Category archives: Outdoor

Dayung Bidayuh Miri

Tabi basa and greetings family and friends, 

Once again, Sunday come, and hopefully you are spending your time with your beloved family and friends. Today is a great day and it is hot sunny at Miri. No rain fell from the sky, probably due to heavy rain yesterday.

Note: Dayung means, girl/woman/lady, in Bidayuh language.

Wake Up Call:

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I had a wake-up call, where I realised that when I am posting my stuff at an established social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, I am actually at their “mercy”. For example, if somebody does not like your posting due to whatever reason under the sun, they can report your account and makes your account suspended; or, suddenly there is a new “Facebook”, making the old Facebook redundant. Therefore, your efforts will go down the drain. So, it is better if you can spend your time and resources on something that you really have complete control on, for example, your paid website, so that you can modify it as you wish. I am still learning and in progress of making my website as interactive as possible to give you that one pleasant experience browsing through it. You can leave a comment below at my comment section or you can even message me directly using FB, or even WhatsApp.

Group? What group?

This is my group – Taruh Dari (3D)

Before I proceed, there are few peoples asked me, which group of photographer do I belong in Miri. To be honest, I don’t belong to any group. I do know and acknowledge that Miri, and Kuching has a lot of talented photographers, belonging to their own respective group. There are fun and joy in having a place to belong to. It is like having a race buddy, or even passion-buddy kind of thing. I like it, I appreciate the camaraderie of being in a group.

Pichin Ladies: Ladies in Red

However, for me, I am in a constant race with myself. Everyday is a chance for me to learn from myself yesterday. Also, because of the fluidity of my schedule, particularly because I am also working professionally with oil and gas company, I really have to make do of the time that I have available. Also, there are times I want to be like Henri-Cartier Bresson, though I am wearing coverall, but at the same time I want to be like Jason Lanier or Anthony Barlan, doing photoshoot of beautiful ladies at various locations. These constant mental tug-of-war is what makes me who I am now. I love the independence, which also being appreciated by certain personnel that I met along the way. I love to work with tonic peoples, the ones that gave-off positive aura and energy, making me more excited to create beautiful images, be it my favourite Monochromatic or Chromatic like how my clients like it.

Being a freelance photographer, one of the common question I received is that, how many jobs you have this month? I always answer them in this manner: I started CWPhotography not to earn money, but because I want to leave a legacy, or even a book. If I can create one image, and that image is remembered by generations to come, I am a happy man. Genuine passion is what keeps me going, otherwise, I would stop creating images on the first year I am starting CWPhotography due to very few clients. I believe each photographer has their own ways to see images. So, do hire a photographer because you like how they see things, how they tell stories using their camera; not due to their cheap price tag. You will regret your decision later. Happens a lot to me, where I became their listening post for every poor decision making in choosing photographers for their event, or even wedding. I once became a guest to my friend, and I casually capture the moments using my then-M9-P, but my photos ended up becoming her main images of her wedding dinner because she don’t like the final image that she received from her main photographer. This happens, and my please to you, as a photographer, please do your own research before you hire someone.  

Camera? You Mean, Rantek?

In case you are wondering, I am using Leica camera, particularly Leica M. I don’t look down on other camera system, there are many camera that is even more modern than the manual M that I am using, with blazing fast autofocus, awesome ISO numbers, with adjustable focal length at an amazing aperture sizes. I don’t use autofocus, mine is all manual: fixed focal length (usually 50mm 99% of the time) manual focusing, manual shutter speed adjustment, manual ISO adjustment, manual aperture adjustment – it’s all manual. I like to take my time in creating beautiful images using my M.

Just like my camera choice, I just want to do things that I like, using the tool that I love. It’s like dating the same girl for the past 8 years even though there are many pretty girls that come and gone, but none gave you the spark that she gave you. You just date her throughout the years simply because you love her, for no reason. Well, you can’t fix your love to a reason, because once the reason is gone, so does your love.

Gear Used:

As usual, I am using my M10 camera, but the difference today is, instead of using my comfort zone lens, Noctilux, I am using collapsible Summicron once again. This time, I want to test how does the collapsible Summicron perform using M10. You can see the result in the images below.

Collapsible Summicron. Still usable although much older than my father’s age.

In terms of handling, it is easy to use the lens. I find it gets easier, and the focusing is getting smoother the more I use it. Previously, when I first obtained it, it felt stiff, probably after few years of being idle inside dry box of the previous owner. I don’t see any fault with the lens. It seems the perfect. No wonder Henri likes to use this lens with his M3.

Photoshoot Time! / Ngirantek Time

Anyway, today’s photoshoot is with two beautiful Bidayuh ladies, Tania and Trisha, residing in Miri. They are also DBNA (Dayak Bidayuh National Association) dancers at Miri, and is active in performing Bidayuh dances around Miri. Trisha has been involved with this business for quite some time already, and I can call her well-experienced, or in Tania’s word, pro. Tania is new to this, but that doesn’t stop her from having fun under the sun, and strobe. The photoshoot is done at my favourite place, Tanjung Lobang because I like beaches. Sunset at tanjung today is not so flattering, but show must go on. I realised that we continue until it’s dark. But that is ok because we have our honorable “bouncer” on duty, Mcgrable or “Mc” from Capture Media. You should check out their Facebook page, they create beautiful videos. Do look for them if you want to hire photographer for your events as well (NOT SPONSORED).  

