Category archives: Photoshoot

Bidayuh Beauty: Dayung Bi-Reteh

Introduction

Tabi basa balarantek! Today is Friday, and I would like to share a story about Bidayuh Beauty, which is part of the my passion project. 

What is Bidayuh Beauty? 

Lily

I defined Bidayuh Beauty Project as a long term project that captures the beauty of Bidayuh peoples, particularly the ladies. I also not limit them in wearing traditional dress, but for the sake of portraying the beauty of Bidayuh peoples, I asked them to wear their traditional clothes. 

Bidayuh Beauty: Dayung Bi-Reteh

Kpg Reteh Satellite View (Google Maps)

This time, I would like to share about Bidayuh Beauty from Kampung Reteh. For your information, Kampung Reteh is one of the many Bidayuh villages at Serian area, and it is divided into Kpg Reteh Karas, Kpg Reteh Plaman & Kpg Reteh Mawang. The concept is similar to Iban’s “Rumah” concept, except for this, the settlement is scattered around the village. Also, there is no need for a combined houses as there were no enemies to fend off. It is good for people’s privacy as well. 

For this post, I am showcasing Heliana Erny Brody from Kpg Reteh. Nicknamed Lily, she was born at Sarawak Government Hospital and lived 9 years in Sibu before returns back to Serian. She is taking Science-stream and wished to become a successful veterinary physician or a teacher, as her secondoption. She really love pets, especially cats. 

Cats is one of the most common household pets in Bidayuh community, and it is safe to say almost every Bidayuh house has cats. This come from the past mutual relationship between cats and Bidayuhs where cats are required to hunt down the mice that ravages the “bari” or paddy house. 

She likes to do make-over and playing guitar. She also does fishing sometimes. Being the youngest of the 6 siblings, she is the only one that is still studying. All her four brothers and a sister have worked. Since their father passed away 7 years ago, they lived with their mother who came from Kpg Prangkan Mawang. 

Kpg Reteh is famous for its river, Sungai Batang Kayan. Perhaps one day, there would be another photoshoot there? Who knows?

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius


Note: Claudius is a PORTRAIT & BOUDOIR “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, with passion for writing.

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© Claudius Weson (2021). 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. 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.

A Tale of Vivid Ladies: Priscilla & Vivianna

Introduction

Tabi basa and greetings balarantek! For those who didn’t know, balarantek means Tukang Rantek family, a combination of bala, which means family and short of Tukang Rantek. I am happy to see that my posts before this has inspired many peoples. Throughout my journey, I have met a lot of wonderful peoples, from all walks of life. Today, I want to write about two of them – Priscilla & Vivianna.

About Priscilla

Priscilla is an Iban-Bidayuh girl, where her late mother hails from Bau, and her father comes from Betong. She always said that she inherits her extra iron-willed stubbornness from her father. Instead of being disappointed and give up in life after facing so many backlashes, she grew to be more feisty and involved in many events, with recent event organised Lady Vivid 2021. She has been organising a lot of events previously since her university days, but she decides to let history be history. Hence, none is written in this section.

About Vivianna

Vivianna is an Iban-Kayan girl, a Medical Assistant by profession, is Miss Supermodel Worldwide Borneo Malaysia in 2018, and Miss Sarawak Earth Water 2017, organised by Sarawak Earth Queen.

The Sarawak Earth Queen Beauty Pageant Competition is an International Environmental Event channeling the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool to promote environmental awareness. For those who didn’t know, Miss Earth is the third-largest international pageant competition among women from countries around the world, after Miss Universe and Miss World. The delegates and winners give meaning and relevance to this beauty competition by promoting worthwhile environmental causes and getting actively involved in caring for the preservation of Mother Earth. This is a true celebration of a woman’s natural beauty, poise and personality. In fact, Miss Earth incorporates a special ‘Natural Beauty’ round where a women’s natural beauty is judged sans make-up or make-over. A tribute to natural beauty that is a reflection of the beauty within.

This pageant organized for the first time aims to appreciate what a women always wants – to be a natural beauty. Unblemished, immaculate and refreshingly natural! The pageant is held yearly in October or November in Manila, Philippines.

