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ISSUE 01.2012








Shooting Dramatic Images HOW TO SHOOT DRAMATIC IMAGES John Ishii






Pentax Optio G-1 Lee Kok Wei



FEATURE STORY An Amazing PhotoSafari Experience in the Himalayas with Yusuf Hashim

The eMagazine for PhotoMalaysia and PhotoSafari Members



The Third Eye

Vol. 001.2012


to this inaugural issue of The Third Eye, the new eMagazine companion to the PhotoMalaysia and PhotoSafari websites. We hope to publish one issue a quarter. If this eMagazine is well received, we’ll try and increase the frequency. If you have suggestions to make this a better emagazine please write to It’s your eMagazine, and it’s our first time at ePublishing too, so we welcome all constructive suggestions for improvement. The Third Eye will complement our forums, not replace them. The lofty aim is to help you shoot better pictures. As you may have a lot of questions, let us anticipate some of those, and try to answer them. Firstly, what is the intent and purpose of The Third Eye?

“The Third Eye will complement our forums, not replace them..... The Third Eye will complement our forums, not replace them. Modern ePublishing uses lots of new, powerful, and very interesting, interactive and cross media techniques, including flash, videos, animations, 3D and sophisticated hover menus and hyper-linking. The new CS6 is making it easier to use the new media technology. The way forums are set up and laid out, doesn’t allow these new techniques to be elegantly applied. So we hope to address those limitations with this eMagazine. Some content in this eMagazine will be hyper-linked back to the PhotoMalaysia and PhotoSafari forums, where the usual written discussions in threads and posts can continue. In this way, the eMagazine will act as a front end to content in the forums.

“The Third Eye will have content which cannot be elegantly posted in the forums.....” But the Third Eye will also have its own uniquely eMagazine type of content which cannot be elegantly posted in the forums. For example, photography learning tutorials in videos can easily be incorporated in a video window in the magazine pages. And with video capability built into most modern hand phones and cameras, we can even accept photography related video contributions from readers, in a special section of the Third Eye, a sort of a mini You Tube. As we progress up the learning curve, we’re expecting to do many new things that cannot be done elegantly in the old Forum setup. The eMagazine layout as you see it now, is not cast in stone. It will evolve and change as the technology evolves, and as we respond to suggestions to make it a publication that everyone will look forward to receiving in their email once every month.

Secondly, why is it called The Third Eye? For the long answer, you can Google all the mystical and esoteric concepts normally related to The Third Eye in spiritual traditions, such as the ajna and chakra in Hinduism, in Rosicrucian writings, in Taoism, and in many other meditation schools, and the arts. However, our eMagazine has nothing to do with religion and spiritualism.

“We call our eMagazine The Third Eye because we intend to present content which we hope can inspire, and help readers develop their own Third Eye for their photography.....” We call our eMagazine The Third Eye simply because we intend to present content which we hope can inspire, and help readers develop their own Third Eye for more compelling photography, a keener sixth sense which can unleash the creative inspiration which is present, but usually latent in most of us. We hope, The Third Eye will help develop your own Third Eye for photography, Lofty ideals, but that’s why we chose to call it the Third Eye and not something safe, predictable and boring like simply, The PhotoMalaysia eMagazine, which was the original proposed name. We’ve set a complex and difficult challenge for ourselves. We’ve wanted to launch an eMagazine for a long time, but the frightening commitment needed for what, after all, is only a project driven by passion, kept the idea as only a dream. Now that we have decided to bite the bullet, we hope everyone will help us make this eMagazine a success, by contributing articles, reviews, personal photography related revelations, experiences, stories, tips, tutorials, etc., and most of all, sets of photojournalism images that tell a story, either accompanied by a few words, or simply as a set of images championing a particular cause, or event, or issue, that the photographer is passionate about. These are some of our high ideals in our passion for all things photography. We would like to invite all those who share our passion, to become voluntary regular contributors to The Third Eye. Simply submit articles and content by email, directly to If you are good and you submit regular content, we may even create a specific column or page specially for you. For a start Photojournalist John Ishii, Macro Sifu Liew, and Street Photographer and PM Administrator Brian Webb, have agreed to contribute regular columns.

“All members are invited to submit their photos for consideration to be featured in the front cover of The Third Eye. ...”

To underline our commitment to make The Third Eye a success, we have recruited Mr Raymond Chang as a part time editor. His principal deliverable will be to make sure the eMagazine appears without fail on the first day of every month. The link and a brief summary of the The Third Eye will be emailed to every one of our nearly 80,000 members, and there will be an opt-out facility if you don’t want to receive the email. It’s like if the king doesn’t want to go to the mountain, we’ll bring the photography mountain to him. The Editorial Board will comprise initially Maxby Chan, John Ishii and Yusuf Hashim, also known as DA or Digitalartist. All PhotoMalaysia Mods and Members are encouraged to submit content for publication. All members are invited to submit their photos for consideration to be featured in the front cover of The Third Eye. The front cover picture for this first issue of The Third Eye, was shot by Tay Meow Win (PM nick taymw), at the Braga Ice Lake, 4500 meters up in the Annapurna Range, during the recent PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari Experience event to the Himalayas in Nepal. If your photo makes it to the front page of The Third Eye, we will honour you with the tag of “Third Eye Front Cover Photographer” under your nick in all your PhotoMalaysia posts. Similarly, if your eMagazine article or tutorial appears in the eMagazine, you will get the tag of “Third Eye eMagazine Contributor”. Apart from articles, all types of electronically presentable contributions, including videos, sideshows, animations, 360° interactivce panos, etc., will be considered for publication. Please help us make your emagazine a success. Write to us or send us your contributions by email. Here are your Editorial Board Members. Click on their mugshots to send them an email.

Yusuf Hashim

John Ishii






The Third Eye

Vol. 001.2012

Page 6 Cover Photo by Tay Meow Win Would you like your photo to be on the cover of The Third Eye? Send your best photos to Photos must be at least 2 MB at 300 dpi, preferably in tiff format. If we use your photo, we will award you a line under your PM nick that reads “Third Eye Cover Photographer”

Page 8 A PhotoSafari in the Himalayas

Twelve adventurer-photographers,including the writer, Yusuf Hashim, pushed themselves to their limits, trekking 150 km in the Himalayas, shooting incredible pictures. They came back exhausted, but are already planning a third PhotoSafari, and this time to the Everest Base Camp in the spring of 2013. Do you dare to join them ?


