Monthly archives: November 2018

Tukang Rantek CiritaAseania Hornbill DancersLangkawi's Best Sarawak Dancers

I was born and raised in Sarawak, in a village called Pichin. Since my schooling days, I brought packed food, prepared with love by my mother from my kindergarten days until my Form 5 days. I don’t like canteen foods as I will have to spend additional money, energy and time to acquire one. Those schooling days were tough, and there is so much to be talked about, but there is one thing I really look forward to – Gawai time. During Gawai, Bidayuh peoples will gather at the long house, we call it “awah Gawai” to have a large gathering and be happy and merry. On the second day of Gawai, there will be the dances and rounds. For the first few years of my life, I took it for granted. But little did I know, it actually shaped me – forms and solidifies inside me as part of my identity and culture – a typical Bidayuh (that explains why I love to dance and sing, and “drink”).

Being away from home, I love to find something to connect to. Even the love of my life also a dancer (we knew each other for a long time, but grew closer as we prepare for a dancing competition, and we actually won it. It’s called International Cultural Festival 2011, organised by UTM Skudai. I can’t find the video, but its backstage video can be seen here.)

From my friend’s blog, Aziemah, I found few rare photos of me back in 2011.

Amin, Chris, Kama, Ajo, Map and I were doing the intro.

And… we won ICF’11 despite having technical difficulty with our audio system.

So when I travel to Langkawi for work purposes, during one of the dinner at Aseania, when there is a dance performance, I became excited. To make it even better, the dancers led by Shamsol Amy performed dance from Sarawak, and Sabah. At first I was skeptical, because usually the Sarawak dances performed outside of Sarawak and by non-Sarawakian is so-so. However, the performance by Aseania is quite good as well. The first thing that caught my attention was the music used. Balau oh Balau, the same music that we used in our performance! The dance moves captivates me and makes me interested to capture it in stills. Even before that, there was a magic performance as you can see below.

Magic Show

After the dancing performances, there was a pyro-works by Aseania staff as well. The pyroworks was amazing! I love it. I was busy with my camera throughout the performance to ensure that I captured it. Most of the interesting parts are captured here, for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

By the way, good job to Shamsol Amy and the team for the beautiful dance performances. Keep up the good work!

All images © Claudius Weson Photography (2018)

Tukang Rantek Nulis CiritaAndrea’s Moment of GloryUMS 20th Convocation

Four years is not a short period of time. It can define someone’s life. Within four years, from the most vulnerable creature on earth, a baby grows to become a question-totting creature, questioning everything under the sun with the newly-acquired language skills. Four years, can make or break someone’s career. For many Malaysian university-goers, four years is the usual time for any bachelor’s degree program. Once you have completed your degree, you will receive your scroll during the convocation ceremony. I call it Moment of Glory, after Scorpions’ epic song. We are born a champion, a triumphant one that has won a million-mile equivalent race at micro level.

How we define ourselves are not up to others, but up to ourselves’ very own definition of Glory. Your joy is not equivalent to others. Some is happy when they are able to get enough food, but some is unhappy no matter how much flowers they get during Valentine’s Day.

In the end, all that matters are your interpretation to your own worldview. I would suggest you pick a dream, and work on it until you are successful. If you can achieve it easily, that means your dream is too small. Make your dream so big, that you will grow to fill it with your own potential.

Make that moment one to be remembered. Just like how you want to graduate no matter what it takes for a better future, always remember the lessons learned throughout your journey in life. God bless. Congratulations to Andrea and all of the others UMS Graduates! It is indeed a glory to those who loves you, especially your parents, father and mother, as well as your loved one.

In the meantime, enjoy the images below, captured during the recent UMS Convocation.

 

All Images © Claudius Weson Photography.

