Two Days In Sekinchan
Over the weekend, I got to have a short photo trip to Sekinchan organised by Fujifilm Malaysia. The topic was Long Exposure Landscape Photography and the facilitator was an X Photographer Thomas Phoon. While corporate event photography has always been my bread and butter, landscape photography is something I personally love to do but seldom have the chance due to my busy schedule. When Fujifilm sent the their email invite, I went straight to book a spot.
Sekinchan is a place about 1.5 hours away from KL, known for their paddy fields and fishing village, perfect setting for many photographic opportunities. The first area we went to shoot was at a spot right opposite Sekinchan’s famous beach area called Pantai Redang. While Pantai Redang is really busy, the place we went to was quite secluded and hats off to Thomas for finding such a spot. Since it was a bit secluded, so having a big group was nice but it tended to get a tad crowded. There near the beach was an abandoned platform which would be the subject for most of the photographers.
While many of my fellow photographers have square slot-in filters, I had my little Haida 10-stop ND filter screwed on to my Fuji X-T2 and Fuji 10-24mm. I also brought my Fuji 56mm just in case I needed a tighter shot which really came in handy. All shots done in RAW and post processed using Lightroom and a couple with Photoshop Nik Collection.
As Thomas mentioned in his briefing, we really should try not to use the minimum aperture (anything above f16) or we’ll start getting lots of spots on our photo as dust will be magnified and photos might get softer due to defraction. Unfortunately, because all I had was a 10-stop ND and with the sun blaring down at us, I needed all the shutter time I could get so post processing spot removal was required.
In fact, a 15 stop ND would have been ideal to give an even more dramatic cloud movement. Thomas did share with us how we can use stacking of photos to get the same effect, but I think I’ll just get a set of square slot-in filters in the future.
One trick I found when post-processing these photos, is that the De-haze function on Lightroom is awesome for clouds. We stayed at the location until around 6.30pm, hoping to see beautiful golden sunset, but the clouds covered the sun that evening. 🙁
Just a side note, we were all booked into the Sekinchan One Boutique hotel, which provided pleasant sleep and very near to the places we went to shoot. However, it’s barebones in amenities and not even a cafe to have breakfast. But if you do need to get coffee in Sekinchan, I recommend the Heritage Cafe which serves pretty good latte at only RM4.80. Value for money!
The next morning, we all woke up at 5.45am to gather at 6.00am for the sunrise shoot at the paddy field. Unfortunately it started raining cats and dogs. After driving in the dark through the narrow and wet roads at the paddy field, we had to abort our sunrise shoot and had early breakfast instead. I decided to go back to the hotel for another hour’s nap. Haha…
The good news was that the rain stopped at about 9.00am so we scooted off to the paddy field again. Due to the really gloomy and cloudless sky, I couldn’t get any long exposure photography here. Still got to shoot some paddy which I was happy with.
We then headed to take a photo of a large tree. We were hoping for a botak (bald) one though!
Right after the above photo was taken, it started to rain. Again.
Since I came with my family, the girls decided that they wanted to go to Pantai Redang beach one more time before we departed. Since the rain stopped after 30 minutes, we drove there and I thought that would be another excellent chance to take photos of the beach and foamy sea. When we reached, I found out that the tide was soooooo low.
I actually came back home quite pleased with the photos taken. Also had a good time knowing some fellow photographers and the excellent food in Sekinchan. Thomas, Tristan and the Fujifilm crew were great hosts too. Thanks for organising this. It’s one of the reasons why I love shooting with Fujifilm apart from their superb camera and lenses. P.S. how does one get to be a Fujifilm X Photographer? I would love to apply! 😉