Tabi basa & greetings! Today I’d like to share a story about Dyg Syafiqah Atiqah bt Abg Suhaili from Miri, Sarawak. This 32 y.o. lady has been working offshore since 2018 starting with Chemical Skid (Service Engineer & Project Engineer), followed by Transfame Sdn Bhd and now Sapura Energy Berhad, both as Field Engineer, though has been involved with #oilgasindustry since 2015, a challenging year for many.
She was blessed with career options in her hometown of Miri. However, it is not as easy as people think and it has taught a lot of lessons. For her, mental strength is the most important thing because she spent months working on a project jn the middle of the sea, surrounded by men. “Safety First” is her paramount slogan because she is working around the flammable materials under great pressure and treading a thin line between life & death. One wrong move & that’s the end. So, everyone looks after one another.
Weather is also a great challenge, especially when residing in a workboat or barge & it is bad weather outside. Seasick will accompany quite often too, especially during her early days. While working there as well, telecommunication is also another hassle that she has to face because it is limited and totally dependent on the connectivity strength provided by vessel or platform. Worstcase, just assume it is offshore life in pre-wifi days back in the 90s.
She hoped that from her sharing, people will realise that working offshore is not easy as people might think and to empower other women, especially young ladies to embrace the challenge. Though she is a lady, she has no problem because she is surrounded by professional men & those who accepts her as part of the great team. All the best to your great career ahead, Pika! Kitak tok nang antap. 😄👍🏻
Tabi basa & greeting everybody! Today I’d like to share about Veron, or Umang, her nickname among her family members. We had a photoshoot last week, and during that photoshoot, I interviewed her so that she can rekindle her life’s ambition and from her story, she can inspire other peoples that no matter where you are from, you can achieve success.
Tabi basa balarantek! Today is Sunday. I hope you and your family remains tough to brave the upcoming COVID-19 days because things are not going to be easier for us. However, with your perseverance, you will be able to fight and survive this pandemic that is plaguing the whole world.
Christmas Away From Home
This year is a challenging year indeed. COVID-19 brings a never-before-seen challenges to us, forcing us to be separate. Last year’s Christmas celebration is also not as grand as it was before, though in its essence it is still unchanged, for Christmas is for us to celebrate the birth of our saviour, Jesus Christ.For Christians, Christmas is also the time of family gathering, near and far.
However, for some of us who works – be on duty guarding border, or even working offshore, they won’t be home for Christmas this year. It is a challenge indeed, especially when you have a family or a group of close friends that you always celebrate Christmas with, or the special person that expects to be with you on this blessed day. The emotional and mental burden is difficult to swallow, but they have to endure because duty calls and want to make a living and provide for the family. It’s not that they wante, but due to certain constrait such as manpower limitation, or has to cover for someome else forces them to do work even on public holiday, away from family.
Hearing wishes of Merry Christmas from friends regardless of their religion and race helps to lessen the unspoken & unexpressed sadness to be away on this day.
At offshore, there is always a Christmas gathering at a mini scale just to have that enjoyment offshore while being away from family. For this last Christmas by Shell at E11, there is something special prepared.
Enter: Pikachu, T-Rex & Black Panther
Malino, our enthusiastic OLC brought two costumes to offshore, T-Rex in green and Pikachu and was worn by Achong and Azman respectively. For Black Panther, Shahrul used his own resources to buy Black Panther’s costume. We began by parading the costume at OIM’s office, to mess room and finally to the helideck. There, we had our own mini photoshoot with these peoples.
Sea was green after the storm hits. Probably it is because of the sea floor movements. This is the first time I saw such green sea. I don’t think that there were any other occurrences like that before. We were lucky that these green sea happens, and we have a unique, one-of-a-kind background.
For this project, I am using Leica M10-P and Leica Summilux 35 FLE. For me, 35mm is a versatile lens that you can use for event photography if you can only bring one lens and one camera, especially in this offshore environment as weight reduction is a must when you want to travel via chopper. I have been using Leica for about 5 years now, and so far Leica M has been my favourite type of photography instrument.
The memories made at E11 will be remembered until eternity. The moment most of us go there again, it won’t be the same because the environment is different. However, I am looking forward to see my friends there again. Meanwhile, stay safe and take care wherever you are.
Tukang Rantek, Claudius
Note: Claudius is a PORTRAIT & BOUDOIR “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, with passion for writing.
Copyright Notice: All of the images on this site are protected by copyright laws and are the exclusive property of Claudius Weson. 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.
