PICTURE MALAYSIA: Exploring The Beauty Of Malaysia

A picture says more than a 1000 words. From time to time, MALAYSIA INSIGHTS therefore introduces photographers and websites with quality photos taken in Malaysia.

Featured today in our series PICTURE MALAYSIA is Phalinn Ooi, with over 24,000 pictures on Flickr he is one of the busiest contributors. Learn more about him and his pictures in our interview. For higher resolution, click on the photos on this page or go to Phalinn’s Flickr page to enjoy full resolution.

16725969109_c7507a33e0_zNAME: Mohd Fazlin Effendy Ooi, aka Phalinn Ooi 
AGE: 33 years old
LOCATION: Kuala Lumpur
WEBSITE: https://www.flickr.com/photos/phalinn/albums

Dear Phalinn, you have many high quality pictures on Flickr. One of it even made it on the cover of the MALAYSIA INSIGHTS magazine. Are you a professional photographer?
I would like to describe myself as a professional hobbyist photographer.

What is your real profession then?
Don’t be surprised, I’m a doctor by profession.

Really? What are you specialised in?
I’m currently a senior medical officer in Orthopaedics in a government hospital in Malaysia. Hope to complete my studies in Orthopaedics, later, definitely not now or the next few years as currently i wish to enjoy, travel and take more photos.

How long have you been photographing?
My father is an enthusiastic photographer…so since I was a kid I always have cameras around me. However, I became serious 12 years ago when I got my first DSLR, a Canon EOS 350D a gift from my father.

Which hardware are you using currently?
Camera Body – EOS 7D, 450D Lens- Sigma wide 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM, Canon prime lenses 50mm & 85 mm F1.8, Canon EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III …Filters – Rodenstock 58mm CPL polarizing, Hoya 82mm CPL polarizing and natural density nd400 Tripod/remote – Canon deluxe 300 tripod and Canon remote cable…I’m planning to upgrade to a full frame early next year on my birthday (8th January hehe).

What are your favourite motives?

Nightlife in KL
Nightlife in KL

I love to travel and therefore I particularly love street/travel photography. And anything that makes my country looks good.

In other words, you are a patriotic photographer?
Patriotic…definitely! If you give me a choice to travel and take pictures overseas or Malaysia…I’ll choose Malaysia anytime. There’s this great satisfaction of seeing photographs of your beloved country (especially the ones that you photographed yourself) making headlines in travel books, magazine or on the internet.

Phalinns photo on the cover of MALAYSIA INSIGHTS.    Taken in Penang

Can you name a few media which have been using your photos? Which ones are you especially proud of?
Being more than a decade in this ‘business’ I can humbly say generally that my photos were published in numerous books, magazines especially concerning travel and on many websites. However, if I were to choose which one I’m very proud of it would be the cover of Malaysia Insights and also the Swiss Air in-flight magazine about 7-8 years ago.

You have a good eye for clean compositions. Is that something that you actively pursue or do you take any motive that you find interesting?
I would say I tend to take any motive that’s interesting but I especially love vibrant contrasting colours and anything candid on the streets….except for pictures of my wife and son which are always pre-planned about how they pose.

What are your favourite spots in Malaysia, in terms of taking photos?

Rawa island
Rawa island

My favorites are the islands and beaches in Malaysia, especially on the East coast. Rawa Island in Johor is lovely, Redang island in Terengganu, too, to name a few. Unfortunately, because of time constraints as a doctor,  usually I can only travel once in every 3 months.

You also took a lot of pics in KL, what is the special thing about KL to you?
I was born and grew up in KL, I’m a KL boy! Seriously, from a photographic point of view, KL is a metropolitan that has everything to offer for photographers. You name it, KL has it.

You said your favourite travel destination is Malaysia. Nevertheless, you do visit other countries. On Flickr, your latest photos are from Cambodia…
Yup, those are from our trip in June this year. One of the pics I took there was chosen to Flickr’s official twitter account.

What is the country like, seen through the eyes of a photographer?
I would say from the lens you could feel the suffering of the past regime. Poor economy but slowly and surely developing with extremely nice people.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia


How important is post production to you?
Honestly speaking, I’m not great with post production… I apply it only minimally using basic stuff such as brightness /contrast/sharpening and rotation. Having said that, i wish to be more competent with post production as i think it’s a very crucial aspect of photography.

Apart from Flickr, are there any other websites we can find your pics?
Sadly, so far I am only on Flickr and Facebook. But I plan to develop my own website really really soon.

Let us know when it is online! Thanks for the interview.
Sure, I will. Thank you, too.


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