abandoned shoes

The Abandoned Black Shoes Mystery Photograph by Nawfal Johnson

Black shoes abandoned

Title:  “Abandoned Black Shoes.”

Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved.

Creation Year:  2017.

Location:  Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.


This is an Environmental Still-Life photograph I created recently, and have just now added to my stock photography representative’s library, at http://arcangel.com

  • You can find some of my images if you do a search for my name – NAWFAL JOHNSON
  • However, I’ve noticed that ONLY a small sampling of my represented images show up when doing this search by my name…I may have to inquire about this.  I think the images are MOSTLY organized by SUBJECT, not by name of photographer, but I may be wrong.


It won’t be listed yet:  it takes several days for the photo editors to evaluate the quality, and their need for particular images.  When being represented by a premium, rights managed stock photography library, like http://arcangel.com , the photo acceptance approval percentage is low, and I believe that is normal.  I think my acceptance ratio is about 2 images accepted out of every 10 or 12 I submit.  I don’t think that means my images suck, probably, maybe, perhaps…I don’t know.  But, it means that the editors look over the images very carefully and determine their needs for such image subjects, and the general quality of the images.


I love this image, it shows me a mysterious story of reckless abandon…I mean, who just leaves a fairly good pair of shoes on the sidewalk?  Did they not know — did they fall out of the guy’s back pocket or something?  Did the owner suddenly turn into some sort of shoe-less monk and abandon his shoes where he stood?  It is a mystery to me, but the sort of subject that I love to photograph when I’m lucky enough to come across serendipity like this.


I will have to wait and see if my abandoned shoes image tickles the photo editors’ fancies…or not.


LOST SHOES, Edit C: Finding Subjects to shoot, Even in Bad Situations.

LOST SHOES, Edit C, by Nawfal Nur


Creation Year: 2008
Original Photograph:  2000
Camera:  NIKON F90X
Time of Day:  Mid-Day, High Sun – Harsh Lighting.
Scanner:  UMAX ASTRA 5600

There’s an interesting story behind the photograph, “LOST SHOES, Edit C,” at least I think so, because I experienced it; and in addition to that, I learned that some bad situations offer good opportunities…for photography at least.

In the year 2000, I went on a very long bus ride to Kelantan, a state in Malaysia that borders Thailand.  It was like a 10-hour trip…Did I mentioned that it was quite a long, long bus ride!  I had never been to Kelantan before, but welcomed the opportunity.  I was the semi-official photographer for the Penang Bola (Soccer) Club on this trip.  I thought that I could also work on some cultural photographs while in Kelantan:  The trip was a win-win situation!  ;^)

About 6-hours into the bus ride, the tour bus starts chugging up the hill, hot steam and black smoke coming out of every orifice that a bus has, and it basically dies, right there, in the middle of Nowhere, Kelantan! 

It’s mid-day, hot like crazy, no-one around, and the nearest bathroom, more like an ancient outhouse, was the only facilities available anywhere near to the breakdown site.

We were going to be there awhile…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick tock…2-Hours Later!  It was that kind of a wait.  I was bored…I wanted to use my time properly and find a subject to photograph to commemorate the breakdown.  The only touristy thing to do was visit the outhouse, and that was checked off my list of things to do in Nowhere, Kelantan.  What else?

The scorching sun had dried up the red clay that flanked both sides of the two lane highway.  And, there wasn’t much in the way of subject matter to hold my attention, that was, until I noticed these two shoes.  The shoes were just sitting there in the hot clay…teenager’s basketball shoes, but there were no kids around.  It’s almost like the person got plucked right out of the shoes, and the shoes were left behind. 

The shoes had been abandoned, they were LOST!  I was starting to put a connection between the LOST SHOES, and the poor broken down bus.  Maybe, that spot was some sort of mysterious zone where things go wrong, haywire, lost, and just stop working and are abandoned.  Don’t know….it was a mystery.  I didn’t bring my CSI kit with me to do a thorough going over, but I definitely smelled a mystery brewing.

At least my camera was still functioning, and I got a shot to celebrate the experience of the broken down bus and my long journey to Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia. 

Remember to keep your eyes open for interesting subjects, especially when you find yourself lost, in a bad situation, or even stuck out in nowhere, and waiting for a bus to be fixed!  What you find may amaze you.