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Malino - The Highlands in Everyone's Heart (In Makassar)

Through the winding road, high atop the mountains, passing rocky, bumpy roads of Gowa is Malino, a small village in the region's highland. An oasis from the hot, dirty weather of the city for many, Malino had always been a major tourism spot in Makassar. Passing through the main roads in Malino, one finds themselves in the middle of both local and city staples, such as terangbulan, a type of pancake filled with chocolate, cheese and nuts; corns, roasted with butter and topped with sweet sauce; and nyuknyang, pork meatballs with broth. One of the main attractions of Malino, however, is its traditional market. Filled with vegetables and fruits, fresh as they can be, along with traditional sweets, Malino's traditional market became the definite destination for many, if not the only reason to visit. Faced with low prices for many high quality fresh vegetables, many visitors would find themselves coming out with bags of produce filling their hands and car.

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Another famous landmark in Malino is the takapala falls. With its waters falling from as high as 109 meters (360 feet), Takapala falls produced a mighty roar and a tremendous amount of mist around the area. Reaching the base of the falls, though difficult, proved to be worthwhile. Seen from the base, the might of the waterfall is both terrifying and awe inspiring.

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Along with the market and the falls, another famous spot would be the tea fields. Acres and acres of tea plants on top of the mountains proved to be a wonderful sight. Once in a while, fog would come sweeping the whole landmark, engulfing the highlands with thick, white fog

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Overall, Malino proved to be a major sight despite the passing years. Some things change; the weather wasn't as cold, and the number of people visiting increased, but some wonders stayed the same. _MG_4493

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Isle of Samalona

The ship strode through the ocean, cutting the waves and sending them inches to the air. Wind roared in my ears as the ship leaped and flew across the waters; no words can describe the experience other than 'magnificent.' Fifteen minutes into the journey, several remnants of old ports can be seen jutting out of the ocean - remnants of what used to be Samalona's shoreline before abrasion claimed it. _MG_4572

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Unlike most of its neighboring islands, the shores of Samalona had waters clear as air, exposing the corals beneath it. Ships could be seen docking to some of the docks in the new shoreline, dropping and picking up passengers. A man could be seen preparing a stew of scallop - not only the muscle known as scallop in the western worlds, but also most of the flesh of the clam.

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Bridges of sails and ship

The call for prayer was resounding all throughout the city, while every imaginable vehicle - cars, bikes, trucks, mopeds - scurry to nearby food stalls and restaurants; Iftar had arrived, a time when Muslims break their fast during the month of fasting. I, on the other hand, headed to a renowned local traditional port - Paottere. Still an active sea port in the modern days, Paottere was filled with ships, mostly traditional - nearly a hundred of them. My guide prompted me to hop into one of the ships - random stranger's, to be more precise - before hopping onto a small creaky ladder, bypassing a gap of water. Where my guide hops around the stairs gleefully, I barely made my way through the ships; but enough to grab some pictures. _MG_3903

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I didn't have much time before the sun sets, but the small time I spent in Paottere assured my return sometime soon.

A morning at Ranggong

Steam billows from her ladle as she poured hot broth over boiled innards; the smell of spices- forty of them to be exact- wafted in the air. The broth- or soup- in question was coto makassar, a specialty of my hometown, the city of Makassar. Usually consumed in the morning, coto makassar became a habit for many locals, and sensation for tourists. Two cups of coto, and four ketupat- rice cooked in packages of coconut leaves- would be my usual helping of coto. Like most traditional soups in Indonesia, coto makassar would be filled not only with meat, but also organs, such as heart, liver, and intestines- though all of these are optional. _MG_3847-4

With the numerous coto restaurants all over Makassar, some of them managed to gain a massive fanbase, such as this one, in Jalan Ranggong (Ranggong St.), or Coto Nusantara in Jalan Nusantara (Nusantara st.), or even Coto Gagak in Jalan Gagak (Gagak St.), which attracted even the higher ups in Jakarta. Despite many of the restaurant being in a small shop, or merely under a tent next to an open road, these restaurants are regarded highly- higher even than most hotels in Makassar. It is true what avid travelers say: the best of food can be found in the streets rather than in buildings.

