LANGKAWI: When aviation photography enthusiast Mohd Zharfan Zorani finally attended the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) for the first time four years ago, he only had his trusty smartphone to take photographs.

He could only watch on as local and foreign photographers, arrayed with their professional cameras and lenses of various sizes, eagerly took pictures of aerial flight training, featuring captivating flight formations at viewpoints scattered throughout the exhibition area.

This year, however, the 25-year-old can count himself among the ranks of such photographers, thanks to a free mini aviation photography workshop organised specially for LIMA’23.

“I never thought I’d get such a chance, imagine the price of this camera alone, it’s several tens of thousands of ringgit, and I got to learn new things from a veteran in this field,” he told Bernama as he excitedly took photos with a professional camera and its accompanying set of lenses, at the Pemandangan Indah viewpoint during an aerobatics training session.

The student of aviation at University of Kuala Lumpur said he jumped at the chance to join the workshop when he learnt of it as not only was all photography equipment provided but it was also totally free.

Besides learning new things, he said that the workshop allowed him to meet many experienced local and foreign photographers.

Fellow workshop participant, Ahmad Hasrul Mustafa, 37, who hails from Perlis, said the workshop has thought him many new things about the technical aspects of photography, such as shutter speed and using the right lenses to take pictures of fast-moving aircraft.

“Previously, my photographs were mediocre as I did not possess the right equipment. But this time, I am really satisfied and was willing to clear my work schedule to come here,“ the freelance filmmaker said.

For workshop organiser Mohd Safuan Salahudin, 38, who has almost 15 years of experience in photography, the practical workshop gave him the chance to provide the public with an opportunity to learn aviation photography techniques.

His only intention, he said, is to share his knowledge with the public by encouraging them to explore the field of aviation photography.

He said many people reached out to him to register for the workshop when the advertisement about it spread. The good response probably has something to do with the fact that most enthusiasts could not expensive photography equipment, he shared.

“Aviation photography enthusiasts should not miss out on this valuable opportunity,“ he added.

The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) previously confirmed that aerobatic teams from five countries - Indonesia, China, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Russia - would participate in the airshow.

The 16th edition, LIMA ‘23, involves approximately 1,200 companies from home and abroad and is the largest exhibition ever held s far.

Themed ‘The Nexus of Asia’s Maritime and Aerospace Trade’, LIMA ‘23 starts tomorrow (May 23) and will end on Saturday (May 27), with the aerospace-related exhibition held at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC) while the maritime segment will be at Resorts World Langkawi. -Bernama