Tags archives: photography

Tanen Tukang RantekMotion Blur In Photographyand a thing or two about it.

Tabi basa everyone! Today’s topic would be on the recent viral photographer that sparked a lot of discussion in local photographer community. However, it is impossible to not share bits of the information about the picture. To avoid triggering anyone, I won’t share the name of that particular photographer. What I want to emphasis here is the learnings.

What Happened?

On 19 June 2022, there was a photographer posted an artwork he called Motion Blur Photography in Malaysian Photographers Community (Official) Facebook Page. There was a lot of people commented on his artwork, among it includes people claiming his artwork induces vertigo, dizziness instead of breaking the rule.

The viral motion blur photography, inviting a lot of criticism.

All of photographers in MPC collectively agree that he was actually trying to imitate Olga Karlovac’s artwork as shown below. But her artwork is totally a different league. You can see Olga’s work in this snapshot below from her Instagram. It is something that we call Impressionist, with motion blur as its main creative method.

Olga Karlovac’s Impressionist Artwork

What’s The Issue Then?

The issue was with his attitude when he responds to the people who comments. He is not open to feedbacks. Not all feedbacks are being accepted openly by him, especially by those who said that his artwork needs more practice and compositioning in framing.

Some senior even commented that there were not rules broken because the one who posted it didn’t even know the rule though he claim that he is breaking the rules.

A lot of people can tell that he is struggling, but he fails to recognise that he needs a lot of work. Instead, he told others that photography is subjective. It is as wide as the ocean. But one senior has a good comeback to that. Because it is as wide as the ocean, a lot of people are drifting away.

How Does He Should Respond?

For me, when someone give honest feedbacks about my artwork, I will thank them, especially when they are my seniors or someone that I admire in photography. I admit that I have a long way to improve in photography. It is also one way for us to be

Let’s Talk About Motion Blur In Photography

In photography, motion blur is considered purposeful blurring of an object in motion in a photo to convey a story. It is widely accepted as a great way to capture movement in a photography.

It can be seen in street photography (a person running in the street), sports photography (player running across the field) or nature photography (bird in motion).

Here are the samples that I have taken:

Aseania Langkawi Dancers In Action. It actually an impressive fire show. But for this post, I only show the motion blur part. Look at the trails of flaming particles.

Offshore Running Man

How To Create Motion Blur?

For this, you will need to fully understand your gears. I don’t care what you are using because fundamentally, it is the same.

Let’s talk about the three main ways to create motion blur, i.e. via:

  1. Aperture Control – Amount of light entering the sensor (from 100% to 2%) – the smaller the aperture size, the less light will hit the sensor, then you can create motion. I usually will play with aperture smaller than f/5.6.
  2. Shutter Speed Control – Sensor’s duration of exposure to light. Use slower shutter speed. Less than 1/120.
  3. ISO Control – Sensitivity to light (e.g. from 100% (base ISO) to 40,000%). Use lower ISO numbers. Less sensitive = better motion blur.

There will be some school of thought that will tell you about intentional camera movement as well, such as spinning the camera, use zoom lens, use tele lens etc. Well, to each their own.

You can also create motion blur in photoshop if you wish to do so. It is possible.

THE GOLDEN RULE of motion blur

Firstly, master the rule of motion blur: anything that moves while the shutter is open will blur.

That’s all that you need to know. But there is a catch.

DANGERS IN MOTION BLUR

If you notice what I have written above, the motion blur should be purposeful. It is not really easy to create a purposeful motion blur, although in theory, it is very easy to create a motion blur. One has to be careful with what they are doing, and when they are doing motion blur. For me, the rule of thumb is to ensure the face of the subject is in focus. Other part of the body can be made blurry. Do refer to the offshore running man picture above.

FINAL WORD

However, whatever I have written here is not the absolute rule. There are literally tonnes of ways to create motion blur, with countless variation that you can pick from the sky. You can also create from the  It basically means that you and I appreciate different things in photography. Feel free to create your own version of motion blur. You can do it. Most importantly, have fun.

Your 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.

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.

Photoshoot at U-Tea (Part 2)

Tabi basa & greetings everyone. This time I’d like to feature the recent work that I had done at U-Tea, thanks to U-Tea Senadin. Previously, I also did a photoshoot at U-Tea, where I collaborated with few Miri-based models, including Nurul Jasmine, Amelda & Annette.

