Scenes from Umbai

a country bench

Since the client was not quite prepared to run foul of copyright laws, he instructed me to shoot my own photos for the write-up I had to do for him. Fair enough. But there was a problem: I didn’t own a camera. When I alerted him of this, he promptly wired some money so I could purchase one. Money in hand, I rushed out to the local Jaya Jusco to do just that.

At Jaya Jusco’s consumer electronic section, I was faced with two more problems. First, the money he sent me was barely enough. Second, do I go Canon or Nikon? The first one was addressed by deciding to go for the cheapest compact I could find. The second was solved with a more arbitrary approach: of my photography-mad friends, I liked the Nikon users better. So, with some help from a very knowledgeable and helpful sales assistant, I walked away with a Nikon L21 for RM348.

Since I have been an armchair photographer for as long as I can remember, I was quite excited over this new acquisition. True, the Nikon L21 – a low-end compact digital – had very limited capabilities (what did you expect for RM348?) but this was my chance to put whatever I had read about photography into practice. Right or wrong, good or bad, I was going to go out there and shoot the best photos I could. After getting the shots I needed for the write-up, I hit the streets to do the personal stuff.

Here is some of the stuff I did. Hope you like them.

Pylons near my house

more pylons

my youngest, Mubin

it rained

Yet more pylons

14 thoughts on “Scenes from Umbai

  1. You sure have an obsession with pylons. Some might even say unhealthy.

    Richard Cranium

    That’s me to a tee – unhealthy 🙂

  2. See… even pylons can make interesting photo subjects. In the hands of the photography enthusiast, even the cheapest compact can be used to take wonderful shots.

    After this we expect some sunset photos from you, can eh bro?


    Thanks for the moral support, bro. I still have a long way to go. I’ll see what I can do about the sunset scenario. You reckon Tommy Yewfigure will appreciate some black-and-white nudes?

      • Hoi fren, don’t lah like that, giving others a wrong impression of me. I’m more cultured than that what, if it’s on canvas, celluloid & sculptures like Venus de Milo than it purely on an artistic point of view, appreciating the beauty of the human body, unlike your run of the mill ‘humsup loh’….kekeke 🙂



        In my case, I use the black-and-white format format to disguise my ‘humsup-ness’. Sometimes it works 😉

  3. Hehehe Matt, of all thing, pylons..kakaka where’s your imagination?? But I’m glad to say Mubin is definitely yours, all the trademarks are there, just like your very own ‘Mini-me’ 🙂

    Have a lovely weekend, old chap!


    P/S – Umbai got golf course or not? Maybe some photo of ‘those’ caddies will suffice for now 🙂


    No golf course in Umbai. But the ones I used to play (Golden Valley and Orna) used to have female caddies. I don’t know now, tho. Haven’t played for a long time. Hmmm… come to think of it, aren’t secretaries sort of like female caddies, too?

    You have have a lovely weekend,too, my friend.

  4. Looking at your photos, I was trying to figure out what Mubin has to do with all the pylons 😛


    Mubin has nothing to do with the pylons (at least, I hope not). I just took a few shot of him while I was shooting the landscape.

  5. Hey Boe, one quick photographer’s joke for the weekend;

    Two Norwegian beauties were having their picture taken & the photographer was taking some time getting the right angle.

    “Vy ees he taking so long?” asked Inga.

    “He’s got to focus.” replied Olga.

    “Nuu. Yu tell him picture first & maybe fokus after.” 😉

    Thor Mi

  6. Umbai is in North Korea?


    No, it’s much further south than that, I would think: its in Melaka.

    And no, Melaka is not in South Korea…

    • There should be a concerted drive to reduce energy consumption in Umbai..judging by how heavily infested Umbai is with pylons you guys must be the biggest electricity consumers per capita in the country.I dunno wat u use the energy for tho..can’t even begin to imagine.
      Another side effect is the radiation from the pylons…I have been informed by informed people that the high voltage wires emits radiation/microwave that can fry ur brains..cell by cell,second by second…and there’s strong evidence of proportionality of distance to transmission lines and severe dementia.
      Are you still frequenting that joint where Minah rules the roost with her angelic yet seductive smiles and coffee?Or are you now a spurned lover reduced to drooling over pylons.?

      Well my dear friend..I envy your life.Better be crazy then to be caught in a parking lot called Federal Highway twice a day.

  7. Sofian old chap,

    I can enjoy seeing what perspectives of the pictures you take as the wayward artist you are, but I am feeling that I am missing very much some amazing rides you had taken us with your postings. Your sepia toned thousand words of nostalgic pictures were that thousand words of delightful rides. Always looking forward for the ride on your bicycle.

  8. I read this quote somewhere in a magazine before, which has been my pillar for all my shots when I am just having my compact digital olympus while the husband takes along with him the bulky dslr… and sometimes, my shots do turn out better than his, although my camera is ten times cheaper. Enjoy the quote..

    ‘It is not the camera, it is the photographer. Even if a photographer is carrying a point and shoot camera, but arrive at the subject at the right moment, with the right lighting and the right ‘feeling’, the shot can be captured as it is, raw and unadulterated’

  9. Hey Mat,
    I am assuming here that the pylons pix are for the client. Else, I’m deigned to associate it with some Freudian slip on your part. *winks*

    Seriously, Mat, I’m impressed. Just goes to show that having the latest big-assed multi-lens technological tool maketh not a good photographer. Creativity, a good eye and pixs that suggest of an untold story are what dreams are made of. Looking forward to more pixs, please.

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