Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today, I would like to share about black and white photography. It is a subset of monochrome photography, where it is a branch of photography that uses single hue of colour, in this case, shades of neutral gray of varying tones. From its various tones, it represents the form and structure of the images captured by the B&W photographer.
In the early days of photography, B&W is the main medium of expression. You can see in the early works of Magnum photography legend, Henri-Cartier Bresson, it is captured in B&W.
By eliminating colour in your images, you basically removes distraction from your image. This enables us to focus on the subject, the textures, shapes, patterns and overall composition. For me, I also can convey emotion & expression of my subject through black and white photography.
Unlike colour photography, when you are shooting in B&W, you focus more on contrast, shape & form because these elements enable your picture to tell story better. A low contrast image will not be as flattering as a high contrast image because you can’t separate it – it seems to be blending in with the background.
However, in my area, Sarawak, black and white photographs are often associated with death, sadness & sorrow. That’s why, there are not many B&W photographers are my area. Most of the peoples shoot in colour, and the preference is to make the colour vivid. In that way, it is more classy.
I deviated away from this school of thought and shot B&W during my early days. I even bought Leica M Monochrom (M9) and It is one fine camera. I used it wherever I go. I stopped shooting weddings for a while because I want to focus more on my B&W art. However, the dilemma came, where I want to focus more on colour or B&W because both equally is a good way. Except colour makes money in Sarawak. B&W is not. Then I concentrate on doing colour images for my clients.
Street photography was put into a stop for a while.
However, as time goes by, 2022 might be the year I am actively doing B&W again. For me, it is not about gear. It is about the way I see the final image. There are some image that seems to be better in B&W than in colour and vice versa. To be balanced, I should shoot in colour, then convert it to B&W using Silver Efex. That way, I can still strike a balance between what I want to do and what actually makes money.
Hopefully this story gave a little bit of insight to all of you. As mentioned earlier, I will only post my stuff in my blog, not in social media anymore. Stay tuned for more. Thank you for the support and have a great week ahead!
Your Tukang Rantek, Claudius Weson Follow me on Twitter & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.
Note: 1. Claudius is a freelance photographer based in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. 2. “Tukang Rantek” means “photographer” in Bidayuh Serian language.
Tabi basa and greetings everyone. Today is Father’s Day (19 June 2022) and I would like to wish father’s around the world Happy Father’s Day. Your sacrifice is like an unsung hero, providing the best to the family despite you’re not being recognised. For me, it is important to have both father and mother in a healthy family because by having both, you will have different outlook in life to the growth of the children. I don’t agree when you say that father or mother is better than the other, when in fact, they are complementing each other. There shouldn’t be any fight over this. Just look at how human civilisation, it started from the basic form of family consisting of father & mother, whom begets their own children. If we want to create peace in this world, it should start from home. By having a good, stable & working family, we can create a stable country.
Silamat Andu Amang – Happy Father’s Day! From Piching. Shot on Leica SL, Vario-Elmar-SL 24-90mm
Moving to today’s topic, I’d like to share about the why is it important for you to have your own website and why you shouldn’t depend on social media.
But first, let’s start with the recent move that I have done.
My post on my LinkedIn. Shot on Leica M10-P, APO-Summicron-M f/2 50mm lens.
I have deleted my Facebook, Instagram & Tik Tok account. You might be wondering, why on earth would Tukang Rantek delete his own social media accounts? Especially Facebook, where I have 22,000 followers. That’s a lot, and it took me around 5 years to grow it to that size.
For me, it is simple. I want to create something that would last, something that would be associated with my brand. I’ve made a mistake, where I only rely on my soc-media, particularly Facebook, to boost my own brand. Until now, my Facebook page is becoming more famous than my actual reputation of being able to create pictures. I am not ashamed to admit that I’ve spend too much time developing my Facebook page than to actually spend my time for growth as an aspiring photographer.
Even in my office, people have been telling my that my reputation as a photographer exceeds my reputation as an engineer. In a way, I am flattered, but I am actually worried. My concern is that it is like a bubble only, without having real substance. I do aware that there are some photographers who is not even active on social media, but they are having a steady income from their photography. That’s what I desire.
