail, and the less known one is the east trail.

Posted 10 years, 11 months ago at 7:55 am. 1 comment