Iceland travel for asian, {single camera} Part 1

best iceland travel blog

Reykjavik at noon (35mm zeiss FE f2.0)

Yeah, i went to iceland. Let me just drag that timeline cursor to the beginning so i can share some of the tips and ideas you can do while travelling to iceland, especially so if you are not an expert backpacker or if you are coming from Asian countries like malaysia, singapore or thailand.

Before i took this journey, i had tons of tips coming from well meaning folks about what i should or should not do in iceland. “You will need to spend at least RM 5k (USD 1.3k) on gears and clothing!” says one uncle, who had never been there  himself.  “Why are you going on summer?, you will miss the aurora lights!”, says the other.

A short advice about these things that ppl dishes out to you….”ignore”, it’s absolutely ridiculous to take any of those advices given that different seasons in Iceland requires a firsthand experience, not from some imaginative minds.

Well here are the cost breakdown that i had spent on my own clothing and gears :

iceland from asian

water proof shoes (iphone 7+)

  • waterproof shoes – karrimor shoes, from sports direct RM 250 (usd 60).  i got mine from the sports direct outlet at Double Tree Hotel. Even though i went on summer, i faced unpredictable weather in Iceland and lots of walking and simple hiking. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish, get yourself a waterproof boot or shoes.
how to travel to iceland for malaysians

waterproof jackets from uniqlo / blocktech (35mm zeiss FE f2.0)

  • uniqlo blocktech jacketRM 120 uniqlo, you will need these water repellent and wind proof jackets so that you can get behind some of the beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. If you notice most instagrams have the picture of the person way in front of the waterfall, its because they didn’t bring these jackets along.  Get the ones  with the hood.
malaysia to iceland travel

Get near the waterfalls (iphone 7+)

  • Bring other basic clothing like pants, gloves and i totally recommend those light clothing from Uniqlo’s heattech.

Now that you have the basic gears covered, you will need to book the flight ticket.  There is no direct flight to Iceland from Malaysia, so we went there using Thai Airways, 1 day stop in Bangkok, landed in Denmark and went on a direct flight to Reykjavik using IcelandAir. The flight from Denmark to Iceland that we took is not a connecting flight, its a separate flight that we booked online and it was 3 hours departure from our ETA to Denmark, so we took a little risk there.

how to travel to iceland from asia

IcelandAir Direct Routes

Now, the CAMERA. For the last few travels i did, i always chose film over digital but for Iceland i decided to bring my trusty Sony A7s with three batteries and a Casio TR wide angle camera (otherwise also known as selfie girls cam hahaha, a little bit on that later).  So why? Why digital over film, fact is that i kinda chickened out, i could not google up much information on film labs and availability in Iceland and given that this is one trip that i needed wide angle lens, i have the 35mm Zeiss f2.8. I have partly regretted that i didn’t bring along a film camera for a surprise reason that will be shown later on!.

malaysia iceland camera travel

That one Camera one Lens

 

For the next chapter i will be sharing on some of the early photos i took using this setup and other things  i encountered with my family during our visit to Iceland.

 

 

Dubrovnik, Croatia {travel with film} Part 4

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Art seller

Inside the walled city, i feel the fusion of urban commercialization with medieval haunting covering the whole place. It is as if two lovers struggling to keep the relationship alive and yet dances in harmony to the playing music.

I walked passed by a shop selling potpourri of trinkets only to be greeted by the next shop with hand crafted items and arts. Today is the first day in Dubrovnik and after 15 minutes inside this ancient city, i knew i made a big mistake.

I had only 7 rolls of film and about to finish up the 3rd roll.

(Do visit my previous chapters here : 1 2 3, this whole series is done completely in film)

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The oldest pharmacy in the world

As my family strolled along the main path looking at the shops and cafes, we noticed there are narrow paths between some shops and those paths are opens up smaller shops that array themselves along the corridors.