Today I would like to write about our frontliner’s love story – Dr Gilbert and his wife, Dr Sonia, who both are part of the bigger group under Ministry of Health, where both of them are serving at Miri. Despite their busy schedule, they still find time to immortalise their love story in the form of pictures. Both of them came from Kpg Sungi Duuh, Siburan, just right beside my father’s village of Kpg Masaan. Their love story started long time ago at Sungi Duuh, and Molly Christopher, Gilbert’s neighour & cousin, is partly the mastermind behind it. The details are not permitted to be disclosed, but suffice to say, it is another reason why Gilbert is motivated to pursue excellence until both received their doctor-ship. Being Eastern peoples, Bidayuh peoples are not generally expressive, especially when it comes to love. I can see that in my father, where it took considerable effort to hold my mother’s hand in public. Gilbert and Sonia is no exception, but they are very supporting in expressing their love towards one another before the lens. No matter how busy you are, if you love one another, you can make time for one another and to express your love to them. Love is a choice – where you override logic and rationale, where you choose to stay with your loved one, in good times and the bad, in joy and sorrow and only death can part the two of you. May God bless Dr Gilbert and Dr Sonia.
Tabi basa dan selamat sejahtera, keluarga Tukang Rantek!
Pada hari ini, saya ingin menulis berkenaan cinta “frontiner”, iaitu berkenaan Dr Gilbert dan isteri beliau, Dr Sonia, yang mana keduanya adalah merupakan ahli Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia yang berkhidmat di Miri. Disebalik kesibukan mereka, mereka masih lagi mencari masa untuk mengabadikan kenangan bersama di dalam bentuk gambar. Kedua mereka berasal dari Kampung Sungi Duuh, Siburan, yang bersebelahan dengan kampung bapa saya, Kpg Masaan. Cinta mereka bermula sejak lama dahulu di Sungi Duuh dan Molly Christopher mempunyai kaitan dengan cinta mereka. Informasi selanjutnya tidak boleh dikongsikan di sini, namun memadai untuk saya berkata, Sonia merupakan antara pemangkin kecemerlangan beliau sehingga kedua-dua mereka berjaya bergelar seorang doktor. Sepertimana orang Timur yang lainnya, orang Bidayuh juga tidak begitu lantang untuk menyuarakan isi hati, terutama sekali berkenaan hal cinta. Ini boleh dilihat melalui bapa saya, yang mana ia memerlukan kuasa yang luar biasa bagi beliau untuk memegang tangan ibu saya di tempat awam. Gilbert dan Sonia pun tidak terkecuali, namun mereka sungguh bersemangat untuk meluahkan rasa cinta mereka di dalam bentuk „posing“ di hadapan kamera. Sesibuk manapun anda, jika anda cinta satu sama lain, anda akan mencari masa untuk diluangkan bersama yang tersayang. Cinta adalah pilihan, di mana anda melangkaui batas logika dan rasional, dimana kamu memilih untuk bersama yang tersayang di dalam kesusahan dan kesenangan, baik kaya mahupun miskin dan hanya maut memisahkan anda dan orang yang anda sayangi. Semoga Tuhan merahmati Dr Gilbert dan Dr Sonia.
Tabi basa and greetings everyone! Another weekend has come to an end, but life goes on as usual. For this post, I would like to showcase the recent project that I have done with these beautiful ladies, Jill, Yusnani (Yus) and Stephine (Steph).
Tukang Rantek’s Official Shirt
I am proud to announce that Tukang Rantek finally have its own official shirt, as what you can see below. I designed it in a minimalist manner, where only the logo and Tukang Rantek word can be seen. Initially I intended to put an intricate Bidayuh motive, but in the end, as I think, I scrapped the idea.
Elley Liana who is from Legacy Jersi also helped to make this T-shirt a reality. These are the designs that she sent to me after putting into the computer-generated design.
When I receive my shirt 14-working days later, I am so excited and I called for a photoshoot with these ladies. Here are the shirts being donned in action.
Then comes the group photoshoot.
How to Order The T-Shirt?
If you are interested, you can drop your request to me via Whatsapp (0148677585). Information that I would need are as follows:
Colour (Black and Red is available, though other colours can be requested)
Price: RM55 for long sleeve, and RM50 for short sleeve.
Evening Dress Photoshoot
After the t-shirt photoshoot, it’s time for evening dress photoshoot with these ladies. It is a good departure from the t-shirt that they have been wearing.
As a parting gift, these are the words of advise to all of you. I posted this one at my Instagram story, dedicated to those who is still on the fence on what they want to do in their life.
