Tags archives: claudius weson

Tukang Rantek writesEternal Question: Social Media VS Personal WebsiteWhere you should invest your time?

Tabi basa and greetings everyone. Today is Father’s Day (19 June 2022) and I would like to wish father’s around the world Happy Father’s Day. Your sacrifice is like an unsung hero, providing the best to the family despite you’re not being recognised. For me, it is important to have both father and mother in a healthy family because by having both, you will have different outlook in life to the growth of the children. I don’t agree when you say that father or mother is better than the other, when in fact, they are complementing each other. There shouldn’t be any fight over this. Just look at how human civilisation, it started from the basic form of family consisting of father & mother, whom begets their own children. If we want to create peace in this world, it should start from home. By having a good, stable & working family, we can create a stable country.

Silamat Andu Amang - Happy Father's Day! From Piching.

Silamat Andu Amang – Happy Father’s Day! From Piching. Shot on Leica SL, Vario-Elmar-SL 24-90mm

Moving to today’s topic, I’d like to share about the why is it important for you to have your own website and why you shouldn’t depend on social media.

But first, let’s start with the recent move that I have done.

My post on my LinkedIn. Shot on Leica M10-P, APO-Summicron-M f/2 50mm lens.

I have deleted my Facebook, Instagram & Tik Tok account. You might be wondering, why on earth would Tukang Rantek delete his own social media accounts? Especially Facebook, where I have 22,000 followers. That’s a lot, and it took me around 5 years to grow it to that size.

For me, it is simple. I want to create something that would last, something that would be associated with my brand. I’ve made a mistake, where I only rely on  my soc-media, particularly Facebook, to boost my own brand. Until now, my Facebook page is becoming more famous than my actual reputation of being able to create pictures. I am not ashamed to admit that I’ve spend too much time developing my Facebook page than to actually spend my time for growth as an aspiring photographer.

Even in my office, people have been telling my that my reputation as a photographer exceeds my reputation as an engineer. In a way, I am flattered, but I am actually worried. My concern is that it is like a bubble only, without having real substance. I do aware that there are some photographers who is not even active on social media, but they are having a steady income from their photography. That’s what I desire.

But in this case, I need to step back and re-strategise. But instead, I just stop my social media cold turkey, deleted FB, IG & TT and just concentrate on my Twitter only.

1. Why Twitter?

It is the social media that gave me the least distraction.

2. Aren’t you worried that there is less followers there?

At this point in time, I am not bothered about followers number. If people wants to follow me, they are most welcomed to follow me. If they are not, I’m good too. My work quality is not defined from my follower counts.

3. No FB, no IG, no TT. What’s your next plan then?

I will just keep on writing blogs about my journey and photography. I don’t intent to grow my social media follower counts.

91 followers only. This is more like it. Previously I have 22K followers on Facebook, but I always have a feeling that it is not genuine.

Reflection On Social Media

1. It Is Not Meant To Last

Social media is not forever. Anyone remembered their first soc-med? For me, my first one was Friendster. What happened was, it closed its website on 2015 and 2018, it ceased as a company. If you have developed your profile there, then it won’t be forever. You might argue that it is free, but it will not serve you in the long run.

Then came Facebook to replace Friendster. Facebook so far has been going on strong, but no one know how long it will last.

Vine was ahead of its time. 6 second fame, but now it was left in the dust. Tik Tok followed its success formula, and now even Instagram, Facebook and YouTube is following its formula.

But if you want to create something that last forever, build it in your own platform. Not at the platform made by others, especially if it is free. If it is free, you are the product.

2. Comparison Upon Comparison

Soc-med relies on people to compare with one another. As much as I want to believe it is good for healthy competition, if you can’t stop comparing yourself to others’ highlight reel, then it might be a good time to stop. Just like you, other person also have their own time to shine. It is not normal to always have something to highlight in your life. Birthday, yes. Wedding? Yes. Achievements? Yes. But how often would you have all of these things? Not often, right? If you want reclaim back your privacy in life, just get away from soc-med for good. Even in my Twitter, I don’t post anything personal.

