Chinatown KL: Best Location for Street Photography – Series #1

Man Walking Chinatown KL

After a few weeks of taking portraits, I’m back in Chinatown KL and joined a shoot for fun and a walk around the street with a few photographer friends. It was a lot of fun doing street photography around 8 a.m. during the golden hour light.

The best time to take street photography in the morning is when the sun is rising and casting nice shadows in the photos. This is where your imagination comes into play.

What To Do in Chinatown

Chinatown KL in the morning
Chinatown KL in the morning

Chinatown KL, also known as Petaling Street to locals, is located in Kuala Lumpur, close to Central Market or Pasar Seni, and only a 15-minute walk from Merdeka Square. It is one of Malaysia’s most popular tourist attractions and a photographer’s paradise for portrait photoshoots and street photography.

Many locals came here for breakfast, and the street was already bustling early in the morning. You can find a hidden flea market selling everything from watches to shoes to clothes.

Pasar Karat Petaling Street KL
There are flea markets and a wide variety of local Chinese food stalls selling a variety of Chinese street foods in this area. The people here are friendly but be wary of pickpockets, and always take care of your belongings because this area can get quite crowded at times.

In another 5 minutes, you can reach KL’s Instagrammable photo spot, Kwai Chai Hong, as well as a few popular Chinatown cafes for cafe hopping in the area.

Viltrox Lens Error Fixed!

I had this lens error with my Viltrox prime lens for a long time, as the screen kept flickering for no apparent reason. I decided to take it out and see if the lens error still occurred, but it appears that the problem has been resolved following the most recent firmware update.

I also thoroughly cleaned the contact on the Viltrox lens. Keeping my fingers crossed. I spent the entire morning shooting with the Viltrox lens, and it appears to be working properly so far, with no lens error messages or screen flickering.

Where To Park Near Chinatown KL

During peak hours, finding parking in Chinatown can be difficult; here are some tips for finding parking in this area. Central Market is the closest open parking lot to Petaling Street.

There is plenty of open parking space in front of Central Market, and the parking fee is reasonable and secure. It only takes about 5 minutes to walk to Chinatown.

Chinatown KL Fun Street Photoshoot

Kim Soya Bean Chinatown KL
Kim Soya Bean Chinatown KL

During a morning walk around, I shoot with the Viltrox AF33mm F1.4 attached to a 52mm DIY diffuser lens filter to test and see how the glowing effect looks for street photography.

I usually used the lens filter in conjunction with my vintage lens to shoot dreamy portraits, but because street photography is such a fast-paced shooting style, I decided to use a modern lens with autofocus for sharp still images.

So, the Viltrox lens issue has been resolved for the time being, and let’s take a look at the morning street photography results in Chinatown KL. I intend to return to this location to take more street photos. I also realised that I needed to redo my night street photography and experiment with the DIY diffusion filter.

I’m not the first guy to use a Fujifilm X-T30 to shoot street photography in Chinatown, but here are the first photos from my morning walk and shoot. The majority of the photos were shot in Classic Chrome and are unedited.

With 33mm on a crop sensor, I’m guessing it’s much better to use a Fujifilm wider lens for street photography because I was struggling with composition in the back alley. Perhaps the only lens that comes to mind right now is the new Fujinon XF18mm f/1.4 R LM WR, which is ideal for street and landscape photography.

The new wide-angle prime lens, which is set to be released in May 2021, has sparked a lot of interest in social media. I was actually planning on purchasing one!

Have you done any street photography in Chinatown? Have you tried the popular soya bean drink or tau fu fa? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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