Page 18 Gunsmiths of Danau

Page 22 Macro Photography Primer

Almost 10,000 people in Danao, out of a population of 100,000, are involved in the gun making business. They build from scratch all sorts of handguns, rifles and even machine guns. A deadly gun disguised as a Ball Pen costs only US$200. Maxby and participants of the Crossing Bridges event in Cebu last year, got to see how guns are made in backyard workshops.

Liew Weng Keong, is PhotoMalaysia’s Mod for the Macro Forum. Photography is just a hobby for him. Looking at his impressive collection of macro shots, it’s hard to believe that this humble Macro Sifu started photography with a Powershot S5 only 4 years ago. In this issue Liew introduces MacroMacro photography to Third Eye Readers

Page 20 Shooting Dramatic Images

Page 28 Canon-PhotoMalaysia 2011 Photo Contest Grand Prize Winners

American-Japanese John Ishii is an Editorial Board Member of The Third Eye. John is a much travelled Photographer and Photo-journalist. He’s worked for AFP covering events from sports to politics and everything in between. In this issue, John talks about shooting dramatic images.

Results of the 2011 year end Canoin-PhotoMalaysia Photo Competition are announced. See the winning photos here.

Page 32 User Review - Pentax Optio WG1

Lee Kok Wei takes the little Pentax Optio WG1 to the Himalayas. Check out his review and his pictures, and be amazed by what this little P&S can do.

Page 37 User Review 2 Pentax Optio WG1

Yusuf Hashim throws the Pentax Optio WG1 into the deep end of his swimming pool, and his grandkids wrestled for the little camera underwater, to make underwater shots. The Pentax Optio WG1 survived the ordeal...none the worse for wear.

Page 38 Street Photography Masterclass

Street photography is all about the decisive moment. Brian Webb, one of PhotoMalaysia’s FounderAdministrator, talks about capturing Expressions in a Street Photography Masterclass

NEW & NEWS - Part 1

The Third Eye

Vol. 001.2012

Canon-PhotoMalaysiaPhoto Contest winners announced

PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari Experience to Pacu Jawi

PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari Experience to Sri Lanka

Across the Years Photo Contest from Canon

• Canon-PhotoMalaysia 2011 Year end Photo Contest winners have been announced.

• The next PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari Experience will be to shoot the Bull Races at Pacu Jawi from 29th June to 1st July 2012, at Padang in Indonesia.

• The PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari Experience to Sri Lanka will be held from 2nd June to 10th June

• Enter Canon’s “Across the Years” Photo Contest.

• Get more details HERE

• Photographs are snapshots of wonderful memories of the good old days. Photos of events like birthday parties at home, the arrival of a new car or pet, or the annual family portrait, etc. have the ability to bring us back in time and see how far we have come.

• See the winning photos on Page 24

• Get more Pacu Jawi details HERE

• This Photosafari to Sri Lanka offers great • Check out come pictures of a previous photography opportunities for travel, PMPE PhotoSafari to the same event landscape and human interest subjects. HERE The locations vary from fishing villages, First Runner Up is Tan Hock Teck (PM hill scenes, wildlife sanctuaries, quaint nick teck) who wins a Canon EOS 500D • The Pacu Jawi Bull Race is usually towns, traditional industries like mask held at the end of the harvesting sea+ EFS 18-55 mm Lens. making and leisurely scenes like a river son, when Breeders and Buyers come Second Runner Up is Ying See Hour cruise. We’ll go right round the island. together to trade their bulls. Sellers will (PM nick yshour) who wins a Canon hire Jockeys to race their bulls to dem- • The program is being arranged by memPowerShot G12 Digital Camera onstrate the strength of their animals. bers of the Sri Lanka Photographic SoThe prize giving ceremony will be held Winning Bulls will usually fetch a high ciety, who will join us as the 6th counat Taman Tasik Titiwangsa at 9.40 am price. try in the Crossing Bridges event which on 30th June 2012, in conjunction with PhotoMalaysia will host this year. • Its an exciting event for photographers, Eddieputera’s Photography Carnival. but it is also quite a dangerous event Congratulations to all winners and Crossing Bridges 9 Hosted by because the bulls are likely to run anyThank You Canon for donating the where and everywhere. Please observe Malaysia from 26 Aug-1 Sep grand prizes. the safety instructions. You’ll come at The year end grand prize winners are your own risk and organizers will not be • This year’s Crossing Bridges event will selected from the 12 winners of the liable for any personal injuries. be held in Malaysia from 26th August to monthly Canon - PhotoMalaysia Pho- • Besides the Pacu Jawi Bull Race, we 1st September. tography Contests. will also shoot morning markets, and The series of similar contests for 2012 sunrise and sunset at the hauntingly • The Organizing Committee under the able stewardship of PM Admin Noordin has already started. Check out Curbeautiful Meninjau Lake and at Bukit has been working very hard for a few rent Contest Details Here. Submit your Tinggi. months already, trying to make sure that entries and you could win a monthly • The PMPE-”Pacu Jawi” , PhotoSafari this year’s Crossing Bridges event will prize. As a monthly prize winner, you is now open for booking. This is a very run smoothly. will be eligible to be considered for the popular event and in the past we have grand prizes to be awarded at the end been over-subscribed. Please book ear- • If you wish to help in the organisation, of 2012. or to contribute any door gifts for our ly to avoid disappointment. guests, please PM Admin Noordin. • For more details of the itinerary and pricing, and to reserve your place, please • CB9 will see 6 countries participating. We hope to ask more countries to join. email

• First prize of a Canon EOS 7D Body has been won by PM member Sharkawi Che Din (PM nick mamiya).

Get more details HERE

• Canon are looking for photos that showcase change from the past to the present. You can submit a pair of images that shows the same scene/place/person from the past and in the present. Or you can place an old photo in context of the current scene to show how things have changed. • Photos will be judged on the basis of how well the photo conveys the theme of nostalgia, on photographic quality and visual appeal, and on originality of concept. • The best work will be short listed in Canon’s Featured Gallery every fortnight. • At the end of the contest, 8 participants will win the grand prize of an 8D7N guided photography trip to Japan from 3-10 August 2012. • Every fortnight, the best entry in Canon’s Featured Gallery will win a special bonus prize of a Canon Digital Camera • Join the contest to win attractive prizes.



