Erfi Anugrah

Revista

Sporadic

It's probably just the nature of things. The more you sit on it, and dwell on it - the more you see things, newer things that you haven't seen before. Similar to watching a film you've watched as a child then watching it again when you're little bit older, then again when you're a little bit older. Each time, you find some new insight due to your growth as a person, and the maturation of your thoughts.

These photos I think, don't really fit a certain continuity but I feel are interesting enough - so here they are. Not sure if there'll be a Hong Kong IV, because that'll really be milking it. 

Till then.

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Expression and Acceptance

The need for balance is of utmost importance.

Emotion, clouds it. Objectivity, detaches you from it. Experience, from reflection. Connection, from empathy. Empathy, from conscious effort to understand. Understanding, requires thought, patience and time.

Now that the pretentious part is done with, we can begin. (they say writing is therapeutic, so here I am trying to keep my sanity for a little while longer)

Let's talk.

Since this is a photography website or my photography portfolio or what have you. We'll talk about how I express myself through my images.

(if you care that is, continue to read).

You'll see that the black and white ones are dark. I mean, yes, it's black and white. But it's dark. Like this one for example:

And for colour, I tend to go for pastel or muted in the tones. Like these examples (the middle one being my favourite for both obvious and less obvious reasons):

There is a certain kind of balance required I feel. And what I think doesn't really matter. See, it's okay to be objective. And for the most part, it is desirable. What I have found best is to follow your gut or instinct or that little voice in your head. Okay, maybe not that little voice in your head.

In addition to that, as the person taking the photo, or the person writing, or experiencing a certain situation. This idiom comes to mind, "(right) under someone's (very) nose". The closer we are to something, it can be an objective even. The less we see. Myopic is a good analogy for it. So we have to take a step back right?

Now this is the hard part. 

I have made countless mistakes, most I can recover from. And some, I couldn't. And some, I just don't know. Those "some mistakes" are unfortunately really big ones, which they usually are. The kind that sticks with you for life, in good ways and bad, shapes you into a different kind of being or specifically person (I'm just being species neutral here).

Okay wait, what's the hard part? 

Ops, got lost in my thoughts there. The hard part is actually doing it. Sounds obvious right? And half of it is actually being aware enough to catch yourself before it's too late. 

How do we make it easier? 

Having good friends. Now, this is subjective. But in my opinion, friends should be people who can take a step back from whatever biases (I mean there will always be a bias), and judge what you did. They know you well enough and aren't afraid of saying harsh things to you. I know that friends should always get your back right? Well, not always. Friends should always tell you if you're doing something wrong, or stupid and especially not leave you to your own devices when your gut can't be trusted.

It's the same reason why even Magnum photographers have editors to pick images for them. They are too close to it. It's also another reason why I tend to develop film late, or sit on it for a long period of time. (although I should be better with developing it earlier) I come to it with no memory or much memory of what has transpired during that shot. You can't really do that with life though, with relationships for example.

Which is why you need to have that support structure. Everyone does. Even me. There are good ones and bad ones. If you're of sane mind at this time, there's no better time than now to think about it. Constant reflection is key to self-improvement. Even if you fail again. Even if you repeat again. Reflect always.

If you don't have that support structure. Then, there's really not much you alone can do about it. You can try to rationalise your way out of it. Or distract yourself. But those are band-aid solutions. It has to go deeper. And few can do that alone. Try seek help. Ask for opinions. Then, just ride it out I suppose. I can't really offer any insight here. To each his own. Or her own.

Which brings us back to expression. In other words, the colour of communication. If you got that part down right, most of your problems are gone. 

The rest is really up to the interpretation of the recipient. And then, you just have to accept it. 

P.S: No more image posts on the site for now I think. But we'll see soon enough. Or not.
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Architecture

This is something that I have always liked doing but I don't think that I have gotten any better at it. I don't know really. So, enjoy these ones, and if you're able, tell me how I can improve on the shots. These are in colour, so that's always something different from my usual black-and-white perspective of the world. I'll be running out of photos to post pretty soon. But fortunately, I have a bunch of film to shoot with soon. 9 rolls of Tri-X and 5 rolls of CineStill 800T. Really looking forward to that. Hope you are too.

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Projects

"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert

As you have seen (or have not), I have yet again created a new page. This is more for the short term, specific-focused works that I have, compared to the more longer term yet not really long-form works that you have seen, that took months or years to have finally seen the light of day (I just love long running sentences, don't I?).

So, this is for me to improve within boundaries. Kaizen.

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Muse

I'm pretty sure she would not be too keen on this considering everything that has been happening however I feel that I should do this.

It's quite common that we, as normal human beings - we tend to take things for granted until it is far too late. Or the naïvete, thinking that we're invincible. Limits are there for a reason. We're not gods. No one has unlimited patience, strength or motivation. Some more than others. Some less than others. You get the point.

