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Photo Notes

Kinabalu Park

Paul Whitfield was commissioned by the OUR PLACE World Heritage photographic project to document the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kinabalu Park in Malaysia. Kinabula Park is famous for its range of natural habitats and the towering peak of Mount Kinabalu. Equipment; GH1 camera 14-140mm lens, G1 camera 7-14mm lens, Lumix FT1 camera (waterproof).

The Kinabalu massif rarely shows itself completely naked. Clouds hang over the spiky summit for most of the day, occasionally pulling back in the morning and evening. This was a dawn balancing act, trying to catch the peaks before the clouds filled in but leaving it late enough to get some sun on the rainforest in the foreground.
Shutter: 1/250 sec. Aperture: f/8, ISO: 100.

When I first found this rhododendron flower there were a couple of distracting dead leaves that I brushed off. In the process I disturbed what seemed to be a nest of ants living in the flower. They swarmed out and I had to wait a couple of minutes for them to find their way back in. The ants can be seen just between the flowers. I chose a wide aperture to isolate the flower from the background.
Shutter: 1/60 sec. Aperture: f/5.5, ISO: 125.

There’s an altitude difference of over 2000 metres between the Kinabalu Park entrance and the summit. Over two days you hike up through numerous distinct vegetation zones. This Dawsonia plant was growing about half way up the ascent, relishing the cool, moist conditions. Again - a wide aperture helped bring the plant out from the busy background.
Shutter: 1/60 sec. Aperture: f/5.8, ISO: 400.

Kinabalu is just a couple of degrees north of the Equator, so Borneo inhabitants never really experience the cold. It rains a lot here, and by this stage, I’d given up trying to keep the bigger cameras and lenses dry, and had put them away somewhere safe and dry. This was taken on my waterproof Lumix FT1, which I just kept in my pocket the whole time.
Shutter: 1/80 sec. Aperture: f/3.3, ISO: 80.

There were perhaps a hundred people on the top of Low’s Peak (Kinabalu’s highest summit) as the sun rose. I didn’t quite make it for sunrise, though the compensation was seeing these rocky peaks in the foreground. Every photographer has dozens of sunrise and sunset shots, but when the cloud formations are good, it is still worthwhile.
Shutter: 1/320 sec. Aperture: f/5.6, ISO: 160.

The sun rose, everyone took photos of themselves on the summit then quickly headed back down to the Laban Rata cabins for second breakfast. That left the way clear for this shot of South Peak and the much lower mountains behind.
Shutter: 1/160 sec. Aperture: f/5.8, ISO: 100.

The Rafflesia is the world’s largest flower – and grows up to a metre across. The plant has no leaves or shoots, the parasitic flower just springs from an underground roots of its host plant. They take up to 9 months to grow to a football-sized bud then burst into flower for just 4–5 days. I was able to get some shots, making full use of the continuous live view and built-in flash.
Shutter: 1/30 sec. Aperture: f/5.3, ISO: 100.

Photo Notes:
Kinabalu Park
Gunung Mulu National Park
Yosemite National Park
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