Coffee with Matti Sulanto
It is not often that I get to meet a celebrity photographer. And even if they came along, I had often missed them due to work commitments or other conflicts. So, when this chance meeting came together, I thought I might as well turn up.
I heard words from Robin Wong that Matti Sulanto would be coming to town and on one of his free evenings, he would be at a cafe in town for a meet-up. Robin himself, unfortunately, could not make it as he was out of town. So, there were half a dozen of us who came along and graciously, Matti played along and shared some of his tricks and techniques.
Matti Sulanto had been a professional photographer in his native Finland since the 80s and since last year, had been a popular YouTuber, sharing tips on photography. Earlier this year, he became a Panasonic Lumix Ambassador and mainly used those gears. But the discussion was pretty open.
Getting there was pretty tricky. The meet-up point was Feeka at Jalan Mesui at 7 pm. Traffic was a killer. I decided against driving, calling for Grab instead. I could see the agony of the driver trying to get me to the cafe.
Rather than going big, we actually talk about small cameras. We shared thoughts about the sizes of current lenses, especially on mirrorless camera bodies, which in the end probably weigh more than the old dSLR. I brought along the smallest camera - the GR III - of course. I must say that the latest Lumix line - which I own the D-Lux 7, a Leica tuned Lumix LX-100 mark II - was pretty impressive. Matti shoots the S1R - a full-frame mirrorless packing a 47 MP sensor - with a massive 50 mm f1.4 lens. I thought my GFX 50R with the 45mm f2.8 felt more balances and “smaller”.
We talked about how he got into photography and his love of travel. He earns a living doing corporate portraiture work, but his passion is street. Good conversation.
I had to leave after an hour as I have a busy day to look forward to. Getting home would mean another Grab ride. A less pleasant one, unfortunately, this time around. The driver made a stop at the petrol station and was looking at his phone in his hands while driving. Got home in one piece luckily.
Matti was spending a couple of weeks in KL on this trip. He would be joining a few other of my photography bodies in the coming days while recording materials for his blog and YouTube channel. A great hour spent, and would definitely hook up with him again in the future ...