The title is apt here. She is my muse. She occupies my thoughts everyday. Good days, and bad days. Days I feel like I do not want to continue, and days when I feel like we can do it all. Through the good times, and the bad times.

Every time I say that she's beautiful or pretty, she disagrees. But I want to show that here, in my way. Her beauty. It may not be for everyone, but it is for me. It is in a way a tribute to the woman who has impacted my life in almost every conceivable way.

I am not sure whether anyone would even read this or see the images (but I guess I can do some social media-ing) but having it here feels right.

There is nothing else to say besides what I already have, and to the beautiful person that this is for, let nothing take away that beautiful smile of yours.

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Travelling again

In about three months I will leave the country to the cold, cold Scandinavian lands. Well. Just Sweden, but I will make sure to do some fair bit of travelling, and of course lots of photo taking business. If you're asking (which I'm sure you're not) why I am going to Sweden again, well, as you know (or do you), I'm a university student, so I'm going there on exchange with the added bonus of being with my significant other again. So yes. Most of the administrative nonsense are taken care of. And with money, you can do anything. Sad fact of life. Well, without you can too. Just exponentially harder.

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Printing

I should have read Ansel Adam's The Print to be honest. But too late now.

I have been doing a lot of darkroom printing lately, and posting photos from my Hong Kong trip a year ago. But for the most part I have a dearth of content to post I think, so that has to change if I can say so myself. Being in university certainly does not make that easier, and I am sick. Again. It's probably the same thing which came back. I didn't really give myself time to recover fully too, so there's that. I tend to think I can do anything when I can't. Getting old now. 

Anyways, I digress. But what is there to digress from anyway, and who reads this shit?

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Zines

I have been thinking of making one for quite a while (that's a recurring theme with me: waiting). And I probably should in the foreseeable future. But instead of just using the photos that I already have, maybe I'll make one for my significant other, with photos of our travels. Also, another from scratch, just starting on a project. Setting the number of images to go into it, the size of the zine and all that. That would be interesting. And I want to do it before the end of this year before I leave for my exchange.

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In retrospect

Shooting on colour was not too shabby. However, I should have developed the film negatives as soon as possible. A lot of the colour might have "run out", "faded off" maybe. I'm not too sure. I don't think Kodak Portra 400 should look like that even pushed to 1600. I took a whole year to finally develop and scan them. So a lot of tinkering had to be done just to get the colour that I want but even then it might not be up to the level that I want it to be.

That's not to say that I know how to edit colour. I don't, really. This was a learning process for me. A rather daunting one. Took me quite a lot of guesswork and rare moments of epiphany to get something decent out of them and even then maybe not so much. Regardless, I have 5 rolls of CineStill 800T to shoot in the near future so I'm excited to see what kind of results I would be able to achieve.

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Chroma

I can't think of a better title that just means colour, so chroma it is then. I'll be posting the photos shortly and I hope you like them. Constructive feedback is welcomed. I think.

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A little colour

As you may have deduced from the title. I have started scanning my colour negatives, and I must say that it is hard. Very hard. It's tedious work getting the colour right. Then again, this is new for me. So it is a learning process. I have not yet decided whether this scanner was a good purchase or not. But time will tell. Till then, hold tight. Changes are a comin'.

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Darkroom

Didn't really think that this would be a thing, but apparently it has now. I'm writing again. I think there's cause for celebration.

Maybe not.

Today I was in the darkroom for the first time. For someone who has shot on film for 6 years, and never being in the darkroom, is a bit of a shame. Regardless, I will strive to develop my own film, at the very least, the black and whites ones my own. Of course, I'm scanning them by myself as well. Speaking of which, the film scanner is called Reflecta RPS 10M, expensive as hell and it's on its way here.

Hope to god nothing screws up. That'll be a $900 screw up if it does. Plus shipping.

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Quality

As I have said before the lack of dedicate film scanner means that the quality of the photos are sub-par. That is in the technical sense. But there's also the aesthetic quality that we have to talk about, or rather I do. I am not quite satisfied with it. I don't quite know what to do with the existing images that I do have besides editing them the best I can and uploading them here. Of course, Instagram hides the flaws more but I suppose the whole point of having this site is to be honest about everything.

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The beginning

I was not quite expecting to write one but perhaps I should. Do not get me wrong this is first and foremost a place for my images and the attention should be solely on them. You can call it my portfolio if you like. Instagram doesn't quite cut in terms of the resolution of the images but it serves its purpose as a quick way to show people my work.

It has been a long time coming, I have long wanted to create a site just for this. Lo and behold, here it is. There has been a lot of tinkering, and it is a work in progress so you'll see a lot of changes from now on. But generally, this is how it should look.

More photos would be uploaded eventually once I get my hands on a dedicated film scanner. Till then, enjoy what is there right now.

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