Cheers-

New york, New york

while visiting The empire state building, I took thirty pictures of new york; and a pano was born. I was thinking of uploading it for the empire state photo contest, but due to regional limitations, I could not. So here's a pano of New york, taken from ESB. (click on it for bigger, if you so desire) Untitled_Panorama1

The Monkey's Mask - an old outdated tradition

The street was filled with sounds of kolintang- an old Indonesian musical instrument- while children gather around, forming a small crowd. In the middle of the crowd a man stood holding a chain, and tethered to the other end, was a small macaque monkey. The man, appearing to be in his twenties, then proceed to yank on the chain, upon which the small mammal began to dance to the traditional tune. The performance is known locally as topeng monyet, or the monkey's mask, and it existed not only in Indonesia, but also around Asia in India, Pakistan, and a number of other countries. The show went on with the man throwing a number of props near the monkey; maskss, a small scooter, and a fake guitar. With a yank of the chain, the monkey then proceeded to utilize the props. During the performance, the monkey could be seen - if only for a while - yanking on its chain. The performance reached its climax when the monkey reenacted a bike crash by falling and playing dead. _MG_3718

Aside from being deemed boorish by international communities, the performance itself was proved to be dangerous for viewers. A study done by the university of Washington back in 2005 revealed a slew of viral infections that could potentially be transmitted by the monkeys, including Herpes-B; it also hinted on the possibility that the performance monkeys may be a transmitter of HIV virus.

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Irregardless, the performance persists, and in high numbers. Cities such as Jakarta would have numerous performances all throughout its streets. In time, perhaps, the concept of animal rights would crawl into people's minds through education, and practices as such would be abolished, but until then, macaque monkeys would always be used for entertainment.

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A step beyond - last post from the states

To leave from the states through New York might be a little ironic - I had been avoiding for years, since everyone goes to New York. Regardless, here I am, in New York, stepping my last few steps in America. In a couple of days, I would be taking a step beyond, back to Indonesia, and to wherever I will go next. In the end, the pictures I took brought me closer - if only by one step - to my image. I present you, New York. _MG_3161

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The last few steps I had, there are people I wish I had a better goodbye with - but many things hindered me from doing so. Regardless, as my last post in America, I wish all the people left here good luck and good bye. If lady luck allows, I will once again see you all one day. Especially those too close to me.

Cheers.

Ten thousand steps and the fishermen of the matadors

Over the last few days, my footsteps - along with a couple of planes - had taken me from the dusty canyons of Nevada to the markets of the pikes. My last few footsteps in the states will take me to other places, but first allow me to tell you a couple of stories about my recent journeys - the first being the fishermen of El Matador. Coasted near Los Angeles is a small beach by the name of El Matador. As I got off my transport, stretched in front of me was stone steps - hundreds of them, downhill to a white sanded beach. The steps were narrow, slanted, and broken in some places; not to mention it zigzagged onto several turns. Nestled in between the steps were old wooden ladders, as creaky as a wooden ladder could be. Whilst I eased my way into each steps, a local family passed by my side and started hopping in between the steps - including the children and the elderly. The shameful slow descent to the beach rewarded me with what seemed to be one of the most memorable places I've ever seen - the beach of the matadors.

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The jutting horns coming out of the ocean as the waves rushed around it, the deceptively calm horizon - I could perhaps understand why it was called El Matador. I was setting up my tripod and had started taking a couple of shots, when two men came by my sides and started flinging their fishing poles. The two of them climbed onto the coral and stood there waiting, with the current flowing around them - battling the seas. I took what may be one of my favorite pictures I had ever taken so far.

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Another part of the journey was the market of the pikes. Located near the heart of Seattle, Pike's market was bustling with activities. Sellers filled up the stalls, while customers flowed like a torrential river - filling the whole market along with musicians, performers, and magicians. What captured me was the stalls, offering fruits, vegetables, and freshly caught seafares. I took one of the shots while trying to purchase a case of cherries.

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And here I am, waiting for another flight; each one means one flight closer to home.

Cheers.

