Category archives: Outdoor

Dayung Laut Sisterhood

Tabi basa/Greetings family and friends, 

Just three more days away, and we are ready for Christmas. For me, today has been a travelling day and a day of preparation. It is kind of sad not being able to celebrate Christmas with my family, but a promise is a promise and a man got to do what a man got to do.

Christmas sad story aside, today I am joined by three beautiful ladies working offshore, part of the bigger group called Dayung Laut competition 2019 that I have advertised in my page, following Emilia Shander’s popularity, as the pioneer of Dayung Laut. They are Esther, Jill and Amelda, from Repsol, PETRONAS and Maersk respectively.

Coming from offshore profession as well, I understand the challenges that these ladies faced, and therefore, earning my respect because it is not an easy job for them, as well as for their loved ones. It takes a tough man to love a tough woman, especially when you will only see them after two weeks or in Amelda’s case, one month.

Venue: Tanjung Lobang

Tanjung Lobang has been my favourite venue for photoshoot, because it is so close to the beach. As a boy growing up in an inland village of Pichin, going to a beach is a luxury. The closest one that I used to know is about 100km away, which translates to 2 hours drive. Having no transport of my own in the past, I have to wait for some special school trip to go there. Now at Miri, I get to  enjoy the beach daily, should I wish to do so. 

Gears:

In this photoshoot, I am using my favourite gears for mobile outdoor photography, my Leica M10-P black and APO-Summicron 50mm. 50mm angle has been my favourite because it creates the look that I have grew to like and love. The lens also provided all the details that I need in such a small package, appreciated by few as many would prefer to go to Summicron version 5, or 4, because it is even smaller and lighter than APO-50.  

My lighting of choice is as usual the Profoto B10 and octa-light modifier, because it is portable and easy to handle. However, this time around, I did not use its light-shaping dome because I want to experiment with the lighting and take full advantage of M10-P and APO-50 capabilities.

Challenges:

The usually dry Tanjung Lobang grasses are now wet, due to non-stop raining. It affects the soil integrity, and thus affecting the grasses, making it less flattering for photoshoot. Therefore, we do need to what we can. Now, I just bring the ladies around TJL area to find the best place. Suggested by Jill, we do the final part at the fallen tree, which makes it a good spot.

Sunlight is also quite soft, but it is good for portraiture. After doing portraiture non-stop this week during my holiday, I started to like to do portraiture photoshoot. It is a different animal versus the event photography or even street photography, though I never call myself a street photographer.

After the photoshoot session, it is time to call it a day.

Esther

Full name : Esther Michael
Profession : Wellsite/Operations Geologist
Company : Repsol Malaysia
Location : PM3

Jill

Full name: Jill Uring Paul
Profession : Inspection Engineer
Company: Oceancare Corporation Sdn Bhd.
Location : Bayan


Amelda

Full name : Amelda Rowellna Anak Awang
Profession : Cook
Company : Maersk Drilling, Brunei Darussalam
Location : SWA 108 Ampa Oil Field

Acknowledgement:

The first ever Dayung Laut 2019 competition prizes was sponsored by Daya Singa Sdn Bhd, as part of their support to the woman in oil and gas industry, which is a male-dominated industry. However, in recent years, there has been a steady increase of women joining the industry. From Dayung Laut competition, it is hoped that many young girls and woman are empowered to explore the industry and fully utilise their talents and technical capabilities to develop our nation’s oil and gas industry. 

For your kind information, Daya Singa Sdn Bhd has won several awards, including Shell Malaysia Safety Award 2017 under Most Improved Merit Category in recognition of their exemplary HSE work culture and outstanding safety performance; from PETRONAS, won Sarawak Asset Outstanding Vendor Award 2018 and Focused Recognition 2018 from their great commitment towards 100% service deliverables sustainable operations in place as well as zero recorded major HSE non-compliance, supporting SK GAS HSE target and shared KPI. 

Thank you for your support Daya Singa, and I’m looking forward to work with you again on the next edition of Dayung Laut.

