Multimedia: The Cobbler of Penang

Multimedia: The Cobbler of Penang

The Cobbler Of Penang from Matt Brandon on Vimeo.


I love featuring my daughter’s work. Not because she is my daughter. Ok… that is part of it, but also because I think she is very good. I can hear you saying the same thing I said about my wife in my last post, “You are her father, you have to like her stuff.” If you have ever been in one of my classes or workshops you will know that is not true. I pretty much say it the way I see it and this applies towards my daughter as well. I figure photographers do not grow with platitudes. We need to hear the truth however hard as it might be or as great as it might be. We need to know what works and what doesn’t. Where to improve and what to keep doing. I think you will see that this project is as good as anything my students have produced.

Above is a multimedia essay on a cobbler here in Penang, that Jess did as her final project for her Digital Media class. It’s a human interest story with a look into some local culture. It is just the second multimedia piece she has ever produced. I think it is done well and this time she let the subject tell his own story without any narration. This was difficult, in that Mr. Tan only spoke in short, four word sentences. But I think she edited it well. She shot the images, did the post-processing on the images, she created the storyboard, recorded and edited the soundtrack and then mix it all in iMovie. I helped only when iMovie became impossible to use. Outside of this it was completely her project.

Here’s what Jessie has to say about this project;

There is a little place in town that I think is one of the most interesting places to see. The man who runs the shop is a cobbler. He’s so nice and helpful. He makes Nyonya shoes. They come in all different shapes and sizes, in traditional and modern patterns. His first step is to gather his materials. He uses hammers, scissors, leather, cloth and many more things. He then draws and cuts out a design in the leather. After this he makes reinforcements for his design. He glues the reinforcements on to the cutout. He is very intent on his work all through out. He has to carefully sew each bead on to a cloth to make the beaded pattern. After the pattern is finished he sews the pattern to the leather cutout and afterwards it looks clean and precise. The Shoes are beautiful and delicate. It is so interesting just to go and watch him work. I hope you enjoy this.


FaceBook Comments


About The Author

Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer. In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.


  1. Martin Bailey

    Excellent! I really enjoyed that. Your daughter has a great eye, your eye I guess. She composed every shot well, with great use of depth-of-field, and the light too. I’m very impressed. I also liked that you had the hammer audio samples etc. That and the music keeps the viewer engaged with more than just the visual senses.

    Very well done I thought. Keep up the great work!


  2. Jessie Brandon

    Thank you Mr. Bailey. That is a high complement coming from someone like you.

  3. Robert van Koesveld

    Wow Jessie (and Matt) terrific work. It is very considered and strong and really evokes the feeling of meeting this man. I was smiling all the way through enjoying his language. (I once spent a day photographing the shopkeepers in Malaka who has a similar openness and warmth.) The blending of video and still is so seamless that I only realised you had shifted to video after a little while. I guess thats because your composition and style is consistent throughout. Very enjoyable. Congratulations. Robert

  4. Andy Wilson

    Jessie, that is excellent. Do you want to continue doing this sort of thing in the future? I ‘ll try to get my kids to watch it as I’d like to work together with them on a family multimedia project over the summer. Very inspiring!

  5. Gavin Gough

    Another beautifully compiled story. I think what really comes across is that Jessie clearly has a genuine respect and admiration for her subject. The images work well together and I really like the short videos interspersed with the stills. I can see that a lot of work went into creating this story and I hope that Jessie continues to bring us well-crafted insights into Penang’s traditions and culture. Does Jessie have her 2013 workshop schedule yet? I think I might sign-up.

    I’m sure you’ll be gently encouraging her Matt and, for what it’s worth, I’d add my encouragement too. Tell her to keep up the very good work.

    Perhaps the Brandon family could offer jointly let workshops where you, Alou and Jessie all teach. Might as well keep it in the family 🙂


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Review: Peak Design Camera Capture, Think Tank Photo Camera Clip Adapter

Time remaining on the 5DayDeal

October 16, 2018 Noon PDT

Are You a Traveler?



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Sign up to be notified when released. We will inform you when workshop space becomes available. Just leave your valid email address below.
Email We won't share your address with anybody else.