If you ever want to get to know someone well, travel with them. Be stuck with them 24/7. Learn what they value and what they can live without. See what it’s like to negotiate with them. This post is devoid of portraits for a couple reasons: 1 – it does not automatically occur to my boyfriend to take photos of me. He only takes pictures of things, not people. Haha oy… 2 – it was hot and humid, I didn’t feel like being in photos because I looked gross. 3 – focusing issues in my camera which I will explain below. 4- boyfriend is kind of private
We began and ended our journey in Singapore. It’s a super clean, modern country that has done a lot of things right to ensure continued growth. It is a place where I can feel it has a culture of excellence
My #1 goal was to get to the top of Marina Bay Sands (the boat-like hotel you see 2 photos above) so I could get a night panorama of Singapore
The second highlight of our trip was Bali. We stayed in east Bali and arrived late at night – Bali’s roads are usually one-lane which means a lot of traffic during the day. We hired a driver to chauffeur us around the eastern and central region of the island during one of the days, which offers a much more interesting and authentic experience than staying in the capital of Denpasar
The camera I brought on this trip was not my usual camera. It’s a consumer DSLR that many of you guys will be able to afford – a Nikon D5100 mounted with the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR lens. Having shot with a professional body for so long it is definitely a challenge trying to get more out of a lesser body and I never realized how many things I took for granted with the D700.
One big issue was auto-focus – it’s just not as good as the D700 (which has 51 points). The D5100 has a respectable 11 points, but I had issues re-programming it into back-button focus mode. It’s hard to see which focal point the camera has picked. This resulted in most photos that the boyfriend took of me being blurry
Second, is dynamic range. A camera with amazing dynamic range is the best way to achieve the color that is a trademark of my work. The lack of dynamic range compared to the professional full frames means that colors appear more flat and harsh, so I had to work extra hard on these images. Again, for personal purposes, I’m happy with these photos, but professionally I wouldn’t use this camera
All the temples and palaces in Bali have an element of water. I love it
Bali is interesting is that it is an island of predominantly Hindu / indigenous / Buddhist religions. You’ll see lots of these statues and more everywhere you go
The sunset by which we had a very delicious romantic dinner in Candidasa, Bali. The ISO performance of this camera is pretty good since Nikon got its act together with the D90 and all cameras after that. Changing ISO is a beast, I had to assign a different function button to do it. Also, this camera refuses to take a photo when the lighting is low without popping up the flash, which is not what I wanted. I had to tell it to stop being so “smart” by holding down the AE-lock button to force it to take a photo
Oh Kuala Lumpur. We stayed longer than we intended in this city because we missed our flight to Kuching and the rainforests of Borneo. It was also my first time staying at a hostel that really did look like a hostel (and not like those professional hotel-like hostels you find in Europe), which took me a long time to adjust to. So we ate.. and ate.. and ate… haha. We ate throughout the trip. The food photos below are actually from all over – only the bottom right was food from a food court in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur has some great Islamic architecture. The below two photos were taken at a train station!
Resting at the National Islamic Art museum – Kuala Lumpur has a great selection of museums
The Batu Caves – a series of caves accessible by train. One of them has a Hindu temple. You climb 272 steps to get to it
We also visited Brunei, which unfortunately ranks now as one of the most boring countries in the world according to us (and between the two of us we’ve visited a LOT of countries). We meant to visit the Temburong national park but a change in the location of the boat dock made it too hard for us to get to with our time constraint. Instead, here is Kampong Ayer, a water village
I also had the pleasure of meeting up with several friends and make new ones! Thanks Wei Ting, Joyce, Angela, and AiGhee!
To end, here are the gorgeous Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur lit up at night
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Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only