This time, the talents are gym-buddies of Stanley Lai & Fui Chen, including Fiona, Ong, Boss & not to forget star of the show, Bong. During the photoshoot, Bong shared few health tips.

He mentioned that a lot of health problems that we are facing now are caused by what we eat. There is an abundance of processed food out there, and he advised us to be extra mindful of all these foods.

Being a nutritionist himself, he also shared his choice of food. He mentioned that his favourite is cucumber, eggs (lots of eggs), brown rice and plenty of fruits (e.g. papaya, banana, guavas). He is doing clean diet so that he can control his health better.

His realisation came when he was mixing with a group of youngsters aged around 19 years old, yet having gout. That is a wake-up call for him. Now, even though he clocks 4-series, he is still as fit as 20s, and there is no sign for him slow down his amazing life.

That’s all sharing for now. Thank you to U-Tea Senadin for sponsoring this photoshoot and the opportunity for interview with Bong.

Regards,
“Tukang Rantek” Claudius
Follow me on Twitter: claudiusweson

Bong

Photoshoot at U-Tea Senadin

U-TEA EXPERIENCE

Tabi basa & selamat sejahtera semua! In today’s post, I’d like to talk about U-Tea. U-Tea has a vision of bringing tea culture back to life among Malaysians by introducing a whole new tea experience through providing delicious and healthy tea-based beverages in the market.

“U-Tea” was formed with the ethos of transforming the long-standing tradition of Asian tea culture into healthy, delicious beverages that can be enjoyed by everyone. U-Tea believe that a happy, healthy lifestyle begins with what we drink, which is why they promote the use of only the freshest, most natural ingredients in our products.

Their first outlet was established in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in May 2018, and due to an overwhelming responses received from their fans, subsequent outlets are rapidly emerging. Senadin, Miri outlet was established in 17 October 2019 with Mdm Yap Fui Chen as its branch manager.

“优” (Yōu) is a Chinese word that means “excellent, refined & outstanding”, and U-Tea aim to live up to their brand name by striving to be the best of the best in every aspect. That is why they insist on using premium imported loose-leaf tea that is freshly brewed daily in all their beverages.

Their outlets are all designed with their customers’ comfort in mind, and they choose to adopt an urban, minimalist interior design concept in all U-Tea outlets to provide a modern, simple and cosy environment their customers can relax in.

Chef Billy

In U-Tea Senadin, there were few delicious menu introduced, including “Grilled Chicken Burger”, “Mushroom Burger”, “XO Prawn Paste Pasta”, “Grilled Chicken Chop” & “Breaded Chicken Chop” that promises satisfaction to each of their customers.

Therefore, visit your nearest U-Tea branch today to try it for yourself.

p.s. Thank you very much to U-Tea Senadin Branch Manager, Mdm Yap Fui Chen & Chef Billy for the delicious foods throughout the shooting. 

Mdm Fui Chen & her husband, Lai SP.

Model: Amelda, Annette, Erica & Jasmine. 

PHOTOSHOOT AT U-TEA

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius (Del)

Tukang Rantek = photographer (Dayak Bidayuh Bukar-Sadong language)
Follow Me: Instagram Facebook
Other Social Media

Miri Love Story: Moses & Stancy

Tabi basa & greetings everyone! For today’s post, I’d like to share the photoshoot that I have done for Stancy & Moses, from Long Apu & Long San respectively. Stancy is also another one of the very active followers of my Facebook page and she has been actively joining online competitions that I have organised.

So this time, we did something different.

It is a photoshoot for couples at Taman Awam Miri, followed by a sunset photoshoot at Tanjung Lobang. Taman Awam’s greeneries attracted my attention and that is why you can see that most of the photoshoots that I have done in Miri is done at Taman Awam’s tower, suspension bridge & its mini “forest”.

In the world where, the more number of partners you have, the “manlier” you are, chose to be loyal to one person. Instead of trying to love 1001 person, try to love one person in a 1001 different ways. In that way, you can always re-live and re-ignite the fire that you have for one another.

LOVE ONE PERSON IN 1001 DIFFERENT WAYS

That basically sums up their relationship story. In a relationship, one has to be fire, and the other one has to be the water. You can’t have both fire or water in a relationship, otherwise, it won’t happen.

