It is only just recently when a sense of wanderlust has crept into my soul and taken permanent residency over all the thoughts that I have of traversing this world that we live in. In my head, the grass always seems greener on the other side and I want to feel it between my toes as I travel through countries, just like the Dr. Seuss quote, ‘Oh the places you’ll go’.
Perhaps I should blame this feeling on the month of December, because just about everybody on my Facebook friends list are opting to up and leave to another country for a good amount of days. Meanwhile, I am left here yearning to leave footprints elsewhere too. With all this being said, one man managed to change my mind though.
This man led me to realise that Malaysia is a truly beautiful land, one which I have yet to visit completely. He made me realise that visiting more states in our nation would be an ultimate bucket list not just for me, but for the more than thousand of fans that he currently has.
Creating Art With A Lens
This man is none other than 33-year-old FwuKai Quah, a Penangite who is an engineer by day, with big hopes of soon pursuing photography full-time. FwuKai specialises in time-lapse and nature landscape photography and he spins a new meaning to the term ‘pictures speak a thousand words’.
Whilst watching one of his time-lapse videos, I was left wondering, “Is this really Malaysia?” as I had always imagined such cinematography to be of a country different than the one I had lived in my entire life. The time-lapse video which left me captivated is aptly named, “Tanahair Ku’ (you can watch the video at the end of the article) which stands for “My Homeland’, and it has since captured the attention of viewers from Singapore, America and Belgium.
In order to produce this stunning four-minute long piece of work, FwuKai travelled to 45 different spots across Malaysia, inclusive of Port Dickson beach and the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Festival. It took him nearly 4 years to complete the project and with all the effort being put in, the result speaks for itself and to date, FwuKai believes that this is the best piece of work that he has ever produced.
He stated in his Vimeo profile, “My passion has always been chasing and capturing the best light, in order to share with you how beautiful our planet is.” In this case, he managed to relay just how beautiful our country is.
Moving Between Places With A Camera
His best piece yet is one of our own country and his pride is not unfounded. FwuKai says that Malaysia is a truly amazing place should we take our time to explore it. Our country is nothing short of spectacular scenery, colourful culture and nostalgic buildings and structures, he notes on his Facebook page, ‘The Battered Photographer’.
The term ‘The Battered Photographer’ may sound a little odd to some but this was actually due to the fact that FwuKai once encountered a tumultuous photography experience. His camera was actually damaged by water when he was photographing by a beach. After this unfortunate encounter, FwuKai decided to aptly name himself ‘The Battered Photographer’.
Besides photographing his homeland, FwuKai’s attention is also fully focused into video production and he does a slew of videos, be it for corporate, television shows, time-lapse shots, or even his personal favourite—wedding videography.
Bring On The Challenge
FwuKai finds wedding videography challenging and that’s what gives him the motivation to pursue it even further. He spoke to Vulcan Post about how wedding videography nowadays has evolved a lot from bridal videography in the past.
It used to be all about huge video cameras and a bright flash light and these were a prerequisite for a photographer in order to take amazing shots. Instead, “Nowadays, DSLRs are used, alongside many cinematic accessories,” FwuKai said.
“This is because the video style that people are looking for these days are those cinematic styles like MTV, and normally customers would demand for SDE (same day edit) of the wedding video” FwuKai shared. He also finds it challenging how wedding videography does not give him much room to play with, in terms of chances.
He gets only one shot and there are often times no options available for a retake. This is especially true for moments which can no longer be replicated such as the exchanging of rings and the moment the couple utters ‘I do’. Still, FwuKai remains humble as he added, “Anyways, I’m still considered new in this field so there is still a lot to learn.”
Taking One Shot At A Time
Thus far, FwuKai has shot 4 weddings, as he has only stepped into this particular field of bridal photography 2 months ago, and believes he still has a lot of marketing to do. Meanwhile, he is busy working on his main forte, which is time-lapse.
He said, “For time-lapse and documentary videos, I am in discussion with a television channel currently and hopefully the deal would go through. Also next year, I will be doing a charity shooting for an NGO in the Philippines—talk about giving back to the society,” he added with a smile.
FwuKai sees himself doing this for as long as he can because as he puts it, “It’s my passion! Passion runs forever.” Therefore, it is only appropriate that he lives by a quote from the late Steve Jobs, which beckons for one to love what they do and if they don’t, keep looking and never settle.
He shared of his life passion, “I think I have found it, but I’m now working on a plan on how to live it. It is two completely different things, where one is passion, and the other is survival.” For all that he has planned for the foreseeable future, it is evident that FwuKai knows exactly what he wants out of life, and most importantly, how to pursue it as well.
Watch FwuKai’s awesome time-lapse video here: