Archive for the ‘Indonesia’ Category

My workshop revisited and thoughts on the post-processing tutorial.

April 27, 2009

Kyms-Image

I know that I’m not posting to the blog very consistently, but hey, it’s challenging to think up meaningful content, while you’re also busy doing many other things. I’ll get better.

About the above photo – “Jodhpur Sweets-Maker”. It belongs to Kym Morris, the talented young woman who joined me for a private photo workshop around off-the-beaten-track Rajasthan. This was my favorite image of hers from our workshop. I remember that I was a little surprised when she showed it to me.

It’s not like Kym was clueless before the workshop, she already possessed a certain kind of vision, the stuff she was shooting was not captivating, but solid and the potential shone through. Once the workshop started I could see improvements every couple of days, but then in the final few days of the workshop I saw this shot and it was a few levels above anything else.

To me the image is the accumulation of much of what I tried to get across during the workshop (in regards to photographing on the streets) and that’s why I was so proud to see it. The things I spoke about – recognizing a photogenic situation, textures, color harmony and soft natural light – they are all here. On top of that there’s even a little motion blur in the hand, that makes the whole thing really come alive.

I guess some photography enthusiasts just need to be put onto the right path, then everything clicks and a transformation occurs. These are the people who can benefit most from a workshop (not just mine, I already mentioned some guys that I respect on my blog) and these are the photographers, Kym included, who I feel could find success photographing professionally.

Kym does not have a website yet, but she has a couple of images on “Onexposure”. I’m sure there will be more soon. 

I’m thinking that it may be worthwhile to do a workshop in Indonesia next – Bali to East Java. This trip would really focus on what it’s like to be a travel photographer. The locations would vary, from tourist hotspots and spectacular landscapes like the Bromo volcano to absolutely unknown gems and photographing traditional villagers and fishermen.

These parts of Indonesia have lots to offer, just as much as India in many respects. Again I’d either make it a private workshop or something very small scale. My whole thing is reducing any impact on traditional villages. The last thing I want is more children running up to foreigners and screaming demands for pens, chocolates and money.

Once everything is in place, I’ll have the info on my website. Anyone who thinks this may be a thing for them, contact me here or via the email on my website. It’d definitely be a journey-of-a-lifetime type of experience.

To all those who have enquired about a post-processing tutorial – If I make one, I would like to make it rather good, spend a bit of time on it, go into detail. There’s some theory that I think is very necessary to understand before going crazy with new PP techniques and I’d like to touch up on it. There are just too many people replicating catchy post-processing techniques that just scream at you, but they’re doing it all wrong, without understanding. I don’t want to encourage that with my tutorials.

Anyhow, the tutorial would have illustrations, step-by-step how to, examples and a few words that touch up on the “Why?”. It’d take me some time to make one and I figure that charging from US$10-15 for a PDF would not be unfair. The money ain’t much for knowledge, but goes a long way for someone traveling around Asia – US$10 is basically a day’s worth of budget traveling in India:).

If anyone thinks that this way of delivering the tutorial is not a bad idea – tell me. If you think it’s rubbish, well, also tell me.

And I’m off to India…again

October 25, 2008

Today I’m flying to India for the fourth time in the past 3 years. I love India like no other country, but I have been wanting to see other places (hence my recent Indonesia trip). I feel like I can spend my whole life in India and it still won’t be enough. I would see and photograph only a tiny part of what’s there. But that’s a big part of the attraction. I keep getting sucked inJ. I have a private workshop to teach, but I guess I just need any excuse.

For the first time I will not have an extended plan before I get to the country. I will spend Diwali in Junagadh (Gujarat) the hometown of my great friend Hardik. I left my motorcycle with him after my last trip, figuring that he could get some good use out of it for a few years. Well, I am back sooner than I expected and will deprive him of it. My wife and I will probably ride towards Bikaner, Rajasthan. I haven’t been there yet and since the workshop takes place in Rajasthan too it’s a good chance to see that area. Ooh, the joy of riding on the Indian roads again! Over the years I’ve embraced the chaos and now I think I feel more stressed in a car in Sydney, everything feels too orderly.

The workshop will go on for 17 days and nothing seems to be concrete after that, great but potentially disastrous from the standpoint of productivity. I have plenty of ideas for stories to shoot though, so I don’t think being unproductive is my biggest threat. India here we come again…

 

For those interested in what gear I’m taking:

I am only an occasional gear freak. For most part I don’t care what I shoot with, or what tools I use, as long as they do what I want them to do. However I do last for the 5D MKII.

Canon 5D (well the new one ain’t out yet!), Canon 24-70mm f 2.8, Sigma 20mm f 1.8

Self explanatory…I  think.

Canon 580 EX II Flash + ST-E2 Trasmitter along with a portable softbox from Photoflex, as well as a while bunch of gels.

These really got a lot of use during my last Indonesia trip. It’s great what you can do with a flash and whatever that is becomes even better when it’s an off camera flash. Thanks to my wife Tanya for holding it in the most awkward of situations.

Two 8GB cards and a bunch of 2GB and 1GB cards. Two portable HDDs 250GB and 160GB, I like Seagate. I have not replaced my broken Hyperdrive Color Space. It was one great gadget, if only it could withstand hits against a concrete floor. One banged up old Dell laptop. I am proud of how much use I have gotten out of this thing. Still does most of the work I need and even seems to withstand the hits against a concrete floor.

Timorese elder by the fire, taken with the help of a transmitter an off camera flash, a gel and a softbox.

Timorese elder by the fire, taken with the help of a transmitter, an off camera flash, a gel and a softbox.

 

Sulfur Miners of Kawah Ijen

October 25, 2008

A quick first real post. Above is a photograph of a sulfur miner who works at Kawah Ijen. His name is Paing and over the time that I spent in the region we became friends. This image was taken during my last trip to the Ijen crater (I made 3 trips there). We decided to make the journey together, but began a little later than I would have preferred; the sun was already slowly making its way up as we reached the crater rim. We stopped to rest; I decided to take advantage of the fact that there was some light and to photograph Paing against the spectacular mountain backdrop. He sat down, I set up my tripod, he lit his cigarette with the still burning flame and stared out into the distance. Another miner walked past, they exchanged greetings and he continued to stare. I took as few frames. This is probably one that I like most. The image is lit only by the flame that Paing is holding.

To get more of an idea about Kawah Ijen and the people who work there you can read what I’ve written and see the bunch of images here in my gallery on PBase.