Tuesday, November 09, 2010

We three kings of Orient are

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON (Image ID: Malaysia2010-3463)


Appearances can sometimes be deceptive. This might look as if it were shot in some fine theatre, with all the trappings of art and culture. However, it was shot in the basement of a shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur.

It was mid-January this year, but the pre-Chinese New Year festivities had already begun. All the street decorations were ablaze and every major intersection carried a colourful reminder of the auspicious time that was fast approaching.

When this play began, I was on the fringe of the crowd of onlookers. Anxious to find out whether I could use my camera, I caught the eye of a security guard, pointed to the camera around my neck and was delighted when he gave me a big thumbs-up. The light wasn't great, because it was not a true theatrical setting - but I was pretty pleased with the way some of the shots turned out.

34 comments:

Lee said...

My goodness, what rich colors! Those garments are fantastic. Makes me wonder what story they were telling.

Cheers!
Lee

Johnnny said...

It is always nice, to get a thumbs-up from a security guard.

Daryl said...

How nice to be able to capture the moment ... I wish I'd been permitted to snap a few while at Cirque de Soliel's LOVE ... sigh

Johnnny said...

It's always a good sign, to get a good sign. Hopefully, a thumbs-up is universal.

Maggie May said...

You could make a Christmas card out of that!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Akelamalu said...

They certainly look as though they are from a professional company. :)

RuneE said...

And so you should be - proud :-)

Sandi McBride said...

It looks like a fine painting David. However do you do that?
Sandi

ellen abbott said...

One of the most wonderful things about other cultures, I thought, was the beautiful and colorful clothing. It is so sad that these elegant garments are giving way to western style clothing. What a loss.

Charles Gramlich said...

Impressive. If I saw that here I'd think, "mardi gras."

aims said...

I like the variety of colours. They show the richness of the materials used - right down to that fake black beard!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Maggie beat me to it LOL
I was going to suggest a Christmas Card.
Brilliant shot David and great the security chap gave you the nod . . . sorry thumbs up.

Leslie: said...

What an incredible shot! The colours are crystal clear and when I enlarged it, I found it even better! So glad the SG allowed you to take the shot. :D

Fragrant Liar said...

So colorful! I love all the vibrant reds.

Betsy said...

So nice that they kindly let you take pictures! :)

david mcmahon said...

I wish I knew what the story was, Lee - but my translations skills were on the shoddy side of poor.

david mcmahon said...

You're right there, Johnny!

david mcmahon said...

Daryl, C d S would be the ultimate place to have a camera, I reckon! Maybe you could become their official photographer ....

david mcmahon said...

Aye, Johnny, I'd say it translates effectively into any language.

david mcmahon said...

Maggie, I had seriously never even considered that. What a great idea ... thank you so much.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Akelamalu - I think they were certainly a high grade production, judging by what was going on there.

david mcmahon said...

Thank you very much, RuneE. I'll take your word for it!

david mcmahon said...

Sandi, this was actually a very tough shot. As you know, I never use a tripod and with the light so low, I had to be really careful about the way I gripped the camera, to minimise lens shake and blur.

david mcmahon said...

Yes, Ellen, I was mesmerised by those rich costumes.

david mcmahon said...

Charles, I think they must have been made of silk or brocade, because they looked very heavy.

david mcmahon said...

Yes, precisely, Aims - as I said to Charles in the comment above, the costumes looked so heavy, because they were so faithful in their construction. I was perspiring in the basement in a T-shirt. The performers must have been worse off in the heat.

david mcmahon said...

Eddie, your sister was one step ahead of you! Great idea - and one I hadn't thought of.

david mcmahon said...

Leslie, I'm so glad you liked the colours. The light down there wasn't really great - so I was lucky.

david mcmahon said...

Thank you, Fragrant Liar - the music was pretty good, too.

david mcmahon said...

Thanks, Betsy - I just needed to make sure it wouldn't upset anyone or infringe performance agreements if I took shots down there.

Jackie said...

Beautiful shot! How was the music? Did they sing well?

Jackie
http://josieandpeter.blogspot.com/

TechnoBabe said...

How fun to catch the eye of the security guard and for the guard to be enthusiastic to your photo work.
Very nice picture, rich in color and tradition.

david mcmahon said...

Thanks, Jackie - I remember there was definitely music - but I cannot for the life of me recall if the characters were actually singing - or if they merely had speaking parts!

david mcmahon said...

TechnoBabe, there were a few people (shoppers, etc) who had compact cameras, so the guards were very relaxed about the whole thing.