A WALK THROUGH PASAR KARAT

A WALK THROUGH PASAR KARAT

“Never go alone if you were shooting around Petaling street!, someone just got murdered over there a few months ago.” those were the word that my old physic teacher told me during my stay at his house in Kuala Lumpur. “You better off by wearing a cap, you look to much like a tourist without it.” he further added. That was the first advice that my teacher actually gave to me when I told him of my interest to explore Kuala Lumpur all by myself.

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Some antique foreign money that is on sale

Kuala Lumpur has always been a fascinating place for me ever since I was young. Its a place that represent Malaysia on international level and I always thought it was the most advance city in the whole Malaysia. I have never consider it as a dangerous place before and that is until I have seen the street life of Kuala Lumpur with my own eyes. Its Crowded, hectic, and heavily congested. The scene changes within a specific period of time where office worker commute their transit via the LRT in the morning to the joyous crowd at the Chinatown in the evening, its truly a sight to behold especially for someone who is used to the calm life in suburban area of Labuan.

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The view of the Maybank tower from my hotel window.

Over the year, there is one particular place that manage to slip through my list and that is the infamous Pasar Karat.

Pasar karat is more of a flea market that open during the weekend. From what I heard, It’s full of interesting character that is looking for a legit source of income, a place that is full of interesting character. I still remember the word from an old Chinese photographer that I met  years ago who used to shoot around the street of KL Chinatown, he did show me some of his picture from that area (which is not that impressive) and how he keep on mentioning that you need massive ‘balls’ to shoot around the area as it was guarded by a triad who have their own member guarding the area within a certain radius. The fact surprised me a bit but it doesn’t deter my curiosity to explore the area.

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A guy showing off the duck that he just prepared at the back of his restaurant, where Pasar Karat is actually located.

Even after the next few years, I couldn’t find this elusive Pasar Karat but eventually, I found it by accident and to my surprised, its just next to the hotel that I used to stay in Petaling Street. It was during the recent IPA KL Street Photography workshop and around that time, the street photography community is buzzing with the work by Che Ahmad from his ‘A Walk of Life’ series and some of the picture from the series was  taken at Pasar Karat. It was Che Ahmad (one of the mentor during the IPA Photography workshop) that pinpoint the location for me but I never really knew that it was that close to the place that I was staying.

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Street dentist service. Slightly unhygienic yet popular with the people due to the cheaper service fee compare to the Licensed and certified Dentist.

On the second day of the workshop, I decide to find the Pasar Karat as it seems to be an interesting place for our photo assignment (and to recreate CheMat iconic picture) and I have to be early as they only open within a certain period of time which is from 7am until 10am.

And guess what, it was really just down the balcony of the hotel that I was staying and soon I find myself immerse within the crowd of people;

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The moment when I realized that the Pasar Karat is just next to the hotel that I was staying.

The Pasar Karat is as mentioned earlier, a flea market that consist many people from all walk of life trying to sale something or simply looking for a bargain. Few minutes later I discover that the Pasar Karat stretch along the back lane of the shop houses near Petaling Street (i have no idea on the street name around Kuala Lumpur), which is truly interesting as it does seems to be full of potential for interesting story and picture ( I was participating a street photography workshop at that time).

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The busy crowd along Pasar Karat.

I was a bit hesitate whether I should pull my camera out and hang it around my shoulder but after I remember the story that the old Chinese photographer told me a few years ago, I decided to walk through the area just to get the idea on how the place actually work.

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I have a nice chat with them and they were joking on something which I couldn’t remember what, but something about animal.

The atmosphere is again, surprisingly familiar, and it feel pretty much the same as the busy hustle of Gaya Street at Kota Kinabalu. After a few minutes of walking, I couldn’t sense any malice from the people as the rumour were saying and every time I smile at them, they smile back. There is probably some slight misunderstanding with the people and soon I started to loosen up.

resize ipa 11One of the most friendliest guy that I met at Pasar Karat, he told me the medical benefits of the Lintah Gunung from Sabah.

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I am basically an introvert and some of the easiest way for me to start a conversation is by pulling out the camera which I personally believe, an all access passport/excuse to almost any situation that I could imagine.

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After a few conversation with the people along Pasar Karat, I finally realized something that people who sale their stuff along Pasar Karat doesn’t have any permit to sale on that particular area from DBKL. A guy that I manage to talk with told me that people over here often got chased away by DBKL (Dewan Bandar Raya Kuala Lumpur) and usually not in a friendly/polite manner. So its quite often that people mistaken someone with a camera as a DBKL officer in disquise, hence the usual warning to not take their picture.

