Appreciating urbanscapes and structures

Urban geometry, structures and shapes are normally found in MT’s photoessays, but I thought I’d take a jab at it. While MT travels a lot more, I do most of my shooting locally in Kuala Lumpur. I admit I don’t actively seek out heavily compressed shots of buildings and structures but my default lens when shooting on the street is the Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8, which enables decent isolation and compression. From time to time, the visual drama is just so appealing that I have to frame for a tighter perspective. My previous work experience as a Civil Engineer and being involved in the local construction industry also allows me to appreciate architectural design and beauty more, now that I am no longer an engineer. The thing about photography is, we sometimes need to open our eyes and appreciate the beauty around us – regardless of the form it takes.

All images were shot on various cameras and lenses, mostly a variant of an Olympus OM-D with either M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 or 25mm F1.8 lens.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is available from B&H


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Images and content copyright Robin Wong 2019 onwards. All rights reserved


  1. Fantastic series! The filling of the frame with the two buildings in the second picture works particularly well as an abstract.

  2. Kenneth Scholz says:

    Wonderful, strong compositions. Regarding Fig. 9, many of the balconies show significant water stains. Those on the underside especially may indicate leakage and interior rot – over the past several years in the San Francisco Bay Area the wooden under structure of improperly constructed and maintained balconies have collapsed with significant loss of life, you might want to alert the building owners and civic authorities in this area.

  3. Kristian Wannebo says:

    That last photo keeps me thinking – of how it came to be…

    If e.g. I had _happened_ to do it, it would have been one lucky shot, I might have walked past, noted all those shut shutters, put my wide-angle zoom on, noticed the yellow hard hat and boots and got the photo at the last second – and then smiled at my luck doing geometry corrections & cropping in post.

    At the other extreme, a photographer walks by, returns with a tripod, a collapsible three-legged stool and a large mug of coffee, sets the camera up and enjoys his coffee remote control in hand … it might take a lot of coffee and several returns!
    Or there might be a workplace close by with yellow hard hats returning from lunch…

    Just curious, Robin, how you did it?

  4. Kristian Wannebo says:

    at first I didn’t see your name (on my small phone screen), but only the heading.
    I started scrolling through the photos – and had a strange surprised feeling, there was something new and unexpected there…
    I tried to catch up by starting over, and then I saw your name – and things fell into place.

    I do like your approach and compositions, and your progression from moderate chaos through order to life, and more life.
    Plus the humor in the last photo!
    ( ..and with that single man hardly visible against the (almost) only opened shutters!)

  5. Paul Wilson says:

    Great stuff Robin! Ming Thein composition with Robin Wong colours – love it.

    • Kristian Wannebo says:

      No! Not Ming Thein compositions!
      Agreed, there are some similarities, but they are different enough, I can’t explain it – please see my post for my reaction!

      • Paul Wilson says:

        I agree, was just making light of the degree of convergence between the styles. Both Robin and Ming have Vision, but they see through different eyes. Robin’s introduction acknowledged that he was entering shared territory, hence my comment.


      • The most significant difference between Ming and Robin is the light. Ming loves strong contrast and deep shadows while Robin’s photos are “flatter” but more colorful.

  6. David Burns says:


    Is that shirt in picture no.9 really on fire?

  7. I love the first pic. outstanding work!

  8. Excellente approche. Félicitations !!!

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