If you are controlled by what others think of you, you are their mental prisoner. If you have something that you really want to accomplish, just do it. Concentrate all your effort there. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades just because you want to impress Mr/Mrs Sanuh that lives next door who doesn’t care if you fall or broke. You like black and white photography? Just do it. Why worry about colour or camera brand? You like lifting/fitness? Just do it. Why wait for it to become a trend. You like someone? Tell him/her. What’s stopping you? If they reject you, move on. You will save yourself few precious years waiting like a helpless beta male/female. Why waste your time? In the end, it’s your family that will be there for you. If someone talks about you behind your back, let them be. You can’t please everyone no matter what you do. Therefore, do what you need to do. Have faith in yourself. You can do it. Jia you.
Note: “Tukang Rantek” Claudius is a Portrait, Wedding & Event Photographer based in Miri, with a passion for writing.  “#TukangRantek” means photographer in Bidayuh Piching.  Event covers Funeral, Birthday, Party etc.
Disclaimer: No parts or images of this blog can be used without prior written permission from “Tukang Rantek” Claudius Weson
Memories – each and every one of us has it. It is something to be remembered from the past. Inside our 2.5 penta-bytes brain, there is a lot of faculties which our mind stores and remembers information. Some of these faculties store memories that we wish to forget, while some contains those that we wish to remember, always. Accessing these memory faculties clears its neuron path, while less accessed one will have an undergrowth in its path, much like a less travelled road. Soon, it will become secondary jungle in our brain, where the faculty will eventually be forgotten over time, which results in us not remembering anything about that particular incident. Unless somebody came with the map to that faculty of memory, which is a picture of the past.
Imagine that you have a wonderful childhood. Realising the importance and value of photograph in the future, your beloved parents or family members (in my case, my aunty) set aside an amount of money to buy film camera despite life difficulties. 3 decades gone by, no one remembers what happened at your 5th birthday party. But when you saw the pictures of the happier times, suddenly all of these memories came back rushing in, as if the dam that holds it back collapsed and you memories overflown. At the back of your head, you remembered your family and friends happily singing “Happy Birthday” / “Selamat Hari Jadi” to you, with your little niece mistakenly singing “Selamat Pagi KP” (same tune by the way). But it does not matter, because it was memory of a happy times.
Same goes for the memories of our departed beloved ones, which is captured using photographs. We tend to forget them, because they reminded us of the pain the left us, but let’s not forget the wonderful memories they gave us throughout their lifetime on Earth. They are the one that supports us, they are family. Their pictures are family treasure, so that the younger generations know how their ancestors looked like.
Time flows forward, one second at a time. Our perception might change, but time flows steadily. In our good times, time seems to gone by so quick like lightning, but when we are in pain, times travels slowly like a tortoise. We can gain back our lost money, but we can’t gain back our lost time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. If we don’t seize the day, we’ll lose out.
Me and the rest of the photographer community are aware of this fact, and that’s why we love to create photographs. Our intention might be different from one another, but fundamentally, we helps people to remember the memories of the good time we had. Be it wedding, engagement, funeral or just simply to remember that you once had this particular look (6-packs, flawless skin, hourglass-shaped body, you name it). For me, I call it “immortalising memories” – to ensure that our memories are eternal, at least in a digital format that we can see and enjoy. Just like our fingerprints, each and every one of us is unique. We have our own ways of looking at things. A single picture might evoke a different memory to different person. That’s why people say, a picture is worth a thousand words. For some, prefer it to be hung at their wall so that every day they can admire it.
Similar to our existence in this world, with a unique path and way of life, every photographer has a different things they want to achieve. Some has an immense passion to achieve glory by winning international awards, while some just want to make a living. A lot of photographers that I admire has the passion for photography itself, and by being genuine to their passion, they are able to achieve greater heights. For me, my passion is to immortalise memories, with a focus to make people look beautiful/handsome in the photographs that I have created. When people came back to me and tells me that they love the pictures that I have created, I am happy “tukang rantek”.
“Immortalising Memories” 📷
Tukang Rantek, Claudius
Note: Claudius is a portrait “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri.
A lot of us want to have someone to love in our life, especially those who wants to live until the end, share our lives until old age. To like someone is the easiest part because more and more people knows how to groom themselves, apply proper make-up to beautify themselves and make them more handsome. To pretend to fall in love is easy in first encounter, because lust is often masked as love and we call it love first sight, when it’s actually hormone in action, fueled by libido. For some, love just happens. Like a spark, it just go boom. For others, it takes time. For some unfortunate ones, they are still waiting and hoping for that miracle.
To fall in love is the easy part. The real challenge is to maintain it; to maintain the same love as when we first started to fall in love.
Tabi basa and greetings everyone! When there is life, there is death. We are taught to celebrate life, but we are not openly taught to embrace death because it’s saddening and bring grief and despair to the affected family, especially when the deceased is someone’s significant others; husband or wife, or even a life companion.
