Dong Zen CNY Lantern & Flora Festival 2011

Since it was already quite dark when I arrived at Jenjarom the other day, I decided to visit again yesterday afternoon. It was pouring all the animals of the Chinese zodiac that day but this time, with the scorching sun, those fabled Olympus colours came popping out.

The Lantern & Flora Festival drew a huge crowd to the Buddhist shrine. It was the perfect venue to continue my real-world evaluation of the new Olympus E-PL2 camera…

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 1600, f8, 1/80 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 1600, f8, 1/80 sec

My Garmin GPS calculated the trajectory and the timing of the sunset precisely. But there is only a tiny time window when natural and artificial light blend perfectly. If it is too early, the sky will appear washed-out. A little later and the foreground with people will not be visible. Here, I also handheld a 0.7 wide attachment in front to give it a wider 24mm perspective.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 1600, f8, 1/20 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 1600, f8, 1/20 sec

I was glad I brought a monopod instead of a tripod. With so many people everywhere, it was nearly impossibe to park a tripod without someone kicking one of its legs accidentally. Since a monopod is not as rigid, I have to consciously stay above 1/15 sec in speed.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 320, f8, 1/80 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 320, f8, 1/80 sec

I like the light here. Everything else was under twilight except the Ferris Wheel. Because of its height, it was lit by the remaining rays from the setting sun. The clouds were twirling so fast I thought rain will break out again. Just like Thaipusam at Batu Caves, the fun fair makes an appearance at a religious venue.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f100, 1/800 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f10, 1/800 sec

Earlier in the day, the sun was so bright even the figurines were squinting :) . It was difficult to see the LCD display and I predicted it needed a 0.7 EV trim down to prevent blown highlights on the faces. Funnily, face recognition works here as advertised.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f11, 1/60 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f11, 1/60 sec

With all the flowers, the butterflies of Jenjarom were feasting away. As usual, they are not very cooperative and will scoot off just when you are about to click. Patience, young grasshopper…

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f11, 1/1000 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f11, 1/1000 sec

Vines, creepers and cables. With so many lights there, I guess it is an inevitable consequence that every tree has an electric wire coiling around its trunk. The Olympus pancake 17mm 2.8 is surprisingly sharp for a kit lens. Look at the tree bark on the foreground.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f2.8, 1/2000 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f2.8, 1/2000 sec

Lotus lamp and a pancake close-up. With a flickering flame, the trick was to switch to MF and focus on the wick. I also like the bokeh of the lens.

Some Niggles: The optional grid-lines on the screen are near useless as they are too faint and fine. The control wheel adjustments for exposure values can be altered too easily by accident. Fortunately, a lock can be applied but it makes any subsequent adjustment a two-press process.

See also:
Dong Zen CNY Rainy Light Show 2011 | Chinatown Temple with E-PL 2
The Art of Art Filters | Bird Park with the 75-300mm Lens

Getting There: MyCen Map to FGS Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom

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