Thank you also to these ladies, Esther, Jill and Amelda for spending your time this afternoon to make this photoshoot happen. Not to forget the other Dayung Laut 2019 contestants for making the competition a fun one and one to be remembered.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson
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.

© 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.

Bidayuh Beauty: Dayung Bi-Pichin

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 Bi-Pichin

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.

Samilla, Shania and Tania.

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).

Photography Gears

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.

Photoshoot Challenges

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.

Tania

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

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.

Samilla

Just like Shania, Samilla also has no experience with photoshoot. However, that doesn’t stop her from joining the fun.

Misconception Correction

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.

Way Forward

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.

Acknowledgement

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,
Claudius Weson
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.

© 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.

Serian Teacher’s Story

Tabi basa and greetings family and friends,

Previously I have written about the ladies working offshore, in my Dayung Laut-related postings. This time, I want to write about a profession so close to our heart, teachers. Featured in this session are five teachers from Serian’s area, all from Bidayuh ethnics, same like mine. Therefore, to make the photoshoot today special, these ladies wore Bidayuh traditional attire.

Venue: Ranchan Waterfall

But first, let’s talk about the venue. Back at Miri, I my venue of choice is Miri Public Park or Tanjung Lobang because those are the place that I think is beautiful at Miri, unless my client requests for a different venue, perhaps at Tusan cliff or even Canada Hill. Those are among the inconic places at Miri peoples.

Since this time I am at Serian, the photoshoot is done at the famous Serian Ranchan waterfall, a place where many families come to wind down during the weekend, or even young lovers from Serian to have their first date. Usually it is quiet, especially during weekdays because not many people are available. That means it is a good time for photoshoot, especially when all I need is as little interruption as possible.

Gears

In this photoshoot, I am using my favourite gears, 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. I have a Summilux 21, but it ended up in my bag most of the time because I just love 50mm focal length.

My advise is, if you want to buy these kind of items, be it Profoto or Leica, don’t talk about it to someone else and just go buy it. Otherwise, if you delay it, you will not be buying because 1) you will talk yourself out of it, or 2) someone else will, or 3) you will use that capital for something else. Either way, just don’t be a victim of G.A.S (gear acquisition syndrome). Just buy the thing that can last a long time. In that way, you will buy that item and will not waste long hours reading reviews, which is an even greater loss because unlike money, time cannot be gained back.

Why Leica?

There is something about Leica that I am always passionate to tell about to others. For me, I just love to be part of the history of Leica. Period. Of course, there is a lot of camera gears out there that comes with its own bells and whistles, that can do ultra-fast frame rate, that has blazing speed auto-focus, but none can give the experience that my Leica M gave. Only Leica can fill the vacuum in every Leica M shooters. That probably is another reason why I never bought any SL because all I want is an M. For me, M9 is good. I love the colour. However, after 10 years, it requires an upgrade. Having skipped M240, I opt for M10 instead. I never regretted it. It is like an M9 on steroid, with a permanent effect. M cameras are small too. It is dicreet enough to be carried here and there. Some might argue point and shoot like Ricoh GRIII is the best, but for me, M gave the best experience. To each their reasons, I do love my M.

The thing about using a manual camera, or any other camera, we need to teach our camera how do we see the final images. Our perception has an auto-correction that is done real time, such as auto-colour temperature adjustment, auto aperture control or even auto-ISO control, which makes our eye as the best photography tool ever existed, and inspired the birth of many cameras. That is why we do final touch-up in our post-processing, because, for various reasons, the camera did not managed to produce the image that we see in our mind. Hence, need to tweak it a little bit. But not too much though, otherwise it will look fake.

Challenges

The photoshoot today is challenging because none of these teachers are professional or have an awareness in modelling. Nevertheless, I used my experiences thanks to my previous collaborations with Divabiz Ambassadorz led by Priscilla, Christy and friends, and Trisha. One thing to note is to warm up the environment first, which is why ice breaking is a must and a necessary part to do. It may look trivial, but it is important. Otherwise, the session would be a long one, and none of you guys are comfortable with the session. It is called Relativity Theory. You can ask Mr Einstein about it. Thankfully, the session went smoothly and no mishap occurs.  

