Sunday, March 28

I Will Not Be Subdued

For the past 2 days I had the privilege of photographing the MSS Kapit inter-secondary school athletics tournament organised by SMK Selirik.
The primary schools had their inter-district athletics competition at the same time.
The weather was good & overall the event was pretty successful.

However, I did end up being escorted off the field. Not once, but twice!
Apparently, only SMK Selirik photographers were allowed inside. Not even the photographers from the Kapit Photography Club were allowed in. Esp not this measly unknown teacher from who cares where.

I think this is somewhat ridiculous. Sporting events like these need publicity. Esp when Sarawak is in dire need of talent to boost their lacklustre athletics performances.
I never got in the way of any event & I only spoke to my students. I only did so to ask them when they were on so that I could take their pictures for the school magazine.

When I asked if there was a person I could speak to for a pass, I was told by my escort, an AJK Keselamatan who was probably doing his job & wanting to get it over & done with, to approach their photographers & ask them to take the photos I wanted. Then, I had to write a letter to their school asking for the photographs. A phone call will not be enough. No such thing as a pass.
What nonsense is this? I was willing to stand under the blazing sun to take the best pictures possible while the organiser's photographers dressed up nicely & sat in the shades taking pictures from a distance. Who actually deserves the exclusivity? Amazing how bureaucracy can be so conveniently used to subdue me.

It would have worked on a lesser man.
After receiving such an unsatisfactory response, they will have to learn that I cannot be subdued. I have travelled too far & spent too much money to be sitting in the shade & taking pictures from afar. I do what I do with a passion & I don't mind the embarrassment of being escorted out of the field again & again to get the photographs I needed.
My face & reputation is the least of my worries. Passion, determination & fruitfulness is far greater.

If anybody from the organisers or future organisers are reading this, PLEASE allow each participating school 1 photographer. The Kapit Photography Club should be allowed 1 too.
Then, the school photographers can learn from the club photographer.
A win-win situation. No need to trouble your AJK Keselamatan with stubborn idealists like myself.

Anyway, I've got something more important to share.
My heart totally went out to the small contingent of 8 primary school athletes from the extremely rural district of Belaga.
For them to get to Kapit, they had to ride on a land cruiser & then a boat. It took them around 12hrs! Think of their transportation costs! No wonder they were such a small group!
Although their group was small, they won or nearly won every event they took part in.

I felt for them during the closing ceremony when they were called up to receive the 3rd place trophies.
There were only 3 districts taking part so their lack of participation = a lack of points = instant 3rd place position for every age category awarded.

Imagine the torment these young pupils had to go through to walk all the way up to the rostrum multiple times to receive a trophy they & everyone else in the stadium so clearly knew that they didn't deserve.
Imagine how they felt when they looked around to find that nobody was interested in taking their photographs.
One of the pupils even said "thank you" for the trophy even though it was clear that nobody cared to listen.

But I did.
When I heard that, I my heart broke & I realised I was too late.
I also missed a few of the earlier ones.
After that, I took photographs of every one their representatives.
I even used a really bright flash to show that I was there. Soon other photographers followed suit.
It takes one to make a difference in the lives of young children. I'm glad I was there to my bit.

My heart goes out to you.
I pray that you will not let your aspirations be limited by your background or how others think of you.
I wish I could do more for you. I wish I had done more for you...
Friends, let's watch over children like these & encourage them before they are hardened by time.

SMK Song are the champion this year.
SMK Katibas got second place... AGAIN.
hahaha~~ It's still an achievement nonetheless.
Unofficial results: 20+ Gold, 30+ Silver & 10+ Bronze.

Well done, lads!
Many of you really did give it your all.
I could see that every time you collapsed in exhaustion or cringed in pain.
I'm deeply impressed & very proud of you!

ps: SMK Selirik. You'll receive a letter from me very soon.
I hope your photographers are as good as they look.
Or did they even take the photos I requested?

Friday, March 19

Will Pay For New Blog Design

This blog is more than 3 years old & as long as I can remember it's been the same ol' cool simple unpretentious black template you see right now.
I believe it's time for a change.

Any graphics design or website design students or just about anyone with the creative know-how want to make a buck & have your name etched at the bottom of the blog of a talented writer?
I'm not a cheap person. Nor am I easily satisfied.
If you do a good job, I'm willing to reimburse you accordingly.

Leave a comment here with your contact details & a link to samples of something you've created or just a brief description of your style.

Saturday, March 13

All Pooped Up!

I wanted to write a different blog post this weekend but I'm all pooped up from a Leadership Camp I have to take photographs of since yesterday afternoon.
I slept at 3am this morning and woke up at 5.30am.
I took power naps on a chair throughout the day when there was nothing going on & esp when ppl weren't watching.
Yes, laugh at me all you want you other teachers who are able to enjoy their holidays immediately.
Honestly, I'm too tired to care.

It's a Leadership Camp for the Prefects, PRS & Monitors of my school.
I'm so exhausted, even thinking is a chore.
I want to lie down.

Camps are tiring for the students & facilitators but even more so for the lone photographer who is alert and constantly on the lookout for the best shots.
He has to walk around and run around to get a good frame.
He has to fine-tune his camera settings in a split second to adapt to changing lighting conditions.
He has to time his shots exactly when the subjects are most presentable and when their facial expressions, body position & all the other objects around them tells the viewer the story of what was going on at that moment & makes a simple event significant.

I'll share about the camp when I have time.
Right now, I've got to get back to covering the next item in the schedule: a lecture.
rata~~ ta~~ ta~~
Alright, that's one good shot & then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

Sunday, March 7

Ever Wondered Why I Get Paid More Than The Average Teacher?

I have been 'blessed' by the heavens to receive RM500 more than many of my fellow teachers in Malaysia.
Here's why...

Sometimes my white rice is brown
Sometimes I don’t brush my crown
Drinking the water makes me frown
Plus there’s no road to town

I go up and down in a boat
No it’s not something I’d gloat
It’s overcrowded and barely able to float
That’s coz I’m not alone being remote

taken from
My workplace is so splendid
Once you’re there life’s ended
Mobile reception is retarded
My girlfriend thinks she’s mistreated

Buy her a present coz your money isn’t spent
Make sure it’s big and shiny or she’ll resent
What? Getting paid and still I lament?
Hmm… Perhaps it’s time for me to repent

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