Ever since I took the photo of a village girl (click on the photo on the right to see the post) taken in Pushkar, India last year, my perception on shooting portraits has changed. I’m taking more time to observe the faces of people I see along my journey now. I can’t wait to meet interesting locals and take another shot like that. I can’t wait to capture the moment! That split second, when they let their guard down, often accidently, enable stranger to see through their eyes, to feel what they feel, to reach their soul.
I want to capture those intriguing images, that will let me puzzled, leave me pondered, and sometimes inspire. I want to capture those faces, which appeared confident, proud and elegant, but also fear and vulnerability at the same time, like what many of us own.
The more I travel, the more I realize that travelling isn’t just taking snapshots of the famous landmarks or landscapes, as this is called sight-seeing. Travelling involves a more in-depth understanding of the destination, its people, its culture and its history. Travelling open up our eyes, but that’s not the end of it. Travelling teaches us how to respect others, to embrace differences, to be humble and to appreciate what we already own. It’s not the physical structures or the natural landscapes that define a place. It’s the people’s beliefs, their commitment to preserve their culture, their display of strength, the courage to live and the determination to beat the odds, that shape the face of a city or a country. And only through the interactions with local people, you will be able to understand a place better.
For this reason, I created a new category called Faces @ 85 in my blog. I want to capture the faces of people I saw and met along the way. They complete my journey. Without them, my travelling is just lacklustre.
Why 85? Well, I need a good lens to do the job. Since I’m using Canon’s system, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM seems like a good choice. I have been considering for a while before I finally decided to get it, because it’s a bit costly for me, though considered affordable compare to other Canon’s L series lenses. But the results prove that it’s not a bad investment anyway.
A boy I saw at the viewing point on the top of Mount Penanjakan (2,770m), East Java, Indonesia. There were countless of people woke up at 3 am to see the sunrise. But we saw nothing, as the weather was bad. It was freezing here, with temperature at about 5 ~ 10 degrees celsius. I was wearing a singlet beneath a T-shirt, covered with 2 jackets. And this boy you seen above wore only a denim jacket. I’m just weak, I have to admit.
A local who sold me a bouquet of flowers when I reached the edge of the Mount Bromo crater. They serve as an offering to the God of Mountain. I need to throw them down the crater, which constantly belches white sulphurous smoke that smells awful. “May God bless my family and loved ones.” I prayed.