Thursday, April 21, 2016


I am always mesmerised by sunrise and sunset. As the sun rises from the horizon, slowly illuminating the skies with her light, it signifies a brand new day with new hope and new aspirations. It also signifies another chance, as if were, given by the Great Almighty to us, to live right, to make things right and most importantly, to make that one new day counts.

I particularly enjoyed sitting there in total darkness just waiting for the sun to emerge. In the silence of the night, gazing up towards the heavens, if the skies are clear, the twinkling stars and the darkness of the universe has the effect of drawing you further and further away, deeper and deeper into her grasp. This is especially true if you are staring at the Milky Way which I had the opportunity to see and capture at Aaroki, Mount Cook in New Zealand.

Capturing sunrise by the beach is even mesmerising. In the silence of the night, the sound of the waves splashing against the beach, followed by a split moment of silence as they retreat, only to give way to another roaring splash. It is moments like this that one feels the smallness and fragility of a human soul against the vastness and magnitude of the universe at large, giving us a moment to reflect on what life and our mere existence is all about.

The sight of a very dim orange light at the horizon often invokes that excitement that the long wait is soon going to be over and the arrival of that fiery red sun is imminent.  For a photographer, often times, this is the final moments of tweaking the camera settings and angle and composition to make sure that we are ready for her grand entry.

When I was still in my early days of taking pictures, I often wish for a cloudless sky, hoping to catch only the bright red sun emerging from the horizon. I would often lament even at the slightest form of clouds floating by. However, as I matured in my photography journey, I adore interesting clouds formation just before the sunrise, because the clouds as they rolled by will add drama and interest to an otherwise plain sunrise. Often times, life is as such. The storm clouds which never really stays forever but merely rolls by are there to add spice, interest, drama and colours to our lives and the sun will always without fail follow suit, if only we patiently wait it out.

The excitement that builds up as the light over the horizon brightens, lighting up the skies with different hue of blue, indigo, red, orange and yellow reminds me of the many sunrises that I have painted likewise when I was still in school. The vast canvas before you changes right before your eyes as each second passes by.

And all the anxiety of waiting patiently and the building up of the excitement finally climaxed as that bright red orange sun emerges from the horizon and break through the thin layer of clouds, her yellow orange rays illuminate the sky, overpowering the darkness of the night and shed light over the earth. 

I feel a deep sense of rebirth and renewal. A new day has dawned and with it a new hope and another opportunity to live right. The problems of yesterday might still be there but at least we have been given another shot and opportunity by the grace of the Almighty to resolve, to learn, to overcome and to triumph.

As I packed my gear after each sunrise photoshoot, I often walked off with sense of joy and hope, thrilled that I have been granted the gift of living and witnessing another sunrise.

The following are the shots that I captured as I went through all the feelings above as I sat there, waiting for the sun to emerge over the horizon while holidaying at the Club Med Cherating, Kuantan, Malaysia. It all started with gloomy skies and rolling storm clouds but I walked away with the sun smiling upon me. 

May the sun smiles on you everyday.


I have been Seattle a couple of times before. I have seen pictures of this magnificent waterfall before but hardly had the time or made the time to visit it.

During the recent visit though, we made it a point to drop by and have a look and I was definitely not disappointed. With the winter just over and spring setting in, the warmer weather has started to melt the snow and the ice, bringing along huge torrents of crystal clear water pouring down the waterfall to the rapids below.

This the the Snoqualmie Falls, approximately a 20 minutes drive from Sammamish, a fall of over 82 meters or 268 feet tall, crashing with such awesome power below. Most of the water are diverted into the power plants to generate electricity but when it rains or when the snow and ice melts, the abundance of the water clearly demonstrates the sheer power of it's flow.

Taking a slow walk to the another viewing spot at the bottom of the falls is also another must for it is here that one could see the waterfall from a different perspective nestled among the cliffs and pine trees and the fast flowing rapids.

I must give due credit for these last two shots because it was my wife who pointed out this angle of taking the waterfall between the towering pine trees. It was a difficult shot to take, considering that the sun has already set, light was fading and the brightness of the waterfall in the background totally overshadows the interesting pine trees that frames it. I took a couple of shot. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I am back but briefly unfortunately. Living in China is great but unfortunately the GREAT FIREWALL of China meant updating blogspot or wordpress such a pain even with paid VPN.

Since I am back in Malaysia for a short one week, I thought I will take some time just to add a post to this blog of mine. I actually missed updating it but unfortunately, I have been having so much problems updating pictures to this blog and since this is a photography blog, it would be rather meaningless to update it without being able to upload any pictures.

For this one entry, I would like to share the one moment of a lifetime I had recently and it had to do with the Great Wall of China.

Since moving to China, I have been very impressed with this magnificent structure and has went to different parts of the wall to photograph it, from summer, spring and winter with the snow. The one season that I had not been there was autumn when the leaves turned yellow and orange and I heard that it would be nice.

Hence, during the last autumn last year, I waited till it was rather late in autumn making sure that there would be some orange leaves to make my trip. I wanted to hike the wild sections of the wall and I called my trusted guide, Aaron to arrange for a short hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu, a 2 hours hike along the wall. 

The morning came and when I woke up, Beijing was snowing!!! Snowing in Beijing is rather rare considering that Beijing is dry. It can get bitterly cold but without water moisture, there were hardly any snow in the past 3 years. Not only was it snowing, we are officially still in autumn and it was snowing hard and it was cold! I was apprehensive and was considering cancelling the trip because I was afraid that it would be too cold to hike the wall with snow. Concerned friends advised me to cancel the trip as it would be dangerous, all the more that I would be hiking the wild unrestored walls. Some called me 'crazy.

However, I was thinking that this would be a chance of a lifetime, to not only photograph the Great Wall with all the autumn leaves but also to photograph the wall with fresh snow in autumn.  I called Aaron and asked if he has any concern of safety. Aaron being Aaron is always super confident and said that it would be perfectly safe on the stretches we intend to hike that day. Taking his advice, we pushed on.

It was snowing throughout the 2 hours car journey to the section at Jiankou from Beijing. As we near the wall, I can see from afar, how thick the snow has covered some parts of the wall and she looked absolutely enchanting. The drive along the slippery road to the drop off point was far from easy. There were times, when the car could barely get a grip on the slippery road considering that the snow was so fresh and the driver was not prepare to drive that morning in the snow. 

What a view the trip turned out to be. It was still snowing and since this is the first snow of the season and we were probably the one people out there on the wall, there were literally no footprints on the wall but ours. I had both my wishes fulfilled in one morning, photographing the Great Wall of China in autumn with the autumn leaves and fresh snow of winter. This is definitely a chance of a lifetime and I was there.

What a trip it turned out to be. I was mesmerised with the breathtaking view of this magnificent structure in all her majesty covered with that white blanket of snow dotted with yellow, orange and red leaves of autumn.

I have finally seen the wall in all her four seasons and more.