But in this case, I need to step back and re-strategise. But instead, I just stop my social media cold turkey, deleted FB, IG & TT and just concentrate on my Twitter only.
1. Why Twitter?
It is the social media that gave me the least distraction.
2. Aren’t you worried that there is less followers there?
At this point in time, I am not bothered about followers number. If people wants to follow me, they are most welcomed to follow me. If they are not, I’m good too. My work quality is not defined from my follower counts.
3. No FB, no IG, no TT. What’s your next plan then?
I will just keep on writing blogs about my journey and photography. I don’t intent to grow my social media follower counts.
91 followers only. This is more like it. Previously I have 22K followers on Facebook, but I always have a feeling that it is not genuine.
Reflection On Social Media
1. It Is Not Meant To Last
Social media is not forever. Anyone remembered their first soc-med? For me, my first one was Friendster. What happened was, it closed its website on 2015 and 2018, it ceased as a company. If you have developed your profile there, then it won’t be forever. You might argue that it is free, but it will not serve you in the long run.
Then came Facebook to replace Friendster. Facebook so far has been going on strong, but no one know how long it will last.
Vine was ahead of its time. 6 second fame, but now it was left in the dust. Tik Tok followed its success formula, and now even Instagram, Facebook and YouTube is following its formula.
But if you want to create something that last forever, build it in your own platform. Not at the platform made by others, especially if it is free. If it is free, you are the product.
2. Comparison Upon Comparison
Soc-med relies on people to compare with one another. As much as I want to believe it is good for healthy competition, if you can’t stop comparing yourself to others’ highlight reel, then it might be a good time to stop. Just like you, other person also have their own time to shine. It is not normal to always have something to highlight in your life. Birthday, yes. Wedding? Yes. Achievements? Yes. But how often would you have all of these things? Not often, right? If you want reclaim back your privacy in life, just get away from soc-med for good. Even in my Twitter, I don’t post anything personal.
3. Feel Good Sensation / Dopamine Effect
You know that feeling, when you post something, and it is liked. That works like a drug. It is all thanks to dopamine hormone. I still remember, I’ve posted a picture about a female Bidayuh engineer and that post gains a crazy amount of attention. To-date, it garnered close to 3800 likes and 2800 shares at my Facebook page. I can’t find a snapshot though. But here’s a snapshot from LinkedIn on the same lady. Yes, 2784 likes. Still, it doesn’t give me anything though.
People like a certain picture on social media because they like what they see, not really about the person who posted it. That’s the rule of the matter.
But the opposite would happen. Let’s say you are used to earn 100+ likes for each picture. Suddenly, when you post something that matters to you, but the reaction that you receive is not like what you expect, then you might feel miserable about yourself. You might think that you are not as good as you were before.
That’s what happen to many people. When their usually viral post is not viral anymore, they might question their worth, their credibility, when in fact, the audience that he/she has is not really the right audience that he/she wants. So, it is important for you to know your audience
4. Addicted with Likes
One chronic addition that I have seen was this person, who can’t help but to post anything that she is doing on her soc-med, everything will end up at her timeline or at least, story. I pity her, but I don’t want to be giving too much attention to her. I am not close enough too to give her advice, though that is is a good wake-up call for me to not be like her.
INVEST TIME WISELY – BYE-BYE SOCIAL MEDIA
Based on what I wrote above, it is time to reconsider where you will invest your time in. Social media fasting is one good option. But I think it is even better if you concentrate on creating something more sustainable. Something that you can call yours.
That’s bring us to the next point.
Create Your Own Website
I can’t emphasise more that as a creative person, you need to have your own website that you can use to create your own legacy and not affected by the rules of others.
Of course, if you use my method, you might feel lonely in the first place because everyone else are on the other social media. But the good news, if they are genuinely interested in your art or approach, they will contact you.
I like that I can create whatever I like in my own website. I like to write long articles. In Metaverse soc-med, where pictures are the main media being consumed, these articles will end-up useless.
I also like to write stories. I am learning how to type properly using touch typing method, but it will take a while before I can truly master it. Nevertheless, that is one journey that I would like to take. It will be fun.
That’s all I’d like to share for today. I am also finding the joy in doing blog using classic editor, vs using block editor as what I have done before.
Tukang Rantek, Claudius Weson Follow me on Twitter & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.