COVER PHOTO by Tay Meow Win

The cover picture for this issue was shot by Tay Meow Win at 4600 m in bitingly cold -10째 Celsius, during a recent PhotoSafari Experience to the Himalayas, just as the sun was closing another day in the Annapurnas. Its a magnificent moment in time, preserved for eternity by the magic of photography. Meow Win says it is moments like this that will make him return to the Himalayas. In the spring of 2013 PhotoSafari participants will trek to the Everest Base Camp. Do you have what it takes to join them .... ? CLICK HERE to watch a short video of 100 Faces of Strangers in Nepal by Tay Meow Win


PhotoMalaysia -PhotoSafari Experience

Photography Workshop on 26 th and 27 th May 2012

at Royal Selangor Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur Limited Places still available email

There are still a few places left for this second PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari Experience (PMPE) Workshop for 2012, to be held at the Royal Selangor Golf Club on Sat 26 th and Sunday 27th of May. Usually four workshops are held each year, and since 2008, 15 sessions have been held, which have benefitted nearly 500 PhotoMalaysia members. The Participation fee for the two days’ workshop, which includes lunch on both days, and snacks during tea breaks, is RM600 per person. To register for the workshop, please send an email to, or phone him at +60122181396 Conducted by Maxby and DA, the workshop is specially structured for newbies and intermediate photographers to equip them with essential skills to shoot better pictures, and to kick-start their photography towards a higher level of sophistication. Artists spend years at Art school learning how to paint, but photographers simply spend tens of thousands of Dollars for equipment, and then expect to immediately shoot good pictures. The substitute for structured coaching is years and years of muddling through thousands of bad pictures before beginners begin to see the light. The knowledge participants gain at this workshop will become a solid and structured foundation on which to build their future self-learning in photography.

This two days photography workshop is Stage One, and constitutes the classroom section of a Comprehensive Photography Enhancement Program designed for PhotoMalaysia members. Ideally participants of Stage one should go on to participate in Stage Two, but that’s not really immediately necessary. Stage Two is 5 to 10 days of 24/7, one on on, hands-on personal coaching on a PhotoSafari at an exotic location, such as Angkor Wat, Borobudur, the Old Silk Road, the Himalayas, the Taklimakan Desert, Pacu Jawi, Urumqi, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. Workshop #15 was held earlier this year in March, and some participants of that workshop were then taken for Stage 2 to the Annapurnas in the Himalayas, while others went to Borobudur in Java. This workshop on 26-27 May will be followed by Stage 2, where participants can opt to go to Sri Lanka from 2-10 June, or to Pacu Jawi to shoot the Bull Races in Sumatra, from 29th June to 1st July, Later this year, we are planning to go to Kashmir, to India and to Ethiopia. All our Stage Two PhotoSafaris are arranged by photographers for photographers. You only have to view the Coffee Table books of photographs by participants of past PhotoSafaris to see the step jump in the quality of their work after each PhotoSafari.

The detailed program for the two days are as follows: DAY 1 800 - 840 -Recipe for Good Pictures 840 -1015 -How to Compose Compelling Photos P1 1015-1030 -Coffee Break 1030-1045 -How to Compose Compelling Photos P2 1045-1100 -Biggest Secret of Good Photographers 1045-1145 -Tips for Better Pictures 1145-1230 -Calibrating your Camera Light Meter 1230-1330- Lunch 1330-1345 - How to clean your sensor 1345-1515 - Street Photography 1515-1530 -Coffee Break 1530-1700 -Travel Photography 1700-1745 -Understanding Camera & Lenses DAY 2 0800-0845 - Mastering Exposure 0845-0930 - Black & White Photography 0930-1015 - Landscape Photography 1015-1030 - Coffee Break & Set up Lights 1030-1230 - Shooting Specific Situations 1230-1330 - Lunch 1330-1500 - Post Processing 1500-1515 - Coffee Break 1515-1715 - Post Processing Workflow 1715 -1800 -Panel Q & A & Photo Critique



A PhotoSafari to the



Yusuf Hashim

his is the south west spur of the Annapurna Massif. This picture was shot from the village of Ngawal at nearly 4000 m. From left to right, the highest point which is just visible behind the huge mountain at the front, is the tip of Annapurna II at 7937 m. Slightly to its right, also barely visible, is Annapurna IV at 7525 m. Then there is a col, or a pass with a sharp ridge leading directly to Annapurna III at 7555 m, which is not visible from this angle. However it is visible from the Manang area, as seen on the cover picture by Tay Miaw Win. The sharp pointed mountain on the right is only around 5800 m, but from this perspective, it only appears to be the highest in this picture, although it is not. The Annapurna Massif is home to Annapurna 1, which is the 10th highest mountain in the world at 8091 m. It is one of only 14 mountains on earth which are higher than 8000 meters. The Annapurna


peaks are the world’s most dangerous mountains to climb. Up to 2007, there have been 153 summit accents of Annapurna 1, with 58 climbing fatalities, giving it a fatality to summit ratio of 38%. In contrast, the fatality to summit accent ratio for Mt. Everest between 2000 and 2006, is only 0.8%. The Himalayas is a mesmerizing place. It is one of those places that everyone should go to at least once in their lives..... To feel the soul of the mountains, to savour the splendour, to breathe the clean air, to meet the people living there, and of course to challenge and rejuvenate yourself. But beware. If you go once, the probability is high that you will most certainly go again, and again, and again. There is something addictive in those mountains that compels you to return. We first trekked the Himalayas in a PhotoSafari last year, going to Gorepani from Pokhara. And that time, while I was struggling up

Poon Hill in the dark, to catch and shoot the sunrise over the Annapurnas, I swore I would never subject myself to the torture again. But I did return. And this time around, the distance we walked was many times further, and we went higher. We breached the 4000 meters mark near Manang, and endured sub zero temperatures. We suffered, but on the flight home from the Himalayas this year, we were already making plans about trekking to the Everest Base Camp next spring. I tell you, the exhilaration and sense of achievement of completing a trek in the Himalayas is very addictive, and most people will usually return. Although you need a reasonably healthy body and a strong heart, you’ll need an even stronger mind to complete a trek in the Himalayas. I feel it’s more a challenge of the mind than of the body. The secret of completing the trek is not to rush. Just take your time, walk slowly and stop to savour and shoot the

literally breathtaking beauty that are the Himalayas whenever you feel you are out of breath. It is normal to feel breathless because the air gets thinner the higher you climb. The first couple of days will be tough, but from the third day on, you’ll usually feel more comfortable, and as your lungs gets better acclimatized to the thin air, it does get easier, and you’ll begin to enjoy the walk. If you do go, try to get extra comfortable hiking shoes, and make sure you break them in before going. Nothing is worse than having blisters on your feet when you have to climb and cover 150 km over 10 days. Under the stress of a tortuous climb, many people also learn things that they didn’t know about themselves. When you are tired and stressed, the worst sometimes will easily come out of you. I saw that on our Himalayan trek last year. Thankfully the good also does. Meow Win, a participant from Singapore

He ain’t Heavy, He’s my Dad, and he’s unwell.....