3. Feel Good Sensation / Dopamine Effect

You know that feeling, when you post something, and it is liked. That works like a drug. It is all thanks to dopamine hormone. I still remember, I’ve posted a picture about a female Bidayuh engineer and that post gains a crazy amount of attention. To-date, it garnered close to 3800 likes and 2800 shares at my Facebook page. I can’t find a snapshot though. But here’s a snapshot from LinkedIn on the same lady. Yes, 2784 likes. Still, it doesn’t give me anything though.

People like a certain picture on social media because they like what they see, not really about the person who posted it. That’s the rule of the matter.

But the opposite would happen. Let’s say you are used to earn 100+ likes for each picture. Suddenly, when you post something that matters to you, but the reaction that you receive is not like what you expect, then you might feel miserable about yourself. You might think that you are not as good as you were before.

That’s what happen to many people. When their usually viral post is not viral anymore, they might question their worth, their credibility, when in fact, the audience that he/she has is not really the right audience that he/she wants. So, it is important for you to know your audience

4. Addicted with Likes

One chronic addition that I have seen was this person, who can’t help but to post anything that she is doing on her soc-med, everything will end up at her timeline or at least, story. I pity her, but I don’t want to be giving too much attention to her. I am not close enough too to give her advice, though that is is a good wake-up call for me to not be like her.

INVEST TIME WISELY – BYE-BYE SOCIAL MEDIA

Based on what I wrote above, it is time to reconsider where you will invest your time in. Social media fasting is one good option. But I think it is even better if you concentrate on creating something more sustainable. Something that you can call yours.

That’s bring us to the next point.

Create Your Own Website

I can’t emphasise more that as a creative person, you need to have your own website that you can use to create your own legacy and not affected by the rules of others.

Of course, if you use my method, you might feel lonely in the first place because everyone else are on the other social media. But the good news, if they are genuinely interested in your art or approach, they will contact you.

I like that I can create whatever I like in my own website. I like to write long articles. In Metaverse soc-med, where pictures are the main media being consumed, these articles will end-up useless.

I also like to write stories. I am learning how to type properly using touch typing method, but it will take a while before I can truly master it. Nevertheless, that is one journey that I would like to take. It will be fun.

That’s all I’d like to share for today. I am also finding the joy in doing blog using classic editor, vs using block editor as what I have done before.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson
Follow me on Twitter & LinkedIn: claudiusweson.

Note:
1. Claudius is a freelance photographer based in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia.
2. “Tukang Rantek” means “photographer” in Bidayuh Serian language.

POP-VAL’22 RESULTS

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! The long, awaited result is finally here. After online competition for almost two weeks, we finally saw a pattern. The winning of this competition is decided solely by online votes through Facebook and Instagram, where Instagram carries double the points compared to Facebook.

WINNER – PATRICIA & JAY

Facebook: 364 likes, Instagram: 264 likes. Total: 892 points.

Asal: Kpg Riih Mawang, Serian
Lafaz Cinta: Love always protects, trusts, hopes & perseveres.

FIRST RUNNER UP: MELVIN & CURAZON

Facebook: 295 likes, Instagram: 162 likes. Total: 619 points.

Place of Origin: Bintulu & Sibu
Lafaz Cinta: Anything is possible when you have the right person there to support you.

SECOND RUNNER UP: MAXTHEW & CLARESSA

Facebook: 179 likes. Instagram: 204 likes. Total: 584 points.

Place of Origin: Siburan & Serian
Love Declaration:

Lafaz Cinta: “Pepatah “”hanya mampu melihat tetapi tidak mampu memiliki”” menjadi permulaan kisah cinta kita. Mencintai seseorang dalam diam tanpa takut akan kehilangan kerana Tuhan telah menyiapkan yang terbaik bagi umat-Nya yang sabar dalam mencintai. Siapa sangka, tanpa disangka cinta tidak bertepuk sebelah tangan lalu Tuhan mempertemukan kita dan dipersatukan menjadi satu. 

“” Demikianlah mereka bukan lagi dua, melainkan satu. Kerana itu, apa yang telah dipersatukan Allah, tidak boleh diceraikan manusia “” _ Matthew 19:6

REWARDS

The winners will receive a crystal plaque. Please contact me & share your receiving address. The plaque is expected to be completed in one month plus time.

