Friday, October 31, 2008

Photo Exploration # 20: Platonic Reality



I said, whatevery moves me.

Like a hammer striking hard at the senses, the scene moved me. I tried to capture it from different angles but, to my frustration, none seemed to work out. Such is the elusive power of photographic reality. Light was fast fading - and so was this fleeting drama of the shadow.

Platonic Reality, the title of this post, is inspired by the Cave Allegory or Cave Metaphor that Plato used in The Republic (Book 7, 514a - 520a), in which he narrated a fictional conversation between Socrates (his teacher) and his brother Glaucon. In the dialogue, Socrates introduced the idea that what many people take to be reality could in fact be just an illusion.

Confined from birth in a cave and forced to face the wall where shadows of the "real" things are projected, the prisoners who inhabit the cave (that's us?) have only seen shadows all their lives and hence they have come to belive that the shadows are real and that they are reality.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Meeting The "Photo Scavenger Hunt" Thematic Challenge: Things That Go Fast



Every now and then photographers need to create a challenge (in the form of a project of some sort) or meet a challenge posed by others to hone their photographic skills and keep their creative powers alive.

My post today is about meeting that kind of challenge.

Photo Scavenger Hunt is a photographic weekly thematic challenge initiated by a photo blogger friend of mine, Carrie Hayes of View of You Photography. For this week, the theme is "things that go fast" - and here is my interpretation of it.

How fast is fast? Well, I think that depends very much on what yard stick .you're using. A car can be fast, but it would seem slow compared to a rocket, for example. A bicycle may be slow when compared to a car, but it definitely is faster when compared with walking.

Fotografer kadang-kadang perlu menciptakan tantangan atau menjawab tantangan yang diberikan oleh orang lain untuk mengasah kemahiran fotografi dan kreatifitasnya.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Photo Exploration # 18: Urbanites 01



JAGAT FOTOGRAFI received KREATIV BLOGGER AWARD from a fellow photo blogger Laetitia of Malta Magic. Thanks a lot, Laetitia.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photo Exploration # 17: Construction



My participation for this week's theme of Photo Scavenger Hunter: Construction.

This concrete skeleton is going to be an indoor tennis stadium of the Faculty of Sports Education of the Indonesia University of Education, Bandung.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Photo Exploration # 16: Whatever Moves Me ...



The Creative Processes Within:
I take photos of whatever moves me. Sometimes they are good, sometimes not so good, but very rarely are they bad. No, no, no, ... I'm not trying to say that I never fail. I certainly have had my own fair share of bad photographs if the "accepted" norms of what makes good and bad photographs are used. What I mean by "I rarely have bad photographs" is that no matter what a judge in a photography contest or the viewing public would have said about my photographs, I would still feel good about them if I feel some sort of satisfaction when I took those photos. And that kind of satisfaction comes from the good feeling I feel about following my "instict," following what "moves me from within".

I can't always name or explain what that is that makes my visual instinct tickles when that is happening. But the photos usually speak for themselves, after they were created. Quoting them (the photos), sometimes it is the convergence of lines and geometrical elements that make a pleasing or curious composition. At other times, it's a fleeting moment that begged to be frozen in a frame, or the appealing plays of light and shadows, or colors striking the visual cords within. Whatever happens, I don't usually have an overt consciousness about what the pictures will "speak" about.

Having said all that, however, I must also admit that things have not always been like that. There were times in my love affairs with photography when my visual intincts were mixed or confused with my conciousness of who the audience of my photographs would be. I tried hard to make "good" photographs that would somehow please my audience (imagined or real) by conforming to the accepted norms about what a good photograph should be - in the choice of subjects, the rule of composition, and other technical tids and bits. But did I feel happy? Successful?

Sometimes, I did. But the constraints the conscioiusness I had about my audience placed upon my "creative shoulders" felt too heavy and made me feel disoriented about where I wanted to go with my photography. So, I had to let it go. It (losing my audience and audience's approval) was not easy, but I'm glad I did it. Now I feel freer to pursue whatever moves me from within.

October 13, 2008
Eki Qushay Akhwan

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Photo Exploration # 15: Colors

COLORS 1 copyrights Eki Akhwan

"There is a clear difference between a photograph in which there happens to be colour, and one in which the colour works to make the image what it is."