Claudius Weson JourneyBalkizz’s Smartphone SymphonyProduct Photography Workshop with Smartphone

Greetings everyone. In this day and age, almost everyone from various walks of life owns a smartphone, owing largely to the benefits it has to offer, including but not limited to; cross-platform messaging apps such as WhatsApp Messenger,; social media such as Facebook, Instagram; video streaming apps such as Youtube, mobile internet browser and many more. There is so much computing power in a single device compared to the first computer introduced by IBM back in 1981, with computing power of 16kb. Even so, with that technology, NASA launched the very first Space Shuttle mission and launched 2 men to space. Therefore, just imagine, with so much power at your hand in a form of smartphone, what are you going to do about it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some might stick to use for basic usages, i.e. texting, calling, social media etc. I always believe that in each and everyone of us, there is an unlimited potentials, like diamond in the rough. Only those who brave it out and put considerable effort onto it will be able to reap the fruit. One of a good example is Balkizz Sulaiman. She is an entrepreneur, a fellow photographer specialised in product photography using smartphone as her main tool of trade and also an advertising coach. (Note: I also have wrote about smartphone photography here. Some of my photos captured using only iPhone 6 is also demonstrated here, though I love to use my Leica camera for all photography purposes, e.g. events, weddings, portraiture and outdoors).

I was honoured to be able to join her final workshop for 2018 at Miri Malay Association building, Sarawak today and started my whole new learnings on product photography that I never ventured before. Since I started this journey last year, I was not doing any product photography at all as I am doing street, events and wedding photography. In general, people’s photography. As I enter building, I empty my cup and open up for new learnings that Balkizz passionately taught us.

 

She started off with the story about herself, where she mentioned that before this she was working with an oil gas company until she realisation hits her. Specifically, at her cubicles, she was surrounded by senior peoples who work day in, and day out; doing the same thing over and over again until retirement. That actually woke her up, and she refused to do the things she has no passion at all about. On 2015, the worst year for oil and gas industry, where oil price hits the lower than $40/bbl by the end of the year. During that time also, many personnel were released from their jobs due. She saw this opportunity to leave, crossed the Rubicon and never looked back ever since.

She started with selling Jamu Tun Teja, but it was not flying high like she expected. Then, she realised something is not right. That is when she understands the power of photography to boost her sales. But, due to physical limitation, she cannot use a big camera like those of DSLRs and others, although she was using it when she starts photography. Therefore, she opts to use smartphone to create an appealing images. Smartphone photography is the best tool for these small business owners as it is the most versatile. She is determined to empower small business owners, particularly women who runs online business, because she understands their challenges to manage work, family as well as online business. Using smartphone is also for practicality as well since not all of these women owns a DSLR. In terms of learning curve, using smartphone camera is much easier to use compared to any other professional camera. She even went on to learn with professional Instagrammers and social media sifus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During this workshop, which is also participated by a participant from Brunei, she also gave an awareness to the participants the basic stuff, including cleanliness of the smartphone camera lens, basics in smartphone camera operations, software/apps to use (in this course, we use Snapseed) and image composition rules. Finally, it is time for practical session, where the rules mentioned before are made to be broken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find it interesting as many of the participants has their own creative sides, that was demonstrated during the practical session. The practical session lasted for an hour, to which we end with Q&A and finally group photo. As a wrap, this workshop it highly recommended to everyone who wish to learn more about product photography at an affordable price, especially if you are a woman doing online business. Even though I am doing freelance photography, there is a lot of learnings that I made from the workshop with Balkizz today, where the most important one is, follow your passion. Do the things that you are passionate about. For married couples, please do support your spouse, especially if he or she has a dream that she wants to achieve. In a way, that will make your bond stronger, and in return, you will have a better relationship. We rise not by putting others down, but by raising others up. That’s how we achieve excellence.

That’s all for now. Have a good weekend with your family and friends. Remember, immortalise your memories.

     

Claudius Weson JourneyAn Afternoon with Daphne IkingWorkshop Training by The Studio

Greetings friends, and I wish today is a good day to you. Speaking about Wednesday, what comes to your mind? Middle of the week? The day you can watch movie before its official release? Or the day where you can meet Daphne Iking? For me, it’s the third one.

Thanks to Wyomia and Tracy, I had an honour to attend a short emcee training session with Daphne Iking, one of Malaysia’s most sought-after professional emcee. Orang Sabah baini. For me, since I was born and raised watching national TV channels (cannot afford Astro back then), the one I remember most about Daphne is her work as Explorace host, which I used to watch a lot when I was in secondary school. She has a lively personality, and a truly friendly person, on-screen and off-screen.