Ten more days

Ten more days until I leave the states - and venture forth to a completely different direction. Photography had grabbed my hand and pulled me to her carriage; I will be venturing with her for now - for as long as she allows me to. The last couple of months I had been slowly moving out of America, in which the effort which got more difficult as the last few days approached. Over the last days in America I had been struggling to get things straight with moving and travel. Finally however, I am now on my last travel around the states before I leave. As of writing this now, I am in Las Vegas. Here, I visited a site that I had wanted to visit since long - Grand Canyon. Visiting near the sunset, however, was impossible. I decided to visit the canyon in the middle of the day instead - a truly horrendous experience, it being the middle of summer. That said, I got a couple of interesting shots. My favorite one being the first picture; the Hoover dam.

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AS I get to Indonesia, I can't be sure how often I can update my blog and Images. I just hope for the best.

Cheers~

The Four - a Lunch

It can be quite interesting when life squish people together only to pull them apart a little later - same thing happened to my three of my friends and I. It's an unlikely meeting between the four of us, one that was set in motion a while ago, but culminated only very recently, and only for a short while. It made sense, I thought when I was having the last lunch with them, but it did not occur to me before that. Nevertheless, it made a lot of sense. All of them, I had known for a long time (somewhat)- Vincent, for almost three years or a little more now, and Vania and Anni for almost two years - but the four of us never got lunch together. Somehow. They might have, but never with me, so I guess more so than anything it had been me all along who had missed the ride, yet I was glad to have been a part of it._MG_6039

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We had a long lunch, stalling Vincent from his class along the way (30 minutes late for a one hour class). As we were having lunch, a wall riddle with graffiti capture my eye; well, that along with Vichan's monochromatic clothings. I wanted to do a study on subject isolation where the subject is monochromatic and the background is heavily colored, so I asked him to put up his hood as I took a couple of pictures. I would love to have used my longer lens instead, but 50mm was what I had in hand, so just went with it.

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As far as I know, in a couple of months, the four of us will be all over the place. The story, however, will remain. The four of us, and a short couple of hours. It will remain here for people to see, and for us to return to.

Cheers.

Nikon D3000 for sale!

I reviewed a particularly loved D3000 yesterday (link to review here), and I had put the item up on ebay craigslist. Here's the link: http://columbus.craigslist.org/pho/3807561539.html

Also, here's the item! _MG_5686

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Contact me if you're interested!There's a contact sheet now above, so feel free to use it.

Cheers!

People of Columbus- A promotion for Nikon D3000 I'm currently selling

Once upon a time, there was a humble DSLR; a Nikon D3000. Though humble, it is as much of a pushover as a train - that is to say, not at all. A good friend of mine is selling her Nikon D3000 after she moved to a mirorless- I wanted to help by borrowing it and spent an entire day shooting with D3000. Truthfully, I just really wanted to shoot with the D3000, and here's my opinion on THIS particular D3000; it's a beaufiful camera- so beautiful that it should be given a name. I decided to go around Columbus to shoot with the D3000, armed with two lenses, the 17-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens, and a raggedy, old, $40 50mm/f1.8 manual focus from the 1800s (this one is mine, not to be included in the sales). I walked around german village to find a lot more people than usual, which makes me a very happy little photographer indeed. I took a bunch of people photo with the D3000. Great focus, very beautifully soft shutter, and very fast handling by the D3000 captured my heart instantly. The slow buffering rate means that in burst mode it shot no more than 3fps, but that's plenty enough for me. Also, shoutout to people I met in front of the german village cup-o-joe; if you guys actually checked out my blog - thank you!_DSC0124

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But I'm not a people photographer! you might say, well fret not! D3000 does more than that. I have to tell you that the picture quality of the D3000 is astounding- plain astounding. I spent some time taking random pictures around Columbus with it, and I realized that It's just beautiful (the camera, though Columbus was too). The first two pictures below were taken with the old 50mm lens at wide open; I realized there are quite an amount of softness to the picture for you techies out there, but it's great enough for me (the picture quality that is). The rest of the pictures were taken with the kit lens, most, if not all of which are super sharp. _DSC0068

