street photography outing in old town of Melaka with, from left: Iu-Lung, Timothy (blocked), and Denny
The 11th of August was Awal Ramadan, the beginning of Islamic month of fasting. Within these 29 or 30 days per lunar sighting of Ramadan month, participating Muslims all over the world refrain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset. It is intended to teach Muslims about patience, humility, and spirituality. Thus the significant first day of Ramadan is declared public holiday for the states of Johor, Kedah and Melaka.
a street view of Jalan Tukang Besi
On this first day of Ramadan last week, everyone in Melaka was having a day off and so to the students, Timothy, Iu-Lung, and Denny, whom I met from photonian. They then organised a street shooting around Jonker Street and were inviting others to join. Since I was having lunch at Jason’s house, which near to that area, I called up Timothy to join them and was hoping to learn from them. Timothy, Iu-Lung and Denny are no Malaccan but from Bintulu, Tampin and Kuala Lumpur relatively. They are current students of the Multimedia University in Melaka, and they are really passionate in photography.
The three of them display great skills yet diverse in their style from each other. Tim, who is active in the university’s photography event always likes to try new thing and produce outstanding masterpieces. On the other hand, I came to know Iu-Lung after seeing his name and photos in the paper and magazine, receiving good feedback from others. It also gave me a good impression on his black and white photos. Denny whom I just knew, showed a dynamic of passion in photography during the outing.
After we met and gathered at Jalan Tukang Besi, we began our shooting along the street, targeting craft-men whom hardly be seen nowadays. We were looking particularly for an elderly doing rattan at Jalan Kampung Kuli. His workplace was next to the Makam Hang Jebat (Hang Jebat’s grave). It is shame to say that I did know the grave’s existence prior to the outing till I was told and brought there by the three students from other states. And unfortunately we didn’t manage to see the rattan man as he was already off business on the day. Feeling disappointed, we continued on our search of a craft-man.
the elderly craft-man checking on a sewing maching
We then headed to Jalan Kampung Pantai. I remember there is an elderly craft-man who repairs sewing machine at his shop right opposite the fabric shop I went a week ago. And yes, the craft-man was there on business that day and he was fixing a sewing machine when we reached. We were happy to meet our objective – taking photos of a craft-man. With the old craft-man’s consent, we snap some of his photos before we moved to my last stop, Lorong Jambatan.
The street leads directly to the famous bridge which known by the locals as Gui Men Guan in Chinese, meaning hell gate. It’s believed that many had been killed during the world war Japanese invasion or suicide here by jumping into Melaka River. As it is dead end, no car would drive into this street.
panning shot of the family love on a bike
When we arrived there, a family of few members was spending some precious time together and the kids were cycling back and forth along the street. They were friendly and happily greeted us on our arrival. The kids were not camera-shy but to continue cycling. It came to my mind immediately to shoot panning photos of the kids on bikes instead of taking racing cars. So I turned down the my camera’s shutter speed and started to do panning shots of the family’s cycling moments. We enjoyed there capturing the shots of the people, building and the bridge.
It was late then I had to leave for my next appointment. Timothy and friends continued their journey to other streets and I believed they’d got really amazing shots of the old town of Melaka. I really enjoyed the walk around and snap outing. It was also a great pleasure to join these energetic and passionate young men especially having the same interest in keeping the aspects of history before they disappear altogether.
Thanks to Timothy, Iu-Lung and Denny for spending a good time together. May all beings be happy.
Hit the jump to see panning in action: