Tall Trees

Despite the rapid development within Kuala Lumpur over the years, there are still pockets of green sanctuary where KLlites can go to rather easily within Kuala Lumpur for a ‘back to nature’ rejuvenating moment and respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.  One of these is FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia), located in the suburbs of northwest Kuala Lumpur, adjoining the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve, and popular among the urban KL folks over the weekend for a walk, jog, picnic, trail biking, etc. or just to do nothing and relax.

I enjoy walking and exploring the walk trails at FRIM, especially in the morning after a rainy humid downpour the day before, when it is likely to be foggy, cooler and the green landscape looks more vibrant and lively, mysterious and ethereal under a cloak of fog in the early morning. There are a number of walking trails (a couple are closed at the moment), and most visitors go for the the trails which are easier to access and walk without having to worry about leech bites, mosquito bites, etc. As for myself, I prefer the ones which are less frequented for the tranquility and solitude it offers (hate coming across walkers blasting their smartphones along the way), and where nature is more ‘pristine’.

My favorites are the Bike Trail and Keruing Trail which is about a 5-6km walk (round trip) with the tall and majestic kapur and keruing trees overlooking and accompanying me along the way. The greenness all around, the tranquility, the freshness of the morning air amid the surroundings is just therapeutic and invigorating for my tired soul. The trees all look so lovely, growing tall (to a height of 50-60m), strong and proud over the years, forming part of the FRIM ecosystem and delighting visitors exploring the trail keen to view them and their unique ‘crown shyness’ characteristic.

All photos are panoramas, stitched together from 3-4 photos taken with a Pentax SMC M-Series 35mm f2.8 lens in Lightroom 7.5 .

A Room With A View – 2

A Room With A View In Downtown Ho Chin Minh City

I was already a happy chappy when the front desk informed they are upgrading me to a higher end room, I was even happier when I stepped into the room and noticed the beautiful view of downtown Ho Chin Minh City framed by the large window area with a vermilion lounge chair set next to it and a lovely looking floor lamp by the side. Another great setting for a ‘room with a view’ shot to add to the series, I thought. Well, yes, but it took a few days (I had the luxury of biding my time as I was on a long stay at the hotel) and a couple of attempts to get the right balance of lighting between the external surroundings and within the room for a proper balanced exposure, while at the same time finding sufficient drama in the sky for an interesting and moody shot, before I was happy with the outcome. Hope it works for you 🙂

Ho Chin Minh City is certainly developing fast with already a number of landmark high rise buildings dotting the downtown skyline, more are expected to join the club soon by the looks of the numerous high rise construction projects happening all round.

Photo: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 23mm


A Rear View


Are you one of them who pays similar attention to what lies ahead as well as what lies behind when out  exploring and photographing? Good for you if you are of this disposition, as for myself, I am guilty on many occasions to tend to pay more attention and focus on what lies before rather than behind me, perhaps it is our innate primordial instinct to continually seek the ‘unknown’ (think adventure) as a matter of priority rather than deliberate on what we have traversed and know. And if not for a quick glance at the rear view mirror to visually check on how my daughters were doing at the rear seat, I would have missed this glorious sunset evening scene setting completely as we drove along the western coastal road of Yakushima Island. I slowed down and pulled over further down the road, set up my camera and walked back towards the tunnel to a point I could nicely frame and get the shot I wanted. It certainly pays to keep an eye on what’s at the back from time to time as we go forward, we may just find an angle or framing, a different perspective of a subject or scene for some better or more interesting shots, or something altogether different, which we have not thought of or observed earlier.

Photo: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 35mm