THE FINAL RESULT

If you are interested with this kind of photoshoot, feel free to WhastApp me at 014-8677585. Have a good week everyone! 😄

BONUS TOPIC: VALUE OF ART

From my friends around Miri, I learned that recently there is always a certain group of photographers who charged way, way lower than the market price. These groups are called market disruptors (kacau market). Their aim is to get as much client as possible, without even thinking about the long term effect.

If you already charge so low, how are you going to make a living out of photography? You will ended up loathing & hating photography because you can’t buy much stuff from your job.

That’s why, understanding the value of time, money, attention & energy that I have invested in photography, I don’t want to charge myself too low. There are limits. For those who appreciated my art and is willing to pay the price I’ve asked, I thank you very much.

Have a great week ahead 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

Seahorse Boys Outing: Kebaya Nyonya

Tabi basa & greeting everyone! This time, I’d like to share about the recent outing that we did at Miri with the Seahorse boys. For those who didn’t know, Seahorse Boys is a group of photographers based in Miri from various background, as what you can see below. In short, most of us shoots portrait.

For this photoshoot, it was held at Kpg Wireless, at Miri Waterfront, where we did a photoshoot with talents, namely Leha from Tatau and Agnes, who was eventually called Seroja by us. The event organiser is Aiman Iman, who is a well-known make-up artist based in Miri, and he is known for his unique style of make-up, including body-painting.

Behind The Scene

The second venue of the photoshoot was at Miri City Fan, where Jay and the rest intends to re-create the images that was done by Cikgu Sean of Prodigy. Lots of attempts were being made.

THE RESULT

Below is the result of the images that was shared to me for this blog post purpose. I only received from Steve for now. Therefore, here’s his artwork, followed by mine.

STEVE M MAGGIE

Denzel – none shared yet.

Clayri – none shared yet.

Jay Potret – none shared yet.

Rapheal – none shared yet.

Solomon – working at Bintulu.

“Tukang Rantek” Claudius

Lesson Learned from This Photoshoot

I’ve written about outing ethics in this long Facebook post, which is written in Malay. You can read it here. In summary,

  1. Respect One Another
  2. Feel Free To Use “Please”, “Thank You” and “Sorry”
  3. Do Not Touch Model / Talent
  4. Do Not Ask Sensitive Questions & Joke Responsibly
  5. Do Not Disturb Other People’s Gears / Settings Without Permission
  6. Do Not Brag About Gear
  7. Be Punctual & Give Model Time To Rest

In writing those ethics, I have no ill-intention against anyone, because it is a set of thing that every photographer should try to obey and adhere to if they want to be a likeable photographer in whatever occasion that they use.

Gears used in this photoshoot is Leica S3 & Summarit-S f/2.5 35mm & Summicron-S f/2 100m, both ASPH. lenses. It is a really great set of gear, the colour reproduction is great. You get what you invest.

But for the next shoot, I challenged myself to use a different gear, which is a compact camera, a well-known street photography camera called Ricoh GR III. I will show it in my next blogpost.

In the meantime, stay safe & take care!

Your Tukang Rantek, Claudius

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

Immortalising Memories

Memories – each and every one of us has it. It is something to be remembered from the past. Inside our 2.5 penta-bytes brain, there is a lot of faculties which our mind stores and remembers information. Some of these faculties store memories that we wish to forget, while some contains those that we wish to remember, always. Accessing these memory faculties clears its neuron path, while less accessed one will have an undergrowth in its path, much like a less travelled road. Soon, it will become secondary jungle in our brain, where the faculty will eventually be forgotten over time, which results in us not remembering anything about that particular incident. Unless somebody came with the map to that faculty of memory, which is a picture of the past.

Imagine that you have a wonderful childhood. Realising the importance and value of photograph in the future, your beloved parents or family members (in my case, my aunty) set aside an amount of money to buy film camera despite life difficulties. 3 decades gone by, no one remembers what happened at your 5th birthday party. But when you saw the pictures of the happier times, suddenly all of these memories came back rushing in, as if the dam that holds it back collapsed and you memories overflown. At the back of your head, you remembered your family and friends happily singing “Happy Birthday” / “Selamat Hari Jadi” to you, with your little niece mistakenly singing “Selamat Pagi KP” (same tune by the way). But it does not matter, because it was memory of a happy times.

