Archive for the ‘East’ Category

Istanbul | Turkey

November 16, 2009

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

When mention about Istanbul, image of Aya Soyfa, Blue Mosque will come into mind and also all those fairy tail and love stories about Constantinople will become alive. Istanbul is a great place to be and among world favorite travel destination. You can see Europe and Asia in one place living in harmony here. Actually it is not so easy for me to reach here. There were so many procedure to follow and in fact I get the approval the very last minute before the day I depart for istanbul from Kuala Lumpur.

To cut the story short, it was a long flight from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul on 7th November 2009 at 1 am in the early morning our flight Boeng 777 MH30 take off to Istanbul, it is a direct flight, non stop from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul which take us approximately 11 hours to get there. Alhamdulillah the journey was very smooth and the hospitality of MAS crew members on board make the long haul journey seem shorter. By 7:45am local time we reach Hilton Istanbul not far away from Taksim Square. I’ve a great experience while our vehicle passing through Galata Bridge and watching magnificent mosque along the journey really get me excited.

There were few minor problem when registering for our room at the hotel and thanks to Malaysian Embassy in Turkey, the problem solve quickly and before 9:00 am I’ve already got my room key no 092. We have a brief Media briefing by Ministry of Foreign Affair regarding of coverage of our Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for the COMCEC Economic Meeting at Four Seasons Hotel Bosphorus Istanbul. After that we, a group of eleven local media are eager to tour some part of Istanbul because the very next day when our Deputy Prime Minister arrive, we don’t have so much free time on our hand.

By 2:05pm local Istanbul time we are in the compound of Aya Sofya, it was really big and with my kit lens on my camera won’t fit the grandeur structure of the Aya Sofya. Some of media members wanted to visit Grand Bazaar and for me I’m not interested to shopping but more interested for photo shooting. So we split and will meet at this area of Aya Sofya in two hours time. I was walking alone without any media members with me, from one place to another place, this area called Sultanahmet where a lot of major historical site are within a walking distance, Aya Sofya, Topkapi Museum and Blue Mosque. A lot of people here and from what I can say it is really a photographers haven. Among the place that I really want to visit is Aya Sofya, I’ve to pay 20 Lira to get here or about MYR50 but it really worth the visit since I don’t know when I will be coming here again so the amount is nothing much compare with the experience.

I wish I’ve a wide angle lens, wider than my kit lens 18-70mm, if you guys planning to visit Aya Sofya, please make sure you get a super wide lens, something like 10-20mm or 11-16mm for DX Nikon camera but if you have FX camera like D3 or D700, 24-70 mm will do just fine. It is really big, the dome is massive with great decoration, islamic and also with christian motif. Fast lens really help here since it was dimly lit and this place is pack with tourist. Since I’m alone here I don’t have my personal picture here, pity me. I did not spend much time here simply because I’m running out of time and have few other place to visit.

My next stop is Blue Mosque just a minute of walking distance from Aya Sofya, this is a mosque so you don’t need to pay anything to get inside but you need to take your shoes off and put it in the plastic bag that was made available in the entrance of the Blue Mosque. Once again super wide angle lens really help here and I just have to satisfied with my kit lens. I really enjoy shooting here inside and outside of Blue Mosque and if I’ve more time I’ll definitely looking for much higher place to shoot Blue Mosque from the distance and get the Bosphorus in the frame as well together with the Blue Mosque. By 6:00pm, we finish our tour and get back to our hotel.

About the tram picture and people walking on the street, that was taken in Taksim and the street is famously known as Istiklal Caddesi and according to wikipedia, the street is approximately 3 km long but I did not walk the whole street just part of it because the time constrain. People here are very camera friendly, they really doesn’t bother much about people taking their picture, this street is full of tourist, you might not feel like you were walking on the Turkey street but more like walking in the European country. There were shops on the left and right side of the street, only tram allowed to pass through this street, it is for pedestrian but cars only allowed to pass through to get to the other side of the road. If you guys have plan to visit Istanbul, please make sure you spend a day here in the Istiklal Avenue and have fun watching people going through their lives here, this is really busy street with people from all walk of life and from all over the world.