Interviews with the Teachers

Throughout the photoshoot also I managed to interview these teachers. This is to enable me to understand more about these teachers. In case you are wondering, I choose teacher’s today because I felt like I want to write something fresh from the working level. All this while, there are a lot of opinions voiced from the teachers, but one thing I notice, it is from the teachers from the urban area, since it is the most accessible to lots of mass media. Of course, for mass media, I would want to find something that is relevant for me and will fetch a high market due to its popularity. However, that means the teachers from rural area are being left out. As a product of rural areas, I felt like these teachers teaching at rural areas also should be heard.

For me, teacher has been a profession that is close to my heart because there is a lot of stories that can be related to it. Out of many teachers, the one that I can really call a great teacher is Cikgu Julia, a Sabahan lady, teaching at SMK Tebakang. I always wonder, why her accent sounds different. Back then, I had no exposure at all to Sabahans, and therefore I had no idea. All my life, I am surrounded by Bidayuhs. It was only when I left my village to got to Labuan I do realise, that is how Sabahan sounds like. It is a unique accent indeed.  I also realised, my ways of pronunciation is somewhat similar to theirs, albeit strong Bidayuh accent (aga kai boh). 

Probably next time I pay a visit to SMKT to meet Cikgu Julia once again. Her name is also the main character in Nineteen Eighty-four: Julia and Winston – two lovers that was doomed to be separated due to the military state led by the ever-watching, ever-observing Big Brother.  

First Teacher: Beppy

The first teacher to be interviewed is Beppy Stella anak Girim from Kpg Paon Gahat. She is a Bachelor’s Degree holder with Honours in Education (Counselling). She has 9 years teaching experiences. According to her, the biggest challenge that she faces thoughout her career is when dealing with students, colleagues and the community around the school. It requires her to be adaptable as each has their own package of attitudes. Also, another challenge that she thing is worth to highlight is the additional tasks and surprise assignments given unto her. No speciifc name was mentioned but it is worth to note that being a teacher doesn’t mean everything that is written in the job description will get to be done.

Her advise for those who wants to take up the teaching profession is to be prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. It demands the best from each individuals to be an educator nowadays, so unlike the yesteryear teachers. Also, there is a need to draw a line between personal and working life, which can be blended due to unavoidable reasons. Those who want to be a teacher also should have a high curiosity, always learn and don’t be shy when facing difficulties in completing an assignment. A teacher-to-be also has to be jack of all trades, and can do various tasks, apart from the one mentioned in the job description.

True to her look, she is a passionate make-up artis. Do check out her Instagram account, @muasbg, which is her passion.

Her life’s motto is everything is a choice. Be grateful and never give-up because great thing takes time.

Second Teacher: Malisa

The second teacher to be interviewed is Malisa Catriona anak Asan, holder of Bachelor’s Degree. In Education (Literature) from USM, majoring in Malay language. Coming from Kpg Slabi (and her father from Kpg Bengoh, Padawan, that makes her a Biatah), she has 12 years’s experience, and currently teaching at SMK Gedong.

According to her, among the key challenges faced are the requirement for teacher to master a lot of field and not to lose track of the development in education issue or policy, brought upon by the 21st Century educational wave. She also pointed that teacher are still doing clerk’s job that takes up a lot of valuable times until it disrupts the teaching process. Apart from that, teachers nowadays are faced with social and discipline issues that originates from the explosion of limitless world of information, where everything, be it good or bad, are simply a click away, thanks to smartphone or gadgets. Lastly, she mentioned that there is a borderless on-duty timing, where teachers has to teach, and at the same time be part of the commitee members when there is a program at school, since the key thing is to save cost.

Her advise to person who is taking up teaching profession is to prepare physically and mentally, with the assignment that was not even being taught in university classroom. The person also has to be highly adaptable with the community that consists of students, parents, and people that lives around the school.

Malisa is a Freelance (ZIN) Zumba Instructor. You can find her at Zumba.Com and follow her IG , mellyscat.

Her life motto is “you can’t stop the wave, but you can learn to surf”.

