The Rice Fields of Sekinchan

Sekinchan is one of the rice bowls of Malaysia. Here there are ricefields everywhere and as far as the eye can see. We'd heard from a friend that the rice fields in Sekinchan were a golden yellow, and that half of the fields were already harvested. On a whim, and an imagined whiff of the delicious kum ho crabs at Kuala Selangor, my friend Khair and I decided to drive down to Sekinchan to see what we could shoot, and more importantly, to go and gorge ourselves with the excellent sea food there. I wanted to try out my new EF 16-35 f/2.8L MK2, and below is a shot I got of the combine harvesters against the setting sun in Sekinchan. 

Sunset at  Sekinchan with combine harvesters

The photo above was shot along the track used by the grain transporters, while facing westwards into the setting sun. I like the warm colours of the sky. It had been raining for the past  two weeks, but we got lucky and the skies opened up for us. The photo below was shot from the other end of the track, with the sun behind my back. The sky is less dramatic, and the colours are  somewhat cooler. Two combine harvesters were  pumping out their  loads into the waiting truck. The first  combine harvester was already pumping out its load into  the truck, and  the second combine harvester simply  emptied its load into  the first  unit, pumping in tandem. Quite clever.

Combine Harvesters at Sekinshan

Malay Lady Farmer harvesting rice the traditional way

My new 16-35 MK 2 has a larger front end than my previous MK1 which I'd given up for adoption to a nice gentleman in Miri. I have to say, this new 16-35mm MK2 lens is simply superb. When we had shot our fill at the padi fields, we rushed to the Boat Graveyard at Kuala Selangor to see what else we could harvest. Alas, the tide was too high, the sun had dipped behind a low cloud, and there was nothing to shoot there. So off we went to have the crabs AND a steamed pomfret.....delicious.

A few years ago, when combine harvesters were less common, I also shot paddy being laboriously harvested by ladies with curved sickles. Such traditional methods are simply not viable in modern large scale rice farming. Here's nostalgia for you.... an old picture of a kampung lady harvesting paddy the traditional way by hand in Sekinchan....in the nostalgic square frame of my Hesselblad 503

Go to Sekinchan for its landscapes, seascapes and seafood.

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