Mave On The Move - Week 4

Discussion in 'Locations' started by David M. Byrne, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. David M. Byrne

    David M. Byrne New Member

    Hello again,

    It has been yet another busy week & I’ve been moving a lot. When last you heard from me I was in the damp, chilly, relaxed highlands of Malaysia. From there I went to the warm hustle & bustle of squeaky-clean, structured Singapore only to follow that up by dealing with the noise, pollution & general unkempt scruffiness of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. Right now I’m in (or is it on?) the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. It’s a nice place, a million miles removed from Asia (it's quiet & I feel clean). It’s different, and different is good… although it can also be bad. I’ll explain more when I get through the pictures for this week’s entry. I hope you like them... and I say that because I took quite a few pictures of the same scene or structure (Raffles Hotel in Singapore & The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur are just 2 examples) that I liked and I had a hard time deciding which of the pictures to upload to this entry. That has been a problem I have had with all the entries thus far, if a problem is the right choice of words (I'm guessing not), but this week it was particularly taxing. Anyway, on with it.

    Picture 23, Day 21 – Honey Bee Farm, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. March 26th 2012.
    When last you heard from me I was about to embark on a tour of the sights of Malaysia's Cameron Highlands, the country's premier hill station. It's a vast area of rolling green hills, tea plantations and forest, & another favoured hangout of the colonial British all those years ago (the highlands take their name from William Cameron, a British surveyor who first mapped the area in 1885). The temperatures up here, at an average altitude of 1,300m, are a good bit lower than the rest of the country so it's the perfect environment for cultivating crops… & breading honey bees.

    Picture 24, Day 23 – Raffles Hotel, Singapore. March 28th 2012.
    The doorman at the lobby entrance to Raffles Hotel, Singapore. A Singaporean institution & colonial opulence personified, the regal Raffles Hotel opened as a modest 10-room bungalow in 1887 with the main building following in 1889. By the 1970's it had seen better days & was a shabby relic of its old, glamorous self. A major revamp in time for a 1991 reopening brought it back to something resembling its former glory. I spent an hour or so sniffing around and sticking my camera at white walls & arches, fancy gold chandeliers, polished marble floors & rich people. It was fun.

    I was hanging around the main entrance when I saw the doorman walking from the reception area of the hotel towards the main door, the one I was peering into. I hoped he would walk out the door and onto the path/sidewalk fronting the hotel so I could grab this picture of him walking through the outer lobby. He did and I only had a split second to get this shot (& I was also fortunate that nobody was in the background because up to this point there had been). Everything with the shot worked out just as I wanted it to... but unfortunately the doorman was a little too blurry for my liking (my shutter was a tad too slow). That said I still like the picture.

    Picture 25, Day 23 – Cargo, Singapore. March 28th 2012.
    Singapore ranks either 1st, 2nd or 3rd on the list of biggest/busiest container ports in the world depending on which list you read (Shanghai & Hong Kong will be up there, too). The port is responsible for a lot of the country's wealth.

    This is the view of a section of the port looking from the balcony of the apartment I was staying in which was right in the centre of the Central Business District (CBD). I'm not too sure why I like this picture but I do. Scale maybe - you can get some appreciation for the scale here when when you notice how small the HGV truck is in the middle of the shot (under the yellow crane towards the centre of the image).

    Picture 26, Day 23 – Central Business District Skyline, Singapore. March 28th 2012.
    This is a picture of the Singapore CBD skyline from the SkyPark bar club KU DÉ TA of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. I spent the night up here drinking SGD$18 (€11) pints & admiring the view. It was a rough night. The hotel itself features three 55-story towers which are connected by a 340-metre, 1 hectare sky terrace on the roof, named Sands SkyPark. The SkyPark, perched 191 metres above the ground, has the capacity to hold 3,900 people & is the world's largest public cantilevered platform. Its home to a 134-meter (478 ft) vanishing edge swimming pool (the world's longest elevated swimming pool), rooftop restaurants, gardens, palm trees & an observation deck. Originally set to open in 2009, delays & budget overruns (it was budgeted at SGD$3 billion but actually ended up costing SGD$8 billion, making it the world's most expensive standalone casino property) meant it didn't actually open until early-mid 2010, and only then in stages; it wasn't officially opened until February 2011 & the last portion of it to open was in September of that year.

    Needless to say with a view like this to play with I had my wide-angle lens attached. However, I was on a night out & thus had no tripod. I rested the camera on a ledge & played around with settings for a while hoping to get a few sharp pictures (if anything it stretched out the consumption time of those $18 beers). I did although that may not be very apparent in this reduced resolution version. Oh and by the way, I don't normally bring my SLR with me on such occasions (nights out) but I knew I'd be subjecting myself to this vista on this particular (expensive) night out so I made an exception.

