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.
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.
Ethereal moments like this are neither rare nor common in Brunei but it helps to be camera-equipped when they do appear. Which is why I make sure my Samsung Galaxy S3 is within reach whenever I would go hiking at the Sungai Liang forestry park. This evening rolled like any other day — wife got home from work, changed and off we went — a twenty five minute drive — to where we regularly hike. As soon as we got out in the open, a short uphill climb revealed this magnificent landscape: combination of rays of light, heavy silhouetted trees and a fiery horizon so awesome I would kick myself silly if for any reason I did not have my phone with me or that battery was so low camera use was disabled. That would suck but maybe some day, just not today.
I have in recent years photographed great number of corporate offices including hotels and their business centres. An example from 2012 is Radisson Hotel Brunei’s Business Centre and Boardroom. It’s not everyday I get an assignment to photograph a boardroom that features a 180 degree panoramic view of its surrounding and from the first floor. Trouble is, beyond the windows is a landscape of concrete buildings, workshops and general conditions of surrounding that are still under development — not quite the breathtaking views I’d imagined. Instead of the usual brightly lit pictures of the boardroom, I chose and waited for direct light at sunset to pierce through the blinds casting light rays and shadows for a dramatic finish.