Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of different cultures, religions and traditions where Malay, Chinese, Indians and Europeans live together peacefully. Countless old colonial buildings, temples and pagodas shape the image of the city.
The best Street Photography spots in Kuala Lumpur
The Central Railway Station
The train station of Kuala Lumpur is an important hub for travellers from all around the world. The multi-story building complex opened on April 16, 2001, to replace the old Kuala Lumpur Central Station, which dates back to colonial times. The old station still serves as a stop for local trains. The design resembles the typical local architecture which is influenced by the colonial architecture.
Modern view on the city: Glamorous Petronas Towers
First opened in 1999 the high towers reach up to 88 floors, with a height of stunning 452 meters. It surely is one of the most visited landmarks of the City of Kuala Lumpur. In Malaysia and its capital, there is no building that reaches further into the sky.
Right in front of the Petronas Towers the busy street are giving perfect conditions for street photography. The Petronas Towers are adjacent to an idyllic park, which invites for a walk. The well-maintained park has a swimming pool and several children’s playgrounds. But also it serves a perfect photography spot with the gigantic towers in the background and tropical vegetation all around the area.
Also, the Suria KLCC, a retail center at the feet of the Petronas Towers, is a good place to find crowds of people, a vivid atmosphere and many food stores. Many luxury brands have opened stores here and an underwater aquarium as well as an art gallery are located here. Approximately 300 stores have opened their gates in the Suria KLCC, making it one of the biggest shopping sprees in Malaysia. It’s easy to get here via train by taking the KLIA Express train from the airport to KL Sentral, after this, transfer to LRT Line to KLCC. In total it will take about 28 minutes.
Secret tip: Kampung Baru
One of the cities oldest neighborhoods is called Kampung Baru, which origins date back to 1900. This area is interesting not only because of the many traditional kampung houses but also because there is an authentic street food scene and a market, located in Jalan Raja Muda Musa. Fresh fruits and local specialities are offered, the crowded streets have a real lively flair to them. Street photographers will love this place for it’s not the typical tourist spot. To get to Kampung Baru you need to take the KJL train from Pasar Seni in the direction of Gombak (about 5 minutes walk from central railway station). Hop off at the „Kampung Baru“.
Spices, herbs, crowded market-streets: China Town
China Town has a lot of little shops, decorated streets with red lampions and more visual details to offer. Food stalls, shops, market stands and chinese bars can be found in this district. To get there simply take the monorail or the LRT, as this also guarantees a fast and inexpensive connection. Most small shops open their doors around noon. During the day, small shops invite you to window shopping in a traditional vibrant and colorful atmosphere. In addition to that, the old country houses characterize the cityscape of the Chinese quarter.
The best photo galleries for Street Photographers
National Visual Arts Gallery
A really nice gallery for photographers is the National Visual Arts Gallery. The gallery is situated on the northern edge of central Kuala Lumpur. The first exhibition was on August 28 in 1958 and dedicated to Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. Since then many exhibitions have been organzied. The entrance is free and it’s well air-conditioned, making a stay very comfortable. Normally the museum is not too crowded, so you can take your time to stroll around and collect some impressions of the displayed artworks. There are not only photographs but also other contemporary art as well as historical paintings. You can get there via Rapid KL train within walking distance east of Titiwangsa Station.
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
A brief view on the history of Kuala Lumpur can be seen in the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. It is more likely a Tourist Information Center where you can learn more about the history of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. Also you can get a good impression on how the city developed to the big central it is nowadays. For a low entrance fee the location serves some really interesting photos of the quarters and districts, captured by local artists. For visitors under the age of 3 and over 65 years, admission is free. Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is just off Merdeka Square, which also is a really nice spot for street photography.
Street Photography Workshops and courses in Kuala Lumpur
There are some really interesting Street Photography Workshops in Kuala Lumpur. „Experience Olympus“ offers a street photography course for free. The tour of „Walk with Olympus“ starts at the Central Market (Main Entrance) from where the guide will move through small hidden streets and secret places for Street Photography.
The workshop will mainly focus on building skills for street photography and a practical training. It’s recommended for level beginner to intermediate. Guide Robin Wong helps to explore Kuala Lumpur with the right view on scenic images and colors, textures and subjects in everyday life.
The goal is to see the city in another angle, discover hidden streets and learn to recognize the special moments which make street photography so unique. Walk with Olympus lasts three hours. It starts at the Central Market (Pasar Seni) at the main entrance and ends at about 12 pm. This workshop needs to be pre-booked online to be able to attend it. You will register on the website of Eventbrite by clicking the Ticket Information at the Facebook event.
Street Photography with the „Nikonian Beyond Photography Academy“
The Beyond Photography academy located in Kuala Lumpur is one of the oldest photography schools in the city. It offers a broad variety of courses, from portrait to street photography. It is suitable both for amateurs and professionals and students will get a quick introduction on how to shoot better street photos. The classes at Beyond Photography breaks down every single detail, making it easy to understand.
The philosophy of the school is to see photography both as an art and as a science, helping the students to remember each technique better. The classes are conducted in a laidback and relaxed way, making it the perfect course for a traveller in Kuala Lumpur.
During this half-day workshop you will learn how to capture authentic street-photography, change the point of view to discover hidden spots by going through nine venues. The costs amount to 72 USD, which is around 63 EUR.
To get to the school from the central railway station you can either go by bus or train. To take the bus you hop into the BUS 780 at the Pasa Seni station and drive about an hour. It is located in 13 Jalan PJU 5/21, Encorp Strand, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya 47810.
Sean Liew- Street Photography Workshop Kuala Lumpur
Sean certainly has his own handwriting and takes incredible street photos. The Malaysian photographer conducts photography classes and workshops for groups and individuals. He adjusts to the needs. He usually starts with the basics of photography, ie exposure, glare and more. His specialities vary from portrait photography over commerical shots and advertisement to street photography. He has over 15 years of experience and normally works for big companies and corporate clients shooting commercial campaigns.
But teaching has become a big passion of him, now hosting customised Photography Courses for clients all over the world. Working with Garden International School Art Faculty, I conducted light painting workshops for the staff and students, exposing the artistic and creative possibilities with which they can apply in their projects. We took the project further by going on field trips and letting students engage their artistic visions in locations such as Penang and Melaka which serve as a backdrop to their art pieces. The program is currently running in its fourth year.
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