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Photographic Expedition | Belum – Temengggor

October 28, 2009

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

Photo above taken during Belum – Temenggor Photographic Exspedition on 23rd to 25th October 2009 organize by Emkay and Institute Perak Darul Ridzuan. Thanks a lot to Azrul Affandi from Beritah Harian through Photoskool for inviting me to this event, I really have so much fun there.

HaiQal | Backlighting

September 28, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

When I start as a PRESS photographers among few things that bother photographers is “Backlighting”, whether it came from artificial light source or from natural light, sometimes PRESS photographers will shout or ask politely to their subject to move here and there to block the “backlighting”. Backlighting can cause “flare” that make our subject unclear especially on their face. Sometimes photographers will use flash and most of the times they do use flash to put back light onto their subject face so it does not appear to be dark and it is true that metering is tricky for backlighting.

To cut the story short, I love backlighting but that depend on my subject, as for example on my son pictures above, backlighting really add interest to my son hair, make it glow with rim light, in fact I did position my wife and my son so both of them catch the sunlight. Some of my friends ask me whether I use flash or reflector to fill in the light on my subject face. No I don’t, I don’t use flash and I don’t use reflector, I’m not a fashion photographer and I don’t want my shooting look like a commercial shot.

I took the metering on my subject face, if you are using PROGRAM Mode on your camera without any customization, your subject may appear dark because your camera will try to get some balance between the bright area and dark area of your subject, your camera exposure meter doesn’t know which one is important and which one is not. I rarely use PROGRAM Mode, most of my shooting are on MANUAL, so I took a reading on my subject face and forget the rest. Yes the background will be blown out, sometimes there is no details but in this case, like the picture above, the background is not my focus, so I don’t bother about getting the right exposure for that. There you go very simple and my editing is simple also and you can see I like to get my pictures especially portraiture have warm feeling or tone, during editing I bump up the temperature until my eyes satisfied.

Actually there is a lot of things going on about that picture above, I plan my shots even before I get out of the house, I’m very particular about my subject cloth,  when I see my wife or my son wearing something that I didn’t like, I’ll ask them to change the cloth or there is no photo shooting. For me a great shooting comes from great planning, most peoples doesn’t know what’s get on behind the scene, some people doesn’t bother to look deeply inside a picture and ask themselves why this particular picture work, why this picture grab our attention, why this picture stop us to look at it a little bit longer. that’s is how I view my favorite pictures on the Web, I stop and look and ask my self, why this pictures work and why some others not. That’s how I learn, I learn by looking at a picture, not just looking, but look deeper, thinking and then absorb the knowledge that can be found on each of a great pictures if we care to look at it more intensely rather than just browsing.

Colors Of My Life

April 8, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

Farewell | Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

April 4, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

” I became a photographer because it involved me in the entire world around me. “I became a photographer because it provided me with food for my soul and bread for my table. “I became a photographer because it enable me to observe the human condition and to record the parade of human events…”

Assignment with Prime Minister

April 2, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

Classic…

March 30, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

UMNO | Historical Assignment

March 29, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

This is actually truly a historical assignment, I’m talking about politics in Malaysia. Usually I don’t like to publish my official job here, I don’t want you to get bored with all those political figure but this one is different. It was not an easy coverage, a lot of photographers here, all great angle are fully occupied by a photographers, they just don’t want to miss anything from any angle. It was historical indeed to welcome back former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad taking his busy life even after retired to come to this UMNO annual general assembly and what surprise others is that he walk to the stage and shake hands with his “friends” there, especially with Malaysia incoming Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Prime Minister himself Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. I don’t want to write about politic here so much, I guess you can read the whole story somewhere else, I just like to focus on photography aspect here.

About photography, I’ve heard my friends complain that, they are running out of memory, their battery camera runs dry, for me, to cover this historical event, we as a photographers must be 100% ready. The night before assignment, please make sure your camera battery fully charge, make sure also to bring extra battery, most photographers here are using 300-400mm lens, so the battery run dry faster than if you are using wide angle lens. Please format your card, so you don’t wasting your time formating your card when you change your card here and make sure bring extra memory card. The best thing is if you can bring an additional camera body, I mean bring two camera if that is possible, one camera with wide angle lens and the other with telephoto lens, 300mm or 400mm is a must here, there is not much times to switch lens while covering this event. Things can happen unexpectedly like picture above, nobody expect that Tun will come down from where he is sitting above the hall to the stage. If you are running out of battery or memory card, you are in trouble, this is not a model shooting where you can repeat again and again, this is once in a lifetime coverage, if you don’t get it, you don’t get it.

For me I’ll always make sure that at least I’ve another 100 free shots on my memory card, if there is only 50 shots left, I’ll change the memory card, I don’t want to gamble here because during this event, I shoot continuously in burst mode so the memory can filled up pretty quickly, just to tell you the truth, I don’t get 100% sharp image, some are blurry or shaking and few of them are a bit underexposed because my flash could not recycle fast enough in burst mode, I did not use external battery for flash because I don’t have it.

What I’m trying to share with you here is that be prepared for something that will happen, unexpected thing do happen in this kind of events, so get ready…

It’s Hard To Say Goodbye…

March 27, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

Salam untuk semua pengunjung di sini, mintak maaf kerana dah lama tak berupdate blog ni, nak bersawang rasanya. Lengang bukannya kerana tiada apa yang hendak ditulis ataupun kerana tiada gambar yang hendak dipamer atau dikongsi. Banyak sebenarnya yang hendak dikongsi tapi masa yang kurang mencukupi, kepada yang tertanya-tanya apa aktiviti saya dan ke mana saya pergi, singgahlah Flickr saya, di sana pun saya update style Blog jugak, ada sedikit story saya coretkan bersama sesetengah gambar yang saya poskan.

Sepanjang minggu ni, saya sibuk dengan membuat liputan Perhimpunan Agung UMNO di PWTC bersama rakan-rakan jurufoto yang lain. Memang happening dan memang memenatkan, tapi dah tugas, dan kerjaya ini yang saya pilih, tak boleh nak komplen lah kan. Bukan selalu sibuk macam ni, kadang-kadang sahaja, kebiasaanya kalau ada assignment hanyalah memakan masa sejam dua sahaja tetapi bila buat liputan sebegini, memakan masa sehari suntuk, kami bergilir-gilir bertugas, ada yang buat liputan di awal pagi dan ada yang buat liputan sebelah petang dan malam, kerjaya jurufoto ni agak berbeza dengan kerjaya lain, mungkin bagi sesetengah orang kerjaya ini mudah, ambil gambar sahaja, apa yang susah sangat kan. Bezanya kerjaya kami ialah, apa yang kami rakamkan tidak akan berulang, peristiwa yang berlaku hanya pada saat itu sahaja. Tidak seperti kerjaya di pejabat yang mana boleh ditangguhkan sejam dua lagi ataupun boleh ditangguhkan untuk seminggu ataupun sebulan dan mungkin setahun pun boleh ditangguhkan, boleh disambung semula, di mana yang tertinggal.

Kerjaya kami berlaku pada saat itu sahaja, tak boleh tangguh-tangguh, kekadang tu nak makan pun tiada masa, terpaksa bawa bekal, small snack, memang Media disediakan bilik untuk menjamu selera tetapi pada Perhimpunan sebesar ini, macam-macam boleh berlaku, para petugas media kena sentiasa bersedia, masing-masing sibuk mengejar berita, takut ada yang ketinggalan, takut ada yang gagal dilaporkan, takut ada yang gagal disiarkan. Memang setiap tahun jumlah petugas media, jurufoto terutamanya semakin ramai, memang agak payah untuk mendapatkan sudut yang terbaik, kebanyakan media arus perdana akan menghantar hampir kesemua wartawan mereka ke sini, so bayangkanlah sendiri bagaimana keadaanya, pada pandangan saya mereka yang memilih kerjaya jurufoto kewartawanan ini adalah mereka yang “cool”, yang tak mudah untuk panas baran, meraka yang amat penyabar, mereka yang amat setia. Kalau seseorang itu mudah panas baran, kerjaya jurufoto kewartawanan bukanlah yang sesuai untuk mereka, rasanya kalau mereka yang ada sifat panas baran, mudah melenting, kamera pun mudah terpelanting, ayat-ayat yang kurang menyenangkan akan mudah dilontarkan.