The winner of the pageant is bestowed the title Miss Malaysia Earth; her runners-up are also given titles named after the other classical elements: Miss Eco Beauty, Miss Eco Tourism, Miss Fire, Miss Water, and Miss Air, are of equal importance and thus have the same ranking. Miss Malaysia Earth is the only pageants which have individual titles for the runners-up. Their pageant criteria are ladies with age within 17 – 26, possess beauty face and proportionate body structure, outgoing and friendly. Excellent physical condition. For more enquiry, you may e-mail them at borneorepublicmalaysia@gmail.com.

Miss Supermodel Worldwide Borneo Malaysia is a pageant that supports the great cause of women empowerment especially ‘stop female foeticide’. The motto of the pageant is ‘beauty with intellect’. The pageant is a combination of glamour and a purpose. Apart from all the preliminary activities and sub-competitions, the pageant will also promote tourism and will cover various parts of the world’s largest democracy, India. It is a search for a face that is unapologetically beautiful and represents a modern and independent 21st century woman in the best way.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing and text

Apart from world of pageantry, Vivianna also can be seen in Alena Murang’s videoclip, Midang Midang. She also conducted few catwalk classes for those who would like to learn more in that craft.

Vivianna (second from right) and Alena Murang (centre)

Priscilla In The Eyes of Vivianna

Typically, I would be writing about the people based on the information that they gave to me. But for this time around, I asked these two to comment about each other and to see whether their expectations matches. In the eye of Vivianna, Priscilla is a more serious person, while she is more fun-side. After spending time with each other, she knows when to joke with her, and when to not. For her, Priscilla is like a big sister, where she tells her everything – from boy issue to problem at work etc. For new opinion and ideas, Priscilla appreciates her point of view and they love to bounce ideas together to create a better one.

During their first time meeting one another, they had a bad impression. During that time, it was Beauty and The Bike event in 2017. Priscilla was the one who organised the event, while she was one of the contestants. Despite her good package of talent, beauty and charisma, she didn’t win and she thought she chose her friends to be the winner. Priscilla also thought that she was an arrogant person because she joins a lot of bigger and more prestigious events. After BNTB 2017, they were still not close. Their sisterhood started after her Miss Earth event is over back in 2018. Priscilla approached her to mentor her talents for Beauty and The Bike event in 2018. The rest is history.

Their sisterhood really is all about bringing out the best in one another. For her, Priscilla is more than just a friend. Most importantly, she is not toxic. Instead, she oozes out this aura that makes anyone around her believes that everything is possible. She’s not just a friend that you would invite to drink at Ming Café. She is not a friend to go to pub and club together. She is also not a backstabber, which is important in life because you want someone whom you can rely on in times of difficult, not just good times. She didn’t expect them to be friend until now.

Vivianna In The Eyes of Priscilla

As for Vivianna’s story, they met each other during Miri Bike Week 2017. Priscilla was the organiser and Vivianna was the contestant. For Pris, even though Vivianna didn’t win, she was very supportive and joins in her clases and event. Pris look highly upon Vivianna and values her insight because she has achieved what many couldn’t in their career. Pageantry and Kumang is more than just pretty face, but one has to be equipped with the right skills as well. On stage, she’s like a goddess, a genuine Kumang and knows Adat Iban, all the customs and tradition as any Kumang should be.

BNTB memories

According to Pris, Vivianna was a laid back and low profile girl, the very traits that bonds them together apart from being family-oriented. She can bring her sister or family to any of Divabiz’s events, and Pris can hang out at her home. Vivianna is goofy, while Pris told me that she is always blur. They complement each other’s weaknesses and strength. Vivianna is more content about life and more reserved in speech, while Pris was more outspoken. But when she speaks, she’s savage. Like a sniper, she will shoot straight to the point, with facts. She’s very sharp as well, and can see if the person has bad intention or not. Despite her calm countenance, she is more furious. Both of them likes to eat. 

What We Can Learn?

From these two ladies, I learned that we should be committed to whatever we do. It’s ok to say NO to other things if it contradicts to your goal. You can’t be spending all of your time to learn mathematics when all you want to be is a singer. Spend your time wisely. Above all, do not forget your family. Family always comes first. If you have a friend that can be part of your family, that would be a good bonus as well because in that way, your family knows who your circle of friends are. Not just spending mindless time outside without any particular purposes.

Another key lesson is not everyone will like you, especially those who are threatened by your very existence. How to manage these peoples? Stay away from them. Unless they threatened to harm you, then it is a police case already. I still stick to my mother’s teachings here; make friends as many as you can. If people do bad things to you, do not retaliate in kind nor stoop down to their level. Instead, brush off the dirt, and do better than yesterday. 