Same goes for the memories of our departed beloved ones, which is captured using photographs. We tend to forget them, because they reminded us of the pain the left us, but let’s not forget the wonderful memories they gave us throughout their lifetime on Earth. They are the one that supports us, they are family. Their pictures are family treasure, so that the younger generations know how their ancestors looked like.

Time flows forward, one second at a time. Our perception might change, but time flows steadily. In our good times, time seems to gone by so quick like lightning, but when we are in pain, times travels slowly like a tortoise. We can gain back our lost money, but we can’t gain back our lost time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. If we don’t seize the day, we’ll lose out.

Me and the rest of the photographer community are aware of this fact, and that’s why we love to create photographs. Our intention might be different from one another, but fundamentally, we helps people to remember the memories of the good time we had. Be it wedding, engagement, funeral or just simply to remember that you once had this particular look (6-packs, flawless skin, hourglass-shaped body, you name it). For me, I call it “immortalising memories” – to ensure that our memories are eternal, at least in a digital format that we can see and enjoy. Just like our fingerprints, each and every one of us is unique. We have our own ways of looking at things. A single picture might evoke a different memory to different person. That’s why people say, a picture is worth a thousand words. For some, prefer it to be hung at their wall so that every day they can admire it.

Similar to our existence in this world, with a unique path and way of life, every photographer has a different things they want to achieve. Some has an immense passion to achieve glory by winning international awards, while some just want to make a living. A lot of photographers that I admire has the passion for photography itself, and by being genuine to their passion, they are able to achieve greater heights. For me, my passion is to immortalise memories, with a focus to make people look beautiful/handsome in the photographs that I have created. When people came back to me and tells me that they love the pictures that I have created, I am happy “tukang rantek”.

“Immortalising Memories” 📷

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Instagram: tukangrantekclaudius

Note: Claudius is a portrait “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri.

Depression and Self-Liberation in Photography

Tabi basa and greetings family and friends,

In the recent times, often we heard, seen and read about depression. Before that, it is quite common for us to hear people talk about it and dis it as if it is a laughing matter. I am pretty sure you also have your experiences dealing with such negative emotions. I have not dealt with depression yet, and I am lying if I said I understand how it exactly feels.  

Crying Junior

Definition of Depression

From American Psychiatric Association’s website, depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affect how you feel, they way you feel and how you act. It can cause sadness and / or loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It also can lead into various emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

The symptom includes:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite – weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Increased fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feeling worthless
  • Increase in purposeless activitiy
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

As you can see from the lists, it is quite severe, especially the thoughts of suicide. As you can see in the movie Joker, various mishappening in his life turns him into society-hating person, that stays in the shadows and unknown, and that is his greatest weapon against Batman in the future.

Don’t confuse depression and sadness or grief because the latter are a normal emotional cycle in human, but depression is not. Even if that person is living the ideal situation may even succumb to this, as they are facing a threat and hazard unseen to us – the price to be paid for fame. The more famous you are, the more important is the your emotional strength.

Talking about this, there are time where I feel so unmotivated for no particular reason, where I just feel like lying in my bed, listening to Fur Elise all day. I believe this is quite common, except it came in a different form or activities. I would imagine a singer would want to scream their lungs out at studio when they feel frustrated or depressed. Or runner, just ran until they are tired across the field.

Could there be a solution for this?  

Disclaimer: whatever that is written here is by no means absolute cure or prevention for depression. The words written following this are only the opinion of Claudius Weson, and should be taken as a layman's point of view, not a professional in field psychology.

Photography, Sense of Purpose & Self-Liberation

For me, this one is dealt with in a way that I treat photography as my main outlet to express myself, to tell the stories that I am unable to tell in words, and once I have done that, I express it in words. I like blogging, mainly because I can write things that I don’t get to talk in my everyday conversation. Not everyone that I know wants to talk to the level that I expect them to be. So, for me, I just keep it to myself, type it out here and post it. Who knows it might help someone out there.

