Shutter Therapy In Penang

Recently I had a work trip up to the beautiful historical city of Georgetown, Penang. Since I was there, I managed to squeeze a bit of time for shutter therapy! I thought this would be an opportunity to do another video about street photography and continue to show some behind the scenes of how I got some of my shots on the street. Also, at the same time I shared a few more tips and tricks on general street and travel photography! It was certainly not easy making that video, it took a lot longer than anticipated and Penang weather was a lot hotter than Kuala Lumpur! Obviously I was drenched in sweat at the end of the session. It was always fun exploring and shooting at wonderful Penang street.

I was only able to cover a few streets in a span of less than 3 hours, as video shooting part was also challenging and more time consuming than I initially anticipated. I wished I could have visited some awesome huge temples as well as the jetties by the ocean, overlooking the majestic Penang bridge as a backdrop in some of my shots. I knew I may need another 2 hours to do that, and at that point I was already writhing in agony due to the overbearing heat! Penang is super, super hot!

I brought along only the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO, my current favourite lens and the OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera for this shoot. One camera, one lens. Simple setup!

The tips that I shared in this video: do not use wide angle at all times! I know it is tempting to fit as much as possible into a frame, but that would make the photograph looking too generic and “ordinary” since most people shoot with smartphones now and most smartphones are stuck at wide angle shooting. Using a longer focal length, such as 50mm equivalent will allow different framing, with more emphasis on the subject, and you are able to isolate it better from other distracting elements in the frame.

I guess it is a huge challenge also to shoot a tourist hotspot, because this place is swarmed by tourists from everywhere, and there are tonnes of images of Penang being shot and posted online everywhere. Therefore, it becomes increasingly difficult to shoot anything original, and not repeating what has been done multiple times over before. Nonetheless, we should not be lazy and just do usual looking photographs. We can take that extra effort to find a different way to compose a scene, or shoot the location a little differently, adding our own flavor to the images.

Penang is such a wonderful place for street photography! If you are visiting Malaysia please do consider dropping by Geeorgetown, trust me, you won’t regret it. The place, the food, the people, all simply amazing. 
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