Special Photoshoot Session For The Winners

The offer is open and will be done at Miri. For other areas, I can only do it at Serian. Feel free to contact me about this.

THANK YOU VERY BAGEG / MAYUH-MAYUH

For the other couples, thank you very much for your participation. Your time and energy is truly appreciate because it makes this competition a meaningful one.

In the end, what matters most is that we have one another. Have a great weekend everyone!

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius (Del)

Follow Me:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tukangrantek
Portrait: www.instagram.com/tukangrantek
Boudoir: www.instagram.com/boudoirbydel

Seahorse Boys & Mystic Gems Scout Outing

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! For today’s blog post, I’d like to feature the recent outing that Seahorse Boys had with Mystic Gems Scout Outing, led by Norbert Sirai at Miri, at spacious area somewhere near Parkcity Everly Hotel.

Front Row: Mira, Nana, Ros, Norbert, Boone & Sulaiman
Back Row: Clayri, Steve & Om Jay. Note: Rapheal left earlier.
Pre-Job Discussion / Toolbox Talk & Ice-breaking Session with Mystic Gems Scout. That’s me, still sporting red hair.

From Seahorse Boys, those that joined were Clayri, Om Jay, Rapheal Lutta, Steve Maggie & myself. From the MGS-side, we are joined by Norbert Sirai, Mira, Sulaiman, Rosita, Nana & Boone.

Clayri in action
Free Syle
Another Free Style
Break into couples.

CONTEMPORARY COSTUMES

Based on the words of Mystic Gems Scout, the costumes that was being used for this photoshoot is considered contemporary, inspired by Sarawakian costumes, and it has no intention whatsoever to disrespect anyone or any culture whatsoever.

If there is any offences, it is purely unintentional.

Also, these costumes

ENTER RICOH GR III

Ricoh GR III (28mm FF equivalent) & GR IIIx (40mm FF equivalent)

Usually, for my photoshoot, I will bring my DSLR because I don’t want to compromise on the image quality. However, for this photoshoot, since there is a request from Steve, asking me to bring my GR III, I decided to use my GR IIIs. instead for this photoshoot.

For close-up / portrait works, I used the 40mm GR IIIx and for wider-angled shots, i use GR III (28mm field-of-view equivalent). Both of these cameras were shot in RAW+, where it includes the JPEG files as well.

The images created by these GR III are superb, and its RAW files pack a punch. However, I tweak the final colour according to my taste, temperature and skin tones. I didn’t adjust the bokeh artifically using Photoshop as it takes a lot of time to go through the files one by one.

I just did the final adjustment using Capture One software because I like how it renders color.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GR III & MY GO-TO DSLR

Being so used to a camera where I can adjust everything without referring to the LCD screen, using GR III is another refreshing experience for me. The thing that I like most is the size, because I don’t have to lug my heavy gear, for now.

There are some compromises, but after using GR III for a while, it gets interesting. I start to appreciate its ease of use, though for more serious works, I will still use my DSLR.

Catch Me If You Can
Photo by Jay. Me trying to do panning.

GOOD BYE EASY-BOKEH

Being used to manual lenses that I can just twist to get a desired bokeh, for this one, I need to get very close to get a desired bokeh from my subjects. I can live without bokeh, no problem. By using this pocket-camera, it forces me to rely on the fundamentals, including lighting placement, leading line, composition and most importantly, the expression of the subject to create a flattering image.

After a bit of tweaking and contemplating over the images, here’s the final result.

THE FINAL RESULT

NORBERT & ROS

NORBERT SIRAI

ROS

NANA

SULAIMAN

BOONE

MIRA

OTHER SEAHORSE BOYS IMAGES

STEVE M MAGGIE

Steve likes to play with tones, which is obvious in his artwork below.

May be a closeup of 1 person
May be a closeup of 1 person and standingMay be a closeup of 1 person

CLAYRI

Clay is enjoying the session. More images will be coming soon.