That’s all I would like to write about these two ladies. I do hope that their story inspires you, especially those who are still lost. Whatever you want to achieve, when there is a will, there is a way.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Yup, that’s me – Your Tukang Rantek

My Photography Facebook Page: Claudius Weson Photography 
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Instagram: claudiuswesonphotography (for B&W works & short story)

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 (2020). 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.

Saban Peoples of Sarawak

Tabi basa and greetings everyone! In this posting today, I would like to write about Saban peoples.

Sa’ban people (or Saban people) is one of Dayak minority that resides in Sarawak. According to Sarawak government classification, they are categorised under Orang Ulu. Saban people resides in few districts in Sarawak, but mostly resides in Long Banga, Baram. Their ancestors came from East Kalimantan, Indonesia where they dwells at Bahau River Valley at 17th Century. They live at hill to avoid the attack from headhunters during headhunting-warring period at Sarawak. Three generations of Saban people fought these headhunters, where “Leprot Langet” was their last warrior to fight against those headhunters around 1842. Heahunting practice was put to a stop during James Brooke’s time.

Saban’s people has small population due to:
1. Headhunter wars, forcing them to move around for safety
2. Away from other peoples and late exposure to modern life
3. Diseases, such as malaria that causes mass death.

At Indonesia, Saban peoples are known as “Berau” by other tribes that live at East and North Kalimantan. They split into few villages at the interior Borneo such as Apauping, Pujungan, Bulungan, South Malinau, North Malinau and West Malinau. Their exodus to Sarawak starts at the early of 20th Century in stages until 1960s. At Sarawak they are the minority, with total population less than 2000. To look after their well-being and to safeguard their peoples, Saban Peoples Association (Persatuan Masyarakat Saban) was founded in 4th July 2002.

In Sarawak, Saban people resides in Long Banga, Baram, Long Puak and Long Peluan, where these are their main residence in Sarawak. Other than that, in line with modernisation and career opportunities, they also moved to Miri, Marudi and Kuching, while some make a living at Peninsular Malaysia. At Long Banga, Saban people live with Kenyah Lepo’ Ke, Kelabit, and Penan peoples. Despite their similarities with Kelabit and Lun Bawang, Saban peoples also has their own differences in terms of tradition, culture especially language. Nevertheless, they live in harmony with one another.

Mixed-marriages is not a common practice by Saban peoples even though most of Sarawakian peoples have no issue with mixed-marriages. This is because of their population as well as to uphold their values and purity in their community. That is the reason why Saban peoples are able to ensure the strength of their culture despite their small population. Just like other ethnics and tribes at Sarawak, they also benefits from the modernisation and managed to achieve good education level, good religious life and no longer practice their old way of life.

Orang Saban, Sarawak

Suku Dayak Sa’ban adalah satu suku Dayak yang minoriti di Sarawak. Menurut klasifikasi kerajaan Sarawak, mereka adalah tergolong di dalam kumpulan Orang Ulu. Orang Sa’ban menetap di beberapa daerah di Sarawak, dan kebanyakanya tinggal di Long Banga, Baram. Leluhur orang Sa’ban pula berasal dari Kalimantan Timur Indonesia, yang mana mereka menetap di Lembah Sungai Bahau pada kurun ke-17. Mereka tinggal di bukit untuk mengelak dari serangan kaum-kaum Dayak lain yang mengamalkan budaya mengayau (headhunting). Orang Sa‘ban menghadapi tiga generasi melawan budaya Headhunter. “Leprot Langet” adalah seorang pahlawan lelaki Sa‘ban yang terakhir dalam budaya perang ngayau pada sekitar tahun 1842. Perang ngayau diberhentikan oleh semua suku semasa pemerintahan James Brooke.

Orang Sa’ban ini tidak banyak disebabkan oleh beberapa punca antaranya:

  1. Perang ngayau, menyebabkan mereka selalu berpindah randah.
  2. Jauh dari lingkungan bangsa lain dan lambat terdedah terhadap kehidupan moden
  3. Wabak penyakit (malaria), menyebabkan ramai yang kehilangan nyawa.