© Murali

Tracks have to be blasted out of vertical cliff faces



© Derrick on this year’s PhotoSafari trek to the Annapurnas, actually helped to carry the load off the back of a local stranger, when he saw that the poor man had injured his leg. And one of the amusing things you’ll see on the trek are porters carrying huge loads mattresses, kitchen sinks and cabinets, live chickens, food, and even young men literally carrying their elderly and probably sick mothers or fathers down to the lowlands for treatment at clinics. Although the Nepalese living in the highlands grow some of their food, almost everything else has to be hauled up by sheer human power or by donkeys. There were so many donkeys sharing the narrow tracks with us that we were literally walking in rivers of donkey poo. We saw a lot of tracks being blasted out of the mountain sides as the Nepalese government tries to build a track to reach some of the remote villages in the Himalayas. I fear once the road is motorable, much of the charm of trekking in the Himalayas might disappear. It’s all the more reason for you to go up there NOW while the road is not yet ready. Nepalese living in the mountains are still very friendly. Its a photographer’s paradise and most Nepalese seemed not to mind us thrusting a camera and a 24 mm lens into their faces.


Everything needed for living, has to be painfully hauled up by men and donkeys........


Most Nepalese in the mountains are devout Buddhists, so there are many signs of Buddhism along the track. There are prayers inscribed on rocks along the tracks, stone arches at the entrance of villages, as in the next picture and there are many temples. I was fascinated especially by the numerous prayer wheels of many sizes, mostly laid out in rows at the entry or departure points of villages. Some are impressively large, like in this picture, and are housed in specially built mini temples. Inside these wheels there are thousands of prayers written on paper. As a devotee turns the wheel, it is believed that the prayers inside the wheel are multiplied many times over. Travellers will pause to turn the wheel several times, and to pray for a safe journey. Mothers with babies in their arms will also turn these wheels. And the picture on the previous page tells us that the little ones are also being taught to do the same from a very young age..


Above: A tranquil setting for a home in the mountains. This newly built house of stone and pine has a beautiful setting. That structure on the left that looks like a grave stone is in fact a piped water stand, for washing and for travellers to drink. Left : At The entry and exit points of remote villages in the Himalayas, near to the ubiquitous rows of prayer wheels, prayers are often also carved on rocks and boulders, testimony perhaps to the harsh living conditions in the Himalayas, where there is always a great need to seek divine protection from the elements. THE THIRD EYE


I’ve often wondered why anyone would actually want to live in the harsh Himalayas. The answer is that, over the centuries the Himalayas have often been a salvation for hardy locals, ascetics, pilgrims and people seeking refuge from persecution. Its an unforgiving environment, but its difficulty of access also offers protection. Outsiders like us living in comfortable surroundings, find the beauty of the Himalayas masochistically irresistible. George Mallory the British mountaineer who died while trying to climb Mt Everest in 1924, was reputedly credited with uttering the most famous three words in mountaineering. When asked the question “Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?” He replied with the retort, “Because it’s there”. Today hikers, mountaineers, tourists and ordinary people like you and I, are mysteriously drawn to these mountains. After being there several times, and suffering pain and fatigue each time I go there, I think I now know the reason why I’ll still want to come back to the Himalayas as long as I’m able to. The first reason I believe is the exhilaration of completing a personal challenge of mind over body. The feeling on the morning after, is simply delicious. Addicttively delicious, I might add. Then there is the feeling of being in a rather exclusive club, because not too many people can say that they have trekked up the slopes of the Himalayas. The last and probably the most common reason is, you get to see vistas like the above. There is something magical about snow covered peaks, especially when the ones in the Himalayas are among the world’s highest. I will never ever make it to the summit of Everest, but next year I will attempt to hike up to the Everest Base Camp, which is the dividing point between real mountaineers and the wannabes. I believe I will always try to return to the Himalayas for as long as I’m able to. Views like the above, makes it all worth it.


Right - Participants of the first PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari to the Himalayas in 2011, posing on the slopes of Poon Hill, on the south western side of the Annapurna Massif. On the left in the background is Mt Hiunchuli. In the middle is Machapuchare. From left to right are Kamal, Salleh, Steven, Maxby, Yusuf, Khair, Ivan, Karen, Kumar, Wil, Sunny, Raymond and Kelvin. Right Below - Participants of the second PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari to the Himalayas. They are Murali, Lim Fang Keong, Kamal,Yusuf Hashim, Yans, Meow Win, Sunny Yee, Lee Kok Wei, Ivan Hoh, Karen Chong, Maxby & Derrick Nga. 7 of the 12 participants were on the first trek to the Himalayas in 2011. Despite the pain, they came back for a second trek to a longer and more challenging route in 2012, proving that if you eat the local Dhalbat in the Himalayas, take a bath in the freezing waters of local rest houses, slept in unheated and dilapidated rooms in sub zero temperatures, feasted your senses on the hauntingly beautiful Himalayas, and met with the wonderfully friendly and warm Nepalese living on the slopes of the world’s greatest and highest mountain ranges, it is almost guaranteed that in spite of the pain, you will return. Photosafari will return for a third time to the Himalayas in 2013. We will trek to the Everest Base Camp. Reserve your places now. What’s the bet that at least 50% of the diehards in these two pictures will be on the Everest Base Camp trek ? Map below shows the 150 km track from Besisehar to Manang. Last year, the Photosafari was on the southern side of the Annapurna Massif. The map also show locations of some of the highest mountains in the Annapurnas that we saw.



