MCO: Malaysia travellers use time at home to organise travel photos


  • Malaysia
  • Tuesday, 07 Apr 2020

Penny Shu puts in extra effort and compiles her travel into a handmade scrapbook. — PENNY SHU

Let's face it, no one wants to travel anywhere today. Well, perhaps we do, but we can’t and won’t, not until the Covid-19 crisis improves globally.

And certainly not until it is really safe to travel again.

Staying safe at home and doing our bit to “flatten the curve” or help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus is not a bad thing at all. However, it is understandable that some of us may start to feel a little restless. After all, there’s only so many virtual tours one can handle before getting bored...

To counter this problem, we recommend taking a trip down your travel memory lane and take a good look at your old travel photos and videos.

While some folks diligently upload all their vacation photos and videos on their social media accounts as soon as they return from a trip (or even during!), others prefer to keep them in computer files or burn them on CDs and hard drives.

And then there are people like Penny Shu, who puts in the extra effort to compile them into a nifty scrapbook.

“I like to make travel journals and scrapbooks to remember the special moments I have spent with my family and friends. It is nice to look back at the good old memories a few years later, ” says Shu, 58.

   Shu enjoys scrapbooking as a way to express her creativity while giving her photo albums a personal touch and a sense of nostalgia.Shu enjoys scrapbooking as a way to express her creativity while giving her photo albums a personal touch and a sense of nostalgia.

The Pahang-born fieldworker enjoys scrapbooking and thinks of it as a way to express her creativity, while giving her photo albums a personal touch and a sense of nostalgia.

“I used to run a card-making club to showcase different artistry skills to my friends. The club is no longer active, but I still like designing scrapbooks because I get to be in my own happy bubble and escape from everything else for a bit, ” she shares.

Shu keeps her travel photos on hard drives and chooses the best ones to be included in the photo album. She often refers to other scrapbooks for ideas and inspiration.

“I make everything from scratch using paper, stamps, ribbons, sewing material, lace as well as recycled items like cardboard and old books. Depending on the photo, I can see what embellishments will go well with it.

“Scrapbook-making can be a long or short process. Sometimes I will only make one page and add things over time, sometimes I make a 20-page album and that can take one year to complete!

“On special occasions like my children’s 21st birthdays, I would have a deadline for my scrapbooks, ” she explains.

   Some of the scrapbooks that Shu has made contains wonderful memories of her loved ones. — PENNY SHUSome of the scrapbooks that Shu has made contains wonderful memories of her loved ones. — PENNY SHU

As customising a digital photo album has become more common and convenient nowadays, Shu believes people would prefer making photo books online. However, nothing beats designing and making your own personal photo album in hardcopy.

“Scrapbooking is a good idea to explore your creative side and it is also very rewarding, ” she says, adding that scrapbooks are also a good conversation starter for when she has friends or relatives coming over to her place.

“To me, photo albums are very precious. They are memories you cannot buy and replace. I can see how my family has grown and changed from the photo albums and it allows me to cherish the memories we have had together, ” she adds.

The coronavirus outbreak may have halted future travel plans for Shu and her family, but she says that she will continue to make creative scrapbooks.

“We were planning on going to Europe in June this year, but it will not happen now. We will hopefully be able to go when the situation settles down, ” says Shu.

   Shu often refers to other scrapbooks for ideas and inspiration to make it her ownShu often refers to other scrapbooks for ideas and inspiration to make it her own

Yours, virtually

While keeping physical copies of your pictures is great, avid photographer Shahnon Ooi prefers to compile her travel photos online.

The Penangite would first delete pictures that she deems “faulty” or less than satisfactory, before categorising and uploading them onto the virtual cloud.

Her categories include nature, daily routines and street photography. To help her keep track of her pictures, she names her albums and folders based on the year and location the pictures were taken, for example, “2020 Taipei Countdown”.

“Whenever possible, I would also snap pictures of maps or travel itineraries and include them in the album, ” she says.

   While keeping physical copies of pictures is great, avid photographer Ooi prefers to compile her travel photos online. — SHAHNON OOIWhile keeping physical copies of pictures is great, avid photographer Ooi prefers to compile her travel photos online. — SHAHNON OOIHowever, Ooi, 32, admits that her system is sometimes flawed and shares that she has been trying to look for a better way to categorise her collection.

“I’m still learning! For example, I used to use hashtags (to categorise them) but I no longer do, ” Ooi says.

Also, when she first started, she tried online storage systems like Picasa and Google Photos, but has now moved on to storing her pictures on Google Drive instead, as well as on a hard disk.

The only time Ooi prints out her travel photos is when she creates photobooks as gifts for family and friends.

To her, photos are important to record beautiful moments in life.

“Some serve as a record for important information; this helps in planning future visits either for myself or with friends and family.

“For instance, I could recommend good restaurants to check out and which dishes to try there just by going through my photos, ” she notes.

To date, Ooi already has thousands of photos in her collection. She goes through a few albums every now and then to revisit old memories.

“There are some albums that I revisit more often than others. Then there are those that I only check out once in a blue moon, ” Ooi says.

To her, every trip to her photograph collection is like a trip down the memory lane.

“Browsing through the photos does bring back a sense of nostalgia. It’s also very interesting to see how much things change over the years, as well as your personal growth, ” she concludes.

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