We bet you’ve seen one his photographs before.
This is the work of Siva Kumar, a businessman who enjoys taking breathtaking photos during his free time.
His pictures are so stunning that even local media agencies used his pictures – such as the aerial view of an “empty” Kuala Lumpur city that used to be filled with cars and pedestrians after the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced by the government.
Recently, TRP had the chance to speak to Siva to find out more about him:
What inspired you into photography?
Since I was young I always liked playing gadgets such as cameras and I always like to see the photos posted up by my friends and be amazed by their work.
Some of them can take great monochrome pictures, while others specialise in specific types of photography such as macro photography and bird photography.
I feel that photographs are timeless and it can keep the memory of a loved one alive or become a piece of history for future generations, whether it’s a joyous occasion or a tragedy.
I also feel that photography is the universal language that speaks to the heart.
When did you start to take photography as a serious career?
Photography is not my career actually, itâ€™s my passion, I do trading business with airline companies and I am an Airbnb host too, but I think that photography is a very good career to pursue because the demand is high if we do a very good job and deliver the work on time.
I feel that photographs are timeless and it can keep the memory of a loved one alive or become a piece of history for future generations, whether its a joyous occasion or a tragedy.Siva Kumar
Every photographer has a preference in terms of the subject that they want to capture, why do you prefer to take landscape/architectural photos?
I started with landscape photography because I thought it was interesting. I then tried bird-eye photography.
When I moved to stay in the middle of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) area in 2017, there weren’t much nature shots to take. I decided to buy a drone and fly it from my condo to shoot beautiful and iconic buildings.
I started to get more engagements on social media because of these photos, and people started to recognize me and my work – a few big companies even started to approach me.
In the beginning, I wasn’t confident with my work as I crashed so many drones and lost a lot money. To continue my hobby, I accepted jobs from clients that I would like to do, eg. taking photos of iconic buildings like TM Malaysia and Exchange 106.
I had the opportunity to climb up to the rooftops of some of these buildings to shoot. I feel thatâ€™s the real achievement, rather than the money they paid me.
How do you go about during a shoot? Do you carry a lot of equipment or do you carry according to the shoot?
I would often travel heavy, and if possible, bring all the equipment for the shoot, eg. my tripod, filters, a variety of lenses, a drone, a remote trigger and laptop.
I would usually shoot and post the pictures on social media in the next hour, I donâ€™t want miss the moment.
How do you plan for a shoot?
Before I go to the place I want to shoot, I will normally check out the photos taken by other local photographers around that area to study how it looks in real time.
Then I use Google Maps to check out how the aerial view will be if I use a drone. I will also normally shoot opposite of the sun – so before I begin shooting, I find out where the sun sets or rises.
When I take astrophotography, I would use a special app to study the phases of the moon.
What inspired you take the picture of the Kuala Lumpur skyline during the MCO?
I wanted to take the photos because this is a historic moment that wonâ€™t be repeated in the future, so itâ€™s very rare and maybe people will use these photos as references for future generations.
I also want to show the world outside that Malaysian citizens are obeying the MCO, hence the streets looked deserted.
I wanted to take the photos because this is a historic moment that wonâ€™t be repeated in the future, so itâ€™s very rare and maybe people will use these photos as references for future generations.Siva Kumar
What is your advice for young photographers who want to make photography as a profession?
What I can say to aspiring photographers is to keep practicing and take more photos as you will eventually learn how to take great pictures.
Often people would ask about what settings I use and I would share with them. But I feel that it doesn’t help them because you need to be reactive towards the situation and setting as the scenario calls for it.
What you should do is to ask what’s a nice shooting location or check out their social media pages and try to achieve a different result from the picture they’ve taken.
I also encourage young photographers to mix around with more senior guys and learn from them while also keeping that enthusiasm alive once they’ve made it. This is because there’s always something to learn from photographers, both old and new.
Here are a few photos that Siva has captured during the MCO:
Also, if you’re interested to follow him on Instagram:
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Unkempt in both stories and appearance, Hakim loves tech but tech left him on read, previously he used to write about tall buildings and unoccupied spaces that he canâ€™t afford, and legend has it that he still canâ€™t afford it to this day