Third Teacher: Ginny

The third teacher to be interviewed is Virginy anak John Burung, holder of Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Technology, from UTM Skudai, whom has been teaching for 8 years, with current school of SMK Gedong, just like Malisa. She is from Kpg Temong Mura, Tebedu.

Among the challenges that she faced at school are the ever-increasing workload other than base-load, e.g. school shop teacher, dormitory warden, society advisor teacher, and doing all of the clerk works. She also mentioned that teacher also has to be able to adapt to the globalisation-related waves, including the usage of all new gadgets in teaching process, aside from the ever-changing education system. Apart from those, she points out about the Student Development Processes that each teacher has to take care of, which includes doing post-mortem everytime there is an internal examination of public examination. Teachers are often being blamed if the student did not achieve school target. Also, she mentioned that teachers has to face more and more students that has gradually lose respect to teachers, unlike the good ol’ yesteryears.

Because of these issues, she advised that teachers’ to be must be prepared mentally and physicallly and has to be multi-tasking as well has a high patience level.

She is a mother and a wife of a beautiful family. For her, family is everything. Her life’s motto is to stay positive. The things you are praying and hoping for tends to arrive at the most unexpected moments.

Fourth Teacher: Mobory

The fourth teacher to be interviewed is Mobory, or simply Bory from Kpg Munggu Kupi, Serian. She is a graduate from IPG Tun Abdul Razak Campus and has 6 years teaching experiences. Currently she is teaching at SK Sg Rimu.

Behind the ever-cheerful face, there lies a story about the challenges that she faced, including ever-increasing and changing workload, changing education systems, society viewpoint on teachers and lastly, diminishing respect to teachers, especially from the younger generations.

Because of this, she advised that whoever is taking up the teaching profession to be always love their career, sincere in giving knowledge to the students, prepare to face various challenges and always be patient.

She believed that God will not test us beyond our limit. Therefore, learn to appreciate and be thankful becasue we only live once.

Fifth Teacher: Patricia

The last teacher to be interviewed here is Patricia, or simply Pat, a teacher at SMK Tebakang, teaching Chemistry, who is a holder of Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Education (Chemistry) from UTM Skudai. Coming from Kpg Riih Mawang, she has been teaching for 8 years.

Thoughout those years, she has been facing a lot of challenges, namely the various attitudes of the community. Not everyone is angel, or demons. Aside from teacher’s baseload, teacher has to do miscellaneous work such as special tasks, sports and clerk works. To form a student is another challenge of its own. She also pointed out that sometimes she work beyond 8 hours, especially during examination times.

Therefore, for the teacher’s-to-be, she told them to be prepared mentally, physically and spiritually. There is always a need to be an excellent multi-tasker and a jack-of-all-trades. They also need to be able to adapt quickly to the surrounding, including students and colleagues. A teacher in the future also has to have a good general knowledge, while at the same time good in own major subject, e.g. Chemistry. Most importantly, love your job. Love is the best motivator.

Taking off teacher’s mantle, she is a Zumba Instructor, and you can find her IG: patricia_pete. She believed that we should always be grateful and embrace the bad and good things that happen in life. Do your best and let God do the rest. Be humble and kind always.   

Epilogue

With the interview from Cikgu Pat, that marks the end of the interview session. The rest of the session was only photoshoot that takes place around Ranchan area. The photoshoot, as usual, draws attention from Ranchan-goers, but it is to be expected because there is  only a few occasion you will see ladies wearing Bidayuh traditional dress. ALl of the teachers that I have intereviewed are Bidayuh, but that doesn’t mean that the theme are not applicable. In fact, the things that they have said are real, and every teachers across the nation shares the same challenges and dilemma. However, that should not be stopping us from trying to do our best to contribute to the betterment of the nation. We can do our part, no matter what our profession is. But I think all of us can agree that teacher’s of various education level played a big role in our knowledge-gathering processes. With that, let’s give them a virtual three cheers for these teachers. Tara Tara Tara!!! 

Special Thanks: Lady Starlight

Thank you to my cousin, Tania for becoming my lighting lady for today. Without your help, the photoshoot will not be a success.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson

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.

© 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.

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. 

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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.