(Freeman, Michael.Digital Photography Expert: Colour. Cambridge, England: ILEX, 2005)

The legitimacy of color as a subject of a photograph has been debated among photographers for a long time. For those who are against it, the concentration on "beautiful colors in pleasing relationships" is considered to be one of the two "categories of failure" of color photography (Szarkowski in Freeman, 2005: 133). Though "pleasing," an image that makes color its (primary) subject is considered by some art critics as a photograph "in search of a subject," or a "formless" photograph (op cit.).

This is the Indonesian version of the above text:
Warna sebagai subjek foto yang sah telah lama diperdebatkan di kalangan para fotografer. Bagi yang tidak setuju terhadap warna sebagai subjek foto, konsentrasi pada "warna-warna yang indah" dianggap sebagai salah satu dari dua "kategori kegagalan" fotografi warna. Meskipun tampak "indah," sebuah foto yang menjadikan warna sebagai subjek utamnaya dianggap oleh sebagian kritikus seni sebagai foto yang "kehilangan subjeknya" atau foto yang "tak berbentuk".

This is what the above photograph looks like when it is desaturated. The "pleasing" effect, as you can see, is gone.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photo Exploration # 14: High Angle

HIGH ANGLE copyrights Eki Akhwan

INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER REVIEW: How Bad is INDOSAT M2?

I know this blog of mine is a photo or photography blog. But today, with this post, I will have to use this medium for something other than photography. So, first my appology to you, my audience, for this unexpected detour. I promise this will not happen very often, and, as it should, you will still be seeing more photos and articles on photography here than this kind of irrelevant posts.

Blogging, and especially photo blogging, as I am sure you are all aware of, requires a reliable and fast internet connection. Without reliability and speed, photo blogging will just be a pain in the a**, as without them, it will take forever to upload a photo, let alone photoblog surfing or photoblog walking.

This was the first reason I had for my decision to switch my internet connection from Telkomnet Instan (by Indonesia’s PT. TELKOM) dial up to Indosat M2 wireless 3G. Portability (or mobility?) and speed seemed to be a great thing to have in addition to budgeting. With Telkomnet Instan, whose charge is time based, I often could not have control about how much money I would have had to pay by the end of the month. (Blogging is indeed an exciting thing and, I have to admit, a sinfully addictive activity that time seems to be flying when you are at it.) With byte-usage-based charge in monthly fixed rate Indosat M2, I thought, was a better choice.

Well, now I have proven that to be wrong. Not only is Indosat M2 bad, it is insanely worse than bad that I’d suggest you think it over many times over before you even consider of signing up for its service.

Let me describe how bad it is according to my own experience. Since I signed up for its internet service – which is by the way vigorously advertised as being fast, reliable, 3.5 G mobile internet connection – I’ve only got what was promised approximately 20% of the time. The rest 80% of the time or so, the service was just purely crap. With the speed of approximately 30 kbps on average, the internet connection provided by Indosat M2 is was below that of the normal speed of even a dial up.

I have brought this problem up several times with Indosat customer service officers (CSO). At first, I believed and followed all their technical suggestions and advice: setting this and that from my computer, etc. They worked sometimes, but failed most of the time. I kept knocking at their door and asked why I did NOT get what they promised. By this time, the CSO started to come up with a different kind of suggestions. They blamed the location from which I accessed their service. They said that since I accessed their service from what they called “a border area”, the quality of the service was not optimal. Almost apprehensively, I bought that excuse. I thought there was nothing I could do about it. I live in the subburb, and that’s the culprit. I could not blame them.

But then I began to observe this phenomenon: Even in my office, which is reasonably located within the city’s borders, I rarely get the fast and reliable internet connection promised by Indosat M2. During the busy time, the situation is as frustrating as when I access the connection from home. So, I began to think that the “border area” explanation was not really the real reason for Indosat M2 bad services.

I also observed that sometimes I could get reasonably good and fast connection from home (which according to Indosat CSO was in the “border area”), that is when I access their internet services very early in the morning (2:00 AM and after). Also, during the last Ied Al Fitr (Idul Fitri) holiday season, I generally did not have the same frustrating problem I had been experiencing. At these times, the connection was as fast as 3G (UMTS or HSDPA) even with only one or two bar signal that I got.