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I did strike a long conversation with him and he was nice enough to reassure me that the place was actually very safe to what most people think off, but a bit of precaution wouldn’t harm anyway.

It is certainly nice to hear the other side of the story and after spending a total of 1 and a half hour around Pasar Karat, I manage to snag a few bargain on some old NGEO Magazine. If  people say that Pasar Karat is a dangerous place to visit in Kuala Lumpur, then they obviously never try to stand in the middle of the LRT track. Regardless of what other people have to say on Pasar Karat, I truly wish that DBKL have a proper way to handle some of the issue.

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I really have no idea on what the guy was trying to say but he did mention that the girl in the picture was her daughter. (this is not from the same guy from the previous picture).

Pasar Karat is really an interesting place to visit and I really recommend people to visit that place although just try not to offend the people with your camera. The next time I visit that place, I will be sure to wake up a bit early. 🙂

“STRIPE”

A fashion trend, a natural camouflage pattern, an obvious sign of contrast.

‘STRIPE’ can be interpreted into a variety of different occasion but I find it interesting to find it in my everyday life. This series is interesting for me because I have been using the Sony a900 with the 50mm lens to capture the image.

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Somewhere around the Labuan Surrender point. The shadow was cast from the nearby tree.

SONY DSCStaircase of my former highschool. The morning light was great though.

SONY DSC Morning breakfast and I usually use the glass for Nescafe though.

SONY DSCAnother tree within the town area.

“QUIET”

“QUIET”

Quiet is something that I could relate to when I am all alone doing my own stuff in my room. But somehow I believe ‘Quiet’ can be found anywhere and sometimes I found it during one of my streetwalk.

The definition of ‘Quiet’ differ from person to person but certainly its everywhere.

r 002 A sign of peace and love which I found somewhere around a quiet alley at the back of a building.

r 003 A rather peaceful view at the Labuan War Memorial before the start of the event and surely it sign something significant that is being held at that place today.

r 004 A stark looking building which is actually a 3 Star hotel with aluminium cladding facade in front.

Street Shooting : Labuan during weekend.

Some of my friend ask me how F.T Labuan is and how does it look like when compare to the other states within Malaysia, and most of the time my respond is that it is pretty much the same with the other States. Malaysia is probably the only country in the World where people could freely practice their religion and yet live harmoniously with each other. The majority of Malaysian is a Malay Muslim while the country is share with other different races and religion such as Christianity and Buddhism. The percentage is pretty much the same throughout each states and here I believe that Labuan is the same as well.

The only difference that someone would notice is the culture, accent and probably the Architecture since most of the building in Labuan is rather new as the Island was bombarded by the Japanese during the World War II. It is also worth mentioning that Labuan Island play a significant roles during the World War II against the Japanese.

With most of the thought still lingering in my head, I decided to bring my camera out to the street and take some picture while testing my ‘Soon to be’ lens. The camera that I will be using is of course my Nikon D60 but instead of the small kit lens, I use the 18-105 Nikkor, more commonly known as the Nikon D90 kit lens.

So here is some of the picture while shooting around the street of Labuan;

The first interesting picture to shoot was this lady, who are so concentrated on finishing her work, she basically ignored me.

After taking the first few shoot, I notice this cat, which were sleeping at that time but soon awake after being alerted by the sound of my camera shutter.

The aunties were happy with me taking their picture but missed a moment where she actually smiled to the camera.

And yet I find another one, which look as if the Cat was cut in half.

A fishing boat, its a common sight near the Fish Market. I wish I could ride on one and take a picture of it from the boat deck.

I was shooting some kid kicking a plastic bottle but they noticed me and got ‘camera shy’. This picture was taken the moment after I turn around and notice them leaving the store.

The uncle notice me carrying a camera and soon he wave at me and greet me in the most common way possible, “Hello!!”. He was very nice and judging from his face, I guess something good happen that day.

The woman in this picture was teasing the guy on the previous picture and I was chatting with them until I notice how well the lighting and the background is. She noticed that I was trying to take a picture of her and hesitate for a while before she finally relaxed and letting me take the picture.

I was on my way back to my motorcycle and I decided to walk around the street area near my office. I saw this guy posing with the pole and as I get closer, I manage to snap a couple of frame before I was stopped by his friend. Nothing serious, they were just asking me to post this picture on some magazine.

