Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Call To Prayer

Assalamualaikum wbt.

A timelapse compilation of mosques in few places in Malaysia, shot during sunrise and sunset. For this compilation, the most fitting soundtrack would be the call to prayer itself, and I had the pleasure of choosing this Azan rendition by Muadzin Hafiz Mustafa Özcan from Turkey. Such a beautiful voice!

The Adhān (Arabic: أَذَان‎ [ʔaˈðaːn]), or Azan, Ezan, Azon (as pronounced differently in at different places), is the Islamic call to worship, recited by the muezzin at prescribed 5 times of the day.

The adhan sums up our Shahadah, the Statement Of Faith:  

"I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."


The verses of Azan and it's English Translation :

Allahu Akbar (4x)
English: Allah (God) is [the] Greatest.

Ash-hadu an-la ilaha illa Llah (2x)
English: I bear witness that there is no god except Allah.

Ash-hadu anna Muħammadan-Rasulullah (2x)
English: I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Hayya 'ala s-salah (2x)
English: Come to prayer.

Hayya 'ala 'l-falah (2x)
English: Come to success.

Allāhu Akbar (2x)
English: Allah is [the] Greatest.

La ilaha illa-Allah (1x)
English: There is no god except Allah.

Until my next post,


 HDR/DRI/Timelapse personal / group workshop is available upon request. PM me for details :) 
- all rights reserved - all images/footages in this blog are copyright of the respective photographer - do not use without permission -
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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Mirror Sunrise At Darul Quran

Assalamualaikum wbt.

AlhamduliLlah, after a few visits to DQ, on last Febuary 2014 the weather finally symphatise for me hehe...on previous visits I was not so lucky!

Darul Quran is an institute of higher education specializing in the memorization of the Quran and also other fields of Islamic studies. Darul Quran is under the purview of Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development or better known as JAKIM. This campus started operating in November 1998.

Getting there :

From KL, I normally take the North-bound PLUS Highway, exiting at Rawang. Then from Rawang I just head straight to Kuala Kubu Baru on Route 1. Approximately 22kms, take a right turn to Jalan Ampang Pechah. 5km later, you'll reach Darul Quran on your right. 

In each of my visit to DQ, I would always be welcomed by two of the lecturers there, affectionally called as Ustaz An-Namir and Ustaz Buyie. Extremely talented photographer themselves, Ustaz An-Namir, and Ustaz Buyie often played a warm and welcoming hosts to numerous photographers visiting DQ for a chance to capture the beautiful DQ during sunrise. JazakumaLlahu khairan, ya akhi! :)

The Beautiful Darul Quran Mosque, Kuala Kubu, Selangor.
Nikon D600 | Tamron 17-35mm | f/5.6 | 1/40s | ISO50

The mosque pictured here is situated at a lakeside (unoficially) named "Tasik Huffaz". On a windless day, the surface of the lake is mirror smooth, resulting in perfect reflection image. Satisfaction guaranteed! :)

This photo is one of the 789 images of timelapse sequence..possibly the longest that I did so far, from pitch dark untill well past sunrise! I'm processing the timelapse now, so stay tuned! :)

Till then, wassalam.

*Updated 12/04/2014*

The timelapse is now LIVE at Youtube :)

Till my next post,


HDR/DRI/Timelapse personal / group workshop is available upon request. PM me for details :)

- all rights reserved - do not use without permission -

- contact me at enquire.ariefrasa@gmail.com for information on licensing of my images and timelapse clips
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Monday, 7 April 2014

Pond5 Tips : Files Association Request

 Assalamualaikum wbt.

Oleh kerana dibodek kaw2 oleh Akula Matiau tadi, tetiba datang laa mood rajin nak buat tutorial ni. Jadi sempena tengah rajin ni, saya berkongsi dengan rakan2 Microstockers Malaysia tentang cara membuat "files association request" di Pond5. :D

1) Kenapa?