GUNSMITHS of Danau City

by Maxby Chan

© Yap Yudan


D anao City

on the island of Cebu, is the centre of the underground gun making industry in the Philippines. It is estimated that nearly 10,000 of the 100,000 people of Danao, are directly or indirectly involved in the gun making industry. It all began as a patriotic response during World War II when the people of Danao were tasked with re-chambering the Japanese Airsaka rifles to fit the US .30 calibre round, or to keep the original Japanese rifles operational. The gunsmiths were good, and they soon graduated to actually making copies of those guns from scratch using only basic metal working tools. When the War ended and it became illegal to make guns, Danao gunsmiths went underground. And they continued to make guns, improving their skills such that today they can make replicas of virtually any type of light weapons. When we visited a legal gunsmith workshop during a PhotoSafari to Cebu recently, we saw them making very sophisticated guns such as replicas of the AK 47, the M-16, the Uzi,Ingram machine guns, fancy personalised pistols, and even guns disguised as ball pens, capable of firing single bullets. Most of the gunsmiths are from rural areas where employment opportunities are limited. When the war ended, they continued making guns because earning several hundred pesos a day legally, pales

in comparison to the income generated by the sale of a single gun. For example, a revolver sold for $ 80 is more than the equivalent of a few weeks’ wages. Today the gunsmiths of Danao supply guns to whoever wants them, for legal or illegal purposes - to civilians and politicians for personal protection, to private militias, bodyguards, and to criminals. Most post-war political guerillas involved in armed revolts against the government use guns which are locally manufactured. It seems the guns from Danao are also very popular among the Japanese Yakuza and Chinese Mafia. In an attempt to control the gun Above is a Derringer and a Pen Gun made by a gunsmith in Danao. You can buy the Pen Gun for US$120 without too much trouble. The Pen Gun is based on makers, the government “legalthe Stinger Pen Gun. It fires one .22 bullet at a time. To use it, the cap is removed with a coin, and the pen must be folded to cock it before it can be fired. Once ized” the industry in the early 1990s cocked, the clip trigger pops out. Its usually more effective when held close against the target. DA was agonizing whether to buy the UZI machine gun or the by creating two organizations of lo- Stinger Pen Gun or the Derringer. The death penalty in Malaysia for gun possession without a licence dissuaded him from any heroics... cal gunsmiths who were loosely required to keep records of sales, and to put markings on their guns which can be traced back to the person making them. Traditional Gunsmiths still use the time tested methods of milling machines and lathes to make each gun by hand. It is a laborious process. Each gun may take 7 to 20 days to make depending on the complexity. Each craftsman makes every part of the gun himself, from raw material till completion. And the manufactured piece has his marks on it. And they work in dilapidated barns and in fact several months after these pictures were shot, this particular workshop was burnt down, apparently accidentally.

© Yusuf Hashim THE THIRD EYE


Shooting Sunsets & Sunrises


with John Ishii

here’s nothing like a great sunset or sunrise to stir your passion for photography. One of the first snap shots from any aspiring photographer are the sunset or sunrise shots from a favourite beach or mountain top. So what makes a great sunset shot? Well, a good lens with excellent coating to eliminate flare is a must to have. Flare is that small streak of light crossing the lens just where you don’t want it. My favourite are sunrise shots. There’s something magical about a sunrise. Seeing the dark horizon gently becoming lighter, and as it becomes lighter, a slight hint of pink creating contrasts in the sky, reflecting gently on the clouds. It’s significance is that it’s a brand new day and new lives. You have to keep a keen eye on the lightest part of the sky as it is always constantly changing as the sun creeps up the horizon. I like to use my 70 - 200 f/2.8, as its easier to capture both a long shot and a close up shot of the sunrise quickly with zooming. As the sun rises and the colours change, the lens gives me the flexibility and speed to zoom in and out to get just the right amount of colour changes. The secret to great sunrise shots is getting up early, setting up your equipment properly and being ready to capture the constantly changing colours, and to shoot the sun just as it peeks over the horizon. This always makes for a dramatic and colourful image. Sunsets are done in reverse, you wait for the magic hour where the sun begins its journey down to the horizon. Shoot as the colour of the sky turns into an intense show of orange, red and yellows as the sun disappears down the horizon.. I enjoy sunset shots the most when I go to the beach. Batu Ferringi, Langkawi and Phuket have just the most amazing sunsets. I sit on the beach for hours trying to get just the right amount of light and colour, but its when the sun meets the sea at the horizon that the shot really comes together. The sun just seems to melt right into the sea, and when a small fishing boat goes by, its beautifully back lighted by the yellow and orange ball. If you can get a hold of super telephoto lens it will just suck in the sun and gives a massive “Wow” factor image of the sun setting into the horizon. This type of shots will definitely impress your friends. Lastly, remember to use an f stop such as at f8 and above, to get the maximum depth of field. Take a close look at my images and see what makes a well composed sunrise or sunset shot.






iew Weng Keong, is PhotoMalaysia’s Moderator for the Macro Forum. He is an IT and Storage Specialist, and photography is just a hobby for him. Looking at his impressive collection of macro shots in his Flicker account, it’s hard to believe that this humble macro Sifu started photography with a Powershot S5 only 4 years ago. At that time, he said, he didn’t even know the purpose of ISO, Aperture or Shutter Speeds. He says he learned how to shoot macros from helpful friends and mentors at PhotoMalaysia outings. Today Liew is so good that he is known as a Macro Sifu, and he conducts macro workshops to help fellow photographers master the art and science of Macro Photography. Beginning with this introductory article on the basics of macro photography, and in a series of continuing articles, Macro Liew will share with readers of The Third Eye, tips on how to shoot the macro world that is not normally observable with the naked eye. Watch this space for more Macro Tips from Macro Liew. Photo on this page are Tiny mushrooms Liew shot in Bintulu


Basic Concepts in Macro Photography


with Liew Weng Keong

feel honoured to be invited to contribute a regular column on Macro Photography here in The Third Eye. This is Part 1. I will write a series of articles to introduce Macro photography to you, illustrating them with some of my own macro photos. I will try and share whatever I know, so that we can all shoot, what I call Inner Space, which is home to countless spectacular creatures and plants which are so tiny that they are often unseen and unnoticed by the naked eye. I’d like to think that Macro Photography is almost like underwater photography by scuba divers shooting strange and mysterious creatures in the oceans. A macro photographer’s ocean and reefs can simply be his own backyard, where strange and mysterious creatures abound. Take a look at the tiny droplets of water on the compound eyes of a common green bug below. I shot this picture in my mother in law’s garden. For me, this is the kind of shot that makes macro photography so fascinating.