As for the attire, Trisha is wearing Bidayuh Salako’s costume, while Tania is wearing Bidayuh Bau’s costume. The difference can be seen in the colour of their dress and their headgear. For Salako ladies, they have no headgear, while the other groups have headgear, with Padawan/Siburan and Serian has “toko” (highly decorated hats). Both are wearing “pangiah” (necklace), that you can buy from Trisha since she is also selling it (NOT SPONSORED).

NOTE: Salako ladies do not use “Pangiah” (Bead Necklace) and “bobot” (fang accessories). This mistake was unintentional as we are using the accessories that we have at that time.

If you like what do you see in this blog post, do leave a comment below. I also welcomed any feedback in case you do have some comments, particularly about my photography. Just like any other people, our lives are a series of decisions. If there are poor decisions that I have made today in terms of photography, do let me know. Thank you for reading until this line. May God bless you and have a pleasant week ahead!

Your Tukang Rantek,

Claudius Weson

© Claudius Weson Photography (2019). All rights reserved. 

Copyright Notice
All of the images on this site are protected by copyright laws and are the exclusive property of Claudius Weson Photography. Images may not be copied, reproduced, manipulated, used or altered in any way without written permission. The use of any photography as the basis of another photographic concept or illustration is a violation of copyright.

Ivanna’s Family Moments

Dear friends,

How was your week? I hope you had a good one, and now enjoy your weekend with your family and friends after a long week of toil and hard works. Just a week ago, the theme was fashion and runway. Fast foward, this weekend was all about family – another favourite topic of mine.

Chilling in the weekend.

Why family? Basically it is the first unit from which you receive your first love, be it from your parents or your siblings. Home is usually where your heart resides, and that is family.

Time is the true resources that we have, and all of the other things that we have in life is a result of our transaction that we have done, be it in the form of material or relationship. I believe that one of the best was to spend time is with family.

Sometimes, we often spend get caught with our work life that we are unable to switch off, fearing that we will lose our momentum. Thus, we keep on running this rat race. However, we often forgot that we are not getting younger. So is our parents, they are not getting younger as well.

If you are away, please make a conscious effort to pay a visit to your family as frequent as possible if it is not too difficult. I know some of my fellow friends, working far away from their home, only go back during Gawai (Harvest Festival). Some might say that is a long gap. However, taking into consideration his/her difficulties, it is better than none. At least the effort is there.

In our day to day life, we often interact so much, and we are normalised that we forgot that we also should immortalise the family moments, in the form of pictures – a job that can be accomplished using various image-creating tools nowadays, from VGA phones to the latest Huawei P30 Pro. As for me, I would entrust this kind of job with my favourite gears – my very own Leica M10 and Noctilux as it creates the image that I would call my own expression of photography.

Regardless, the most important thing is that we are immortalising the memories of our loved ones.

Enjoy the pictures below and have a blessed weekend!

Your Tukang Rantek,

Claudius

© Claudius Weson Photography (2019). All rights reserved. 

Reigniting Love: Donny & Debra

13 years. 4748 days. 113,952 hours. 6,837,120 minutes. 410,227,200 seconds. It’s just beginning of more love stories between Donny and Debra. The love that was blessed in holy matrimony 13 years ago.

I, for one, always love to capture the love expression between couples because it reminds me that life is beautiful, no matter what malicious things being spread across the media nowadays, be it mainstream or social media. All of those sometimes sways of focus on more important stuff, which is to love the one who loves us.

Amidst the business of daily life, sometimes we forgot to tell our loved ones that we love them. Some opted to express it through actions, some opted for reverse or indirect word selections to express love. But most impontly, a strong married life is an accumulation of smaller love expression, just like looking after one another in joy and sorrow. It doesn’t have to be a bombastic one-time event, and thinking that it will be carried out throughout the years. That is not sustainable.

The best one is to express it daily, no how busy you are. And when the time comes, year-by-year journey should be immortalised, for memories in the form of images tells the best story, for a picture worths a thousand words, just like how Debra and Donny, and daughters in the pictures below. Enjoy!

P.s. May God bless Donny, Debra and family. 😀

Your Tukang Rantek, Claudius Weson.  

Claudius Weson is a Miri-based “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh).

An Adventure with Durian Hunters

Dear friends,

Happy new year to you. I hope you had a good new year celebration with your friends or your family. New year is not just about the change of year, but it is a start of something better for you and your family as well as your friends.

For me, family is very important. Fair-weather folks will flee when something bad fell upon you, but not your families, as they will be there for you. Family, for some people transcend beyond blood since blood fails them. Regardless, treasure your family.

