Tabi basa/Greetings family and friends,
Today is Saturday, an opportunity to rest and to have a fun with family and friends, as well as to pursue your passion, whatever it might be. Sarawak is a land of beautiful places and peoples, consisting of many ethnics, especially Dayaks – Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulus. For this edition, I have the opportunity to work with three beautiful ladies from my village, Kampung Pichin of Serian Division.
Dayung means girl/woman in Bidayuh language, shared between Bukar-Sadong (Serian), Padawan and even Bau area. “Bi-” prefix means “belongs” or “of the”. In this case, Bi-Pichin means “from Pichin”, just like how Bidayuh obtain its name, meaning “People of the Land”, which is why James Brooke and friends called Bidayuh “Land Dayak”.
As a disclaimer, featured in this post is only three out of many beautiful ladies of Pichin. On July previously, I collaborated with ladies from Kpg Riih Daso for a similar photoshoot, except this time we are not using traditional garments. That one is reserved for another edition.
Venue: Pichin “Utak Pait” Waterfall
Pichin area is blessed with a lot of natural resources, which includes complex of limestone caves at the foot of Lenge Kiburan or even the Karu river. The venue of choice today is the old water reservoir for Pichin, used to supply fresh upriver water to the villages until it was decommissioned, following the proper water supply by Sarawak government. Utak Pait is now a popular venue for BBQ because it is a place where you can some fun with family and friends.
I remember when I was in Primary School, we love to go here with the Soo Bahk Do team, where we will have a lot of fun time playing tag at the slippery area, including the waterfall area since our tag has no rules. You can literally run around the area. It is tough for the one chasing though.
In terms of photographer’s point of view, Utak Pait is a it is a well-shaded area, and it has plenty of good soft light, which is good for portraiture if you wish to do so. That is what I am doing in this post.
Also, I have a strong preferences to do photoshoot outdoor, to showcase the beauty of the surroundings, especially of Sarawak, our Motherland. Just like how the land of four seasons photographer is proud of their natural landscape, so am I proud of the rainforest and its monsoon or dry season (I don’t like haze, it is not part of the script).
In this photoshoot, I am using my favourite gears for mobile outdoor photography, my Leica M10-P black and APO-Summicron 50mm and my lighting of choice is as usual the Profoto B10 and octa-light modifier, because it is portable and easy to handle.
50mm angle has been my favourite because it creates the look that I have grew to like and love. However, not just any 50mm. APO-50 is not called the best 50mm for nothing. The colour that it created is unique, and it is the look that I really look forward to have. Having tried few Leica 50mm before, the only one that can challenge the colour of APO-50 is Noctilux 50. Out-of-camera, Summicron and Summilux 50’s colour is lacking of that “ummph”. APO-50 and Noctilux 50 is just nice. I love it.
If you ask any photographer, when given the chance, what would you upgrade? Camera body or lens? Mostly will go for lens upgrade, because body will be upgraded every year. Lens, are not. For Leica, it will take a decade to upgrade a new lens, while the camera is much more frequent than that. Leica SL2 is out, and Monochrom M10 is coming next year. Let’s see how it goes.
As mentioned earlier, in the venue section, it is at the waterfall area, where its surrounding is quite wet and caution has to be exercised, because it has a lot of slippery surfaces, thanks the growth of moss patches (lumut) on the rock, especially after rain falls, turning the fun-looking area into one big hazardous zone.
Apart from the already wet area, the weather is also not very supportive due to the monsoon season. It rains multiple time throughout the photoshoot. Luckily we are well-prepared with out rain protection, though the unexpected downpour caught us by surprise while we are in the zen mode of the photoshoot.
The photoshoot which was initially planned to be dry, turns to be wet. Therefore, we improvise. I quickly remembered the image that Priscilla, founder of Divabiz Ambassadorz, sent to me. So, I tried it out. Luckily, the ladies are also supporting.
After the photoshoot session, it is time to call it a day.
This section is for Tania, who has a quite a number of experience doing photoshoot, feels at ease in front of the lens. I do not have to tell her what to do, she instinctively does her pose. All I need to is to ensure the composition and the lighting is correct.
Shania doesn’t have any experience with photoshoot like this. However, her fair complexion and tall figure makes her a good candidate for a photoshoot.
Just like Shania, Samilla also has no experience with photoshoot. However, that doesn’t stop her from joining the fun.
I always hear from lots of my female friends that they are not good in front of camera. However, it is not true. I believe that disbelief and lack of confidence came from social conditioning, where they always compared themselves with a better-looking personnel, physically; or even in their own family where they have a better looking siblings. With the right angle and lighting, as well as timing, you can look your best. That is the trick that many selfie-lovers knows really well. Sometimes, when you arrive at a certain place, you felt that the lighting is truly good. You can literally feel like you can take the aura. That means you will be able to create great selfie using your camera.
You can look your best in your camera. All you need to do is to trust the photographer.
I do acknowledge that I am also still learning to improve my techniques especially in playing with light and bring out the best in my subjects. However, the thing that I really appreciate and love is the satisfaction that I get when I see the final images, and my client also shares the same appreciation. It is a good feeling indeed, and I would say, one way to make life more interesting aside from taking care of mental health.
Thank you for ladies, Tania, Shania and Samilla as well as Tukang Lampo, Fifi for making today’s photoshoot a success. Kudos to all of you for staying cheerful and bright despite the moody and gloomy sky. Let’s work again next time.
Your Tukang Rantek,
Instagram: claudiuswesonphotography (for B&W works)
Note: Claudius Weson is a “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, mainly doing portraiture (indoor / studio / outdoor photoshoot), weddings and event photography.
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