Last month, I was able to visit the city of Ubud, Bali, in search for stories to cover. What I found was an interesting dichotomy between art preservation and means of living. I wished I had more time to work on the story, instead I had to return before long. I visited one of the performance space, Ubud Palace, to see if I could get access to the behind the scene of one of Bali's most famous dances; tari Barong. The show was on almost every day in the Ubud Palace; that night was Sadha Budaya Dance studio's turn, who kindly allowed me access to behind the backstage.
After a long, arduous steps, I have finally published my most recent project that took a bit of time to make - Buskers. Buskers tells the story of the art of street musical performance, and the people behind it (click on the image or here to go to the project). It is an ongoing project, but I had to share the first part because it felt so close to my heart, and perhaps because it's a personal message to a friend.
It is not everyday that we meet people who inspires us, and I blame fate to have allowed me to have met such an inspiring figure, B - the man behind the first part of the busker project. I truly hoped that my work - to a certain point - captured the essence of the man, for my words could never have. I have never met a man more open to strangers, both through music and rconversations, as B. Warm as a kindling fire to anyone who approaches him, I had wondered how B's past had affected him. I, of course, am in no place to understand the links between his story and his present, and can only gaze in wonders.
In the end, this post is a message to B - it has been a great pleasure in meeting you. It has been a great learning process, and I did learn a lot from you. I truly hope that whatever you are doing will be fruitful, and that you never stop being a source of warmth in the cold of winter, nor the comfort of rain in the draught of summer.
"A guitarist has to be in love with their guitar," Eric said to me as I commented on his highly NSFW unpublishable "guitar kiss" photo we took during a photoshoot earlier today. A close friend of mine, Eric is not only a wonderful guitarist with lightning fingers (a very slow lighting, but lightning nonetheless), but also one with a tremendous knowledge in guitars - the wood, the frets, design, sound, pickups, bridge, and everything a guitarist needs to know to love their guitar. It is therefore, only true to form to make a portrait of him with his guitar, and I was given the honor to take my best friend's picture.
We took a number of pictures, and despite the day being hot and humid, not to mention the location being less than comfortable, Eric marched through with every single request from myself and another friend of mine. "Strafe right please," "relax and just play the damn guitar," "try raising the guitar more," and the most painful request being "can you kneel for a while?" which ended up with him kneeling on concrete ground for close to half an hour. The result, however, was quite good.
We made quite a number of shots; some which are better than others. That said, I consider many of them to be rather good. Following are one or two shots which I liked. In reality, we had no uses for any of this pic - merely some fun and studies to be done regarding "studio" lighting (in this case, studio lighting equals EX430 flash and a diffuser). Lessons were learned, pictures were made, and fun was had. Good day.