On top of these shops are actual residents living in almost apartment like setting. They are not allowed to renovate the outer construction to preserve the medieval theme. Most are available for rent and you could find them at premium prices in AirBNB.

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postcards

I didn’t want to buy any souvenirs since it is just day one and constant reminder that i am running out of film only leave me with two options. I could either switch to use the Fuji digital camera that Phoenix is carrying with her and that amazing 16 f1.4 in her green bag or i should try to find a shop here that sells film.

I went for the latter.

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Narrow walls

It is a vintage location with vintage look, feel and ambiance. Who in the right mind would prefer digital over film in Dubrovnik? Hahaha, that was playing on my mind as i turned on my “radar” as we tour the ground level.

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toys of thrones

 

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charlie

When Phoenix and Sheryll got tired and decided to snack at a cafe (there are 1 at nearly every 10 meters away) i took the opportunity to walk up some of the visible stairs leading up to side of the city. Away from the main attraction you can see people going about their normal lives, doing laundry and chilling outside the window.

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the chef

There are all kinds of restaurants here and even at the higher level of the city if you walk up the stairs you will see smaller establishments. It does feel “crowded” sometimes in this city despite the vintage settings and i was really hoping to find a quiet spot to just take in the moment.

Next, i be sharing images taken at the wall tours and piers in the tip of the walled city.

Dubrovnik, Croatia, Chapter 5

Busan & the traveling photographer

Sometimes when viewing photos of tours uploaded by good folks, i often feel disappointed that given such a beautiful location, the photos are taken in a bad way.

Three of the most common mistakes are :
1. There is a beautiful scene and the person, subject instead occupies the middle of the screen, effectively blocking the whole scene.
2. Putting the subject in front of a scene and back focused on the scene, creating an awkward blurry photo of the subject
3. Photos that are just repeatedly the same taken by everyone else.

Since photos are memories preserved for sharing and viewing, perhaps its best when traveling couples or friends hire a photographer to go with them instead, photographing the whole journey. This can be done without even posing.

Anyway i am in Busan as we speaks, i am still surprised that i am not able to find any models in Busan via modelmayhem for collaboration nor do i know the language here enuf to go around. But the good news is that i am with family, so some reluctant voluntary modeling by wife and kids are required wuahhahaha.

I don’t have my editing machine here, so these photos are as it is, jpeg out of camera, at most some quick tweaks via iphoto in ipad.

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Arriving at busan, waiting at the bus stop just outside the airport. Bus no.1 will take us to Westin Chosun, a fantastic hotel.

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Outside the hotel i saw some children walking towards a nearby park, the park is so near to the hotel and is good for 20 minutes of walk surrounded by green shrubs and breezy air.

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Now did i mentioned breezy? I kinda like this kind of image,

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One of the decoration inside the hotel that caught my attention.

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Now Rodrigue of Xvario have been talking about “Cinematic” feel that the camera often produce. I am not sure i understand but i do feel some of the images here produces the “cinematic” feel that i like.

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This is mr.Jang, is the name right ??, he is a senior citizen providing voluntary services of explaining to visitors at Beomeosa temple. It’s free, he is doing this just to burn time. Pls say hi to him if you visit this place.

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A perculiar looking korean aunty in red clothing. Taken inside the subway, the Xvario is quite a stealthy tool.

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A visit to the Cat cafe is a pleasing experience. The cats here are huge and docile.

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This is just right outside the hotel. The light is pretty bad actually, bordering on flat and cloudy.

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I notice a lot of elderly people walks around Westin Chosun hotel, this old lady saw my kid and wanted to talk to her just asking about where she is from and generally i feel that she is lonely. I offered to take a photo of her with my kid and she quickly agree. After we walked away i notice she left that place also, i do feel a bit sad for her and wonder if this is how she spend her morning walks, while her children are probably in Seoul.

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You won’t miss this mermaid by the sea, its just a brief walk from the hotel.

I am not exactly a fan of shopping malls so there i didn’t take any, will be sharing more photos and maybe edit some for a more powerful feel later today.

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