Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taman Negara, August 2011

When the family went on a trip last year with Aunty Daphne's family, I was excited—at the prospect of the trip more than the destination itself.

While I'd never been to Taman Negara before (unless you count the part where the BF Classmates crossed the north border of Taman Negara via Kenyir), I must confess I wasn't particularly thrilled about entering a rainforest yet again. Three years of walking through rainforest was quite enough for me!—hence even the Bukit Tinggi trip with Thary was more of a favour for a friend than anything else.

We were there over the Merdeka/Hari Raya weekend, and left on the first day of Raya.

I didn't take many pictures on this trip, partly because I just wanted to relax and have a real holiday, but also partly because it was a rainforest and I'm not much of a wildlife photographer. Don't get me wrong; the rainforest is a beautiful and majestic place, and Malaysia's rainforests are about as good as it gets. But while factory visits may be fun for school groups, they are probably not nearly as fun for the factory workers themselves.

That is not to say the trip was devoid of interest. I very much enjoyed the solo trail run at 6.00 a.m. on the third day (we stayed three nights), in the darkness and the rain. It was a misty and overcast morning, but the run itself was worth every centimetre of ground covered. And no photographs can capture experiences as awesome as that—you have to be there to do it yourself.

* * *


Big buttress roots.

Fiddlehead at dawn, Bukit Terisek.

Mist over canopy, view towards Gunung Tahan from Bukit Terisek.


Roosting (sleeping) birds at night.

(A rare sight!—thanks to our guide, Abdullah, for pointing it out.)

The boar, Mutiara Taman Negara.

Careful where you put your fingers! I got bitten—gnawed on, more like—trying to get closer for a super-close-up shot, and saw myself across the river for an antitetanus jab at the Klinik Kesihatan.

Termites on (tree) trunk.

I thought the 'formation' kinda looked like some sort of bird—or an elephant's head and trunk.


Jetty at evening, Kampung Kuala Tahan.

The village is named for the confluence of Sungai Tahan from the north and Sungai Tembeling from the northeast.

Rapids shooting—splash!

Cruising up Sungai Tahan.

The two families.

* * *

Technical matters:

I shot Tri-X and Velvia 50. Still can't really wrap myself around Velvia! Nikon N80 with 18-35mm, 70-210mm and 50mm lenses.

It was the last significant film outing of the year—not counting the rolls of Portra and Ektar used at Val's and Kaun's Convo shoots, Diwali season, and Audrey's wedding reception in December, and the odd roll of Tri-X shot every now and then.

Photographically, the KB/Thailand trip with George yielded perhaps the most balanced portfolio of the year; but there was still a long way to go in reconciling the photographic 'liveliness' of the Kenyir trip (brilliantly colourful, if somewhat 'unfocused', with the extensive range of films used) and the more intentional streamlining of Mensa Thailand and Kuching.

Something that wasn't quite addressed until the 'Roaring Tiger, Sleeping Station' trip earlier this month. But that's a story for another post. ;-)

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