21 March 2017 – This was definitely a place I’m happy to have stumbled upon by chance!
Shooting a sunrise at Batu Ferringhi on the island of Penang has long been on my wish list of things to do, so I was very thankful for the recent opportunity to revisit the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ (as the island is sometimes known) – although for this particular trip photography was very much a low priority (and ranked well below sampling the various local delicacies).
I did however have time one afternoon for a drive west from George Town along the winding main road to Batu Ferringhi. While on the drive I was constantly distracted by the many beaches along the coast, all looking like potential spots for a sunrise/sunset shoot.
Stopping the car at a random spot, I decided to head out for a little location scouting. There were many rocks dotted along this section of the beach, though my eyes were soon drawn to the sight of a lone palm tree in the distance (photo above). While heading towards the tree I passed by a large rock with a painting of the Malaysian flag, which I figured would make for an interesting subject to photograph.
The shots from this location however all turned out a little flat due to the heavily overcast day, as can be seen in the long exposure below.
As I had to leave before sunset, I decided to file this location under ‘potential sunrise spot’, with the hope of returning the following morning. The reality though was that it was to be my last morning in Penang, and would have to come down to a choice between this spot and my original plan to shoot the clan jetties in George Town at sunrise.
It was very much a last minute decision, but I decided to head west to Batu Ferringhi the next morning. Thankfully, the start of the day was blessed with better light, giving some much needed depth to the photo above of the painted batu (‘batu’ meaning rock in Malay).
After the shoot I made a quick stop at the Floating Mosque a short distance away. To the left of the mosque were some fishing boats; being so early in the morning and with not too many people around (save for the caretaker in the pictures below) there was quite a sense of peace and serenity, so I spent a little time just taking it all in.