Putrajaya LAMPU 2015

Shooting LAMPU 2015 Front and Back

As a member of the Lighting Urban Community International (LUCI) association, Putrajaya, the only city in Malaysia that has introduced a modern lighting administration facility known as the Putrajaya Lighting Master Plan, has been holding the LAMPU (Light And Motion Putrajaya) event annually since 2013 to showcase light as a major tool for sustainable urban, social and economic development. Last year’s event was a three-day festival (30th. Oct – 1st. Nov) with the main attraction being the projection mapping show onto the facades of Palace of Justice as well as the grand entrance of Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. Other key attractions were the illuminated arches, garden lighting, free standing light structures, wayang kulit (shadow play) and even a ‘Tron’ themed dance performance. It was the projection mapping show which aroused my interest to attend the event, expecting it to be something like the Vivid event held in Sydney.

Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day

The wet monsoon season in West Malaysia is from October to March, and holding outdoor events during this time of the year is kind of chancy. With heavy late afternoon showers, and no sign of it abating, I decided anyway to visit LAMPU 2015 on the second night, hoping the rain would stop by the time the projection mapping show starts at 8pm. Not quite, on the contrary, it continued to pour, at times it got heavier; and the star of the show, the projection mapping show was halted after a brief screening, as were the other street performances. Some visitors went indoors to check out the supporting exhibitions (Islamic culture) and book fair, some seek shelter at the bus stands, covered areas and watched the proceedings unfolding  around them, and the well prepared ones opened up their brollies and went about discovering and enjoying the other attractions.

Do The Brolly Jig

Rather unfortunate and disappointing night for those who were hoping to watch the projection mapping show and street performances. Was I disappointed? You bet, as my main purpose to visit was to experience the projection mapping show, but seeing how the adventurous ones were braving the rain with their brollies and enjoying the event amid the colourful interplay of light and shadow, that makes a neat ‘shadow play’ photography opportunity :).

Watching A Shadow Play In The Rain

I decided to shoot with just an X-E2 and XF 23mm; no more, as i did not want to handle multiple cameras or make lens changes in the wet conditions, given my Fuji gear is not water resistant. I put on my raincoat, covered up the camera bag with its waterproof cover, walked about, darting into and out of the rain, a photo here, a photo there … hope you enjoy the light and shadow play :).

Children just loved the free standing light structures …

One For The Album, Mum

And the adults too …

Selfie Queen

A ‘cold’ rainy night certainly whets the appetite …

Stellar Food And Drinks

The cheap and ill fitting raincoat I got from the service station on the way over failed the test, I was half drenched in no time. It was still raining when I left the place at about 11pm.

All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 23mm

Night Glow

Night Glow Magic

Night Glow is a key event and highlight at any balloon fiesta, where hot air balloons light up the night as balloonists ignite propane burners to heat and light up the balloons, turning them into giant light bulbs. At the recently concluded 7th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, two night glows were scheduled for the weekend. I attended  Saturday’s event, my first night glow experience. By the time I arrived, tickets for the event were completely sold out – no access to the launch area and getting up close to the balloons 😦 . Tickets were limited to prevent overcrowding within the launch area – a precautionary safety measure. Lesson learnt, do an early bird online booking or queue up earlier (i was at the ticket counter 3 hours prior to the event) on the day of the event to ensure tickets in future fiestas.  All is not lost though, fallback plan, join the thick crowd of visitors watching for free from the perimeter of the launch area; and boy, was it crowded that night. The night glow is a real crowd-puller at this fiesta.

Firing Up

At the stipulated time, the balloons were conveyed to their designated positions within the launch area. They were then inflated as if they are going to take off, but held down by the ground crew to prevent them from ascending. The propane burners were fired up periodically to keep the balloons inflated with hot air. A total of 10 balloons participated in the event, a rather small number when compared to other international balloon fiestas, due to limited space within the launch area. It was chock-a-block at the perimeter and a challenge finding some good and unobstructed spots to photograph from.

Holding The Balloon Down, Posing For The Cameras

When fully inflated and lit up by the burners’ flames, the balloons glowed like huge light bulbs or Chinese lanterns in the dark night. Just beautiful. Quite a spectacular display, especially when the balloonists were able to get them all alight at the same time.

All Aglow

Cameras, cameras and more cameras were clicking away throughout. Selfies, Instagrams, Facebook posts all happening in concert. The mind boggles at the the sheer number of images captured at events these days, thanks to the availability of affordable convenient mobile digital imaging.  A rather short but nonetheless colourful fireworks display brought the event to a close.

In retrospect, photographing from the perimeter was not too bad and has its merits, I had a wider coverage of the balloons with my wide angle lens, thus emphasize their sheer size and presence, and zooming in with the long zoom for the closer shots. Finding a vantage spot (wished I had a collapsible ladder with me then to tower above the crowd) and moving around was difficult though.

I wish you a good weekend.

Selfie, Instagram, Facebook Moments

All photos: Fujifilm X-E1 & X-E2 with 14mm and 55-200mm XF lenses