Sunday, December 26, 2010

Photographs from A Rainy Day on The Beach

Unlike with any other places, the beach is a place where one - a photographer especially - would expect to find the sun and a clear blue sky. Unfortunately, the beach is just part of the earth, and like any other places on it and under the sky, it can also be cloudy and rainy, or even stormy.

So, what would you do if you had come to the beach, all gears packed and ready for the sun, sand, and surf, but found that the place was wet and cloudy?

Here's what I would do:

A photograph taken on the beach during a rainy day (or any day where the sky is overcast for that matter) would produce a near monochromatic image. The soft and even light would even make the picture flat and uninteresting. If this situation discourages you, you might just pack up and go or wait till the weather gets better.

But wait!

The complement of (or cure for?) monochrome is colors. That's it! Colors would break the monotony and the flatness of the situation.

And here's what I did on my recent excursion to a beach with some colleagues when I found that it was rainy and cloudy. I kept walking with my umbrella and camera, snapping whatever I could find interesting photographically all the while scouting for the badly needed colors to make my photographs work.

Then out of nowhere (I was lucky enough here), these girls in bright color clothings carrying bright-colored umbrellas were coming into my view finder. Two were chasing each other playfully. Others were just standing at the edge of the water contemplatively looking at the dark horizon.

"Perfect!" I said. And before I knew it, I had been snapping like crazy trying to follow their moves all the while trying to pay attention to the lines, the perspective, and proportion.

Note: I took all the photographs here with my Canon PowerShot A490 point and shoot digital pocket camera. I only made minor adjustments with a photo editing software for level, contrast, vignetting effects, and resizing.

Friday, July 16, 2010


It's been a while since I last posted in this blog. My apology.

I continue taking and making pictures, of course. After all, that's about one of the things that keeps me ticking. Some of those pictures are good, some bad, some taken seriously, some only lightly at the gut's urge of the moment. Some I proudly share with you here and here. But there are countless others that I keep for myself, sitting in the dark corners of my harddisks.

Today I decided to share some photographs that I have - for the past three months or so - kept for myself. I took them in Medina on our Umrah pilgrimage.

Instead of taking the usual pictures of the beautiful Islamic architectures or documenting what were doing or the places we visited, I decided to observe and make pictures of the ordinary, the stuff that many call the street photography.

Here is the first installment from the city of Medina, the first city we visited on our umrah after Jeddah, the port of entry.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Speaking Photograph

We all know that saying (or cliche?) that a photograph speaks a thousand words. Does it really speak though? Can a photograph speak on its own? If it does, how?

More on this in the next posts.

By the way, I originally posted this photo - and three others I previously posted - on my other blog Bandung Streets [Photography].


Karena sudah terlalu sering kita dengar, pernyataan ini menjadi klisye: "A photograph speaks a thousand words." Betulkah foto bisa berbicara sendiri? Bagaimana caranya?

Kita akan cara jawaban atas pertanyaan ini pada posting selanjutnya.

Foto ini - dan tiga foto lain sebelum ini - semula saya publikasikan di blog fotografi saya Bandung Streets [Photography].

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Photograph as Document

To document is to record. Documentary photography, therefore, can be defined as the practice of photography that is based on the idea that the photograph is a record.

As a record, the photograph gets its authority from, among others, what is called the pro-photographic event (the event was there; it happened) effect and I was there (the photographer) effect. Furthermore, it also gets its authority from the sense of authenticiy it derives from what is called the indexical effect of conjectures of cirumstance. A photograph, in other words, is a "meeting place" or rendesvous of things such as the subject matter, framing, light, characteristics of the lens, the chemical and/or digital processing, etc.

Summarized from Wells, Liz (ed.) (2004) Photography: A Critical Introduction (3rd Ed.), London: Routledge, pp. 17 - 18.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Rainography is obviously a play of words. There is no such a word in the English language. And no dictionaries have had an entry of it yet. I made it up.

Combining the words rain and photography, the new word carries with it the meanings of the constituent words. Its meaning may therefore be construed as photography of the rain. In the study of linguistics, the blending (or combining) of words or morphemes like this is called portmanteau, a word which - etymologically - is derived from the French words "porter" (to carry) and "manteau" (mantle).

Speaking of verbal and morphological blending, let's also remember that a photograph may in itself be considered as a blending of various signs. Hence, it is a text. And like any other texts, it is a locus where a host of other previously existing texts interact with one another in the process of producing this new text (intertextuality). As a text, a photograph can also be read and interpretted.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Painting with Light

Photography after all is writing or painting with light. The camera is your brush, the digital sensor and/or the film are your canvas, and the light is your medium. Just like painting, what you want to do with them is up to you. Just as there are many painting syles, so there are photography.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Here is what a dictionary says about 'explore':
(1) to investigate, study, or analyze;
(2) to travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery;
(3) to examine especially for diagnostic purposes.

And when I said that this blog was going to explore and understand photography, those definitions were what I had in mind. I wanted to investigate it, study it, analyze it, and examine it. But more than that, I wanted to travel and discover the new photographic territories and have an adventure in and with it.

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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.

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