“Kuala Lumpur’s best kept secret” – That is the tagline of this awesome bar at the heart of Kuala Lumpur and few people know it exists. What is special about this bar is that it is built with the inspiration on aircrafts, aviation and the related stuff. What makes it more realistic is that it has a helipad. A real helipad on the top of the building where it is located. As I may like to discuss more about how wonderful this place is, I will try to include some on the paragraphs below but really this is a blog post on my experience in photographing the place so I hope I will not be carried away and swayed to a different direction. It started as an invite from a friend who is also into photography, Jay Fuerzas who has researched about the place and had a confirmation that we can shoot from the helipad. Recently, I have been with these wonderful friends with the same passion in photography and we have gone to places I couldn’t imagine going to without them. Shout outs to my friends Jay Fuerzas, Roy Alvin Magboo, Dennis Gammad, Lolit Whorlow, Annie Radly, Jonnell Maguigad and John Pahang. Photography has helped me gain new friends with the same passion that always fuels me to go on and improve my photography.
Best Time To Shoot Definitely, only two options to have great shots from the helipad in terms of landscape/cityscape and that is during sunset or blue hour and at night where everything from tall buildings to moving cars are illuminated. Unfortunately, when we went to the place, it was raining so hard that we were only allowed to go up the helipad at past 7pm and sunset has passed. Hopefully we can visit it again on a sunset shot. Shooting down at night is a little bit tricky since we were not allowed to go beyond the yellow line near the edges. Every crew available are watching your every move and I totally understand it as it’s really a risk considering there is no fence that will prevent you from walking to the edge. The Costumers Expect foreigners here. You’ll see them all the time. I bet you there are locals that have not known or been to this place yet. Right after we arrived that day, around past 6 pm, regular and new costumers also arrived and mentioned their interest to go to the Helipad. Unluckily, it drizzled that time so we waited for at least an hour and ordered some few drinks to wait for the helipad to be cleared for viewing. The manager of the Heli Lounge Bar greets their costumers right at the entrance and warmly welcomes everyone. He is so approachable and he even gave us some trivia about the bar and the helipad. Lenses To Use Very obvious to say that a wide angle lens is a must. The widest that you can bring, the better. I don’t have an ultra wide angle lens on my arsenal of lenses so I used my trusty 18mm-55mm kit lens that came with my camera when I first bought it. I had a little bit of struggle in getting as wide area as I can but I managed to use what I got. To compensate, I brought my 1 day old sigma 70-300mm lens just to test it out and get variety on my shots.
Aside from the zoom lens, I also took a panorama shot which is a series of multiple frames that are stitched into one photo which kinda mimics a wide angle lens but in a panoramic view.
Respect And Obey House Rules Not only it helps for you and other people’s safety, it also gives respect and trust from the person or persons in charge of a certain location and you will be able to shoot at that location again anytime. At this situation on the Helipad, safety is really a concern considering how high the building is. When it rains, nobody is allowed to go up to the helipad. At first, i didn’t realize what could be the reason behind. But then one of my friends mentioned about lightning and it made sense. If you are on the helipad itself, you will now be the tallest thing and mostly lightnings strike on the tallest object in a given area.. The helipad itself has a yellow circular line which serves as boundary for people not to cross. I was called several times because I forgot that I was inches out of the yellow circle. At the Heli Lounge Bar where we started to order our food and drinks, we were not allowed to take any photos of the bar itself and we respected that and didn’t snap any from our dslrs. Phone snaps are okay I guess.
Anybody can go anywhere and shoot as long as it is not outside that yellow circle. The experience was great and we truly enjoyed shooting at from the Helipad. One thing is for sure we will be visiting that awesome place again and hopefully during sunset as we were not able to capture the sunset during that first time we went. For other photographers out there who wants to visit this place, don’t hesitate, you’ll surely not regret it. Just a quick tip. Heli Lounge Bar has a “happy hour” period from 6:00pm -9:00pm daily. Once again, big thanks to Telvince and the crew for their warm welcome and being friendly to us photographers. The rest of the photos I took can be found on my main photography site.
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