Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 In Color

The end of the year is getting near, it's time to sit back and review what I've done. This year, for the first time I've managed to curate my own works and compile them into a single volume collection, "2014 In Color". Comprises of 70 selected color street photographs that I took during 2014. I intentionally ignore all my BW works which I already posted here in this blog. I want to see how I progressed in making color picture.

During Eid al-Fitr holiday on July, I bought a street photography book by Paul Zacharia, a well known Indonesian senior photographer. At the end of his book, he wrotes a defining principles to differentiates Documentary, Jurnalistic, and Street Photography. I found his statement to be enlightening and sharpen my view about this mixed-up photography genre.

To summarize, I could recite here :
  • DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY, capture the subject/moment which considered worthed to be archived for future reference in specific purpose. This includes our family documentation. In fact, Mr. Paul said that all photographs are documents!
  • JURNALISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY, capture the subject/moment which considered to be important and newsworthy that should be reported to general public.
  • STREET PHOTOGRAPHY, capture the subject/moment which considered to be unique, spontaneous, candid, full of surprises as its main attributes. It doesn't have to carry a message or purpose, only for the sake of its spontaneity and visual attractiveness. Sometimes street photographs seems too obscure and not easy to grasp. Mr. Paul said further that we are not being asked to understand (meaning/message/purpose) of street photographs, we just need to ENJOY them.

Those three categorization could overlap in single photograph which confuses new comers and rolls endless debates. I found Mr. Paul definition completely answers all questions. Regardless whether you agree or not with him, just keep shooting and do whatever you like.

In the same book, Mr. Paul mentions two great names as exemplary of street photographers : HCB and Alex Webb. I already know HCB with his geometric approach. I heard Alex Webb mentioned in many discussion forums but I've never see his works. As I explore further, I found his "Suffering of Light" and get fascinated with it. I read many reviews about his works and started being influenced. I use some of his formula (the simpler one) in arranging composition. The multilayer is the most complex one that I'm still hesitate to tried. In "2014 In Color" you could see my imitation of Webb composition. Here is my personal favorite ...

In making a compilation, the most difficult part is to choose the right selection from thousands that accumulates during the year. Fortunately, I have successfully implement a Digital Asset Management system to organize my photographs. It proves to be fruitfull to establish the practice of registering/categorizing our photo shortly after every photowalk. I'll write more about this in separate blog post. After you have your selection, the next step is to arrange the sequence how those photographs appear one after another in the book. This is a highly personal, artistry and heuristic process. The recommended way in doing this is to print all your photographs and spread all of them on the floor. Gradually we will see the connection between the photographs. Rebecca Webb (Alex Webb's wife) once said, "My picture is smarter than me", to illustrate how unscientific and unsystematic this process could be.

After three weeks of contemplating, here is my personal selection of my own photographs. The following link will redirect you to To download, click the Share icon on issuu, then click Download.
Hope this could pleases your eyes ...