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Personally I really LOVED the D3000. Why one might ask? Because it is so simple. I know those words are so cliched, but it's true. Very rarely did I fiddle much with it (other than using my manual focus manual exposure 50mm/1.8; which is still fun fiddling). I held a graduated ND in my left hand (that I usually use for my canon - way too big for this lens) just in case I need em, and shot away. I have to repeat one more time; it was so much fun. D3000 was so much fun to shoot. Now, I'm going sell the thing on Craigslist, mostly because I don't like selling through eBay. I checked ebay and the price would be around $250 for a flawless used D3000. I'm selling it for $170. Why? there's a tiny crack in the LCD screen that did not impede my shooting experience whatsoever (I took 350 pics in 3 1/2 hours, so it was comfortable).I had just cleaned the lens and the sensor prior to the shots today (I used a kit cleaner, according to its instructions, so again, fret not - I did not damage the lens nor the sensor). With the camera, comes the charger (of course), the kit lens, and the manual. You might want to change the straps, but for me it was long enough. BUT! because I'm feeling like having fun, along with the camera, I'm also including a signed print of my image below.

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To be perfectly honest, I don't know if you actually want my image or not, so if you completely loathe the image (ugh, who'd want such horrendous image? - i'm sorry), then just tell me no and I wont include it (same price though). This is because I have one printed image on a thin mat lying next to me, and I thought "Why not?" Anyway; if you're in Columbus, feel free to contact me through here, or through the craigslist post (link will be posted here soon), if interested.

Cheerios!

Deutsch Dorf

I took a small stroll in German village (hence the title). German village in Columbus is home to many restaurants, brick paved streets (magnificent to see, hell to drive on), and beautiful homes. Photography wise, it's definitely a wonderful place to be - with its red brick streets and red brick walls, not to mention small streets and alleyways. I didn't see many people, except for two extremely cool people who gave me their gracious permission to snap a couple of their pics. I also did a couple of intentional panning shots - this time with bunch of colors. Following are a couple of the pictures. _DSF2538-2

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At the end of the day I finished with a couple of picture in bicentennial park in downtown Columbus (along with a stupid selfie):

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Cheers~

And Then There Were Three

_MG_4683A year had passed since the last Columbus College of Art And Design graduation commencement, and this year she is proud to present us three more proud graduates from its bosom. Those that knows them knows how much they had poured into their craft, and those who don't had missed the acquaintance of three of the most wonderful artists I had ever seen. I was honored, and lucky enough to take their pictures as they walk upon the grand stage where they set down their cornerstone, upon which they will look back in pride - "that was where I started", they would say. First and foremost - a congratulations; or rather, three congratulations, one for each of the graduates. Incidentally, I am indebted to all three of the graduates much much too deeply, so a couple of words must be said about each of them.

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Vincent Tjandra. Where can I ever be today without the shoulder, words, and heart of this fine young lad? I could go on forever, but open minds and ears, patient; kind; passionate heart, and unforgiving critiques, are among the very little I can say. It was perhaps a little over three years ago when I met him, and his heart had called him somewhere else - perhaps much like myself. I had never meet someone as patient nor kind as him, and yet so strong in his stance against the world - this would lead him to the choice he made a little while ago, a choice even I would see as fitting. Those who hadn't heard of the full story should ask him in person, but as for now, I would rather just say: Thank you for the long nights of conversation, thank you for the stupid pointless things we've talked about, those which without, most of my times in Columbus wouldn't have been as much fun - and as meaningful. Congratulations, Vichan. Wherever life takes you, you'll make a deep impact; and I shall find you again. Again; congratulations.

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Arianni Kurniawati. It would be massively unfair to compare anni to Vichan, but this I have heard many times, for aside from Vichan, I had never met someone as kind and gentle as Anni. Such humbleness, such kindness, such caring. Funny, smart, understanding, and headstrong. Those that know her as much (or as little) as I do, would wholeheartedly agree with what I just said. A long time ago she accompanied me on the rooftop of the parking lot in OSU, and we talked for hours end. One can only pretend to be so nice when talking to Anni, for soon they will be pulled down through her personality - as was what happened to me. She didn't say much but the words from her heart, and the things she had obtained through the years, and yet it humbled me beyond those I had ever experience before - a surreal yet wonderful experience. Talking to Anni had always been, and I dare say, will always be comfortable for reasons I had said prior. If what she has doesn't make her an amazing artist in the future, I don't know what will. Ariani Kurniawati, Congratulations, much, much congratulations I give unto you, and a billion thank you.

