The kids are on their school holiday and the rainy season of December has brought much rain to many parts of the Belait district. To my delight, I had waited since August for this otherwise semi parched lake to be filled up again. Tipped by recent pictures of Luagan Lalak on Facebook I made an impromptu trip (Facebook link) there with Jamie and Jewel. After I was done photographing multiple shots of the panoramic view across the lake, we headed to one of the huts for a short rest. There, I was going through the camera menu and happened to stop on the Multiple Exposure and HDR settings page.
I know how multiple exposures are made using Digital Photo Professional but doing the same in-camera I thought would be tricky in that you would have to visualize the results before taking the shots. There wasn’t a better time to experiment so off I went with two frames, one to the left of the lake zoomed to fill the whole frame and the other a wide perspective of the landscape. The resulting composite is the image below straight out of the camera (with a few localized tweaks in Photoshop).
click on image below to see a larger version
I do not normally pack a camera, compact or otherwise, when I am out and about on the hills of Bukit Pak Natu in Sungai Liang, a location that has become a favourite to hike because of several steep hills that ensure a productive workout. Compared to Bukit Shahbandar which is an hour away, this is the next best thing for those of us staying in the Belait District. This time, I brought my PowerShot G11 along with a Lollipod just in case we felt like a quality group photo (as opposed to poor smartphone front camera IQ). And group photo we did except this time we had owner of Mr Baker’s Bakeshop Eric Pui hike with us for the first time on these hills.
The regular fab 4 + 1 at a scenic spot of Bukit Pak Natu overlooking the green landscape.
An hour and nineteen minutes later we were back where we started — oblivious to us chatting away during our descend to the car park that we would end our hike the most spectacular way imaginable — fire in the sky sunset! Normally, I don’t pay much attention to sunsets as I’m not particularly fond of dark clouds typical of sunsets that I’ve seen over the years at the beach but clearly this is the exception.
This image was captured using the G11 in two separate frames that I stitched to produce a breathtaking panoramic view. I was able to capture the same scene using my Samsung S3 but IQ wouldn’t be nearly as good as the G11’s sensor.
Can’t believe it’s been three years since I ventured out to the rooftop of The Empire Hotel & Country Club for a breathtaking panoramic shot of the hotel’s gorgeous beachfront. I happened to have just finished a photo shoot that day and had some time to kill before the hour long drive home. Directional shadows from the evening sun added an extra dimension to give this beautiful landscape a surreal, high contrast and dramatic finish. But something was amiss — the hotel’s very popular Pantai Restaurant was undergoing a full tear down renovation work at the time so the iconic roof isn’t in the picture.
Three years on, I made arrangement to revisit the rooftop for a fresh shot of the landscape this time with the inclusion of Pantai Restaurant. I coincided this shoot to fall on the morning my cousin and I had planned to hike Bukit Shahbandar. During the entire time I was on the rooftop, the sky remained overcast which explains why the image isn’t nearly as dramatic as the previous one — sun direction and timing makes all the difference. We were pressed for time so I wasn’t going to hang around to wait for a better moment.
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My host Hafiza preferred to stay near the door away from the unnerving edge where I parked the camera that’s mounted on a tripod.
I kept the camera bag in the car and brought along the PowerShot G11 for the shot below taken from the top deck of the observation tower at Bukit Shahbandar. I’ll have to drag my 5D Mark III and EF100-400mm lens up to the tower some day in order to get a better quality view of the Empire rooftops above the forest canopy. I think that would make the distant landscape more interesting when viewed close up.
A view of The Empire Hotel & Country Club landscape from the top deck of the Bukit Shahbandar observation tower. The white arrow indicates location from where I composed the hotel’s beachfront panorama. Photo: PowerShot G11