Di Indonesia, orang Sa’ban dikenali dengan nama “Berau“ oleh suku-suku lain yang menetap di Kalimantan Timur dan Kalimantan Utara. Mereka berpecah-pecah di pelbagai kampung di pendalaman seperti di Apauping, Pujungan, Bulungan, Malinau Selatan, Malinau Utara dan Malinau Barat, Krayan. Penghijrahan orang Sa’ban ke Sarawak bermula pada sekitar awal abad ke-20 secara berperingkat sehingga ke tahun 1960-an. Di Sarawak, mereka adalah minoriti, dimana populasi mereka adalah kurang daripada 2000 orang. Bagi menjaga kebajikan dan hal ehwal orang Sa’ban di Sarawak, Persatuan Masyarakat Saban telah ditubuhkan pada 4 Julai 2002.

Orang Sa’ban di Sarawak menetap di Long Banga, Baram, Long Puak dan Long Peluan, yang mana ini adalah kediaman utama mereka di Sarawak. Selain itu, selari dengan arus perkembangan moden, sebahagian besar daripada orang Sa’ban telah berpindah ke Miri, Marudi, Kuching, Long Lama dan Tawau. Tidak kurang juga ada yang berpindah ke Semenanjug Malaysia untuk bekerja. Di Long Banga, orang Sa’ban hidup bersama-sama dengan orang Kenyah Lepo’ Ke, orang Kelabit dan orang Penan. Disebalik persamaan, orang Sa’ban juga mempunyai perbezaan dari aspek tradisi, budaya dan terutama sekali bahasa dengan orang Kelabit dan Lun Bawang. Namun begitu, mereka hidup rukun antara satu sama lain.

Perkahwinan campur kurang diamalkan oleh orang Saban walaupun kebanyakan orang di Sarawak tiada masalah dengan perkahwinan campur. Ini adalah kerana populasi mereka yang sedikit disamping untuk menjaga nilai-nilai murni dan keaslian di dalam masyarakat mereka. Oleh sebab itu, orang Sa’ban masih dapat menjaga keluhuran budaya mereka walaupun populasi mereka masih sedikit. Sepertimana masyarakat Sarawak yang lain di dunia moden ini, orang Sa’ban juga dapat mencapai tahap pendidikan yang baik, kehidupan yang beragama dan tidak lagi mengamalkan budaya lama mereka.

Sumber: Eva Angel, Long Banga (2020)

“Immortalising Memories!”   

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

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“Tukang Rantek” Claudius is a Portrait, Wedding & Event Photographer based in Miri, with a passion for writing. 
[1] “TukangRantek” means photographer in Bidayuh Piching. 
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Tukang Rantek Claudius (2020). All Rights Reserved. No parts or images contained in this website can be used without prior written permission from Claudius Weson.

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.

Playing With Colours

Tabi basa and greetings family and friends,

Today is Saturday, and as usual, it is a time for us to spend our free time with family and friends. Do spend the most time with the elder ones, for their time is running out and the younger ones, for they would really need the guidance from us to kickstart their life in a good shape and in the best knowledge.

Dayung Laut

The First “Dayung Laut” – Emilia Shander

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you about Dayung Laut competition, which was inspired by Emilia Shander’s viral post. The current leader of the pack is Sandra, overtaking Sabahan beauty thanks to the strong support from her family and friends. However, it is too soon for me to say who is the winner to you because there are still one more week to go. Anything can change since the competition is public, and if someone acquires the hordes to vote for them, then it would be good.

The faces of the candidates are as follows:

The Next “Dayung Laut” 2019 Contestants

I will make a separate announcement for the winner next week. Stay tuned!

Playing with Colours

Today’s session is special because it is my first time doing my own studio photoshoot at my own accord, at my own playing ground. The last session was when I attended the Studio Flash Photography Masterclass by Sifu Edwin Lay at Great Wall Camera. Edwin is a good sifu and he patiently teaches us the basics of playing with studio strobes. That is the time I met my fellow photographers based in Kuching area, such as Anathasia Lipina, Alvine, Fidelis George, Ben Foo and Pauline, all with one passion for photography. I wrote about this back in March this year. You can read it here.

Me and fellow participants of Sifu Edwin Lay’s Flash Photography Masterclass, Mar 2019.
Back: Alvine, Michael Ting, Fidelis George, Sifu Edwin Lay, Ben Foo
Front: Anathasia Lipina, Adeline (Kuching-based Model), Pauline
Location: Great Wall Camera, Jalan Padungan, Kuching

This time, I am alone, and I have to direct the lighting myself. It is challenging, because when I am out there, I only have to control the light from my strobe. When I am with Thorsten, it is even different ball-game. Thorsten taught me to find the “magic of light”. When you found it, you will know that your photograph will be awesome.