    Picture 27, Day 25 – A Trader Tending To Her Stall In Petaling Street Market, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. March 30th 2012.
    After loving Singapore it was back to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur (KL), my last stop in Asia before Australia. Right in the centre of the bustling, in-your-face Chinatown district of KL is the Petaling Street Market. Stalls selling knock-off everything cram the street, so much so that it can be a challenge for claustrophobes & those with limited paticence - walking the 200 or 300 metres from one end of the street to the other might take a half an hour or more. Of course that means there’s no shortage of photo opportunities.

    Picture 28, Day 26 – Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. March 31st 2012.
    KL is full of old British colonial buildings and mosques (it’s a Muslim country after all) but to me it was all about the iconic 88-floor, 451-metre twin skyscrapers of the Petronas Towers. The tallest buildings in the world from when they opened in 1998 until 2004, today they are still the tallest twin buildings standing. While they look great any time of day it’s at night that they really shine thanks to the illumination of the their 83,500sq. metres of diamond-faceted stainless steel & 55,000sq. metres of laminated glass. The towers, the headquarters of the national oil & gas company Petronas, were a real multinational effort - the architect was Argentinian, the structural design engineers American, the elevator design engineers Canadian & the builders Japanese (tower 1) & Korean (tower 2). Their design is based on an eight-sided star that echoes arabesque patterns while Islamic influences are evident in each tower’s five tiers - representing the five pillars of Islam - & the 63-metre mast that crown them, calling to mind the minarets of a mosque & the Star of Islam. Both towers are joined by a 41st & 42nd-floor Skybridge at the height of a rather modest 170 metres off the ground.

    Again I had my wide-angle lens out here & debated long and hard as to whether I'd upload this image or one captured further away from the towers, an image showing them at their complete, towering best. But I guess I'm just a sucker for this type of upward capture.

    Note: See more of my pictures as uploaded to my photography blog from my time in the Cameron Highlands & KL, including more pictures of the Petronas Towers, here & from Singapore here.

    What’s Next?
    I’m not quite sure to be honest. As I said I’m in Australia, in a little residential suburb of the Sunshine Coast called Kuluin. I’m here as a guest of my girlfriend’s family (Mel, my better half, is Australian) and we’re having a bit of much welcomed post-Asia downtime. We don’t really plan on being tourists & there’s not really a lot to do here - there are no markets to visit, no world famous buildings or must-see sights. But no doubt I’ll get something to photograph over the coming week. Check back here in a weeks’ time to find out!

    Once again I hope you’re enjoying the entries and that you’re seeing (and reading) something you like. And don't forget you can follow my progress on the dedicated travel page of my personal photography blog.

    Until next time. Regards from the Sunshine Coast (where it is actually sunny)!

    David M
  2. Darren Turner

    Darren Turner XProPhotographer

    i really don't know what to say apart from wow wow WOW.......your photography is amazing. the locations are brilliant, you certainly are getting around aint ya.

    Yet again breathtaking set of shots, i love them all, Picture 28 day 26 is awesome but kinda scarey POV.

    cheers for keeping us updates on your travels.
  3. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Thanks again David. Love the doorman and the street vendor shots especially. A friend of mine got lost walking in the Camaron Highlands a few years ago (ironic given how they got their name) but luckily the army found him after a 4 day and 300 man search. We were all pretty worried as you can imagine and I think it haunts him still.
  4. David M. Byrne

    David M. Byrne New Member

    Darren, thanks for you comment. Very gratifying. And Pete, something told me, even before posting, that you'd like & comment on that vendor shot! I was torn between putting it here or another Petaling market picture I really like (this one was in b&w & can be seen here). I went with the colour one because I like the vendor's busyness (& the pink!) but I'm guessing you'd have preferred the b&w one. And as for the Cameron Highlands. Yes, people do seem to get lost there quite a bit, and no one did it better than Jim Thompson. Ever heard of him?
  5. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    The city night shots do it for me - really stunning

    The towers look like rockets heading to the stars - wonderful angle

    So, did you get a Singapore Sling then? ;)
  6. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    Another wonderful installment. I like the mix of styles and variation of subjects in these.
  7. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    You're right David - very nice indeed but I like the colour one as much I think.

    Never knew the name of the designer but knew about folks getting lost. John was incredibly lucky and the only way anyone knew was that he managed to climb high enough to get a mobile phone signal and call his wife at home in the UK - he didn't know the number of the hotel! He said the low point was when a helicopter hovered over the area he was in (he stayed in one place when he was lost, near a stream) and then moved on having not seen him - he realised that area had been ticked off and they woudn't come back. Luckily, two days later, a ground party walked into the clearing nearby and spotted him. Ironically he'd just decided that if this was how he was going to end his days he would do it in clean clothes and had stripped naked and washed his clothes in the stream and had just hung them on some bushes to dry when he heard someone call, "Mr John!!...".
  8. David M. Byrne

    David M. Byrne New Member

    Chris, I'm not a cocktails guy so I avoided the $26 Slings. Mel, my girlfriend, did have one... while I sat beside here enjoying a $20 pint. Singapore: great place to visit, bad place for a few beers.
  9. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    $20!!!! :(

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