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Vania Ardelia Soemarsono. There are so much I could write here, a little of which could be captured in the photo I took above. When I asked her if she was close to the (correct me if I'm mistaken) president of CCAD of whom she hugged above, she answered; "not really." "Why, then?" I asked; upon which she said: "Why not?" Wonderful spontaneity, vast, boundless mind, yellow green imaginations, along with a million other colors incomprehensible to others. I had seen passion in others, but none like the one she had. I had delved into minds of others, but none as wonderful as hers. I try to capture what she sees with my camera, and never had I succeeded aside from a few very tiny tiny hint of success. I had never have a talk as encouraging as the talks I had with her, and nowhere as wonderful. I wished I could say more, but I prefer to leave some for myself. I have said this a long time before, and I will say it again, I love your art, and long to see the future you hold. Vania ardelia soemarsono, thank you for everything, thank you for showing me what I thought was improbable, and, I give you my congratulations, and wishes for future others can only imagine.

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Now truly, I could say a lot more about these three people, but my I don't want to soil what reality they had with my writings. Vincent Tjandra, Ariani Kurniawati, and Vania Ardelia Soemarsono; thank you for your friendship, thank you for everything. Words cannot describe the wonders you three behold, and I truly love all three of you. Congratulations.

Yours truly, Adhytia Dwiprakoso Putra

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Desktop wallpaper?? why not!

I ended up really liking one of the shots I did with the intentional camera panning, and decided to make it a desktop wallpaper. It turned out not bad. I cleaned up the dust and maximize the reso for HD (16:9) screens. Feel free to grab it if you like! _DSF2517

Cheers!

Random afternoon shoots

I decided to do more study on Roth's intentional camera movement shots, and found out that it is definitely harder than I had previously expected. Maintaining good camera movement is one, understanding and showing good color compositional skill is another - both of which I am highly under qualified. Most of the shots had that "kinks" of bent lines that I didn't want to be there, while those that showed good lines turned out to be compositionally meh._DSF2519

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I decided to end with a more normal approach to veranda shooting. I enjoyed the shininess of the wooden floors after a heavy rain, and wanted to put that upfront.

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I hope you at least enjoyed seeing my misfits.

Cheers

So your eyes won't go bad, take more pictures

Even the sharpest of blades, rusts if not used for long - so will your eyes. Granted, said proverb is something I came up with just now as I am writing this, but I believe it to be quite accurate. I was having a discussion on art philosophy with a friend, and despite being so interesting, it made me feel massively unworthy. "Who am I to talk of art in such retrospective manner, when my art repertoire is so very small?" I thought to myself. In utter shame, I thought of the idea that I summed up in the start of this post, grabbed my camera, tripod, and head out towards the wilderness; I present you, a much humbled photog's picture at sundown. I'll start off with an experimental shot; a technique I borrowed from Juergen roth and Eddie Soloway - intentional camera movement. Ever since I first learned of this technique, I really wanted to try it out; so far i have a couple of ideas in mind, but have yet to find the right moment. This would be my first try. There I stood in front of fence, seas of trees behind it, and I held my camera to my chest, took a long exposure, and breathe._DSF2407border In my opinion, the shot lacked strong lines - I can't wait to try some other things again. Other shots are simple 'macro' shots of dandelions I came across as the sun was setting. The field of dandelions interest me as I drove by, and decided to stop by the road to take a couple of pictures. I kept glancing back to check if my car had been towed or ticketed, and watched out for cops - thankfully nothing happened. _DSF2389

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For those interested, the pictures were taken with XE-1, 18-55 lens, with a B+W 10-stop NDgrad for the long exposure shots. One day I'll post about the art philosophies that I had encountered as I talk with a bunch of people, but let that be much later, when I feel that I am worthy.

Cheers!

Spring through XE1

collage-largeSpring finally comes to Ohio; hopefully for good this time. I have been carrying my XE-1 around as a daily camera, and it seemed to look a little better than my 5D. True, the focus is nowhere as fast as the light warp speed of the 5D, but boy when it does work, it pumps out crazy images - great color rendition, great sharpness, amazing dynamic range. The X-E1 is also amazingly easy to use, manual or autofocus. I thought I wanted an xPro1, but nevermind that now.

Yay for spring! Yay for XE-1