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Who Took This Photo?

ISKL Alumni step up to find the photographer who took the historic time capsule photograph taken to celebrate ISKL's 25th anniversary.

22 Jan 2021
Campus News
ISKL's 25th Anniversary Photo
ISKL's 25th Anniversary Photo

We’re excited that ISKL is celebrating 55 Years Young this year. Despite its ups and downs, this year has shown the strength and cohesiveness of our ISKL community and the incredible Panther Pride and spirit that keeps us strong.

A recent cleanout of the Alumni cupboards revealed this wonderful photo from 1990-1991, ISKL’s 25th anniversary, some thirty years ago. For those who remember the Ampang campus, note the upstairs balcony and decks had not yet been constructed.

The photo raised a whole range of questions: Who was the photographer? How did they take this photo? In that time well before drones, where was the photographer perched?

With the help of our Alumni community through the ISKL Alumni Facebook page, we tracked down the photographer, John DeNicola, faculty alumni, who’s back living in the States.

About taking the photograph, John recalls:

“I was the yearbook adviser at the time and the photograph was taken to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ISKL's existence. The theme of that year's yearbook was Silver Memories, Gold Future. Taking the photograph involved employing the following procedure. After determining the number of students involved, I drew up a scale model of blocked numerals that would contain all of the individuals involved in the photo. (I also taught mathematics at the time.) Then using the line marker for laying out the football field I drew the lines for the numerals.

Prior to taking the picture, I tried to gain the services of a helicopter in order to take the photo from a better perspective. However, costs were prohibitively high and so I resorted to getting the largest ladder I could find and placed it on the soccer field with the higher altitude at the back of the school. We then brought the students in to fill the numerals. We were actually short in number. You will notice that the upper left interior of the number 2 is vacant, but the outline has individuals. After arranging everyone as best I could, I then ran to the ladder.  After climbing the ladder I took several shots. The photograph was taken with Kodak Ultramax 400 color print film (36 exp) and then developed at a small photographic studio just behind the then still being constructed Lot 10 Mall on Jalan Bukit Bintang where most of my yearbook work was done.”

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