- untuk "synchronise" klip pelbagai resolusi yang kita dah submit kat Pond. Katakan kita submit 3 resolusi berlainan untuk satu klip yang sama (720p, 1080p, 4K) - makanya nanti akan terdapat 3 page berasingan. Jadi dengan cara clip association ini, ketiga-tiga klip kita itu akan muncul dalam satu page - tak kira potential buyer cari dan klik apa resolusi sekalipun. More choice = more likely sale, tak gitu? Ataupun mungkin dia cari res 720p, tapi bila dia lihat ada 4K, mungkin dia tergerak nak beli 4K res? Mana tahu, kann.. :)

- Contohnya, seperti klip ini, saya submit tiga klip berlainan resolusi secara berasingan, tapi bila disatukan, kesemua resolusi muncul dalam satu page :

2) Bagaimana?

- Mudah sahaja! Di page "upload" anda, perhatikan nombor ID klip-klip tersebut. Setiap klip akan mempunyai ID yang berbeza, seperti ini :

-  Hint : saya buat clip association SEBELUM saya buat apa-apa edit pada nama, tagging etc. Dengan cara itu, setiap klip akan disusun mengikut fail nama asal, dan biasanya akan disusun bersama, mengikut turutan. Jadi mudah untuk disalin tanpa KELIRU. Lebih-lagi kalau kita buat banyak klip dari satu sumber sekuen. Sebagai contoh : 3 klip dalam set A pada gambar di atas (bulatan merah) adalah dari sumber sekuen imej yang sama dengan set B, tapi dengan efek yang berbeza. Sudah tentu saya tak mahu klip dari set A muncul dalam page untuk klip set B, bukan? Jadi, setelah melalui beberapa proses "trial & error", ini lah  petua yang "mujarab" untuk saya :).

 - buka satu dokumen "wordpad". Mulakan dengan ayat ini (err..mulakan dengan Bismillah di dalam hati ye, lebih afdhal :p ) :

ID/ Username : xxx  <---- xxx = username anda

- baris berikutnya, taip perkataan "Item : " kemudian salin (copy & paste je) nombor ID klip-klip tadi dan susun dalam satu baris. Buat baris baru untuk set yang lain. Lihat gambar untuk lebih senang faham :)

- jaga-jaga, jangan tersalah susun ID dari set yang berlainan! Dah siap, simpan list ini sebagai template anda untuk diguna lagi di kemudian hari.

-  edit keyword klip-klip anda dan submit kepada reviewer (pond5 panggil "curator").

- selepas anda submit klip-klip anda yang osem-osem iteww, buka email anda, compose new email dan copy & paste senarai anda tadi. Alamatkan email ke support@pond5.com dengan tajuk ASSOCIATION REQUEST.

- lantas saja hantar email itu, tak perlu tunggu klip diluluskan.

- anda akan dapat email balas dari pond5kelak. Tahniah! Sukses la tu.. 

 - itu sahaja. selamat beramal! :)

 HDR/DRI/Timelapse personal / group workshop is available upon request. PM me for details :) 
- all rights reserved - do not use without permission -
- contact me at enquire.ariefrasa@gmail.com for information on licensing of my images and timelapse clips -
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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

NZ Photo Tour : Day 02 - Twizel To Mount Cook : There And Back Again Part 2

 Assalamualaikum wbt.

Sept 2nd, 2013

Twizel is a town in the Mackenzie District, in New Zealand's South Island. It is a small town, with residential population of 1,110 but in summer the population more than triples. The present town was built in 1968 as a greenfields project to service the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectricity Scheme. The scheme consisted of 50 km of canals, two dams, and four powerhouses producing 848 MW of electricity.

By 4pm, we finished dumping the black & grey water at the town's public dump site. The fresh water tank and diesel were topped up and we head back to Mount Cook to chase the sunset. It's a 60km++ journey and our worry was that we could not make it in time.

This time Jemang was driving, so I took the opportunity to take some more drive-by pictures.

Taking Pics "On The Fly"
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/100s | ISO200 | 28mm | Lee GND .09s | handheld

Setting Sun
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO180 | 70mm | handheld

Smoky Mountain
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO500 | 70mm | handheld

Another Smoky Mountain
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO500 | 70mm | handheld

Slippery When Frosty
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO1250 | 70mm | handheld

Long And Winding Road
Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/500s | ISO900 | 112mm | handheld

When we realised that we would not reach our destination in time for sunset, we started looking for alternatives. Then I remembered a place we passed by during our first trip up called "Peter's Lookout". So we decided to stop there for the sunset. And luckily we managed to reached there in time - barely!

