It’s almost the end of the year and time to look back at some of the key events and best photographs captured during the year. It’s always difficult to pick out a few photographs from the many hundreds (or possibly thousands) taken during 2012 but here is a selection of the 12 key images which inspired me.
A tango evening in February was a great opportunity to try and capture this sensual dance. There were a number of professional tango dancers who had flown into KL for this Tango Festival and it was so inspiring to see this wonderful dance … and of course the music was great too.
My interest in old heritage buildings took me to the rundown row of old mansion houses on Jalan Tun Razak in KL. I used to look out over these buildings from an office many years ago and it’s been in the back of my mind to capture these before they disappear for good. In their day these buildings probably represented the elite of down-town accommodation but sadly these buildings are now crumbling away and will probably disappear for good due to re-development.
I have been in KL for over 20 years now and have seen the tremendous developments to the city. None more so than when the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers were built and the subsequent development of the central city area around this site. I wanted to capture a picture of the towers so early one Sunday morning in early April I headed to town and took a number of images using a tilt-shift lens which allowed me to merge multiple frames into a larger panorama without the usual sloping distortion you get when using a wide angle lens on a tall building.
In May I was in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam on business but managed to fit in a visit to the Emperor Jade Pagoda on the recommendation of Peter Stuckings a professional photographer who now lives in Ho Chi Minh. This pagoda is very traditional and if visiting when the light is right you can experience these wonderful rays of light coming in through the slatted wooden roof and creating long beams due to the incense smoke. I was luck to visit during a ceremony so there was also some atmospheric chanting and singing to augment the visual feast.
I usually return to UK once a year and this year took the opportunity to make a trip to the Lake District in Cumbria, North England. The scenery here is beautiful with rolling hills and many lakes providing were numerous photo opportunities in this region.
After the UK trip I had the opportunity to visit the Bordeaux area of south west France where there are many world acclaimed vineyards. This picture shows the famous Margaux vineyard. To be expected during a trip like this there was much eating and drinking to sample all the local delicacies.
No trip to France would be complete without a few days in the capital, Paris. I always enjoy this city with its magnificent architecture, museums and history as well of course as being able to eat some fantastic French food. This photo was taken inside the Museum of Natural History situated in the Jardin des Plantes.
My interest in heritage buildings came to fruition in September when I had the chance to display a set of photographs at the Guerrilla Photo Exhibition at Avenue K Shopping Centre in KL. My exhibition was titled “Lost Legacy” and highlighted the disappearance of many of the prime heritage buildings which exemplify the unique architectural style of Malaysia.
An urbex outing in central KL uncovered this gem of an old house left abandoned right in the centre of the city. The old house was in ruins and inhabited by many bats and this old red umbrella left on the floor created a great shot – an HDR image converted to black and white then the colour restored to the red umbrella for effect.
This was a small project I did to focus on the two major rivers that flow through KL, the Klang River and the Gombak River. The two rivers are still polluted although somewhat better now than many years ago
In September we returned yet again to Bali, one of our favourite spots in S.E. Asia. We stayed in Ubud and took a nostalgic walk through the rice paddy fields which we had done 6 years before. There are always some great photo opportunities her and when I came across this old man working in the fields I couldn’t resist a portrait highlighting his skinny but fit body against the wonderful rich colours of the rice fields in the background.
In October I finally achieved a long ambition to climb Mount Kinabalu in Sabah. It was a tough climb over two days but rewarded with some stunning photos. The above South Peak really stands out against the clouds in the background and in my view is a lot more impressive than Low’s Peak which is the tallest peak.