(Re)start

The first few weeks of this January in 2018 has been a whirlwind for sure — of emotions, of perspective and even of work. 

You see, pretty much realized I am not exactly the most emotionally stable and persistent person I thought I was. I am much more prone to the backlashes of a setback and that... is an entirely different narrative to talk about.

At that, with the end of January 2018 looming up, here is a reminder and re-sparking of the aspirational fire that no matter what happens, things done with utmost love and honesty will always be the right thing to do — albeit the battle would be hard — for that makes the battle worth it, in the end doesnt it?

Office Closure

Time and time again I get reminded by pretty much many things — some good, some bad that really, I should treasure the people around me the most at all times. It is those little moments that really spark the fire which we call life — it invigorates us with a sort of... aspirational empowerment?

Love you pops (parents) (where did I hear this hahahahah)

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Dad: Haircut

Dated: Wednesday, 25th October 2017

I have always loved these moments where I get to be with Dad as he gets his monthly? haircuts. I don’t know. But it definitely fills me with a sort of forlorn appreciation for things.

Also maybe because the act of having a haircut itself feels like an invigorating thing — like you are abandoning whatever it is that could metaphorically be attached to yourself (hair for example). Like a continuous process where you can live and let go. 

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Bandung, Indonesia

Serving the Nation and am a few months away from being a free Civilian once again. But besides that, I suppose it is also a time to strongly reflect on the choices I've made before and the ones I will make moving forward. 

One I strongly feel about personally is I guess about Travelling and the whole idea that encapsulates; like not being so afraid (being brave?) that I don't make any choices altogether. 

So yes, towards the end of November and the beginning of December 2016, I've decided to travel abroad to somewhere, somewhere still close to home with the bros; Indonesia—to witness and experience what it could possibly offer. A primer of proportions perhaps. And one that definitely begs for myself to come and visit once again.  

smoking boize

smoking boize

Sleeping at transit, waking up groggy (awoken by Airport Security Officers) and getting ready for the flight. Here though is Amirul.  

Sleeping at transit, waking up groggy (awoken by Airport Security Officers) and getting ready for the flight. Here though is Amirul.  

Azim looking at the planes beyond and also a cameo by Zaki.  

Azim looking at the planes beyond and also a cameo by Zaki.  

Linking up with driver Andri after arriving in Jakarta, Indonesia and also moving onwards to our second home for the next 5 days!

Linking up with driver Andri after arriving in Jakarta, Indonesia and also moving onwards to our second home for the next 5 days!

The view (actually only because the room only had one Window wat) from the Hotel.  

The view (actually only because the room only had one Window wat) from the Hotel.  

Tangkuban Perahu.  

Tangkuban Perahu.  

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Here you can see us having no idea just how soon we were about to getting scammed by these local folks and them 'Tasbihs' in hand.  

Here you can see us having no idea just how soon we were about to getting scammed by these local folks and them 'Tasbihs' in hand.  

A sneaky escapade, product testing and photo in a stall selling very tourist–y merchandise.

A sneaky escapade, product testing and photo in a stall selling very tourist–y merchandise.

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Back at the Hotel, chilling, eating street–bought supper and deciding on the next day's itinerary (especially after getting scammed of moolah possible to be used for many other activities!). 

Back at the Hotel, chilling, eating street–bought supper and deciding on the next day's itinerary (especially after getting scammed of moolah possible to be used for many other activities!). 

Walking and climbing around in Dr Martens are actually, genuinely the most interesting experience of the trip yet—I had no idea they had such grip like military boots! 

Walking and climbing around in Dr Martens are actually, genuinely the most interesting experience of the trip yet—I had no idea they had such grip like military boots! 

With weather–cooled breeze slapping our faces as we stocked our heads out of the moving vehicle—onwards to our next destination (Glambing; a Ship cut in half and placed atop a mountain of sorts) of very steep incline. 

With weather–cooled breeze slapping our faces as we stocked our heads out of the moving vehicle—onwards to our next destination (Glambing; a Ship cut in half and placed atop a mountain of sorts) of very steep incline. 

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The bros and their usual selfie antics.  

The bros and their usual selfie antics.  

Andri, our driver and eventual guide for the entire trip.  

Andri, our driver and eventual guide for the entire trip.  

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Pretty cool shop called UNKL347 selling the most appealing of streetwear products.  

