travel

Kampong Buangkok – the last surviving kampong in Singapore

Kampong Buangkok - hendralauw.com

I finally went to visit this place after knowing about it for few years. It’s the last surviving kampong in the modern mainland of Singapore. The place is very accessible. It’s off Yio Chu Kang road, near the Church of St. Vincent de Paul and it’s already surrounded by high rise apartments and landed houses. Not sure, how long more it will stay this way.

I met a nice gentleman, Pak Jumadi, who was cutting a fallen tree and was kind enough to tell me a story of this place. He and his family moved there about 50 years ago. He was only 12. Though he does not live there anymore, he still comes to visit his mother, who does not want to move out, when he is free. He told me a little story about this place. In the 1950s, it was called Kampong Selak Kain. In Malay, it means hitching up one’s kain or sarong. Sarong is a piece of cloth (kain), usually worn by the Malays, wrapped around the waist and it usually covers the legs till the ankle. The place was flooded quite a lot in the old days, hence the people living there had to hitch up their kain or sarong as they waded through the flood water. The place used to be a swamp, hence it’s also called Kampong Paya sometimes.

Buang Kok was actually the name of the narrow street (Lorong) there. In the photo above, you can see the old street sign, Lorong Buang Kok 1954, which the resident there keeps. 1954 was the old postal code of this place. Singapore has had six-digit postal code system now.

He invited me to sit in the veranda of his mother’s house and drew a map and explained to me about the place. Lorong Buang Kok was about 2.5 km long, he said. In Malay, they call that distance 2 batu.

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This house, according to Pak Jumadi, was already there when his father moved to this place. It could be the oldest house there. Nobody seems to live there anymore now.

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And this used to be a big fish pond, he said.

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That’s Pak Jumadi in his yellow rubber boot that he wore when he was cutting the fallen tree.

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He politely declined when I asked if I could take his picture, but he said I could take picture of his back  :)

I may visit this place again when the weather is dry. I would like to get into one’s house and have coffee with them. Enjoy the rest of the photos below.

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A Simple Village Life in Rajashtan

These images were shot in a small village off the highway from Ajmer to Jaipur, Rajashtan, India last year. All were shot with Leica M9 and Voigtlander Color Skopar Classic 35mm f/2.5, except for the last one.

These people were very friendly, inviting me and my friend for afternoon chai and I was free to walk around including going inside their houses. You probably can’tktell, but cow dung was used to build their houses, especially for the wall and the floor. They mix the cow dung with clay, mud, sand and water. The image below shows the woman painting the wall made of this mixture. Can you see the little boy standing on a chair with a pail of paint on his head?

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The train from Agra to Lucknow

My friends and I took the midnight train from Agra to Lucknow in India when we were there October last year. We started the trip from Agra Cantonment Railway Station, which is the main train station in the city of Agra. We arrived early and I had a couple of hours to walk around the platform and shoot. It was quieter than I expected, but it could be very busy during day time, I believe.

The images were taken with Leica M9 and Voigtlander Color Skopar Classic 35mm f/2.5 unless otherwise stated. The black and white images were shot in color and converted to BW in Adobe Lightroom. The first nine images here were taken at Agraa Cantonment Railway Station.MORE +

People of Kishangarh Rajashtan

People of Kishangarh, Rajashtan, photographed with Leica M9 and Voigtlander Color Skopar Classic 35mm f/2.5, except the last one, which was shot using Olympus E-P3  and 12mm f/2 lens.

I stayed one night in Pushkar during my trip to India in October last year. My friend and I went out in the morning to Kishangarh, a nearby town from our hotel. Many locals started their day by having tea on the roadside. It was a nice little town with friendly people. We stopped at the shop in the photo above to have our morning tea. The locals were curious and kept looking at us with their smiles, while we were having our tea. :)

Enjoy some more images below.MORE +

Barbers in India

I did think for a moment that my blog has become an iPhone Photography blog since I have been posting lots of iPhone photos in the past couple of weeks. But it’s not, it’s still a general photography blog and I still love my rangefinder M9, just as I like my iPhone 4s. But, you will see more iPhone photos here.

