Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lure of the Mannequins

Mannequins are lifeless figures, we all know. But they are almost always perfect: from head to toe, they are shaped to match the images of perfection. They are like magnets in our own minds about what we want to be - pulling us to the border of the underworld where consciouness is put to the back seat and primordial emotions are taking control: spend, spend, spend ...

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Echoe is a familiar word to many of us. You know, it's like what happens when you shout to a solid wall and hear your own voice being repeated.

I was told that the word came from the Greek mythology. Echoe was the name of a talkative oread (mountain nymph) who loved her own voice very much. She was punished by Hera - Seuz' wife - for preventing her from catching her husband's love affairs with the other nymphs by taking away her voice. From then on Echo could only foolishly repeat another's shouted words.

What does it have to to with these photos?

For one, it's their titles: Echo 1 and Echo 2.

The rest is not my right to say. Let them speak for themselves.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Daily Dose of Excitement

What do they say about photographers?

They can't live a day without taking pictures. They need it like they need the air they breathe.

To me, it's more like a daily dose of excitement that keeps me ticking. It gives me the relief from boredom that I sometimes feel.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Peanut World: Photo Hunting Reconsidered

If you are not a full time photographer, chances are that there are times when you just feel that you don't have the time to really go out and hunt for and make photographs. But think again. Photographs are everywhere for you to pick up at will. All you need to do is change your paradigm about a photograph and the way you think about it.

All things can be photographed. Good or bad is the next question. But good or bad are also categorical. There are general criteria for good photographs (although many would not care to think about the bad ones). And even then, these filters don't apply across the board. What's good in one may not be that good in another. Three things, I think, play a very significant role: genre, taste, and cultural setting.

I'll safe the lengthy discussion of those somewhat more complicated arguments for later time. For now, let's get back to the basic premise: anything can be photographed. And that anything is anywhere as long as there is light, for photography is impossible without light. And as I said earlier, all you need to do is change your attitude. Once that happens, you can start exploring - using whatever you have and know about photograph-making.

Snapshooting may be the first step. Let it go. Release your creative energy. Kick out all inhibitions about going happy and shooting at will. Photography is cheap now that the digital technology has made it possible to take and discard photographs without much financial consequences. Once you get heated up and the creative energy is overflowing, start paying attention to details, elements, light, and what's possible under the circumstances. That - in my experience - is when satisfying photographs (I'm not talking about good here) begin to come your way.

All those "procedures" can take place anywhere and anytime. The "Peanut World" above was made at the peak of boredome at the workplace. It was a short round of snapshooting before I began to focus and "saw" and "picked" satisfying photographs.

©Eki Akhwan 2009
PS. I did nothing to edit the photograph, except turning it into black and white and resizing it. The 16:9 ratio format is camera-original.

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