These images of empty shopping malls during MCO 2.0 were taken, edited, and uploaded using an iPhone

Six Malaysian states and territories are now under the second Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0) due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, including Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, which has seen renewed restrictions for residents and businesses alike. And as Malaysians begin life under MCO 2.0, the retail industry is again among the hardest hit.

New images show malls around the Malaysia’s capital city devoid of activity, with prominent locations like KLCC and Publika lacking the usual hustle-and-bustle of pre-COVID-19 days. Malaysian photographer Siva Kumar’s photos highlight the drastic consequences of the pandemic, and our hearts go out to local businesses through these challenging times.

The images were taken, edited, and uploaded using an iPhone 12 Pro Max, along with a tripod. Siva Kumar explains that he chose a smartphone over dedicated high-end camera gear because it’s “faster to create content”, while remaining unnoticed. For this particular series of photos, the photographer realised that “capturing the moment” was of utter importance—which is why he opted for the smaller, quicker iPhone as his camera of choice.

As for post-editing, Siva Kumar says that he used Adobe Lightroom on iOS. Despite the introduction of the new ProRAW format on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, he decided to shoot in JPG, with the compressed format still supporting HDR on the range-topping iPhone.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is one of the best smartphone cameras out there, in any case. DxOMark Mobile places Apple’s latest flagship phone at number five on its ranking for smartphone cameras—and a large part of this performance is down to the large sensor on the Pro Max. With a main sensor that is 47 percent larger than the Pro, the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s main camera boasts 1.7-micron pixels over 1.4-micron pixels on the regular Pro.

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There are also other key camera features—faster auto-focus, Sensor-Shift OIS, and others—that offer some great results, which you can see in Siva Kumar’s photos. But I think the images here go beyond elements like dynamic range and detail; they capture on-the-ground, raw moments during a challenging time for all Malaysians.

If you enjoyed Siva Kumar’s work, you can head over to his Instagram and Facebook pages to show your support. Meanwhile, to view his original post, click here. As we go through MCO 2.0, remember to follow guidelines and rules that have been mandated by the authorities, and remember that we’re all in this together.

Photos courtesy of Siva Kumar.

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