Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Malay Princess | Fuji GFX50s & X-Pro2

I had many chances of using the combination of my newly-acquired ('medium format') Fuji GFX50s with a 63mm fixed lens, along with my favorite go-to camera X-Pro2 and the 16-55mm lens in Kuala Lumpur.

One of these opportunities to put the GFX50s through its paces was to produce a themed project involving a Malay young woman (Ms Sarah Dalina) wearing the traditional dress called kebaya. The kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination that originated from the court of the Javanese Majapahit Kingdom, and is traditionally worn by women in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Burma, southern Thailand, Cambodia and the southern part of the Philippines.

Through the help of Ms Shuhada Hasim (herself a talented photographer), we settled on a traditional Malay house located on Jalan Datuk Keramat, in the center of Kuala Lumpur. This lovely house was the perfect backdrop for the project. While traditional Malay houses have diversity of styles according to each states, provinces, and sub-ethnics, there is some commonalities between them such as, being built on stilts (this one was not), having external staircases, partitioned rooms, vernacular roofs and colorful decorative accents.

The Malay Princess gallery consists of 4 GFX50s photographs, and 5 were made with the X-Pro2. Naturally, it'd be quasi impossible for anyone to distinguish between the two as these were processed using Iridient Developer 3 and toned with Color Efex Pro 4.

I particularly liked two of the photographs in this series: the one in which Sarah poses on the house's porch with a lantern in her hands, and the last photograph in which she sits curled up in an antique 'plantation-style' chair enjoying the cool air from an old floor fan behind her.