In this post, I’d like to write about the funeral of my late grandfather, or his nickname “Babai”, which means grandfather in Bidayuh Siburan/Padawan/Bau, instead of “babeh” or “babuk” in Bidayuh Serian. Partly this is because I want to remember the final celebration of life that we had with him.
Tabi basa and greetings everyone! To start this post, I would like to share a heartbreaking news about the passing of our well-loved Black Panther actor, Chadwick Boseman due to colon cancer. This news is shocking, but for those who knows him, they know that he has been fighting it for the past four years.
I am sure we all heard about the might of Thanos, but let’s leave him in the hand of the Avengers. Colon cancer, on the other hand, is another scary beast. It is a silent killer, killing you from the inside.
What are the symptoms? (Source: American Cancer Society)
A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
Dark stools, or blood in the stool
Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
Weakness and fatigue
Unintended weight loss
If you have any of these signs, it is better if you seek professional medical attention. Don’t just swallow paracetamol to kill the pain away. It might worsen the already bad situation.
Flow of Story
Journey to LA River Cottage
The Event Day
Experiences with Monochrom
It has been a while since I last tested my Monochrom in the field. I remember I did few events at Miri using my Monochrom (black) as shown in the image below. During that time, it was considered as a pure Leica enthusiast camera because it can only capture in black and white. Despite its niche, I ran a few event using it and a 50mm lens.
However, after a while, newer tech comes in and I can’t help but to desire an upgrade. The first one that I bought three years ago was sold to a lucky collector.
Then, I felt the regret of selling mine and after a while, I decided to get myself another one (Leica poison – no cure). This time, I eyed a unit from Ebay. It is not easy to find one anymore because it is considered rare, with a value only collector can appreciate.
Gentlemen from Leica Store has been trying to convince me to upgrade into M10-M, but as of now, I still think I am yet to “outgrow” my camera with my skills. Therefore, there is no need to upgrade yet even though this tech is already 10 years old. In digital photography, 10 years tech behind is considered very old.
However, for my needs, the more I use my gears, the more familiar I am with it. The better satisfaction it will bring.
Journey to LA River Cottage
Anyway, for this post, I want to write about the recent photography works that I did, which took me to LA River Cottage. As you can see below, it is located about 30km from Miri, which will took you about half an hour drive from town.
Over the weekend, the traffic is quite slow due to people coming in and out from Miri to Bintulu. It is advised for your to always remain vigilant on the road and don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt. Make it a habit for your own protection.
Fun In The River
LA River Cottage, as it name suggests, has a river flowing in it. That river was quite shallow, but it is challenging enough for the kids to spend their time there. Meanwhile for Jezebel and Raphael, there used the tranquility to inspire them to create Tik Tok video. Your Tukang Rantek uses that opportunity to capture the photo instead.
When night falls, a different enjoyment was employed, which the hunt for leaping frogs. Yes, another frog (an old joke when I was in uni).
End of an Event
Event Pictures In Slideshow
Experiences in Handling Monochrom
Handling a M9 Monochrom after have been using M10 most of the time is like a breath of fresh air. I realised I am being pampered by the ease of using M10 that when I used back M9M, I was recalled of the experiences that I had using it. The best part about the whole experience is the joy in hearing the mechanical shutter. For some, it is quite loud. But for me, that is the sound that I am familiar with since I started with my now-sold M9-P.
As for weight, M9M is much lighter than M10. Therefore, I can feel the ease in my wrist when I was carrying it around. The ISO button for M9M is quite useful as well. I don’t have to get into the dial like what I am used to with M10. It is an easy transition for me, as if I am meeting an old friend. For me, each of these wonderful machines has its own “soul”, especially black and white images. Colour images is no doubt beautiful, and transmits a lot of information. However, black and white images have their own soul. It is timeless.
Probably you have noticed, its low light performance is not as good as M10M. However, that is understandable considering that they are almost a decade apart from one another. However, it still can hold its own in a good light, or when you are assisted by a Noctilux. Then, everything will change.
Thoughts About LA River Cottage
I think this place is very peaceful and its a perfect setting for a village-like experience of outing, if you want to have a simple family BBQ outside. There is no limitation if you want to BBQ pork, you can do as you please with your own cooking style. The room is quite homely as well, with a simple decoration. If I were to bring my family to Miri, I would want to bring them here. It is like having a BBQ with family at our own “kebun” / orchard.
Looking at these images few years from now, I will be recalled of its beauty. I want to remember this session as a bonding session that starts more bonding session with fellow friends and family.
Tukang Rantek, Claudius
Note: Claudius is a “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri.