Photo Wednesday: Langkawi, Malaysia

For those of us who are getting married in, oh, 10 days, here are some nice, tranquil photos to get us through the rest of the week. I’m thinking a set of nice, summery, island pictures of boats lapping against the shore, of children playing in the water, of sandy stretches of beach….of everything and anything that doesn’t have to do with arranging seat cards, printing out menus, collecting picture frames, and generally keeping each other sane 🙂 (And yes, this miss is getting married next week!!!)

Here, then, is my stab at photographing the quintessentially gorgeous Langkawi islands. Langkawi, whose more famously known island twin, Phuket, is right across the bay, is located in the northwestern region of Malaysia in the Andaman Sea. Because it’s lesser-known to tourists than its Thai neighbor, these 99 small islands have been able to preserve their natural habitats and celebrate the biodiversity of the area in ways that make me wonder what our visits here might be doing to its delicate ecosystem. In fact, UNESCO awarded Langkawi the coveted Global Geopark status in 1999 (Malaysia would become the first southeast Asia country to receive the prestigious honor). It’s a stunning island chain–as you’ll soon see 🙂

Since I was working primarily with beach shots and outdoor scenes, I focused on brightness and contrast this week. I’ve been seeing a lot of nature photography utilizing the, well, what’s the technical word here…washed-out? look, as in here, from one of my favorite photography travel blogs: In the spirit of bright days and calm colors, then, I played around with the brightness and contrast levels in Lightroom–and that’s it. As I get ready to pack up for my destination wedding in lovely San Diego this weekend, enjoy the pictures and wish me luck!











So, now I totally want to honeymoon in Langkawi. Ah, the power of photography 😉

What do you think of the light, by the way?


Kristin, novice shutterbug maven


  1. Great pics! To cut down on the reflections on the water, consider a circular polarizer. Also, when scenes are super bright, I use a neutral density filter. It cuts down on some of the light without changing the colors in the image, which allows me to get shallower depths of field in the bright sunshine.

    Congratulations on your wedding! Enjoy it, because it flies by so quickly!


    • Wendy,

      What fantastic advice! 🙂 I’ve yet to delve into polarizers and filters, but those are definitely next on my list. I am finding that it’s difficult to keep the color of the water a true blue when I play with the exposure, and I’m thinking that your suggestion might really help with this. Any brands you particularly recommend?

      And thank you for the well wishes! I am starting to get those nervous jitters in anticipation of the big day!


  2. Lovely pics. We LOVED Langkawi! Very relaxed atmosphere

    • So nice to meet you, Nichola!! I just took a look at your blog and you have some absolutely stunning photography (especially of Langkawi’s skybridge–it wasn’t nearly as clear when we went up!).

      I’m excited to start following you!! I love the visual style of your site, too–very intuitive with the clickable tiles!


  3. There are many blog posts written on the best filters. I just upgraded my Tiffen circular polarizer to a B+W Kaesemann XS-Pro Circular Polarizer MRC Nano Filter. Be mindful that you are putting a couple layers of glass in front of your lens, so it’s worth it to look for the filters with the least amount of image and color distortion. On neutral density filters, a lot of people love the Singh-Ray variable ND filter, although it’s pretty expensive. I have the Hoya variable ND filter. Variable means it, like the circular polarizer, is a couple pieces of glass, so you can “dial in” how much you need. These are both screw-on filters.

    I am also now experimenting with graduated ND filters that you use with a filter holder. I bought the Singh Ray graduated ND filter and reverse grad ND filter. You use them when part of the image is super bright, like a bright sky or a setting sun. You put the dark part of the filter over the bright area, which allows you to properly expose and bring out the detail of the remaining areas. As I said, photography is a lot of fun, but it can cost a few pennies. These are things you can work into over time.

    Have a great wedding!


  4. Kristin,

    You are really developing your photo-style! The boat/water/island scenes seem too distant and perhaps focusing in closer to your subject(s) would make them or interesting…like the one with the blue-covered boats and especially the monkey. Your close-up of the Skol beer can and stickers is great. The boat front would have been cool with some feet resting on the bow. The child by the sign is good, but I feel that if she was doing something (waving, pointing at the sign, etc.) it would have been more inviting. All-in-all a great job. Keep on clicking!

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