As for today’s session, I do play around with red and blue gel, as it is the most common, and it is my personal favourite for this kind of photoshoot. It reminds me to the clip video of In Venere Veritas by HIM, which for me is a cool love metal song. There was a lot of experimentations going around the room, where I being an experimenter has to tweak and tinker before I hit the sweet spot. Once I am in the “zen”, it is also easy to find the right balance.

Gears:

As for the gears I am using today, I am using my trusty M10-P and APO-Summicron 50mm for this job. I love to use Leica gears since it gave me the flexibility to work with the “Leica” look as well as it is light and easy to move around with. I always move around back and forth to adjust the strobes that I am using. 50mm has always been my favourite focal length for all occasions.

Talents:

I am joined by Divabiz Ambassadorz founder, Priscilla Nissie and some of her talents, including Dranadillos and Sylvia, as well as Averia Vella, whom we call “Amoi”.

First session was a simple white t-shirt at a black background.

The next session is using the dress of their choice and this time, I included blue and red gel. Why? I like it. No rocket science behind it.

After enough time having fun using black background, I changed the black background to white background.

Dresses and Accessories

Pua Kumbu Blouse & Black Glitter Evening Dress is designed by Samdoh Beads Boutique. Cocktail Dress is designed by Priscilla Nissie. The

The lady behind Divabiz, Priscilla.
One for the road.

Working Experiences?

For us today, and just like the previous sessions before, we talk about work only. Priscilla and her talents are professional and main topic of conversation is on how to make full use of the session this afternoon. This is well-understood because we only have 24hours per day, and if we start to talk about something other than self-improvement, then it is a waste of our time. That is another reason why I advise my mentees (I do mentoring also) to be very careful in calling someone else your best friend. As we grow older, we realised that we only have so little true friends. The rest are just colleagues or acquaintances, which is fully understood since we only spend the time with those that really matters. The least of all, if you know someone is toxic, just keep it professional and don’t add more salt to the wound.

Theme for Young Lovers

There were one phase in my life where I cared so much about what others think about me, who I mingle with, what I wear, what camera did I use, etc. It is part of a normal teenage to adult transition. It includes all of those negative self-talks. As it names says, it did not make me happy though. It is toxic. As I move along with life, I always strive to make my life simpler. I wear black. I shot manually using Leica all the way. I created my own moniker, Tukang Rantek in honour of my own mother tongue. I charge people for my services as much as I value my time. I still have my own positive circle, I call it tonic friends – those who are crazy and passionate about their side hustle.

The real FREEDOM is to give no care about what others talk about you (unless it is life-threatening or it relates to life of others). If you still care about what others talk about you, you are a slave to their thoughts. Think about that for a moment. In Morpheus’ (The Matrix Trilogy) famous word, free your mind. You have to remember, you need to invest your time in the things that truly matters.

Certain bunch may not like your guts, tenacity, dedication and grit, but who cares? Did they pay your bills month in, month out?

Ada ku kesah?

I had this conversation with one of my colleague whom I admire his analytical skills and planning skill. But for himself, like many others, other than work, nothing else come to his mind. He admit it openly, and he also told me that he admires those who are passionate with their own craft; such as Marvin Gau with his MarvinInspire and journey to be Fitness Personal Coach, who is also Certified Personal Trainer under American Council on Exercise, which the journey to attain is equally challenging; and David Liaw, a Powerlifter and Nutritionist.

I am honoured to be able to capture this moment during Marvin and Patrissa’s wedding.
David Liaw – Beast Mode!
Leica Monochrom & Summilux35 FLE

That colleague of mine reminds me of Shikamaru Nara from Naruto series. He is smart, but has no plan for his life apart from working in our company. I know a lot of people outside there whom academic is not their forte, but they are resilient and willing to learn something new and step out of their comfort zone.

They are not like everyone else. They set goals for themselves. They learn new things day in, day out. They may not living the life they want, but they strive to get where they want. I want to be more like those peoples.

Hope For Tomorrow?

I will keep on updating my latest stuff in my website because it is the only media that I really have full control in. My Instagram and Facebook will still be kept alive because most of my friends and family are still using it. Also, it is one of the easiest way for people to reach out to me, apart from contacting my Whatsapp Business.