Anyway, today’s blog is not about family, but about durian – The King of Fruits. Actually, I had a lot of journey throughout my short holiday, but the one that caught my attention the most was my durian-hunting journey with my uncles and brother-in-law.

I believe most of you are familiar with durian fruits. It is called the fruit of Gods by those who loves it texture, smell and taste. I personally loves it. In fact, my hometown, Serian has a huge durian statues, where the new one was relocated to Tarat. The other one was still at the near Serian fish market. During this time of the year, there was a lot of durian sellers. The truth is, there is so much durian that it can be bought for a cheap price, as cheap as RM25 for around 20 durians, if you manage to find the right dealers. Normally, if you are willing to go the village, they can sell it cheaper compared to those by the roadside.

There is a huge demand of durian all year long, except it can’t be provided as and when we wanted it to be, specifically for kampung durians. Locally here, durian season only come every two years. Last year was the traditional fruit season, therefore you can see a lot of others fruits ripening as well, such as rambutan trees. I love rambutan as well and ate it so much during my holiday to the point I no longer have any interest in eating it again. It’s like you have an all-you-can-eat fruit buffet, with lots more left hanging at the tree, left rotten as not enough Pichin population to consume and finish it.

For Bidayuh peoples, these fruits are normally planted at our dedicated orchard, which we call it “kabon”. Other than fruits, Bidayuh people of Serian district are well-known with black pepper. My family still operates black pepper plantation, but the demand for it is not as high as before. One common dilemma that is facing many older generations are the successor to their farmer lifestyle. Many younger generations, myself included are more interested in high-paying, urban-based employments. I deviate even further, where I took photography into the equation.

Not forgetting my past, I decided to document it this time. It is not a norm for anyone to go to orchard and brings any professional camera in my area. This is where a small sized M camera makes a difference because it is light and can operate easily despite being manual. I decided to use an APO-50 lens for this trip as it is the smallest in my kit.

We started off our journey in the morning, around 10am. The journey from Kpg Pichin to Tubih took us around 5 minutes. It is not a long journey if your driver is a “figher-jet” driver from Kpg Bugu Mawang, my uncle. Upon arrival, we are served with a beautiful scenery of the mountains, one of the limestone formations that is of the same Lenge Kiburan hill range.

Landing time.
Adventure begins.
Target locked.
Target acquired.

From the roadside, we took less than half an hour to reach our “kabon” site. The area is a bit shady, so for my camera setting, I use ISO 1600 whilst maintaining aperture of f/2.0 for a bit of bokeh. Shutter speed varies, as I need to balance out between the highlights and shadows. There were a lot of durians spotted at the little valley, but we decided to shook the branch so that we can pick it up later.

Tiring way up.
Further up.
Spotting position.
Leave no man behind.
It’s getting near.
Thank you for the shoes. Adidas Tarun. “Jungle Adidas” – the best one for this terrain.
Durian family hanging out.
More durian.
Rokop.
Creating the tool to make our life easier.
Searching for the fallen durians.
A 1.5kg durian found.
Finally, toil of the day.
Climbing rokop tree.
Choosing the best ones.

Safety note, durian fruits has a high hazard. At my work place, it falls under gravity hazard, as it is a stationary object at rest, but at any moment the stem fails, it will become a dangerous projectile accelerating at 9.81 m/s2. Therefore caution has to be exercised when walking beneath durian trees. The good news is usually the durian fruits will fall at night time, producing a satisfying sound – “res-dub”. It is the sound that a durian fruit will make as it thrashes through the branches or leaves and hit the ground at high speed.

Feeling model.
When one bamboo shoot is not enough for the big family, get another one.

Durians are then collected and gathers. To carry a lot of durian back is a waste of energy as you cannot sell all of it. Buyers are only interested in ripe durians. Therefore, using a sense of smell, sight and touch, ripe durians are carefully chosen and put at our backpack. The rest are opened. Flesh are separated from the husk as the husk carries no value to us.

This is the right way to open a durian. You don’t need a hacksaw, chainsaw or an axe. Just a machete or boko, cutting through God-made cracks of a fallen durian fruit.

On our way back, we pick up a few of fern spikes for our dinner. It is one of our staple food. In fact, majority of Bidayuh foods are vegetables, with meat came from jungle beasts, poultries and once in a while, pigs. We do eat river foods too, like catfish, prawns. I guess I need to revisit my competencies in jungle survival with my uncles. That night, I had a good night sleep, thanks to the unexpected fatigue.

Time to go back. Did we forget something?

I hope this story would be an informational one for you and shed a bit of light to the unpublished life of a kampung folks. Even though times are changing, let us not forget our past. I am looking forward to more adventures in 2019. As I move on in my journey, I truly appreciated the words of support and words of comments/feedbacks from all of you. Thank you very much.

May 2019 brings more prosperity, joy and wealth to you and your family. God bless!

Regards,
Claudius
Tukang Rantek Bidayuh

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.