If you have been following me, you must have known that Malaysia, like most parts of the world has been under lockdown or some sort of movement restriction to combat the Covid-19 Pandemic. It was quite gruesome in Malaysia for a period of time, we were not allowed to leave the house unless for essential activities, eg getting groceries or important supplies. If we were caught wandering about for no important reasons, the police will fine us on the spot or send us to jail, and sometimes both. Even as the restrictions were slowly eased over the months, filming in public was specifically prohibited and it was stated in the official government site with guidelines on what to do and what not to do during this lockdown period. I fully acknowledge that photography for personal use should be fine but I am also a professional photographer and when caught it would be extremely difficult for me to explain or justify my actions. Those of you who know how Malaysian police works, you will also know there are many things that require improvement.
It has been a frustrating past 3 months (since March 18) being trapped at home, but I persevered on and making YouTube videos gave me purpose. I continued doing what I can within the limited confined space and I was quite amazed of what I have come up with all this time. I have shot anything that I can from that tiny little balcony of my residential apartment looking out – trees, buildings, tower cranes, rainbows, lightning, night view of the city towers from far, I have done anything I possibly can. I have also done product photography tips, shooting with natural light and also demonstrated on various toys that I have – Robin Lego, miniature Batmobile, Antman and War Machine figurines and also a watch to show how focus stacking works. I have covered a wide variety of topics ranging from OM-D tips to general photography sharing, but I was getting bored using the same balcony again and again, and I am well aware my audio recording from that balcony was not great – it did sound a little echoey and “boomy”. I just did not like filming videos at that spot anymore.
Thankfully on June 10 onward, Malaysia has moved on to “Recovery Phase” of the movement restriction and the lockdown is further eased. We are now allowed to move about, most businesses are allowed to open and finally, the ban on filming in public has been lifted. I can now go out with my camera, do street photography, film videos for my Vlogs/YouTube without having to constantly look over my shoulders for police presence. I don’t have to worry about breaking the law if I were to sneak out to film that B-Roll, or get some sample shots to show how certain features in the OM-D camera works, I can just go out and shoot freely, and that is a huge, huge step forward for me. No more being stuck in that tiny balcony anymore! I am free!
After getting a haircut (barbers were allowed to open on 10 June) I immediately filmed a video, discussing on “Anti-Shock 0 Sec” or Electronic First Curtain Shutter, which was a continuation from the previous Electronic/Silent Shutter video, and man, it felt so good to be out and about again. To have a different scenery in my background, to have much cleaner audio and finally, being able to stretch my legs, it made a huge difference not just for my YouTube content, but for my own personal mental health as well. Being trapped in one place for too long does things to your mind.
I have since then made a few more videos, all lined up to be published in YouTube and that spark to continue shooting and making content has been reignited. I am all fired up and inspired to go out and shoot more now, and trust me, all these pent up enthusiasm will show in my coming videos.
As for the work side of things, my calendar for shoots remain looking quite pathetic for the rest of the year and I expect the business side of things to recover very slowly. I am not going to ask for a miracle, I have foreseen this since the beginning of the year and I am expecting things to get worse before they get better. However, I am also positive that I can survive this storm and I know my passion for photography will carry me through. I have all of you beautiful people to remind me that what I do here matters and your constant positive feedback, words of encouragement and also genuine show of faith have helped me in some of my most difficult times. The generous contributions from direct PayPal donations and “Buy Me a Coffee” site have been a great help in keeping me afloat in these times and effectively motivating me to continue on.
I must thank you all for being so supportive, so patient, kind and understanding. I think you must have been bored seeing me at that same balcony for 3 months. Yet you are still here with me, and I could not ask for a better audience. Without you, there is no Robin Wong.
I have a lot of interesting content lined up, and I cannot wait to draft the ideas out, write the scripts, film and shoot them and finally edit into final videos, or even a blog format to share with you all, either here on this blog or my YouTube Channel. I have been around, blogging, doing shutter therapy and sharing fresh content for more than 10 years, and surely I am not going anywhere. Part of me felt that I have just begun, and there is so much more I want to do.
I hope wherever you are, things are going well for you, and you are able to do shutter therapy. I shall stop writing now, grab that camera and go out for my own shutter therapy. I shall come home with plenty of photographs to share, so stay tuned!
Shutter therapy must go on.
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