Lastly, I do hope you enjoy the final images from our session today. Stay safe and have a great Sunday 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.

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.

Monochrome Photoshoot at Pulau Melayu

Dear friends,

Tabi basa and greetings! It has been a while since I last write my last blog post. The last one was about Garnette and Ayrton’s wedding. Another reason why I restarted this after 5 months shying away from blogging is since something happened to my Instagram account.

For no particular reason, and even after writing to Instagram, I was not able to write at my Instagram, and cannot even like my friend’s post. In a way, it is a wake up call for me. For example, my Facebook account. I have been investing a lot of time and energy to expand the audience of my Claudius Weson Photography Facebook page. The question, is what if suddenly Facebook also no longer the in-thing? Audiences will go away, to the new “Facebook”. I will have to restart again from zero. Worst case scenario, what if suddenly Facebook went haywire like how Instagram did to me? It will be another pointless waste of resources. So, I better stick with form of digital media that I have full control over it with best customer support.

The best thing about blogging is that you don’t have to be perfect to start, but you have to start to be perfect.

Gear: Collapsible Summicron

For this particular photoshoot with Viviana and her girls, in conjunction with her Catwalk Class & Photoshoot Session, I am armed with the first Summicron, which is the collapsible version. I think this beast is a good one.

I acquired this beast of a lens from a fellow Leica shooter, where he plans to upgrade. Initially, I was skeptical of the lens performance, but after using it for a while, a week to be exact, I started to get used to the focusing tab, which is metal type. For many modern Leica M users, the current plastic tab has an ergonomic shape that it feels right whenever you want to focus with it. For this particular Summicron, you will feel weird at first. I think I am being pampered by the latest generation Summicron, APO-50 (my mainstay when I am going offshore because of its reliability and its small size).

For Leica enthusiast, collapsible Summicron can be had for about RM2500 at eBay, and there is actually a lot. The challenge is to find a good copy. You have to find from a trusted seller, with rating of 99.6% and above from eBay. Otherwise, it would be difficult. I would suggest MK Kamera & All Good Friends Camera (Not Sponsored Here) since my experience with them are pleasant and they are very responsive to your query.

As for lens rendering, for me, Collapsible Summicron is a soft lens, but not as crazy as Thambar. It is at another crazier level, appreciated only by Leica enthusiast. Compared to modern Summicron, Collapsible is a good choice for photoshoot, because you will see the faces of the model is much smoother without you do a lot of editing at post-processing. That will actually leave a good impression to the model as well.

Camera: M9 Monochrom

I am using Monochrom this time because I want to experiment with my Collapsible Summicron. Back in 2017, I bought my first Monochrom because I was without Leica M. My M9-P that time was sent for service due to CCD sensor corrosion issue. I sold my Monochrom last year because I want to upgrade to get my M10-P. When I first receive my M10-P, I did not remember about my Monochrom. After a while though, I started to miss it. Then I shoot using monochrom at my M10-P, but it is not the same. The image that it created, the shutter sound, the slow shooting speed – that are the things that I missed in my Monochrom. After a bit of searching at the web, I managed to find a silver version of Monochrom, partly to reminds me of the missing Monochrom as well as the missing M9-P that I have traded for personal usage.

Experience using Monochrom has always been pleasant. After too used to M10’s blazing speed, Monochrom taught me to slow down and anticipate for the right moment. Of course I won’t use Monochrom for paid job because I don’t want to miss the moments during wedding and events. However, for photoshoot like this, Monochrom is a good choice if one would like to use its excellence in monochrome end pictures.

Photoshoot Time!

During this photoshoot, we are joined by Abang Zak and Abu, but we are kept with out own business. So, not wanting to interrupt their flow of creativity, I shoot models at my own time and pace, and my place of choosing.

It has been a pleasure working with these ladies, with one of them as young as 7 year’s old, Supang. Initially I thought I was working with matured ladies, but it seems like most of them are still studying at secondary school. How time flies!

The final images can be seen below, which I used Silver Efex Pro, a software that is popular among Leica Monochrom shooters. Enjoy! Thank you to you Vivianna and Priscilla for inviting me to this session! I appreciate it.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson

Claudius Weson, is a Bi-Pichin, Serian-born freelance “tukang rantek” (photographer) based in Miri.

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.