Peter's Lookout is a well paved parking area, overlooking Lake Pukaki on State Highway 80. From here you can get a clear view of Aoraki / Mount Cook. It's approximately 20km from Twizel or 42km from Mount Cook Village. 
New Zealand is such a beautiful country that no matter where you stop, you'll get a good view. Peter's Lookout was no exception. Although this was not in our list, it was as good as any other place. And I was glad we did stop here :)

For a start, I took some images of road winding down towards Aoraki with the 70-300mm tele lenses, to compress the perspective and emphasize the size of Aoraki  :

"Road To Aoraki Series"

Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/40s | ISO400 | 70mm

Nikon D600 | f/8 | 1/80s | ISO400 | 180mm

Nikon D600 | f/11 | 1/20s | ISO400 | 180mm

Nikon D600 | f/11 | 1/20s | ISO400 | 80mm

 Then I stowed the tele and switched to 17-35mm ultra-wide lens for some low-down angle :

The Stump | Nikon D600 | f/13 | 5s | ISO200 | 17mm

Shrubbery Bush | Nikon D600 | f/13 | 3s | ISO400 | 35mm

 After taking these shots, I noticed a faint trail going down the hill towards the lake shore, about 500 meters away. Then I saw two specks at the shore and I realised it was Danial and Jemang! Without further ado, I immediately followed suit.

The lakeshore was pebbled. There was no sand nor big boulders. And the water was very calm, making for smooth reflection. Would love to camp here and shoot milky way and startrails. (Hint! Hint! :D )

It was also practically deserted. No human apart from us three. No animal either. Well, not that I could see, but it was very silent, if you get what I mean. And no mosquitoes / sandflies too! Thank God for that :)

The first thing I came across was this driftwood :

Driftwood Part 1 | D600 | f/9 | 4s | ISO200 | 17mm

Driftwood Part 2 | D600 | f/9 | 10s | ISO100 | 17mm

Then I came across these stones, neatly stacked. No idea who did these. Jemang and Danial said it was already there when they came down. Well, whoever you are, thank you! It made for a very interesting subject :)

Stone Stacks At Lake Pukaki | D600 | f/9 | 25s | ISO100 | 17mm

The water surface was mirror-smooth. Imagine a milky way / startrails reflection shots here!

Beacon Of Light | D600 | f/7.1 | 15s | ISO100 | 17mm

 Last shot of the day :

Last Light | D600 | f/7.1 | 15s | ISO200 | 17mm

After the last shot it was getting quite dark so we  begin the trek back to the campervan. Going downhill was easy. The light was still strong and I could pickup the trail quite easily. Going up was another story - it was dark, only one person had a torchlight. And it was uphill, mind you! So we just sort of stumble around, using the silhouette of the campervan as our beacon. But we preserved and we managed. As they say, all's well ends well. Well, not quite :(

We reached the campervan, huffing and puffing (being a heavy smoker that I was), quite out of breath. Only then I realised I had lost my Z-Pro filter holder. Somehow, it came off somewhere during our trek up, leaving only the adapter ring attached to the lens. What can I say? It's too dark to go back, and I could not remember the exact path anyway. So I just "grin and bear" it. Ouch!

So we packed up our gears, stowed the tripods and continue our journey to Mount Cook.

Until next post,

 << Day 02 - Twizel To Mount Cook : There And Back Again Part 1

 HDR/DRI/Timelapse personal / group workshop is available upon request. PM me for details :) 
- all rights reserved - do not use without permission -
- contact me at enquire.ariefrasa@gmail.com for information on licensing of my images and timelapse clips -  Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5 Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5

Monday, 31 March 2014

NZ Photo Tour : Day 02 - Twizel To Mount Cook : There And Back Again Part 1

Assalamualaikum wbt.

Sept 2nd, 2013

Our very first night in night New Zealand was spent on the road. We drove well into the night, finally stopping at roadside somewhere between at Tekapo-Twizel Rd. Our campervan's gas heater didn't function, and without external power source, the electric heater was useless too. At first we thought of letting the engine run so we can have some heat from the front heater. However, seeing that we were already low in fuel, we quickly banished the thought.

We woke up cold and shivering. The first touch of my stockinged feet to the icy-cold floor brought out a quick yelp. Everything was covered in thin frost. Heavy layer of warm clothing (plus thick blanket) helped a bit, but trust me, it's no joke sleeping in the campervan without heater! If you are going to NZ in winter (or early spring, like we did), make sure the heater's works!

NB : I reviewed the behind-the-scene videos by Fakrul. There is one clip that shows Rosie telling us NOT to twist the heater dial all the way to the left. Perhaps somebody did, and that may explain why the heater worked at the depot but not after. Perhaps. I don't know. Anyway, that's in the past. Long gone and dusted :D

But that did not dampen our adventurous spirit, apparently. And the engine started at the first twist of the key. After the morning rituals and breakfast, we were ready to go.

Next destination : Mount Cook Village, approximately 60km away.

After about 10 minutes, we came across an intersection. Turn right to Mount Cook, or continue straight to go to Twizel.

when we forgot to take pictures, Google Street View comes to the rescue! LoL

We decided to make a right turn to press ahead to Mount Cook, and fill up the diesel tank at Mount Cook Village. Surely there's a station there, right? Only later, we learned that this was a mistake. One that would costs us valuable time (and diesel too).

Anyway, we drove ahead and the view was magnificent! With the Lake Pukaki on the right, slowly the majestic Aoraki started to reveal itself. Well, I'll just let the picture do the talking. I was lucky it was not my turn driving :)

Of course, an unscheduled road-stop was mandatory! Here's some images shot during the stop :)

cool Born Amin with Aoraki
fancy a walk, Danial?

perfecting my levitating skill.. :D

Mindful of the time, we did not tarry long. Few quick snaps and we drove again until we reached Glentanner Holiday Park, our campsite for tonight. For NZD20 per person, this place offered a powered campsite, complete with kitchen, rest area, bath, laundromat (self-service, of course) and also wi-fi (NZD5 per day). The reception was very friendly, too. From them we learned that it was cheaper to fuel at Twizel, plus the station at Mount Cook was not attended (i.e. no cash transaction) and only take NZ-issued credit card.

By then we were very anxious about our fuel level so after registering at Glentanner (we were the only campervan there), we hastened back to Twizel to refuel. Unfortunately that's an approximately 100++km return journey, from Glentanner to Twizel to Mount Cook Village.

Looking back at this route, I certainly would do it differently next time (November 2014, anyone?). I would go to Twizel first for refueling before doubling back to Mount Cook. Or maybe we would refuel at Tekapo before going up to Mount Cook. That way we'll save a lot of time and kilometers. But heck, everybody is wiser in hindsight!

Anyway, back to the story. We may lost some time and kilometers, but we certainly gained more pictures! On the way to Twizel, the light started to take a golden hues. It was only 2pm but it was already golden hour! Again we were  presented with lovely views of the lakeside and finally after hearing a lot of "ooh-ing" and "aargh-ing" from the back of the campervan, I could no longer resist..had to find a place to stop for a quick snap!

Lake Pukaki Panorama. I can't recall the exact location, but I'm glad that we did stop here

would love to shoot from down the cliff, someday

Another Panorama of Lake Pukaki. This is one big whopper in original resolution!

After we passed the Tekapo-Twizel junction, the view started to change. Trees lining up the road replaced the lakeview.

We reached Twizel Town at around 3.30pm. Filled up the diesel tank and then visit the dumping station to discharge both grey and black water, and to top-up our fresh water. Previous night one of us had a bit of diarrhea, necessitating a frequent visit to the campervan's toilet. He practically filled up the tank with his *ahem*. Needless to say, the task of dumping and cleaning the tank fell on him! :D

Fuel station at Twizel. Friendly service throughout ...

... and a dump station right next to it. How convenient!

... topping up the water tank ...

...a few quick snaps around...

Inside the campervan after day 2. How would it be after day 8??

All set! Let's get going!

Finally, all grey and black waters were discharged. Fuel and fresh waters were topped-up. And we were raring to go. It's 4pm, and the plan was for sunset shots at Mount Cook Village, about 60km away. Would we reached there in time?

Until my next post, Wassalam :)

<< Day 01 - Tekapo To Twizel : A Night Full Of Stars 

 HDR/DRI/Timelapse personal / group workshop is available upon request. PM me for details :) 
- all rights reserved - do not use without permission -
- contact me at enquire.ariefrasa@gmail.com for information on licensing of my images and timelapse clips -
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