Frog, Spider & Spider’s Web

Many people use the term Macro to loosely mean any photographic situation where you shoot close to the subject. However, a photo is a true macro photo only when you shoot subjects at a 1:1 ratio or closer, where the image of your subject on your sensor or film, is at least equal in size, or larger than the subject being photographed. In the photo of a section of a ruler below, the 35 mm fills the entire length of the 35 mm x 24 mm negative, which is the same size as a full frame sensor. This is defined as a true macro photo.

tography typically deals with magnifications between 1:1 and 50:1 (1X to 50X), while close up photography ranges from 1:1 to 1:10 (1X to 1/10X).

For macro photographers, this might seem to be an advantage, but in reality, with a smaller sensor you are trading away some quality aspects like digital noise. A FF sensor will produce better images than a cropped sensor because the pixels of a FF sensor are larger, and they wont need to be magnified so much to produce the same sized image. And of course FF sensors perform better in low light. So make your own choice. Magnification is an important concept to understand if you want to do serious macro photography, so let me spend a bit of time on the subject. When using a true macro lens like Canon’s 180 mm f/3.5L Macro lens below, which has a true 1:1 capability, you can further magnify the life size image in the frame by a number of ways.

Canon EF 180 mm Macro with 1.4X Extender

Green Bug

If you use a Full Frame sensor, shooting a ruler like this is a simple way to check the magnification that you are shooting at. If you photograph an insect with an actual length of 8.75 mm, and the insect fills the length of your full frame sensor, the insect gets magnified with a ratio of 35 to 8.75 or 4:1 or 4X. That is a true macro photo. The next picture of a Damesfly is a true macro too, because the approximately 35 mm Damesfly fills the frame, and is at a magnification of 1:1. Macro pho-

Full Frame versus Cropped Frame. I have often been asked whether it is better to use a Full Frame (FF) or a Cropped Frame (CF) sensor for macro photography. The main difference between FF and CF cameras is how the focal length of the lens is affected by the sensor size. Using the same lens and shooting from the same distance, the crop sensor’s photo would be more magnified than the image captured by the FF camera. For example, if you shoot the 35 mm Damesfly from the same distance with a Canon 7D which has a 1.6x crop factor, you would be able to capture a higher magnification with the cropped sensor than with a FF sensor. The Damesfly would appear to be magnified by a bigger ratio using a crop sensor compared to a FF sensor. Theoretically therefore, DSLRs with cropped sensors smaller than 35 mm appear to have better macro capabilities.

The easiest is to add a 1.4X Extender to the macro lens as in the above picture. Doing this will create a resultant image which is 1.4 : 1 or 1.4X larger than life size. This gives you a 1.4X capability at a relatively low additional cost. The downside of extenders is that they cause some Barrel Distortion and Chromatic Aberration (CA), and they also reduce image sharpness slightly. However some of this can be avoided by using smaller apertures. Another way of getting more magnification is by adding Extension Tubes to a true 1:1 macro lens. Extension tubes come in various lengths, and they can be “stacked”, as seen in the illustration. In general, the magnification you can get by using Extension Tubes will depend on the Focal Length of the Macro Lens you are using. The formula for using extension tubes is, Focal Length+Tube Length = Added Magnification.



Twig-like Feather Legged Spider


Adding a 50 mm extension tube to a 50 mm true Macro lens will increase magnification to 2X life size. As Extension Tubes do not have glass in them, image quality isn’t affected.

Focal Length of your macro Lens will also directly determine DOF. The longer the focal length, the shallower the DOF. For example, although you get a comfortable “Working Distance” of 9.1 ins from sensor to subject with Canon’s 180 mm Macro lens, compared to a Working Distance of 4.7 ins mm with the 100 mm Macro lens, and a miniscule 1.6 ins with a 50 mm, a longer focal length also affects perspective, and compresses and flattens subject features more than short focal lengths, which tend to give a better perspective. The wider angle of view of the short focal length macro lenses also means that more of the background will be in focus in the picture. I’ve tried out several macro setups, and today my favourite lens is the Canon MPE65, paired with their macro flash unit MT24. The MPE 65 is an extreme macro lens which allows up to 5X life size. It inspires creativity. However, I don’t recommend this lens for beginners in macro photography as it might inspire frustration instead of creativity. With patience however, you can create highly attentiongrabbing images with this magnificent macro lens.

Boxer Mantis

Blister Beetle

Extension Tubes Golden Tortoise Beetle

Apart from Extension Tubes and Extenders, you can also use Close-up Filters and Bellows to increase magnification. You can even “reverse“ lenses to turn them into macro lenses. Close Up filters like Canon’s 500D and 250D are screwed into the filter thread of your Macro Lenses. They increase magnification but do not affect focal length like Extension Tubes and Extenders do. Bellows and reversed lenses are quite cumbersome to use, and I do not recommend them. With Magnification, just be aware that when you increase magnification, your DOF or Depth of Field will get shallower. There is an inverse relationship between magnification and DOF. The more magnification you try to get, the shallower will be the DOF. And in macro we are already working within extremely thin zones of sharp focus, so any increase in magnification will affect DOF very significantly. There is a formula for calculating DOF at various Apertures for 1:1 Macro lenses on various sensor sizes, but I wont discuss it here. Just accept that for a 1: 1 Macro Lens on a FF sensor at f/16, the DOF is a miniscule 1.856 mm. Adding a 1.4X Extender to increase magnification to 1.4X life size, causes DOF to drop by 40% to only 1.136 mm. As seen in the photo below, when shooting an ant at this thin Depth of Field, only the eyes and part of the head will be in focus. So increasing magnification have trade-offs we have to deal with.

Ant protecting her Eggs

Canon MP-E-65 Macro Lens

When you first try shooting macro, the biggest challenge will be how to work within the extremely shallow Depth of Field of macro lenses when shooting at life size or greater magnification. There are other challenges of course, among which are how to get the focus to be on the optimal plane, how to control light at working distances of mere inches, and how to shoot skittish insects, etc. I will discuss these, and many more challenges of macro-photography in the next issue of The Third Eye. So watch this space.



Ladybirds in Love




A Mother’s Love - A Red Ant tending to her eggs.



Canon-PhotoMalaysia 2011 Photo Contest Year End Grand Prize Winners Canon-PhotoMalaysia 2011 Year end Photo Contest winners have been announced. First prize of a Canon EOS 7D Body has been won by PM member Sharkawi Che Din (mamiya). First Runner Up is Tan Hock Teck (PM nick teck) who wins a Canon EOS 500D + EFS 18-55 mm Lens. Second Runner Up is Ying See Hour (yshour) who wins a Canon PowerShot G12 Digital Camera The prize giving ceremony will be held at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa at 9.40 am on 30th June 2012, in conjunction with Eddieputera’s Photography Carnival. Congratulations to all winners And Thank You Canon for donating prizes. The year end grand prize winners are selected from the 12 winners of the monthly Canon - PhotoMalaysia Photography Contests. The series of similar contests for 2012 has started. Submit your entries to Canon-PhotoMalaysia Contest and your entry could win a monthly prize, also donated by Canon. As a monthly winner, you will be eligible to be considered for the grand prizes to be awarded at the end of 2012.


