Exploring Kampung Datuk Keramat

On rare occasions, I wander off my usual street shooting grounds and explore new locations at random. This time, I went to Kampung Datuk Keramat, an old Malay town which still retains its charm and character. Unlike Kampung Baru, another Malay settlement I have shot before, Kampung Datuk Keramat is not right in the middle of the city but about 5 kilometers away from the CBD. This results in very interesting backdrops as you always have the concrete jungle and skyscrapers in the background. This allows for very interesting framing by juxtaposing the old wooden structures and low rise residential buildings against the towering modern behemoths.

As this was my first time exploring Kampung Datuk Keramat, I was not too concerned with my hit rate or photography yield. I focused on discovering the new location and getting to know it a little better. After all, familiarity will make me a better photographer by allowing me to be more prepared and approach future sessions with a clearer vision of what I want to shoot. This particular excursion was just a quick survey of potential photography opportunities and I am pleased to report that I was impressed. I will surely return to Kampung Datuk Keramat soon and document this quaint village more comprehensively.

I have also noticed how friendly the locals here are – far more approachable than citizens inhabiting the CBD for sure. A risk not to be taken lightly was the possibility of trespassing, as a majority of this village is residential. I took effort to ensure that my friends and I only shot from the public roads.

All images were shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 PRO lens.


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  1. Michael says:

    Wonderful play of muted color in the first shot. Looks almost as if meticulously planned by a theatrical set designer.

  2. Very nicely done. I like the contrast between the simple of the small town verses the complex of the big city.

  3. Great to see you widening your area of street photography, soon you’ll be LAT, the Kampung Boy! I’ve long wanted to see you do the more rural shots and to capture the essence of Malaysia that is past giving way to modernisation.

  4. As I’ve written to Ming a few times, I really have to visit Malaysia.
    The photo of the seller sleeping in his car is definitely a smile.
    When I switched back to Olympus recently, I went for the 12-40mm 2.8 Pro. Do you use this lens much, or prefer the 12-100?
    Best regards.

    • Not Robin here, but personally I much prefer the 12-100 – for the range and the much less ‘gritty’ OOF rendition especially at wide angle…

    • Robin Wong says:

      Yes, you really have to visit Malaysia, please do come!
      I still own the 12-40mm PRO lens, but it is kept as a back-up for most of my commercial shoots. Between 12-40mm and 12-100mm, I also prefer the 12-100mm, it is generally sharper, has additional IS benefits and that 100mm reach!

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