Terengganu at Night

Architecture student is basically a Nocturnal kind of people. They tend to sleep during the day, and only to remain active at night, completing pending assignment and ongoing project. So when Architecture students conduct a trip to somewhere interesting just for the sake of ‘research’. Night activity will consist of midnight stroll around the near empty town, hanging out at the mamak store, watching movies, or for some, night street photography.

That is the idea, night street photography. But little did I realize that my camera have a very poor noise control quality and any picture taken higher than ISO 400 could turn out to be unusable for me. But I don’t really care about it anyway, and here are some of the picture taken with my Nikon D60;

I kinda like how the light illuminate the big tree, wish I could ramp up the ISO a bit more.

A friend of mine waiting for some us in front of 7Eleven. We didn’t have much of an activity that night other than having a nice dinner at Dataran Shahbandar.

A quirky way of taking picture of someone, there is another frame which is good but it was ruin when my friend block half of the frame with her hand.

Smoking near the ocean is really relaxing for some people, and here is my friend doing exactly that…

Taken during our walk to Pasar Payang, I wanted to wait for a better picture of this but the traffic is really busy. Somehow it look familiar with some Street Racing game that I have been playing…

Strolling at Night around Terengganu is rather safe in my opinion, but like in any other place, you still need to be careful. One of the thing that I notice is the lack of Night Club or Karaoke place, so party goers is really going to be disappointed with Terengganu. There is a lot of people staying up at night around the town area which could be interesting for photographer with a Nikon D3s equipped with 35mm f/1.4 lens… 😀

There is more to my trip at Terengganu, I will try to share it as soon as possible. Somewhere this week, one of my Junior ask me to teach him to take better picture like me (I do not consider myself a good photographer though) but the secret to take better picture is really by just taking a lot of picture. Passion and creativity, thats all matter. 😀

Terengganu – Another Case Study Trip

We have been doing a bit to much case study trip this semester and although it is fun to experience new place by learning some of its history and culture, it’s tiring knowing that you going to prepare a presentation slide and board to present in front of the lecturer after you finish your trip. That stuff aside, I finally be able to visit the East Coast of Malaysia this year and it really is a great experience.

To start the trip, our group gather at Putra Bus Station near KL Central and this is my first time riding a double decker bus. 😀

Here are some of the following picture;


I waited for him to look directly at my camera and this is it, the bus station is poorly lit causing the shutter speed to fall a bit to slow for my liking.


A friend of mine, we are moving in a group of 10, so it was a fun trip but more on that in later post.


The bus driver of the Double Decker Bus that I am taking, he is not keen on me taking his picture but he is really talkative when I was talking about Terengganu with him.


I snap a picture of them while we were stopping by at RnR Chendor. Snap another picture of them playing which is kinda cute, reminds me when I was little.


First picture taken after we arrive at Terengganu Bus Station, the light was great and I thought I could shoot a bit more but sitting inside the bus for about 8 hours is really tiring.


My first impression of the people in Terengganu, very kind and friendly, especially older people. I was talking with her for a while since she thought that I was working for TV3 when I take her picture but my only excuse is that “I am a student…”.


I got a deep respect to people who appreciate old design. As much as I love the design of the volkswagen, I still love the design of the old Mini Cooper.


A cat that I found while we were searching for our hotel. Cat is a very curious animal, which makes taking their picture easier.


Another under construction building around my hotel area. Our hotel is just next to this building. 😀 More on Terengganu on my next post.

A week in Malacca 02

So I have been spending a week here and one of the thing that irritate me sometimes is that I don’t have much time to take a picture around the street of Malacca, but after we finished measuring the mosque for the last day, I decided to stroll around before going back to hotel, it took me about 35 minute to take some picture on my way to the hotel and here are some of it.


A taxi driver who are waiting for a customer at the junction of the jonker street, took me about 5 minutes to get this picture without him noticing me. Should wait a bit longer for him to look at the camera for some eye contact picture.


The light was really great on this one and I notice that there was some guy riding a bicycle but after some trial and error, I caught a picture of this old guy wearing his helmet wrong. But he manage to turn into the corner pretty well consider on how the helmet block his vision.


Some of the stall near the replica of a Portuguese ship is closed after 6pm, and this is probably one of the owner. She notice me taking her picture but all you need is just a smile and pretend that you are a tourist. 😀


This is the ‘Menara Taming Sari’, one of Malaysia first rotating observation tower which gives you a 360 view of Malacca. I should have wait for a couple of minute until the observation deck started moving, but I was so hungry.