May be an image of 1 person and outdoors

JAY POTRET – RAJA BOKEH

From what you can see, Jay is a huge fan of bokeh. You can see the effect of this beautiful medium-tele lens and its pleasing bokeh. It also created a flattering face-form for Nana.

May be an image of 1 person and outdoors
May be an image of 1 person and outdoors

LEARNINGS FROM USING RICOH GR III

Lesson 1: Reinforcing Photography Fundamentals

First and foremost, by using this camera, I helps me to reconnect back with the roots of photography that I have always passionate about. It forces me to think more, act more and experiment more because the high-end camera ends up pampering me too much that if I have a poor background, I just blow it all out using bokeh. Simple, right? But it doesn’t help me with mastering the fundamentals.

I should use it more often.

Lesson 2: Testing Colour Grading Skills

In terms of post-processing, there are a number of colour correction that I need to do because the final image is too reddish for my taste, but it’s no doubt still a good colour, and I will still choose GR III over other APS-C models. This is a matter of personal choice. Yours might be different, so let’s agree on this.

Lesson 3: Ricoh GR III Is A Good Alternative For Event Cameras

If you don’t need to emphasise on the portrait, but rather focus only on the moments, then Ricoh GR III is a good camera that you can use. All you need is a couple of extra battery because one of the known issue with GR III is its small battery capacity. Two should be sufficient.

In terms of ease of use, it is definitely good one for me. It is superlight (relative to my DSLR), and I can even pocket it easily without anyone noticing. You can be a stealth cameraman for the event.

With its matte-black finish, it is a design that I like. No wonder it is called Street Photography King (Sorry M & Q).

BONUS TOPIC: DON’T UNDERVALUE YOURSELF

Be proud of yourself and don’t let others disrespect you. Have courage to walk away if you feel you are being disrespected.

If there is something that I really appreciate, it is respecting one-self. If you don’t respect yourself, how do you expect others to respect you? For example; you know already that you have issue with alcohol & money, but you keep on doing it because it “feels good”. In the end, you’ll be having health issue & broke. Worse, you have the balls to blame others. That person definitely don’t command respect from anyone.

Same goes to photographers. A lot of peoples are aspiring to make a living out of their photography art. But when it comes to getting a paid job, that’s where their delaying gratification is being put to the test. Would you like to live with a small paid job from now until today? Or would you like to learn about photography fundamentals for the next 5-10 years, so that you can command a higher price the next decade?

Who doesn’t want an instant cash? But there is a limit to this. As a start, if that particular job is less than RM500 per hour or RM1500 per job, I won’t accept it because my time, energy and attention worth more than that. The struggle comes after shooting, where I need to do a lot to ensure the images created is worth their money.

When I first started this journey, people paid me RM300 for a day to day. When I think back about it, it is such a small pay, but it teaches me a lot of lesson; especially about knowing your worth and how to value yourself.

I want to deliver the best to those who appreciates my art, but if they don’t appreciate it as much and not willing to invest, then they are most welcomed to look for another photographer.

EPILOGUE

For me, the session has been a wonderful one. It is fun to meet and have a photoshoot with new peoples. Thank you to Norbert Sirai for his kindness, Mystic Gems Scout team for the wardrobe, Man, Nana, Mira, Ros & Boone for becoming our models and you, for reading this until the end.

Stay safe & take care!

Your Tukang Rantek, Claudius (Del)
Follow Me:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tukangrantek
Portrait: www.instagram.com/tukangrantek
Boudoir: www.instagram.com/boudoirbydel

Staying Fit

Dear friends, 

Behind the scene during last year’s Gawai. Photo by Marcel George Levi.

Once again we meet virtually in my blog. Thank you for taking your time in this blessed Sunday to read my blog. I want to share with you the story that I had today, which is a conversation that I had with my fellow Catholic friends and musicians – Frank and Fabian. Intially we were talking about that famous 10 years challenge (that I did not participate at all). Fabian mentioned that he has changed so much in a decade. Frank also shared his challenges to manage his weight and body health, especially after each gig where they are tired and thirsty. Therefore, I shared about my ways of looking after my health and how to stay fit, and in a way, did not gain any additional size after 10 years. I am still using the same pants size since my secondary school.

