How did you start in Photography?
Actually I have snapped pictures with camera since I was in Elementary school 6th grade, in 1984, with Fujica M1 analog camera. But, I learnt to use SLR camera when I was studying in STAN (Accounting Academy) in 1990. At that time, I was active in Academy Publishing as Illustrator.
From all the arts and crafts, why did you choose to take Photography?
Basically my hobby (before photography) is painting and make some pictures or cartoons. But, I was think that if I have to paint a picture, it want extra time to find an idea and finish the work. After I found camera, I was surprised that I can made some picture without need extra time. Its so practice.
Who inspired you or helped you to appreciate the art of Photography?
My uncle is first one to introduce and guide me how to use and make picture with SLR Camera. But, after I have been addict with photography, I learnt by myself. I read some photography books in the early 90th years, till I joint a photography club, FOTOMEDIA Photography Club, in Jakarta, about 1994. From weekly discussion and workshop, I have got and enhanced my skill and knowledges in photography. I have got basic studio lighting from Mr. Ivan Zahar, creative lighting from Mr. Ferry Ardianto and many famous photographers in Indonesia.
Before photography, is there anything else you are interested to do or to be?
Till right now, photography is my craziest hobby. I work as lecturer in Training and Education Centre of Ministry of Finance in Jakarta, with specialisation in Accounting and Taxation. So, in photography, it’s just my hobby, and I am an amateur photographer. From photography I have made many trips or journey along Indonesia that has thousand islands with hundreds tribal peoples and local languages.
I still have a dream that some day I will make long journey to go to any island in Indonesia Archipelago.
Can you recall the first time you actually did your very first shot with a camera? What is it that you experienced from those times that gradually made you decide to better polish your skill?
Wow, it was a wonderful moment I think. The first time I grab the camera and snap it. I shoot everything I have found. I shoot my father and my brother that are was playing badminton, I shoot the flowers at the backyard, and many more. When I learnt using analog camera in 90s, I has done it about 3-4 years to train and know how to use camera well. After I join FOTOMEDIA Photography Club, I start to learn photography theory deeply like, lighting, composition, and try to compete in photography contest. My first prize in photography contest is in 1994, when I got 2nd winner in National Flora and Fauna Photo Competition.
Did you have formal studies in photography? If yes, where and when?
Overall, I can say that I learn photography autodidactly. I just read many old photography books and try the technique in field regarding doing task from academy magazine. When I join the photography club, in 1994, I knew how to learn photography with more “formal” than before. I learnt how to make photograph well from many professional photographer in Indonesia at that time. FOTOMEDIA Magazine and FOTOMEDIA Photography Club are “my enlightment” in photography.
When is that defining moment that you can consider photography as a career and not just a mere hobby?
I do love photography. I make photograph, I read many photography books, I discuss all about photography, and all I do every thing in photography world with one reason, “ I love Photography”. I believe that my passion in photography just I will get if I choose to be an amateur not professional photographer. If I make picture as a professional, in my mind its not my picture but picture was ordered by client. If I shoot picture as an amateur, it’s my own picture. I do it because I love photography not because clients order.
What are your achievements regarding with photography up to date?
My last achievements in photography contest is 1st Winner of The Colours of Traditional Dance in Indonesia in 2013. In International Photography Contest I have won Garuda Indonesia International Photo Contest as 1st winner in 2009. After got several achievements in photography contest till 2010, I start to learn photojournalism, documentary and photo stories. I studied photojournalism in GFJ Antara (National Photo Agency in Indonesia) and I studied Visual Literacy in Phana Institue, Jakarta. In Photo stories I have studied it in National Geographic Indonesia and Phana Institute.
Do you think you have your own style of photography, if so, what is it about your photos that stand out?
My own style of photography? Ehmm, I’m not sure about it. I have got Best Landscape Winner in Salonfoto Indonesia in 2008, Best Architecture in Salonfoto Indonesia 2009, Best People in Gambara Nias Bangkit Photo Competition 2011, 2nd winner in National Fauna Photo Contest in 2009, and in 2013 I was one of finalists in Photo Story Contest held by National Geographic Indonesia. I just keep curious in every photography genre, I believe that every genre in photography has interesting sides to be learnt. Photography will be not enough to be explored.
What do you think makes a good photographer?
Try to love photography instead of just make picture. Walk, see, snap, walk, see, snap, and so on. I always remember the wise quote that I get from Mr. Oscar Motuloh, Photo Curator in GFJ Antara. “You can celebrate your victory after you get an achievement, but only in 24 hours. After that, forget it and tomorrow you have to start to make pictures again.”
What goes through your head right before you snap a picture?
The best image is a combination of technical excellence and strong composition. The first one we have to think before snap a picture is the reason why we have to take the picture. An idea and our visual imagination have to build first before we think how we have to capture it with camera. We have to train by ourselves, how to find idea and make an unique composition every time.
In general, what are the best and worst things about Photography for you?
The best thing I have found from photography is I really happy in my life. Hobby is one thing that made our life happy.
The worst thing about photography, in the digital era of photography especially in Indonesia every body has camera and become “photographer”. The worst one is, the “photographers” have many bad behaviours that made everything become worst. Throwing garbage in everywhere, snapping people without permission and bothering ceremonies or festivals.
When was the first time you used a Fujifilm camera? Which model?
In analog era, I have used Fujica M-1 in last 80s, about 1984 or 1985.
In digital era my first Fujifilm Camera is Fujifilm Finepix S3 Pro in 2006.
What feature/features of Fujifilm cameras do you love most?
The first reason I Love Fujifilm is AUTO WB. The colours reproduction of Fujifilm is the best one. I can get the natural skin tones and natural colours.
The 2nd one is Fujifilm Simuliation like Provia, Velvia and Astia. Its so amazing.
The 3rd feature is flexibility to arrange the picture’s contrast. I can tune the shadow and highlight partly. Just in Fujifilm I found it.
For you, what do you think is the unique feature of Fujifilm cameras compared to other brands?
Once again, the color reproduction is the best among digital camera from all brands. And the second one is noise management in Hi-ISO, I think image quality in Hi-ISO Fujifilm is the best one in APSC censor series.
How satisfied are you in terms of your output and experience in using Fujifilm cameras?
With Fujifilm camera I will get the best JPEG images. No need to shoot in RAW anymore.
Which Fujifilm cameras do you have? Lenses?
Right now, I have many Fujifilm Camera : S3 Pro, S5 Pro, X100s, XQ1, XA1, XE2 and the last one XT1. I love Fujifilm Camera Since I bought Finepix S3 Pro.
Fujifilm Lenses : XF 10-24mm, XF 14mm, XC 16-50mm, XF 18-55mm, XF 23mm, Pancake 27mm, and XF 55-200mm
If you will be leaving Photography, what other things you’d like to do?
I don’t think about it. I think I will not leave photography.
How would you like to be remembered as a photographer?
My job is lecturer. My hobby is photography. I would like to be remembered as a good photography trainer in Indonesia.
Any particular plans or goals to achieve this 2014?
I will rebuild my website and publish an Indonesian Travel Photography Book.
Any advice to aspiring photographers?
Not enough to know how to use a camera, but you have to love photography.
(The conversation had recorded in 2014 for South East Asia Fujifilm Magazine that based in Singapore)