Note: 1. Claudius is a freelance photographer based in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. 2. “Tukang Rantek” means “photographer” in Bidayuh Serian language.
Tabi basa, silamat narang andu, selamat ngalih ari, sayu ngedau, selamat belua tau & celamat dau adak.
First and foremost I’d like to convey my deepest condolences to the family of the fallen solders at the 13 August Incident, where four of Malaysian Air Force died due to shooting incident that happened at Guard Post of Handau Squadron 330 around 7.15am today, at Kota Samarahan.
Back to the issue that I’d like to talk about, I have received a screenshot from fellow PPPOU’21 participants about Cardock’s post, which exactly the thing that we don’t want to happen at Sarawak, the Land of Hornbill which consists of various ethnics and tribes. That’s why I am compelled to write about this.
Disclaimer: I am not hired or influenced by anyone to write this article. It is purely my own opinion.
For those who didn’t know, what happened was Cardock uploaded a picture with him and caption Kayan King and his concubines (original post: Raja Kayan dan Gundik-Gundik).
For those who knows Cardock, where he always do live video, they will know about his character, his conversation and that is part of his charm and charisma, making people likes to follow him and follow his adventure to promote Sarawak in the eyes of the world. Cardock also has his own fans that is called Cardock Clan.
However, as an effect of his post, a lot of peoples have spoken out to voice their opinions. Just like in the snapshots below, it actually begins at Miri Community, then a lot of other individuals that posted about this, including Nissie A that quotes Cardock’s LIVE with Durian Kimchi with regards to the insult of Iban’s Ngepan as well questioning why there was a silence from related Orang Ulu associations, and there was also Viviana’s post. That post was also shared at Pulau Borneo Tanah Dayak, where it was written there about the act where Cardock degrades the status of Kayan women.
Because of that Cardock changed the caption to “Cardock dan Mak-Mak Orang” (meaning, Cardock and Other People’s Mother) as well calling the peoples who doesn’t like his caption as “terlalu pembaris” and “tak boleh gurau” (meaning, can’t take jokes and too sensitive).
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL BRO? IT WAS A JOKE ANYWAY.
One man’s meat is another man’s poison. We can’t expect everyone to accept our joke, especially in Sarawak. What’s a joke for us will be an insult to everyone else.
I have experienced this first hand when I was starting with Pertandingan Personaliti Popular Orang Ulu 2021, where they claimed that I am not alert about Orang Ulu’s sensitivity. The seemingly harmless joke at my Google Form also was taken out of context (“mambang”, meaning spirit) and was formed in such a way I insulted Orang Ulu. I honour relationship above everything else. Therefore, I get in touch with OUNA’s president and apologise from him, written and verbal and did an open LIVE Facebook apology though a lot of people said that it was totally unnecessary because I didn’t do anything bad.
However, I lower down my ego because it is better to earn respect than to win and lose respect from Orang Ulu community, and Sarawak peoples in general. The key to Sarawak’s peace is respect. Even though such joke is normal and small matter for us, we can’t impose our standard to others. They can’t see our intention, but they can see our actions.
From my observations on the comments and shares, here’s my summary:
1). Firstly, calling Kayan women as concubines. It is a joke for Cardock, but not many people can accept it. One wrong move, there will be a police report about this matter. It is not wise to call those mothers, grandmothers as your concubine. It as if you are stepping on their dignity.
2). Secondly, King of Kayan. For Kayans, the royals are called “Maren”, and their chief is called “Maren Uma”. Not everyone can be a Maren because they have to follow the ancient ways and customs, what more to say about becoming Maren Uma. It is not easy. With respect to the traditional customs, the usage of “King of Kayan” should be avoided at all cost to respect the sensitivity of the Kayan peoples. It is a different story if you are making a joke with your close friends, but it is totally not suitable for public use.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
For your information as well, Cardock is half-Iban, where his mother is from Sibu and his father is a Malay from Perak. Because of this family ties, Cardock has an immense passion to promote Sarawak at the eye of the world. In short, whatever that happens, is like Sarawakian versus Sarawakians. This is something that makes me sad deep in my heart.
