The first photo trip since covid
The Covid-19 pandemic has messed up everyone’s travel plans for the past 2 years, and that includes mine too. Fast forward 2 years later, though Covid with many of its variants is still surrounding us, things got better, or at least most countries have moved forward and opened up borders for tourism and travelling abroad.
Singapore, one of the strict countries in Southeast Asia, has finally loosened up the travel rules and regulations, especially making it easier for people to travel between Malaysia and Singapore. Fujifilm Singapore, together with Fujifilm Malaysia and a photography community called Photojam, organised a short photo trip for photography enthusiasts to visit Malacca (also known as Melaka), Malaysia. And, of course, I signed up for it.
As I have not been travelling overseas for the past 2 years, I think this could be a good opportunity to warm myself up for future overseas travelling. One fun fact about me is that I have not participated in any overseas photo trip (or sort of similar one) in my photography life. So I am kind of excited about this trip.
Also, I took the opportunity to refresh my mind and hope to have a different photography perspective with this short getaway. Hence, I decided to bring something light with me. So my weapons of choice are XF23mm f1.4 WR and XF35mm f1.4, together with my trusty X-T3.
Documenting the journey is what I have always been doing whenever I am on an overseas trip since the pre-covid period. So I am doing the same for this one, or at least as much as I can.
Taken with X-T3 and XF200mm f2. Straight out of camera.
The journey to Malacca is not a smooth one. Due to many external factors like traffic jams and heavy rain showers, the journey to Malacca is slower than expected, but it does give me an opportunity to see what’s outside the coach bus.
The first itinerary from the organiser is actually a model shooting session in a resort. To sweeten the shooting experience, the good people in Fujifilm Singapore also bring some X and GFX series camera bodies and lenses for photographers to try out. Among all gears, only 1 lens has my attention and that is XF200mm f2! A lens that probably every Fujifilm photographer would love to have but thanks to its size, weight and cost.
Since this lens is a gem for portrait shots, I take this opportunity to test the lens out. A quick conclusion about this lens: it is extremely heavy, but it rewards me with stunning results.
The second itinerary is to visit one of the most popular attractions in Malacca, the Dutch Square (also known as Red Square), for a photo walk in the evening. The good thing about this photo walk is that the organiser allows us to roam freely around the area for 2 hours and not like the usual “guided” shoot tour.
Jonker Street is also around the corner, so I photograph along the way while headed to this destination.
To my joy, Jonker Street is a perfect place for photography. Opportunity is everywhere. The street is crowded but full of vibes. There are many incredible moments out there to shoot and many actions going on. I wish I could capture every single moment, but I can only manage to snap some of them. This is probably one of my most enjoyable moments on this trip. The only time to stop me from shooting is to get myself heading back to the pickup point to go back to the hotel.
On the following morning, we actually head back to the exact same areas for model shooting. Another good thing is that we have the flexibility of not following the planned itinerary. However, the vibe is totally different from the evening. It is quiet, and chill and presents another level of charm to the street. So what I do is enjoy the walk, take some shots on the street and if I spot the modelling shoots in the area, join in for a few snaps and continue my journey to explore the street. I pretty much like this arrangement of mine. I enjoy the pace, empty mind and just click the shutter away.
Oh, by the way, I borrowed from Fujifilm Singapore the XF 18-120mm f4 lens. It is a fantastic lens that I had hands-on for 2 weeks before. Still love it and could recommend it to anyone who wants a good zoom lens but does not mind about power-zoom and missing out on the Optical Image Stabilisation.
And that marks the end of the 2-day short trip, and everyone heads back to Singapore thereafter.
My take on this trip is that the itineraries are well thought-out by the organisers. The 2 days photo trip is really short and tiring (because of the long travelling time spent on the road). I hope the itineraries can span out to at least 3 days so that we can have more time to enjoy what we love most, photography. If Fujifilm Singapore is going to plan similar photo trips, I do not mind participating again if time allows.
Thank you for reading.
Alwin is a 37 years old engineer, husband and Fujifilm fanboy from Singapore. His first encounter with Fujifilm was the launch of the X10 in 2012. It was love at first sight. It was a joyful compact camera and it also introduced film simulations to him. But what brought him deep into Fujifilm was the X-T2 and the love grows further. He loves to experience and discover many genres.