2011 Grand First prize Winner Sharkawi Che Din THE THIRD EYE


First Runner Up Grand Prize Winner Tan Hock Teck


Second Runner Up Grand Prize Winner Ying See Hour THE THIRD EYE


Pentax Optio WG1 A User’s Review by Lee Kok Wei

Lee Kok Wei is a 26 years old Bio Tech Scientist working in an innovative start up company providing DNA sequencing analysis and applications for the Scientific Community. He joined a PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari to the Himalayas, and brought along a new Pentax Optio WG1. Below, in his own words, are his impressions.

The Pentax Optio WG1


hen I learnt that my company was bringing all employees for a 2 weeks team building trip to the Himalayas, I was ecstatic. It was the first time that I would be going on a trekking trip to one of my dream places on earth. However, when I found out that this trip was organised by, I panicked. I was not much of a photographer and this was a trekking cum photography trip. I started looking for a camera that would be suitable for this trip. Someone suggested a Pentax Optio WG1 as the camera of choice.


On first inspection, I realised that this camera was supposed to be a rugged camera and suitable for people with an outdoor lifestyle. Butterfly shaped, constructed with metal housing and rubberised grips, this camera gave the impression that it could take a lot of beating. Specifications as advertised: The Optio WG1 is PENTAX’s 12th generation series of rugged, waterproof, adventure proof digital cameras, claimed to be suitable for almost any environment. It is Shockproof, and its rugged design is supposed to protect it from drops of up to 5

The winter snow hadn’t yet melted in Manang District when we went there

feet. It is cold proof to sub-freezing temps of minus 10 degrees Celsius. It has a 14 mega pixel sensor which offers plenty of image detail. At the back of the camera there is a large 2.7 inch, wide angle, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD screen with anti-reflective coating. An HDMI port plays back high definition images and video on HDTVs. Pixel Tracking and Digital Shake Reduction helps to ensure sharp, blur-free images. It is claimed to be waterproof to 33 feet. It’s crushproof construction is supposed to allow it to survive weights up to 220 pound-force. The dust proof

design protects the camera from dry, dusty environments. The camera has a wide angle 5X internal optical zoom lens giving it a zoom range equivalent to 28-140 mm. This makes it very suitable for flexible capture of subjects near or far. There is a Digital Microscope mode which uses 5 macro LEDs for perfect focus and providing smooth, even lighting. And the Pentax Optio WG1 has a video capability too, which can capture video in wide screen 720p HD at 30 frames per second. Gosh, that’s a lot of features in such a tiny camera.

Shot with the Pentax Optio WG1. A morning trek with the “Gateway to Heaven” in the background. The Gateway to Heaven is a sheer wall of snow clinging precariously to the slope of that mountain. It looked as if it might just slip and cause an avalanche at any time, making it very dangerous to walk below the slope. THE THIRD EYE


A Black and White Conversion showing you the stark landscape in Manang. This tiny camera rocks.


One of my first shots with the Pentax Optio - at Bangkok Airport for the transfer to Kathmandu

Ease of Operation: This camera is very easy to use for an amateur photographer like me. There are scene modes for every scene imaginable. Best of all it was idiot proof. I can simply press the shutter and I am able to get reasonably exposed images. The only thing I needed to do was to compose the picture. I tried the movie recording feature too. It was easy to use but I didn’t use it much because I was concentrating on still images. Rugged, shock proof and crush-proof:I dropped the camera more than a couple of times because I was wearing gloves and did not have any feel then. It survived those drops from as high as 5 to 8 feet. Uncle Maxby said that this camera could survive a fall if thrown from the top of Mt Everest to base camp. Well, I wasn’t in a position to prove it, but I believe him because he uses a pro Pentax DSLR, which he says can even survive being thrown out of the window of an Airbus. He said the reason why he hasn’t tried doing that was because while in flight, he has never succeeded in opening the window of an Airbus. Perhaps if I threw the camera from the top of Annapurna 4 down to Humde Airstrip in the valley below, it would have been a good test. But suffice to say that I dropped the camera several times and it worked perfectly after each drop. And it wasn’t even scratched. This camera served me well on the trek. It proved

A self portrait shot with the Pentax Optio submerged into the frozen Ice Lake. It still worked.

its worth when I brought it up to the Ice Lake at Manang. The altitude there was about 4,500 m. The temperature was freezing. I think it was about -10°C at that time. I even managed to take a self-portrait when I placed the camera underwater at freezingly cold the Ice Lake. Conclusion: Overall I was very happy with the performance of this camera. It lived up to its claimed ruggedness and it survived the 2 weeks of trekking in one of the most insanely beautiful places on earth. The battery life was also reasonable. A single charge lasted about 2 days. This was an important consideration as not all lodging houses have electricity for charging electronic devices. I am no photographer but I am satisfied with the images I took along this memorable trek. This camera “just works”. I’ve heard that Pentax is coming out with the 13th Generation of this Optio model soon. I would like to get the new Pentax Optio WG2 with GPS for my future trips, and as an everyday camera. Perhaps I should take up photography seriously. Editor’s note: A beginner shooting such inspiring pictures with only a P&S needs to be encouraged to develop his skills. PhotoSafari will offer him a scholarship to attend the PMPE Workshop on 27-28 June for free.



Would you believe that a Point and Shoot like the tiny Pentax Optio WG1 can shoot pictures like this? I took this picture while I was on the way down from the Ice Lake above Manang, about 4500 meters high. Meow Win, a fellow PhotoSafari Trekker is separated from the edge of the Annapurna Massif by a very deep gorge. It is moments like this that makes a trip to the Himalayas so unforgettable. It made me think - Man is so small in the overall scheme of things, and yet he is the most destructive to our environment. Thank God the Himalayas are still so terrifyingly beautiful.