If you were thinking that this is thinking of changing my direction of business, it is actually not really accurate as I am always running a mixed business. Apart from freelance photographer, I also a freelance emcee for hire, and sometimes sing for the event that I am hosting. Sometimes, I miss my old band, Taruh Dari (3D), where we always cover Muse songs such as Plug In Baby, Hysteria, Knight of Cydonia and Starlight. Recently, I am inclined to learn more about Freddie Mercury after watching his epic biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. Anyway, the main objective for me to join this training session is to get myself exposed to the  people from the industry. In this case, Daphne is the right person to give advice from the industry, and she is truly down-to-earth person.

Today, we are also honoured to be part of The Studio’s history, where it is officially launched today. You can always contact them via Instagram, @oongid_butiza for your supply of essential oils.

Joining me in the training are like-minded persons like Fariza, Tracy, Priscilla, Irene (she drove all the way from Kuala Belait), Sue, Karen, Balkizz, Andy “Afgan”, Muz and Sabrina (our sole participant from Curtin University). As usual, Joe is charge of the media as he double-hats as photographer and videographer (and drone too).

Talking about the training, there is truly a lot you can learn from Daphne. She is very generous with her experiences, and she will do her best to answer all of our questions. She structured her session in such a way it is easy to be understood, regardless of your experience years in emcee job. I love how she explains the role of an emcee as the one-single person that make or break an event. One can almost tell that an event will be successful or not by observing the opening by an emcee. Such is the importance of an emcee. A good emcee should be able to command the crowd eloquently and keep the event true to its intention. She goes on to share her personal story througout her career as an emcee, and I think that is one of the thing that I would not hear elsewhere.

Despite all of the technical advises, it should be accompanied with due amount of practice, practice and more practice to perfect the art of emcee. Should you want to learn more about the art of Master of Ceremony, The Studio will be offering more courses in the future. So, stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy these photos captured during the event and like what Thorsten would say, “always wear a camera”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End Note:

For me, everyone should have a dream, and pursue it. At least, if you cannot do something about it for now, talk to the person whom you would like to be in the future. They would give the advice to you, “Ask, and you shall receive” – Matt 7:7. Even if you cannot make a huge progress due to various reasons, e.g. you are working full time elsewhere or family-bound, take baby steps at one time. Most importantly, you are making a progress. If you wish to speak eloquently like Daphne, learn from her, and practice daily. If you want to create an amazing images, create images daily, and review, and create more images. The examples are endless, and all you need is some self-love, and pour it onto your dream. Don’t be your own dream killer, but be a dream chaser. God bless.

 

 

Outdoor JourneyStay Fit, Stay YoungA hiking story at Canada Hill

General impression that a photography is not a physically challenging job. But it actually is, especially if you are outdoor photographer, and you are required to catch-up with the participants and the events that you are shooting. Throughout various outdoor events that I have done, I managed to pull it off thanks to my healthy body, that enables me to move around constantly to get the shot that I want. Being a user of prime lenses, I zoom in and out by moving my body. My fixed-focal length or prime lenses cannot zoom, period. That is why you will find me moving in and out a lot, especially when I am composing an image in my camera before I press the shutter.

As for the activities today, it is a hiking activity. I still remember the last time I went here was with Prosta, Edna and Samantha. I can’t recall when was that, but it probably was few years back. If Natalee joins us, then it would be the luckiest day of my life.

Start!

Today, the team I went with was Uncle Stwart and Anthony. We will be using route 10, all the way until route 21. I thought it would be a good idea to bring my camera only, and not to bring anything else. No shoes as well, because I love barefoot run and trail. The journey started around 3.10pm and it is already blistering hot under the hot sun. However, as soon as we enters the shade, it is quite comfortably cool. There were other members of Iron Leg hiking around at their comfortable pace. There is a lot of other people that came here just to hang out with their friends around Grand Oil Lady, because it is Saturday.

Kayuh kuan ami sani neh, taripades.

To get this shot, I need to run down the hill before they does.

Hiking is always better with friends. They supports you.

Look what I found here.

Long way to go uncle.

The prize of hiking. View from Canada Hill.

Why Photographers Has To Stay Fit?

Easy answer is to enable him to fulfil any demanding task that might came across him. You would never know when you will be called to cover for an event that is out of your physical capability. So you better be prepared.