Cardock has helped to promote Sarawak to the eyes of the world by doing Live from one place to another, usually the place that prime media won’t cover all, and you won’t see it in mainstream media. Currently he is doing “Jelajah Sarawak” (Sarawak’s Adventure), indirectly helping the locals at Belaga or Balingian and everywhere else to extra exposure and ultimately more income.
Taking lessons from this matter, I sincerely hope all of us, be it normal peoples, Ybs, influencers etc to be alert and ensure that the content of your post is not breaching any people’s sensitivity so that we can live in peace with one another, be it at Sarawak or anywhere else in Malaysia for a greater good. Lest there will be another Durian Kimchi 2.0.
Take care and stay safe. Delta variant of COVID-19 is raging outside.
Tukang Rantek, Claudius
Note: “Tukang Rantek” means photographer in Bidayuh language.
Tabi basa, silamat Narang andu, selamat ngalih ari, sayu ngedau, selamat belua dau & celamat dau adak.
Terlebih dahulu saya ingin memberikan ucapan takziah buat keluarga askar-askar yang terkorban di dalam Peristiwa 13 Ogos, yang mana 4 orang anggota TUDM maut di dalam insiden tembakan yang berlaku jam 7.15 pagi tadi di Balai Pengawal Handau Skuadron 330, Kota Samarahan.
Berbalik kepada perkara yang saya ingin tulis, pada pagi ini, saya telah menerima tangkaplayar berkenaan post saudara Cardock daripada beberapa peserta PPPOU’21. Ianya merupakan salah satu daripada isu yang kita tidak mahu berlaku di Sarawak, Bumi Kenyalang yang terdiri daripada pelbagai etnik dan suku. Oleh sebab itu saya tergerak untuk memberikan ulasan saya akan hal ini.
Penafian: Saya tidak diupah oleh mana-mana pihak atau dipengaruhi oleh mana-mana individu untuk menulis artikel ini. Semua yang anda baca adalah pendapat saya sendiri.
APA YANG BERLAKU?
Bagi yang tidak tahu, apa yang berlaku adalah Cardock telah memuatnaik gambar dengan kapsyen “Raja Kayan dengan gundik-gundiknya” pada tiga hari yang lepas.
Bagi yang kurang arif akan Bahasa Malaysia, berikut adalah definisinya.
Definisi (Kamus Dewan Edisi Keempat):
1. orang yg mengetuai dan memerintah sesuatu negara (bangsa), kepala negara (yg diwarisi).
2. kepala negeri, sultan: di Malaysia Barat lapan drpd ~-~nya bergelar sultan;
3. kepala suku (daerah): di Nusa Teng¬gara masih banyak ~;
Dalam Bahasa Inggeris, “Kayan King and his concubines”.
KESAN DARIPADA POST ITU
Bagi yang mengenali Cardock, yang mana dia selalu membuat Live dan biasa akan perwatakkannya, gurauan ini adalah biasa dan ianya adalah sebahagian daripada daya tarikan Cardock yang menyebabkan banyak orang tertarik untuk mengikuti pengembaraannya mempromosikan Sarawak di mata dunia. Cardock juga mempunyai kumpulan penyokongnnya yang tersendiri itu, Cardock Clan.
Namun begitu, berikutan daripada post Cardock itu, beberapa orang telah bangkit kerana menyuarakan pendapat mereka. Seperti di dalam gambar di bawah, mula-mula sekali adalah di Miri Community, dan kemudiannya oleh berbanyak individu termasuk Nissie A yang memetik berkenaan Live Cardock dengan Durian Kimchi berkenaan isu penghinaan terhadap Ngepan Iban, serta mempersoalkan persatuan berkenaan yang memilih untuk berdiam dan juga post Vivianna dibawah. Post itu juga telah dikongsi di group Pulau Borneo Tanah Dayak, yang mana ditulis di sana perbuatan itu ibarat menghina saudara Kayan dan merendahkan martabat wanita Kayan.
Berikutan hal itu, saudara Cardock telah mengubah kapsyen kepada “Cardock dan Mak-Mak Orang” serta menggelarkan mereka yang tidak suka akan kapsyen tersebut sebagai “terlalu pembaris” dan “tak boleh gurau”.
APA MASALAHNYA BRO? GURAUAN JA PUN.