All this evidence leads me to the conclusion that the problem I have been having was not due to the fact that I lived in a “border area” or because of some technical issues with the setting in my computer as had been explained by Indosat’s CSO. It must be because of the shared bandwidth that Indosat M2 system is using. As a result of their vigorous campaigning, many new customers have apparently signed up for the service. This, unfortunately, was not compensated on their part by improvements in their facilities (technical, bandwidth, etc.). Hence, the worsening service that, in my experience-based opinion, is bordering with fraud. If things continue the way it is now, Indosat M2 can be considered as having committed fraud, i.e. not keeping the promises it made in its advertising campaigns to its customers.


Tulisan ini adalah REVIEW LAYANAN INDOSAT M2.
Berdasarkan pengalaman langsung konsumen seperti yang dipaparkan dalam tulisan ini, layanan internet Indosat M2 secara umum sangat buruk. Layanan internet cepat seperti yang dijanjikan dalam iklan-iklan Indosat M2 tidak terbukti. Analisis yang dilakukan penulis menunjukkan bahwa layanan yang buruk itu kemungkinan besar disebabkan karena peningkatan jumlah pelanggan tidak diimbangi oleh Indosat M2 dengan penambahan bandwidth yang sewajarnya, sehingga bukan hanya kecepatan akses menjadi sangat lambat (lebih lambat dari kecepatan akses internet dial up), namun juga sering menjadi “stalled” (macet) – kondisi dimana meskipun sinyal tampak kuat (5 bar), browsing tidak dapat dilakukan karena transfer data NOL atau nyaris NOL.

Ketika saya menulis artikel ini, saya sudah menunggu jawaban dan penyelesaian masalah atas pengaduan yang saya lakukan bertanggal 3 September 2008 (lebih dari sebulan yang lalu) dengan nomor pengaduan 08091444093 yang hingga saat ini belum dijawab atau diselesaikan oleh Indosat. Perlu diketahui juga, sejak saat itu saya telah beberapa kali lagi menghubungin CSO Indosat M2 (terakhir malam ini, di mana CSO yang menerima telepon mengkonfirmasi bahwa memang masalah tersebut belum dijawab dan/atau ditangani).

Dengan pengalaman buruk yang saya alami, saya hanya bisa menyarankan, pikir seribu kali sebelum tertipu oleh iklan-iklan Indosat M2. Janji-janji dalam iklan-iklan itu tidak terbukti!

By the time I wrote this article, I have been waiting for an answer and/or settlement of the complaint I logged in with Indosat M2 on September 3, 2008. I have been calling them serveral times since then, the latest of which was tonight, in which the CSO handling my call confirmed thatr the problem was not fixed and settled yet.

With all this disappointment, I can only suggest you think twice or more to use Indosat M2 as your choice for internet service provider. Indosat M2 service is CRAPPY!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Skywatch Post 01 (NT)

SEPTEMBER 28 2008 CANON A510 023

This photograph is for this blog's participantion is Skywatch Friday. To see other participants' photographs, please check here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Street Photography # 4: Children's World

CHILDREN AT PLAY copyrights Eki Akhwan

CHILDREN AT PLAY 2 copyrights Eki Akhwan

Children live in their own world.

It is not ours.
Ours is a world of thoughts and consciousness,
of works and complex interplay,
theirs is a world of imaginations,
of freedom and play.

We teach them to become us.
Do we not want to learn to become them?
to be imaginative,
to be at play and enjoy,
to be free and feel the joy?

Eki Qushay Akhwan

Thursday, October 2, 2008

© Copyrights
Unless otherwise stated, the articles and photos in this blog are the copyright property of Eki Qushay Akhwan. All rights reserved. You may NOT republish any of them in any forms without prior permission in writing from Eki Qushay Akhwan.

Kecuali disebutkan secara khusus, hak cipta atas tulisan dan karya foto di dalam blog ini ada pada Eki Qushay Akhwan. Dilarang mempublikasi ulang artikel dan/atau karya foto di dalam blog ini dalam bentuk apapun tanpa izin tertulis dari Eki Qushay Akhwan.