And so it was


Following a couple of hours of plane ride was three days of marriage ceremonies – my sister’s of course; not mine. Having been married already in the states, my parents longed to see her married in our hometown Makassar, in front of our grandmothers, and inside the church we had been going to for long. That time arrived yesterday. The procession was complex as it was long, with one formalities followed by another, long hours in the humid air of the typical townhouse, and sometimes inexplicable activities, and yet the couple marched through. With all the camera around, almost dictating every single move, it was hard to get a glimpse of truth in the whole situation, but perhaps, just perhaps, I managed to obtain some – a small window in which nothing matters but love.

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At the end, perhaps there’s more to marriage than the photos, and that photographers should strive to capture real moments instead of creating them. Also perhaps, is that I know nothing about weddings, and am just being a bitter old man. All those bitterness dissolved down the sink when I then realize that regardless of what the people put them through, it was their moment, as a couple, in a home where she lived in. Moments of truth will arise when it felt the need to, wherever they are, whenever it is. Love needed made, and so it was.

Another three cheers for a sweet marriage.
Huzzah, Huzzah, Huzzah.

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Iphone photojournalism? why not!


I have never been a big opponent of Iphone (or ANY SMARTPHONE) photography – I love using it when I don’t have my camera with me, and I had always thought that it takes good picture; for instagram at least. Whenever I could, however, I would prefer my DSLR – faster focusing, better dynamic range, and… now that you mention it, I don’t know what else. Indeed, one day, a mob of workers in protests appeared in front of my eye when I didn’t have my camera with me. I took out my Iphone, and started shooting.

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Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) the Iphone (or again, ANY SMARTPHONES) allowed me to get really close. The tiny, non threatening size allowed people to be more comfortable with me putting a piece of thin box before their faces. I might look funny running around pointing my cellphone at people’s faces, but at least I got great photos from such tiny contender (it’s smaller then a Leica!)

So, Iphone photojournalism? Why not indeed.

The Model


Over the last couple of weeks, I have been working alongside a couple of friend of mine on a campaign project. The project involves a certain company and a certain matter, but I am in no place to disclose any information yet, so I’ll keep it at that. I approached the shoots with a documentary photographer’s perspective, and had came across many models – some better than others. The recent shoot managed to introduce me to a great model and a great shoot. Following are a couple of pictures from the pre-shoot.

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I am hoping to be able to post the actual result of the project, but that will be a little later. For now, more work to be done.

Cheers~

Within the Walls of the Prayer – an Ongoing Work


I crept my way on the wooden floors towards the room, stopping silently by the door. Beyond the wooden frames, lit by the morning sunlight filtering through the window were the sounds of chanting. Earlier in the day, a woman came to give offering to Buddha through the monks. Other than the sounds of the chants, the room was completely silent as the sunlight shifted and gave way to rain clouds – soon water started to trickle down the temple roofs.

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“Within the walls of the Prayer” is an ongoing work, stemming from the interest in the confined space upon which faith and culture blooms. In the big cities like london, where culture and religion are largely a private matter, it found itself confined in the physical walls of stones and steel. It is in those space, however, another wall was erected, a wall of prayers. Growing within the walls of the prayers were faith and culture, bloomed, and flowered into a microcosm of its own – a completely different universe from those outside of the walls. This work attempts to take a peek into those microcosms, and make sense of its place in the largely cold city of London.

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I managed to visit three different places of worship; a Hare Krishna (ISKCON) temple, Buddhapadipa Temple, and the East London Mosque – all of which contained not only the most pleasant people I had met in London, but also a solemn air unlike those outside. Teachings were told, some in english, others in their own native language, or both, and prayers were said to their own faith and for some reason, the warmth provided by each institution had always contrasted the cold rainy weather of London streets.

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I long to continue working with the people in each institutions, and perhaps along with others to continue this work. Having always been interested in faith and culture, I long to understand more of each faith.

Studio Shoot with Andrea and Petalie


I had the honor to work along a great photographer and a great model last Tuesday; Andrea and Petalie. The two of us – Andrea and I – decided to put LCC’s studio to good use. Andrea managed to invite a great model who stood, sat, and pose around for a three long hours. Thank you, Petalie. Along with Petalie, Andera himself became a model for my shoot – the results of which I was rather happy with. This would be the first time I ever work with such wonderful studio light (graduating from a ‘speedlight on a tripod stand’ strobe) – and more than one at that.

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With Petalie, I decided to go black and white; the theme being longing and waiting – for some reason. Petalie was being very helpful with the amount of poses she suggested.

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And finally one where I wanted to accentuate her gorgeous looks.

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At the end of the day, it was a lot of learning done in a couple of hours; not to mention great pics. Again, Thank you to Andrea and Petalie for your time, help, and participation!

Cheers!

Craftmen of London Pt.2 – The bicycle


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The morning sun crept slowly, coloring the cold blue morning a trace of yellow. I made my way towards the spot indicated by my Google maps, a red pointy dot pointing towards a Goulton road in the Hackney borough of London. Looking around for signs, I noticed the residential area surrounding me – no signs of a shop, much less a workshop. My map led me to a cast iron fence guarding a compound of a couple apartment units; a little search revealed a buzzer on top of a red brick wall, marked ‘unit 2, Kennedy city bikes‘. Within minutes, I was walking inside an apartment, revealing a workshop with giant windows by the side; tires and tools by the walls; and a bicycle in the middle of the room – much like a trophy. James, a tall, gruff man wearing a work apron, greeted me, offered some tea, and started working on the unfinished bicycle chassis.

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Started as a hobby, James had been making bicycles for a couple of years. “I wanted to travel cheaper, so I decided to make a bicycle,” He said, stopping for a while to drink his tea; “It ended up not being that much cheaper,” he said before continuing his work. Soon after, he quit his job to open Kennedy City bicycles, and started hand building bicycles for sale. James worked almost two hours straight, almost never once moved his eyes from the bicycle – except for a couple sips of tea.

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The Bicycle he was working on was a teal chassis with a honey leather seats; simple, classic, and lovely. At the end of the two hour long process, he declared the bicycle to be done, stood back, and marvel at his work. The sunlight poured through the windows giving the bicycle a yellowish tint, and for once, I have never wanted to ride a bicycle as much as I did then. James shook my hand, and informed me that they are moving to a new – better – workshop. As I walked outside the workshop towards the cast iron gates, I wondered if James, the work that he does, and the kinds similar to his, are the rising modern counter-attack towards industrialization. Young artisans, producing hand crafted, high quality masterpieces; if it truly is the way of the future, I am behind it all the way.

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