As we bid goodbye to each other, our conversation sparked something in me – why don’t I write a blog topic about this. Besides, it is a common issue that I believe quite a number of my friends are facing, but have no place to turn to. With this be best of my ability, I will address later on here in this blog. I hope this will add value to your life. For info, everything that I said in this blog is for information only, and it is based on my current experience and its positive effect to my body and health in general. 

If you wish to know more, you are most welcomed to read on and try it. If you are in a good health shape, you can stop reading here. For those interested, I encourage you to try it and hopefully it will add value to your life. So, let’s go. 

Let’s start with why. 

WHY?

Why do you want to stay fit?

  1. You want to live longer to see your grandchildren
  2. You want to be a breadwinner to your family. 
  3. You want to look young
  4. You want to be able to carry your spouse/loved ones in case of emergency
  5. Bonus: You want to have an interesting body shape.

The truth is, all of you can have many reason to stay fit, but as a start, find one that really sticks close to your heart. Everyday, rehearse this inside your mind until it becomes your second nature. Everything that you do must be relatable to your main goal to stay fit. If you have a really solid reason to stay fit, the other small distractions will not be able to shake your resolution. Forget about new year resolution. You just need one lifelong goal in mind. Which is to stay fit. This part I will not be able to decide for you. You will have to make up your mind. If you are doing this half-heartedly, I will not be able to bring you to the next phase. But once you do, read on.

Once you have a firm WHY in your mind, then we can proceed to the next phase. 

HOW?

This one is the part that I can share with you. I acknowledge that everyone has a different metabolism rate, each and everyone of us are unique, unless you and I are identical-twin. As a start with this phase, I suggest you not to be fixed to your body weight, which is not a good indicator to your health. I don’t bother about my health or my BMI. All I care about is the daily health rituals that I practice. Now, for the first time, I am sharing it publically.

These are my suggested steps:

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Practice intermittent fasting
  3. Drink lots of plain, warm water 
  4. Sleep adequately 
  5. No alcohol and smoking
  6. No ice/cold drinks

Exercise Regularly:

This one is commonly known, but how many of us practice it? When you exercise, are you doing it from genuinely from your heart, or you want to achieve something else? You don’t have to answer me in this question. For me, I exercise because I want to be healthy – plain and simple. I relate it back to my why. Throughout my exercise, I will be focused on my activitiy such that during that 30 minutes intense exercise, I will not be doing anything else. If I am running at the beach, sometimes I sing as well. That is one way for me to improve my stamina, especially when you want to sing for church choir. Otherwise Mrs Chan or Amy Lee will say I have no energy. Lol.

My suggestion: If you have no time to exercise, wake up early to exercise. Then you can do your day normally without bothered to exercise. It is a good therapy and it also acts as a start for your body’s engine. Target 30 minutes of continuous cardiovascular-related exercise. If you have to gossip, do it while jogging or running.

Always try to do physical activities at work, such as taking staircases instead of elevator. If you are unsure you are doing enough or not, try tracking yourself using work out apps. At least it can give you an indication whether you have done a lot of good work or not.

For your info, exercise triggers your body to release endorphins. This hormone is the one that makes you feel good after you exercise. In a way, you can release stress and feel joyful, a sense of accomplishment etc. That is a good way to start your day.  

Stay fit, brother.

Practice Intermittent Fasting

This is the element that I think many people is struggling with because it involves with the act of not eating food as one wills it to be, and to control your appetite. The bitter truth is, a lot of us suffers from having too much nice meals. One way to reduce intake of food is to practice intermittent fasting. It is my favourite, and it helps me to maintain body weight and shape ever since I exit my secondary school.

You might be curious on how does it works. There might be some of you who never heard this term after such a long time. It is called intermittent fasting because in between your fast, you still can consume liquids, but limited to plain water and plain tea or black coffee. Normally I limit it to only drinking plain water during this period. However at work, since I am served with drinks, I chose plain tea and plain water.