Supplementary Test Report of the

Pentax Optio WG1 by Yusuf Hashim

I was

fooling around with the Pentax Optio WG1 and was quite impressed with the little bugger. I put it through the ultimate test last Sunday. As usual on a Sunday, a bunch of my 13 grandchildren were fooling around in our swimming pool in the garden, just before our usual weekend family barbecue evening. I gathered all of them around me and I showed them how to use the little Pentax.... basically, how to press the shutter button by composing off the live view screen. I set the camera to underwater mode, asked them all to stand outside the pool at the shallow end, and the game was, I would toss the camera into the pool at the deep end, and they were all to dive into the pool, retrieve the camera, and take a few shots of each other underwater. The best 5 pictures will win a slice of a Secret Recipe Cheese Cake, and the next 4 will get Mars Bars. So everybody gets a prize. Here’s an underwater picture shot by my 7 year old grand daughter, of her 3 years old cousin. All my grandchildren can swim before they can walk, because we teach everyone of them to swim from the time they are around 6 months old as a safety precaution, as our pool is right outside the living room. We wanted all of them to be able to save themselves if they should ever fall into the water or swim unattended. We had so much fun and I must have tossed the camera into the water at least a dozen times. And all the time it sank to the floor of the pool, which is about 10 feet at the deep end, before being retrieved, wrestled and fought for, like a rugby ball underwater. I also got them to shoot movies underwater and they are great. My grand kids have asked me to buy one for them to play with, and I might just do that. The Pentax Optio WG1 is a tough and cute little bugger, ideal for the kids to fool around with at the beach, in the garden, at the playground and in the pool. It can take a lot of bashing and dropping, and when all muddied if its taken to the beach, you just immerse it in a pail of water to clean it. In fact I think I will get the WG2 with the GPS function when it becomes available. To be absolutely honest however, picture quality isn’t the best I’ve seen from a P&S, and that’s probably because of the lens protector, but its the ruggedness, the underwater shooting capability, and the fact that my grand kids simply love it that will make me buy the Pentax Optio, not for me, but for them to shoot pictures with.. Plus I could use it too, for some unusual shooting possibilities at the beach.



Street Photography Masterclass EXPRESSIONS Brian Q Webb Brian Q Webb is an Administrator-Founder of Photomalaysia. He is an American Educator, Writer and Free Lance Photographer living in Taipei. If you Google Brian Webb, you’ll find zillions of articles that Brian has written about photography, and particularly Street Photography. One of his Blogs, at, is a repository of some of his writing. It loudly says that Photography is Jazz for the Eyes. When out shooting in the streets, Brian demonstrates an amazing ability to capture the perfect moment of expression that can encapsulate a story. And that has come from more than a decade of experience photographing People, Places and Events. Brian says, to develop your street shooting skills, sometimes you need to leave your camera at home. Go find a nice city street with loads of foot traffic and a comfortable place to sit. Then, grab a latte, relax, and people-watch. Practice reading people’s motions and interactions. Developing the ability to predict human behaviour is key in being able to capture that decisive moment. The Third Eye will persuade Brian to share with us, in every issue, some of his thoughts about shooting compelling pictures in the street. In his first instalment, Brian talks about capturing the decisive moment in Expressions.


treet photography is all about the decisive moment, but the decisive moment isn’t all about movement. Most street photographs tend to centre around moments in movement, because movement surrounds us all the time, and it is rarely hidden. It is easy to catch if you have your timing down. On the other hand, natural expressions are more difficult to catch because they are less predictive, and often too subtle to make a strong enough element in a photograph. Here are a few tips to help you catch that fleeting moment of joy. Know Where to Focus Your Attention

Street photographs are images that are found, not created. As street photographers, over time we instinctively tend to focus on the best areas of a scene that might provide the best opportunities to photograph a decisive moment in motion. For example, I tend to focus a lot on street corners and crosswalks because it makes it easier for me to predict what direction the motion is heading. Shooting a decisive moment in expression requires the same sort of selective focus. In Public People are Modest People are generally conservative in expressing themselves publicly, so in order to get expressions that are “larger-then-life” enough that they can be a strong compositional element, one needs to think about what situations people are more comfortable in expressing themselves spontaneously. Like when they are amongst close friends as in the picture on the right and on the next page.




I t’s Not All in the Face : Emotional expression isn’t limited only to the face. Hand gestures and stances

can communicate feelings just like frowns and smiles can, although they often aren’t as obvious.

Or your child has a very demanding personality and because you know him, you know when he’s about to go off… abuse what you know about the people you know, to get the best candid moments of expression from them. They’ll appreciate the result, and I won’t complain if you call it a ‘street photo’.


Know the People You Know : Yes, I’m aware that it’s not exactly kosher in some circles, to call candids of the people you know as “street photography” . But if you love taking candid photos of the people around you, and the people you love are always around you, they are going to cross streams. For example, let’s say your son is afraid of haircuts, and today is haircut day… THE THIRD EYE


Choice Environments Some places tend to lend themselves to people being more free with their emotions. For example, take the comfort of being amongst friends. If you add the relaxing effect of alcohol , and what do you get? A bar, as on the Right. Below. Or on the, right, where there are lots of people, and long waits. The boredom of a hospital waiting room. Other choice locations for better chances of open expression might also include amusement parks, concerts, and sporting events, as seen below. Fin. That’s it. I hope that at the least this article has helped expand your normal subject matter a little. As always, comments are always appreciated, and you can post them in the Street Photography section of


Obviously, mixing facial expression with body expression can render some great results. THE THIRD EYE


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The Third Eye is published 6 times a year for Malaysia’s largest online photography communities, and Click the banners to visit our websites and to become a member. It’s free and you get to share your passion for photography with other like minded people, equally passionate about photography. is a companion site for PhotoMalaysia. regularly organizes photography workshops and photo-shoots to exotic locations like the Old Silk Road in Xinjiang Uyghur, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Annapurnas in the Himalayas, the Taklimakan Desert in China, the Dunes in Vietnam, Bull Races in Sumatra, Borobudur in Java, to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, etc. If you want to take your photography to a higher plane, join our workshops, walkabouts, teh tarik sessions, photography talks, exhiibitions, photo contests, critique sessions and of course our PhotoSafaris to exotic locations. And ask or discuss anything you like about photography at our online forums where friendly experts, proes and ordinary photographers will respond to your queries. We’re planning to go to Kashmir, India, Ethiopia, the Everest Base Cap in the Himalayas, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in the near future. Click on the coffee table book-covers below to read about our previous PhotoSafaris. Join us. Each PhotoSafari Experience is different and you get to make life long friends ... For more information about any PhotoSafari or PhotoMalaysia activities, email



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