| Dilshan Mahdi Hussainmiya |
Visiting KL is always a fascinating experience. You never miss being impressed by the iconic landmark which comes into view as you near the Capital.
You never quite forget that time when your eyes first meet those imposing; sparkling pair of spheres, hovering approx 500 metres up into the sky as they flirt with the low floating clouds. It almost feels like they are suspending in mid-air on a cloudy day, like something from a futuristic sci-fi movie flick.
Those towers impart a feeling of pure exhilaration and certainly will let you know you have arrived in the very lively and charming KL!
Any guesses what am I talking about? Yes. I am talking about those iconic Petronas Twin Towers dominating over the vast KL city skyline, towering above everything else, right up to the skies of this sprawling urban jungle.
The towers captivate you; whether you see it many times or for the very first time.
The Petronas Twin Towers once was the tallest manmade structure and still remains the tallest twin towers in the world. It is an architectural marvel whichever way you look at it and its design exudes class and commands respect.
These towers are a perfect blend of the best of modern engineering and touches of aesthetic design; inspired by traditional Islamic architecture.
A representation of the economic might of Southeast Asia, which stands tall and proud even to this day since its official opening on the August 1, 1999.
Photographing these magnificent towers and its surroundings while in KL must be on the wish list of any photographer.
I have frequented KL many times but never quite took the time to try and photograph the towers. But this time I decided I must not pass up the opportunity to click it well and in the right conditions.
So, armed with my Full Frame DSLR and 16-35 mm F4 Image stabilised lens, I ventured out for an early evening photo walk around the KLCC area close to the towers.
It was quite entertaining watching other photographers at work trying to capture the unique and infinite points of view of the towers. Some even shared their freshly captured photos with me which led to some interesting conversations which we photographers always enjoy.
Not everyone was out there to catch professional photographs, as we all know, these days it is common to find people using cell phones and large tablet computers to take pictures.
People were just having fun and even the “selfie generation” was busy snapping away, trying to take images of themselves with the towers in the background.
I am confident the daytime pictures of the phone cameras come out acceptable but if you are interested in capturing the unique perspectives and varying light intensities as the sun sets – you are going to have a hard time creating striking images with anything less than an interchangeable lens camera (or a DSLR).
The ability to shoot wide angle shots of 16mm and wider can help capture some unique perspectives and creative angles, but even this poses some very unique challenges.
There are chances of perspective distortion along with inevitable challenges one faces when trying to photograph tall buildings like this from a close proximity with ultra wide angle lenses.
But this distortion can actually be used to one’s creative advantage with unique compositions and perspectives.
Before I took any pictures that day, I devoted some time to find my angles and plan my shots based on the lighting scenarios I could have faced when the sun disappeared and the spot lights emerged.
I was actually aiming for some unique “blue hour” shots – where the sky stays blue for only a few minutes (approximately up to 15 minutes just after sunset) as the lights turn on to illuminate the towers. This creates some stunning colour images with the blue sky adding contrast and mood if the conditions are right.
Unfortunately, this time of the year also brings in lots of haze and the blue hour effect was not as strong as I had wished.
But I was still able to capture some interesting hand-held images, using the image stabilised 16-35 F4 lens and the high dynamic range/low image noise Full Frame DSLR, which proved an invaluable combination during this trip.
The ability to shoot handheld at slow shutter speeds, without a cumbersome tripod, allowed me to take some unique perspectives.
I was able to capture those spur of the moment shots, while constantly changing my framing, as I walked around the KLCC grounds looking for the photo opportunities that came my way.
All in all, it was an amazing photo walk and here I share with you some of the “highlights” of my urban photographic adventures from Kuala Lumpur and I hope you don’t suffer from Vertigo!