I also have a passion in expressing myself, which is why I loved to join activities such as public speaking, debate, battle of the band and latest is photography and blogging.  Back then, adrenaline was running wild, unchecked, and therefore I have to channel it somewhere. Being heartbroken, rejected few times, I use that frustration to create songs, such as Dayung Salau, Buran, I Don’t Care and our Taruh Dari’s (3D) main song, Headhunters of Hornbill Land. Duirng that time, I thought that we can go on as a team. However, that honeymoon period did not last and we have to separate after we finished our schooling (I probably will write about that in a next post).

High-School Rocker

That is also why I come with my own brand, Tukang Rantek. Why? It makes me joyful inside when people call me Tukang Rantek, which makes me excited to go on day to day life. Back in my village also people started to call me Tukang Rantek, like yesterday when I go to church of Pichin, Holy Trinity Church.

The sense of purpose comes in the form of competing with myself. I have quit competing with everyone else because I don’t like where it is heading. Some people don’t mind sacrificing relationship just so that they can win extra job, extra medal, extra recognition and even extra acknowledgement. If that “extra” means I go home unsatisfied with my art, but expressing in the way I become a crowd-pleaser or even social media victim, I rather go without anything but being happy in whatever art that I create. If I am comparing myself to other person’s current state, I am insulting my own potential. Why? I can achieve so much more if I become my own ally, creating the art that pleases both myself and my inner self.

I also do acknowledge that my elders are getting older, therefore I decided to create as much image when I am back at my hometown because no amount of money or regret can give me back that opportunity once I have lost it. How many times have you thought about this in your own family?

Seize the day.

I am Award-less Photographer

Again, this is another source frustration, left unchecked, it can become another source of depression. For me, being a Leica user for few years already, it is not uncommon for me to dream about winning Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), the most prestigious award for Leica society. Only one photographer can win this award every year. What happens to the rest of the photographer if they don’t win any of it? Did they just lost their puspose in life? Of course not; different photographer has a different purpose. For me, I want to create the best image. I strive for this goal in whatever situation that I am in. In that sense, I have a purpose. I further define it to create the best image in whatever situation I am in, given the poor lighting condition, given the gear I am using. For me, using Noctilux would be too easy because I can just blow the background away thanks to its atomic bokeh and leaving the subject intact. That is why I use Summicron recently, be it the first or the latest one. I like to make it difficult for me to capture the image, so that I can learn to control my M better.

In my off day, I like to call myself family photojournalist, capturing the day-to-day actitvities of my family. Sounds trivial, but few years down the road, we will miss these times, the time when the little one is no longer little.

Whether you realise it or not, each photographer reflects their own personality and emotion in the images that they created. If you are sad, you tend to create an image of sad people, and if you are happy, you tend to create an image of happy people. Therefore, before any event, it is better for you to find a good reason to be happy. Due to the emotional load (dealing with peoples) and time constraint, not many wants to be a wedding photographer. But for those who loves all of those, they really thrive in it. That brings us to the next topic.  

How about Money?

This one is tricky because for some people, photography is the way for them to make money. If they can’t make money, they cannot provide necessities for their family. When that comes, whether they like it or not, they have to find another sources of income, trading hours for money, which is unsustainable.

Dio & Anis’s wedding reception.

From my conversation with some of the established photographers, they don’t rely solely on photography as their main source of income. They take commissions from every camera gears that they sold, they organise courses. Not surprisingly, Youtube is also part of their income, especially if you are creating a good, niche content. You also can always be part of the bigger community of  photography, where you can become the second photographer for their job, provided they want your assistance and they trust in your ability to assist them. 

Liberate Yourself From Bondage Called Expectation

Cat woman feeding cats

A self-explanatory topic, your true liberation comes when you are really, and genuinely do photography for yourself, when you are really doing it because you like it, because you love it and you don’t care about those superficial stuff that we are being fed constantly with. The amount of likes or shares won’t pay the bills. Don’t worry about your post that doesn’t even go viral. Don’t worry if you don’t have or won any award. Don’t worry if you are not making any money yet. Do what you like, create the images that make you happy, make memories and make images your life as much as possible and share it with the others. In the end of the day, all you want to achieve is that little joy when you look back at your harvest (images created) and can go to sleep soundly. For non-photographers, just focus on your art, be it writing, singing or playing in a band.

I hope this sharing is useful to you, and able to empower you. No matter how high you have reached, don’t forget your roots. Have a great week ahead!

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson

Note: Claudius Weson is a Pichin-born tukang rantek (photographer) 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.