Berbagai tekanan dan halangan yang kami tempuhi untuk mendapatkan sudut yang terbaik, banyak masa yang dihabiskan menanti dan menunggu sesuatu yang belum pasti, PWTC dah ibarat rumah kami, bilamana setiap kali Perhimpunan Agung UMNO berlangsung, kawan-kawan ramai, so takdelah rasa terasing sangat, banyak cerita dan berita yang boleh dikongsikan. Perhimpunan Agong UMNO kali ini tidak seperti Perhimpunan yang sebelumnya, ada pertandingan merebut jawatan kali ini, so memang teramat happening dan tak terkecuali “Pening”.

Sewaktu saya merakamkan ketibaan Perdana Menteri kita Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, terlihat wajahnya yang agak muram, sugul barangkali, sesuatu yang tak terucap oleh kata-kata, sedih pun ada melihat wajahnya, saudara dan saudari boleh lihat sendiri raut wajahnya di Flickr saya kerana kebanyakan gambar saya upload di sana. Bukan mudah untuk seorang pemimpin menyerahkan jawatannya, jawatan yang tertinggi dalam parti dan jawatan seorang Perdana Menteri. Ramai yang mengata, ramai yang mengeji, hakikatnya bukan mudah memegang jawatan sebagai seorang Perdana Menteri, mana mungkin setiap kata dapat di kota, setiap janji dapat dilaksana, adalah mustahil untuk memenangi hati kesemua rakyat jelata, ada keputusan menyenangkan sesetangah pihak, ada juga yang menyusahkan sesetengah pihak. Sesiapa sahaja yang bakal memegang tampuk kepimpinan negara akan melalui proses ini, bersedia untuk menerima musuh-musuh baru, bersedia untuk menerima kawan-kawan baru, ada teman yang ingin mengambil kesempatan, ada rakan yang ingin mencari kesilapan, ada teman yang ingin berjuang secara ikhlas manakala tak kurang juga yang berjuang kerana mengharapkan ganjaran baik harta, pangkat dan kedudukan.

Sebagai rakyat kita harus sedar, “Selagi Kita Bernama Manusia, Tiada yang Sempura. Kesempurnaan Hanya Milik Allah Yang Maha Esa.

Driven By Desire | Mount Kinabalu

February 27, 2009
© 2009 Wazari Wazir

© 2009 Wazari Wazir

I’m really sorry for my long absence here. I was back here in Kuala Lumpur last Monday 23rd Feb but I was too tired to write anything, in fact I haven’t burn all those Sabah picture especially my Mount Kinabalu to DVD yet at the times of this writing. Still too damn tired and all my body still not fully recover yet, soreness all over. The climb was tough, it may not the highest mountain in the world but it’s still not so easy to climb for a sedentary guy like me, unless you are an adventurous person who climb mountain here and there and climbing a mountain is your yearly ritual, that should not be too tiresome for you.

I’m still adjusting to normal boring working life after spending a week traveling here and there each and everyday during my stay in Sabah. The climb just took two days two complete with one night stay at Gunting Lagadan Hut, it was cold up there, the place that I’m staying doesn’t have a heated room unlike Laban Rata Rest House, which have a heated room.

Climbing a mountain is not for everybody, but to those who have a desire to do so, not many people like to leave the comfort of their home to enter the wild. I was told by our Mountain Guide Mr Fendi that, a large numbers of climbers come from a foreign country especially Australia, more than thousands of people climb Mount Kinabalu every year. Mount Kinabalu is not technically difficult to climb but never ever under estimate or take it for granted, you still need a good stamina to climb it, not everybody who climb Mount Kinabalu reach the summit. The weather can change dramatically up there, the wind can be so strong than can pose danger to climbers. You still need to train few month in advance prior to your climbing and not to mention, to book early as early as five month ahead because the space at Laban Rata can finish up very quickly.