THE broad spectrum of interesting subjects and sceneries that can be photographed on both Penang island and the mainland makes the state a shutterbug’s dream.
That was the sentiment shared by three photographers – Patrick Loo, Sean Lim and Chew Yih Chang – whose shots were featured in George Town Festival’s second photobook.
Titled Moments, the book highlights the state’s landscapes, festivals, celebrations, arts, culture, heritage and people through 66 images and accompanying short stories.
Loo described Penang as a museum of living heritage and history with its age-old streets and cultural practices.
“As a photographer, it is exciting to create images that capture the essence of the intangible and show people how you see the world.
“It’s not just the visuals of a scene, but the feelings, emotions and spirit too,” said the 41-year-old who is a research and development assistant in a multinational company.
“Some of the scenes were fleeting and would have passed us by had they not been immortalised in a photo,” said Lim, 39, a consultant surgeon by profession.
Chew, 35, a solutions analyst, said: “I started doing drone photography during the movement control order. It gave me different and seldom-seen perspectives of my beloved Penang.”
Festival director Jack Wong said the aim was to preserve fleeting and unforgettable moments that not only celebrated the state’s diversity, but also encapsulated the whole Penang experience.
“We have many beautiful and fascinating sights not found elsewhere in Malaysia,” he added at the photobook’s launch at Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who officiated at the launch, said he was delighted at how all-encompassing the book’s pictorial content was.
The book depicts George Town as a Unesco World Heritage Site, the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve, fishing villages in Teluk Kumbar and padi fields in Seberang Prai, in addition to various traditional trades.
“It is exciting that Moments covers all the important facets of Penang.
“I hope this inspires a profound desire to create and capture more Penang-specific memories that will last a lifetime.
“The book is not only an ideal souvenir for visiting friends and tourists, but also something that families will find a connection with and can bond over,” Chow said in his speech.
Joining him at the launch were Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng and George Town World Heritage Incorporated general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee.
The 109-page hardcover Moments follows the well-received Penang at a Glance photobook which was published in 2021.
And just like its predecessor, the new photobook will also have an accompanying photo exhibition scheduled to be held alongside the festival in July.
Moments retails at RM90 per copy and is now available online via store.georgetownfestival.com and later at major bookstores and tourist attractions.
For festival updates, visit georgetownfestival.com or follow its social media pages on Facebook (George Town Festival) and Instagram (georgetownfestival).