For you to start, you should not eat anything from your waking hour to mid-day, say 12pm. When you wake up, drink a lot of plain water. Drink as you require, and when you hear your stomach growling. Your first meal of the day is your lunch. Your eating window is frim 12pm until 8pm. Normally after I finish my dinner around 6pm, I will not eat any more meal as I sleep early around 10pm. Assuming you sleep at 12am, then you should not eat anything from 8pm until 12am. 

In summary: 

  1. Waking hour until 12pm: do not eat anything. Just drink plain water and tea (best is water with slices of  lemon).
  2. 12pm – 8 pm – your eating window. You may eat as you wish here, as your body required. However, I suggest you not to eat too much. Eat when you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty. 
  3. 8pm until waking hour – do not eat anything. Refer to #1. 

However, if you just came back from your gig that finished around midnight or 2am, I suggest that you consume hot lemon tea, instead of taking a full meal and beer. that would be an alternative for you to stay hydrated. Besides, if you take that heavy meal in the midnight, where you are going to spend that extra calories instead? Bringing it to sleep will do you no good at all.

Drink Lots of Plain, Warm Water:

We are creature made of water, about 70% of our body is made out of it. For your body to function properly and to remove waste properly from your body, it has to be properly hydrated. It means you need to drink a lot of plain water to ensure that it will be at its optimum condition. You need to stay hydrated, especially when your are working outside under hot sun. If you can drink at least 3L of  plain water daily, you will be able to see the difference. By drinking a lot of plain water, you can help yourself to stay awake as well. Another benefits are it helps your digestion, better hydration, more complete bowl movement and reduce sugar craving.

Bonus: After I have my meal, usually I do not drink anything within one hour. This will enable my body to digest it perfectly. I read about this one sometime around 2007 but forgot the source. If I have to drink anything within that one hour, I will drink it in small batches. 

Sleep Adequately:

This one is also a commonly underestimated factor. Please do not skip your sleep, and always strive to get a good sleep daily, unless for whatever reason you are unable to do so. For me, I strive to sleep 7 hours per day, but sometimes I woke up on my own without alarm if I have a good quality sleep. Ensure that your bedroom is totally dark to promote a good sleep, with a bit of illumination at the pathway to assist if you need to wake up in the dark. A lot of young-looking celebrities emphasised that they always have a quality sleep daily. Also, if you have a quality sleep, your work performance will increase. Too good to be true? But tired of dozing off at work? Try it yourself.

Big sis guarding her little brother sleeping.

The next ones are my list of don’ts.

No Alcohol and Smoking

I don’t drink alcohol, unless there is a strong reason for me to drink it. If I am on my own, alcohol is not in my list. If I have to drink beer, I will shake off the gas. That gas is making my stomach bloat for no good benefit at all. Luckily, I am not a smoker. I suggest you start doing this too, for your own good, for your finance health as well as your family’s well-being. Yes, it might cool – drink and smoking, but are you willing to pay the price down the road? 

No Ice/Cold Drinks

This one is simple to explain. A healthy human’s body temperature is 37°C. If you drink a zero degree water into your body system, it will affect the thermal equilibrium. Among the effects are thicker nasal mucous, high probability of getting a migraine and slower digestion. Also, to make it worse, the sudden cold temperature will make whatever fat inside your stomach suddenly “freeze”. This is bad for you. 

And that is what happen when you only drink once. Imagine if you have been doing this for the past few decades. God knows what harm you have done to yourself. Knowing this, that is why I strive to not to harm myself intentionally.

Bonus: Eat more vegetables, and reduce your meat intake. I realised a lot of peoples including Bryan Adams have started becoming a vegetarian since they are getting older. Now that you have realised this early, you can start reducing your meat intake as you go along. I strive not to, but when your mother cook for you, it is hard to say no.

I hope this sharing is useful for you, and hopefully, will improve your health condition. Have a productive week ahead! 

Regards,

Claudius

Stay fit so that you still can ride ATV with your grandchildren.

Disclaimer:
Everything that is written in this topic is purely based on Claudius Weson experience. Currently Claudius managed to maintain his weight around 65kg and waist circumference of 29 inch.

Stay fit so that you still do street photography like Thorsten and Michael.