So, it’s weekend guys. It’s the time of the week, that we usually go around doing our errands, including having our hair cut. If you are in India now and happen to be in the city of Jaipur, Pushkar, Lucknow or Kishangarh Rajashtan, try one of these barbers. And from my previous posts, if you need barber in Bangalore or Hoskote, check them out too.

These are all shot with Leica M9 and Voigtlander Color Skopar Classic 35mm f/2.5.

Please send my regards to them.   :)

Have a good weekend and enjoy more photos below.MORE +

The Colorful Old Delhi

More street photos from the Old Delhi, India. They were taken during that short window of blue hour after sunset at the Dariba Kalan street. The street was decorated with lots of lights to celebrate the Diwali day and I couldn’t get enough of rickshaw, so I kept shooting them whenever I saw one. And you don’t need to wait long for one to come.  :)

All photos taken with Leica M9 and Voigtlander Color Skopar Classic 35mm f/2.5. Enjoy the photos.MORE +

The Old Delhi

I am back from India today. Covered Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Agra and Lucknow. I was traveling light and it was quite liberating. I fit my Leica M9, four small lenses and Olympus PEN E-P3 with 12mm lens, into a small Domke ‘school bag’ (F-803) and I could walk for hours without breaking my neck and back.

First up here are few photos I took in the late afternoon at the Old Delhi, near the Red Fort, on Diwali day. The road was packed with people, rickshaw, bicycles, motorcycles and cars and continuous sound of horns. One of the best locations I went to shoot at during this trip. I would love to go back to the Old Delhi again one day as I only managed to cover one lane as we didn’t have lots of time.

I will post more later, but for now, enjoy these four photos from the Old Delhi. All four were shot with Leica M9 and Voigtlander Color Skopar Classic 35mm f/2.5.MORE +

Walking and Waiting at Shivaji Nagar Market

Black and white photography always has its unique charm. Not much color distraction as there are only black, white and shades of gray. One of my favorite images from my recent trip to Bangalore, India. A relatively slow shutter speed of 1/25 sec was enough to blur the man walking in the foreground. MORE +

Highlight and Shadow

I love this photo for a simple reason that it has strong highlight and shadow. It also tells a story of two men engaged in a serious conversation. Look at the hand gesture of the man on the right. The man on the left was listening while seriously looking at his notebook.

I saw these two men on the second floor of the Shivaji Nagar Market. The man on the left seemed to be the vegetables agent and the one the left seemed to be the customer, which could be a retail seller. When I first saw this scene, I was immediately attracted to it because of the sunlight coming in from the two windows and the shadow on the floor and on part of the men.

It’s important to take the exposure metering from the right spot in this kind of photo. MORE +

Walking

I saw this painted wall when walking around the Shivaji Nagar market in Bangalore, India. It attracted my attention, but I need a foreground subject. So, I stood on the road side for few minutes waiting for someone to walk. I didn’t want to have too many people in the picture, so I waited for the moment I wanted. This woman came into the picture and I clicked. MORE +

Inside a Barber Shop in Bangalore

I have been very busy since I came back from India. So, my apology for being quiet here in the past one week. I am back now and excited that I may be able to go to India again in October. Not for work !!!!!  I also have other thing I am excited about, but can only share when it really happens. For now, only hoping it will happen.  :)MORE +

The Tomato Man at Shivaji Nagar Market

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One the first few things I learned when I started photography as a hobby almost ten years ago was to explore different angles when shooting (even only) one subject. These photos of the tomato man at Shivaji Nagar market in Bangalore were taken with Leica M9 and Leica 35mm Summarit f/2.5 lens. I first saw the man from the street level and took the first shot above. MORE +

Street Photography in Ho Chi Minh City

Street photography is fun in Ho Chi Minh City. It has lots of space for people to go on foot and it’s safe. I wasn’t able to explore many places in Ho Chi Minh City though, as the time was limited, but my wife and I had a great time. I will let the photos speak for themselves, so enjoy.MORE +