I was in Penang yesterday to photograph the bridal session of Jennifer & Hin who jetted in from Melbourne. Penang has always been one of my favourite locations for photography…just love the historical buildings and the incredible hawker food on offering.
The shoot chimed alone really well, I was in a zone and Danny was brilliant help with the strobes. In the middle of it, there about 4:30pm, we could feel the earth moving and swirling under our feet. I thought I was feeling light headed, but Danny felt the same thing. People dashed out of buildings. Got wind from Twitter than a 8.9 earthquake just took place near Indonesia and a tsunami warning was in place.
Emergency personnel showed up and told us to evacuate.
Our final location was the Batu Ferringi beach. As soon as we put our bags down and Jenn got into position for the first photo, emergency volunteers came in and told us to evacuate the beach. We pled them to give us 5 minutes just for one shot. You gotta nail your exposure, composition, lighting and posing under 5 minutes!
I salute the dedication and organization of the emergency personnel. They did a brilliant job finding us on a tiny stretch of beach. While I wasn’t worried at all since I had lived through 3 tsunami warnings, I didn’t want to be nonchalant about it.
Run! Take cover!
Traffic was crawling as everyone fled the beaches. For a long time, we were stuck in coastal road leading to the city center, barely 50 meters away from the sea. I thought, “If tsunami struck now, we would be all dead.” There was no high ground to run to to save our lives. We did all the pre-production work, preparation and planning. We thought we had everything figured out yet an incident like this just taught me how little control I have.
Thanks for your prayers and concerns that your poured on our Facebook wall. The tsunami warning was called off shortly after 9pm. I am catching a flight home in a couple of hours. Cheers!
The final shot from the beach.