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What's next?

Published January 29th, 2012

It has been more than a year since I started photography. My first camera was an entry level DSLR, shooting cityscapes and half-dead flowers by the pavements, nothing more. It was tough but my learning curve was pretty steep, all thanks to a 'dump' photo I posted somewhere for critiques and feedbacks.

Whatever harsh words, or guidance I received through that post was pretty much worth it. That was when I was about to comprehend the relation between shutter speed, aperture and ISO = exposure. I still remember, adjusting both shutter speed and aperture during one of the lonely night shooting. When I got back, I gave myself a thunderous smack on my forehead: I forgot everything about ISO.

That was back then in October 2010. Now, exposure is like a second nature. Technicals aside, I started to lose interest in photography with DSLR. Perhaps it was due to the limitation of the kit lens and the never ending competition of who has got the most gears.

I won't deny, it was pretty expensive for me back then looking at the price of lenses, filters, etc. As I understand further about my camera, it was a degrading fact that all I had was a low end machine that wouldn't go far even if I bought an expensive lens.

And so, a month later, I discovered 'film cameras'. Plastic lens, Holgas, simple free focus cameras. I indulged myself with an automatic compact film camera afterwards and started happy-shooting-happy-triggerring. It was a fantastic experience for the first time, I did not think much and I enjoyed photography as it is.

Light + Film = Photo. As simple as that.

So I joined several photo walks with the like-minded and shot down almost anything interesting the streets could offer. Without realizing, I was developing loads and loads of films from B&W to cross-processing. Financial crisis seeped in and to make matters worst, I was addicted to vintage cameras.

Almost a year passed, I looked through the scans and negatives of my shots. Happy-shooting-moments I called it. I saw something more within the pictures of the streets. I started to see lines, grains, people and eventually, life.

I started to venture into a thought called, street photography. It was a broad area ranging from documentation, photojournalism, to pure street photography. The interest brings me to Daido Moriyama and Henri Cartier Bresson. Whatever their approach is, they managed to open up a vast field of passion in me. I felt their works.

For another half a year, it was a journey of self-discovery and experimentation to lines, angles, subjects, so on and so forth. But for almost every photo I took, I was having this dissatisfaction unlike no other. I didn't feel happy like how I was with the plastic cameras and automated film cameras. I was stressed and disturbed, not by the limitation of my gears but by myself.

Finally, an opportunity came for me to further my understanding and perception towards photography. I was given a slot for Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA) Street Photography Workshop. Heck, it was a kickass two days session for me.

After that, I shoot with a clearer mind. It was hard work on observation, shooting and editing. I had to be tough to myself and put aside shots that aren't gonna work. It wasn't easy but I know it takes time and continuous effort.

Up till now.

Now, I'm lost.

What's next?



  • February 17th, 2011
  • FUJI photo FILM CO., LTD. SLP1000SE

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