Pretty cool shop called UNKL347 selling the most appealing of streetwear products.  

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Probably the best Satay Meranggi (Satay with a mixed Black Soya Sauce and Chilli condiment) I've ever had and ever tasted. I suppose it's an Indonesia kind of culture–flavoured thing?

Probably the best Satay Meranggi (Satay with a mixed Black Soya Sauce and Chilli condiment) I've ever had and ever tasted. I suppose it's an Indonesia kind of culture–flavoured thing?

N. 11, Kodak Gold 200, Canon EOS 88

I've read this somewhere, that one should notice what one photographs, time and again—for that is the subject the photographer would fear most losing.

I guess for me, not a photographer obviously, but a budding one, one with the need to have it utilised as a means of documenting; Family is indeed one of the few things in Life i would verily so fear most losing.

I don't know. As I grow older, it feels like really, in all certainty, that Family is the most important aspect of my life. I strongly believe I won't be who I am today, both positively and negatively? without my family's support and mannerisms.

N. 10, Kodak Gold 200, Canon EOS 88

The Kodak Gold 200. 

I've heard pretty much raving views of it being a cheap, yet good stock of film to be using in a tropical country like Singapore—where bright sunlight is not a given choice, it's a constant. Okay except for those moments where it does rain, and rain like cats and dogs does it not.

With such a low ISO value, it definitely would require a higher amount of light to be exposed. But how much is too much? Or how little is too little? I think I've probably used it before, exposing frames with the camera's internal lightmeter—and it was disastrous? Most of the shots came out pretty underexposed; with muddy colours and lots of grain—but then again there was a certain look to it which is actually quite soothing to look at. Like for example below.

But I digress, it does however look better with some form of accurate light–metering—with an external light–meter of course! <: A worthy investment I have to admit.

At that, was also playing around with the possibility of using Film to document work for Portfolio presentation. I guess the results were not as spectacular as envisioned, but definitely something that can be worked with? I suppose the Film stocks would definitely affect the outcome of the image in the end—like the tones and grain and maybe even sharpness/scan-ability. 

Stepping Up

When Mum started falling sick, thank you Dad for choosing to always be there to hold the family together. This one is dedicated to you and your kitchen skills.

The best Chef in the time of need.

Series shot with a 50mm, f/1.8 lens on Kodak Portra 400.
Scanned & developed at Konota Department Store.

 

 

Analogue — Digital

You know,

I have always had this mentality — I suppose from viewing all these incredible images online on Blogs/Instagram/Social Media? that Film Photography, equates to the utter lack of Post–Production after having that roll of film developed and scanned.

Like I had this idea that all scans that came back from a Lab would be great. Like legitly jaws–dropping, pants dropping images with superb pastel–y tones and mood and all. But sadly no, the scans I get back from the Lab is definitely a no–go. Mine all looked like crap. The colours look stale and washed out, the mood + emotions that I envisioned did not come to fruition/surface. Reality of the much hyped film scans felt like shit. I felt like quitting too. I blamed my gear. I blamed myself — I firmly believed that such crap was only the consequence of my bad handling towards light.

Looking back / at present, it was and is indeed a stupid mentality to have had.

Reading articles/forums online, and a godsend of a book (FilmIsNotDead by Jonathan Canlas), it hit me, a revelation, laughable I guess — is that it is indeed okay to edit/tweak your scans back once you get them! Like dude.

The Lab actually scanning the frames to a disc is in itself converting that tangible medium to an intangible digital file. A digital file that like RAW files is malleable — to a certain extent of course (since it is not RAW format, it is JPEG as a basic scan. Unless it is TIFF, but that is another story + experimentation possibility altogether.)

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LEFT: Original Scan — RIGHT: Post–Processed

LEFT: Original Scan — RIGHT: Post–Processed

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But one thing is for sure, and definitely sure I am — editing the digital equivalent of Film scans are like the easiest thing ever! With Lightroom’s capability to batch–process too, I can easily refine my images as a lot with the tones + mood? I envisioned from the get–go.

So yes, please, please do not fall into a similar trap in thinking that the scans you get back from the Lab are the final end–products. It does not make any sense why the Digitally captured files can/should be edited while it’s Film cousin can’t.

It is super ridiculous to have thought that way and I hope that this rant/argument/brain–fart has made sense and would be worth a reminder/call–to–embolden/a story to chew upon.