Apa yang menjadi gurauan bagi kita, mungkin adalah satu penghinaan bagi orang lain. Lebih-lebih lagi di Sarawak, yang mana sensitiviti kaum hendaklah dijaga.
Saya sendiri pun pernah mengalami akan hal ini, iaitu berkenaan dengan Pertandingan Personaliti Orang Ulu 2021. Saya dikatakan tidak menjaga sensitiviti Orang Ulu. Konteks lawa jenaka saya di GoogleForm berkenaan istilah “mambang” tidak diterima oleh sesetengah pihak. Disitu apa yang saya buat adalah berhubung dengan Presiden OUNA, dan meminta maaf daripada beliau dan membuat permohonan maaf secara terbuka melalui Facebook Live walaupun banyak yang mengatakan tidak perlu minta maaf kerana tiada yang salah yang saya buat.
Namun saya merendahkan diri saya kerana bagi saya, adalah lebih penting untuk menjaga hubungan baik sesama warga Sarawak daripada perkara yang lain. Kunci keamanan Sarawak adalah hormat-menghormati. Walaupun perkara itu adalah normal dan gurauan bagi kita, namun atas dasar hormat, kita tidak boleh memaksa orang lain untuk menerima gurauan kita. Orang tidak lihat niat kita, tapi orang lihat perbuatan kita.
Berdasarkan pemerhatian saya terhadap komen-komen dan post-post tersebut, ini adalah ringkasan isu ini:
1). Pertama, menggelar wanita-wanita Kayan di sana sebagai gundik-gundik. Gurauan bagi Cardock, tapi tidak semua orang boleh menerima gurauan ini. Silap haribukan, nanti ada report polis akan hal ini. Adalah tidak elok sekiranya anda menggelar ibu-ibu, makcik-makcik orang sebagai “gundik”. Seolah-olah merendahkan martabat wanita itu.
2). Keduanya, Raja Kayan. Untuk orang Kayan, golongan bangsawan akan digelar sebagai Maren, dan ketua mereka akan digelar Maren Uma. Tidak semua orang boleh mendapat gelaran Maren kerana ianya harus menurut lunas adat, apatah lagi menjadi Maren Uma. Atas dasar menghormati adat, maka penggunaan istilah “Raja Kayan” sewajarnya dijauhi bagi menjaga sensitiviti kaum. Mungkin bagi sahabat rapat, ianya tidak menjadi masalah, namun untuk penggunaan umum, ianya tidak sesuai. Nasihat ini saya berikan atas pengalaman peribadi saya.
HARAPAN UNTUK MASA HADAPAN:
Untuk pengetahuan anda semua, Cardock juga berketurunan Iban (daripada sebelah Ibunya). Bapa Cardock adalah orang Perak (rasanya). Disebabkan hubungan kekeluargaan itulah Cardock mempunyai semangat yang membara untuk mempromosikan Sarawak dimata dunia. Jadi, secara ringkasnya, hal ini adalah seperti perbalahan sesama orang Sarawak. Ternyata ini adalah satu perkara yang menyedihkan buat Sarawak secara amnya kerana “miak Sarawak bergaduh ngan miak Sarawak”.
Cardock telah membantu untuk mempromosikan Sarawak ke mata dunia dengan membuat live dari tempat-tempat yang ditidak mendapat liputan media masa, seperti Jelajah Sarawak yang sedang berjalan sekarang, secara tidak langsung memberikan publisiti dan membantu peniaga-peniaga tempatan kita, baik di Belaga, Balingian mahupun dimana-mana sahaja di dalam Sarawak.
Mengambil iktibar daripada perkara ini, saya juga berharap agar kita semua, baik rakyat marhaen, YB-YB, “influencer” dsb sentiasa peka dan pastikan isi kandungan post kita media sosial tidak melampau batas gurauan kita agar kita sentiasa menjaga adab, menjaga sensitiviti kaum lain baik di Sarawak atau di mana-mana dalam Malaysia demi kesejahteraan bersama. Jangan ada lagi Durian Kimchi versi 2.0.
Terlajak perahu boleh diundur, terlajak kata, buruk padahnya.
Jaga diri anda semua baik-baik. Varian Delta COVID-19 sedang mengganas.