Through this session, in order for me to get to the shot and the angle that I want without interrupting fellow hikers, I have to stay ahead of the hikers most of the time. There were many occasions where I need to climb up or climb down earlier to get the right shot, and the right angle. Otherwise, I would miss it and I would not be truly happy with the final images.

To capture this image, I have to run down the hill before they do. Otherwise I will miss this shot.

Also, if you are the dancer/singer-hybrid type like me, staying fit means you get to enjoy yourself at the dance floor or singing due to higher lung capacity and has more mitochondria reserve at your muscles.

Who knows?

Take 5.

Advises on Staying Fit:

To stay fit, you don’t have to start hard. You can start at your own current paces. For starter, I would recommend you start with 30 mins walking daily. Then after a week, increase your pace to jogging. If you would like to push it further, you can run for half an hour and then cooldown. In average, you would spend 1.5 hours inclusive of warm up and cool down. Don’t drink any cold drinks when your body temperature is still high. The temperature of your beverage should be almost equivalent to your body temperature for optimum effect. Any colder is not advisable as it would interrupt thermal equilibrium inside your body and this might lead to unwanted bodily temperature upset, aka fever.

The rule of thumb is, exercise 30 mins daily. Constant daily exercise is good to keep doctors away.

 

Bonus: Why Barefoot?

In this kind of exercise, I prefer barefoot as I feel more comfortable and it offers more grip. That is how our ancestors survived the attack from predators and sabres. Also, it is healthy as my heel will land a bit later and it allows my forefoot to strike the ground first. In physics, this gives more time before the impact hits my heel, thus reducing the overall force that hits my feet. In simple, I will minimise the impact that eventually be exerted at my knee.

But it is not recommended if you are not used to it. I am used to run barefoot, because that is my preferences. Anyway, you are most welcomed to try and feel it yourself.

Uncle Stwart & I, as captured by Anthony. By my side is trusted Leica M10-P, APO-50 and Rock & Roll Leather Strap.

Another Claudius' Story We Will Rock YouShell Annual Dinner

Last year’s theme was superheroes, where we can see a lot of Superman and Batman fanboys and girls at the stage, with occasional dose of anime. This year’s theme is ROCK & ROLL, in honour of the musicians that makes our life more entertaining. Coincidentally, Bohemian Rhapsody was released on 8th Nov, although I am able to watch is on 7th Nov. So, Freddie Mercury’s songs play in a single track in my mind. I feel like a champion, and with my camera, I will rock you.

Food presentation was done in a rock fashion. God of Rock enters the middle stage, with the leaders bringing the food tray and pass it to the nearest table. Then, the rock session continues by K.O.T.O Band. One of the memorable songt their sung was I Want To Break Free, by Queen. But the version that they performed was Dewa 19, which is a more heavy version.

KL Tan seems to be so happy.

Thong – God of Rock summoning cheers from the crowd.

As I went to the venue, I saw one unrecognisable guy, who turns out to be Thong. His wig really make him someone else. As usual, the emcees for the event is Wati and Jac. They really rock the night, with occasional dancing at the open dance floor, and I do join them too. It too fun to be missed.

Andy Ambik Berkat Shaun

Gaya Sang Juara

 

Among the styles from KOTO Band.

Manih ceh Kim? Pli bangut. haha

The ladies that made the night goes wild – Jac & Wati.

                

Mr Kunyah-Kunyah Cilipadi.

One of the thing that should not be forgotten is the Best Dress for men and woman. For the women, the winner is Latonia. Oh my, not only she has the attitude, but she also has the voice. For men’s category, the winner is Thong, the undisputed God of Rock. The crowd just go wild over him.

          

Wati won the frigde. Life’s Good.

With the final prize given away, KOTO Band took the stage once again while the crowd just dance along. I particularly like Jet’s song – Are You Gonna Be My Girl? That song rocks, one of the most memorable song of all time. Can be used to ask a girl out for a date. Please don’t go for wik wik wik business though.

 

The team behind this event’s success!

Hound Dog (Live) by MJ

p.s. Crazy little thing called love makes you feel alone even though you are with many peoples, where your mind is somewhere thinking about her. But the show must go on, and here it comes. Here I am singing It’s My Life By Bon Jovi. Thanks to Glenn for capturing the moment and to KOTO Band for music.

All images are copyrighted © Claudius Weson.
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