Landscapes of Indonesia with Lomographer @hutancahaya

Her Basuki Margono's photography is a reflection of his capacity to see both the technical and intuitive aspects of capturing an image. His LomoHome is a medley of people and places, and some of his awe-inspiring landscape photos, especially of his home country of Indonesia, are enough to spark one with a desire to travel.

We had a chat with the artist about his thoughts on the interplay between traveling and film photography, his photos of the mountains and coastlines of Indonesia, and more.

Credits: Her Basuki Margono

Hi and welcome to the magazine. First off, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How and when did you start shooting film?

Hi, I’m Her Basuki Margono. You can call me Uki. I'm a shutterbug from Indonesia. I got to know the analogue world quite intensely throughout my time in university. One of my best friends from the boarding house made me one of his models for an experiment with his Nikon SLR, and since then I've been a self-taught shooter.

From that time until now, we’ve been discussing and executing photo shoots as a way of visual self-expression, either using analogue or digital cameras.

Credits: Her Basuki Margono

What do you love about analogue photography?

It’s the tone, the grain, no preview and chimping, and the unexpected results whether you were able to carefully manage the shot especially with expired film.

Actually, I just recently came back to analogue and started testing out my expired film stocks. Since 2012 I've been in euphoria using my mobile phone to shoot. The last time I shot film was in 2016. It’s like starting from zero but it feels great. I hope I can constantly shoot film for years to come.

Is it a deliberate choice to shoot with expired film right now? What kinds of preparation do you take into consideration considering that expired films can be a bit more tricky to work with?

It is more or less just my economical option, in a way, to satisfy my curiosity about the results and to get my analogue instinct back, before I begin to shoot with fresh film stocks again.

For now, it's still the same, there is no special preparation. I still follow the general recommendation: one stop for a decade and it’s better to be over-exposed. But in my case, I tend to break the rules. Most of my frames were shot in low/dim light. And my film stocks were not stored properly.

My conclusion is that the film storage history holds the key to getting “good images”. I just wanted to make sure that I've walked that path again. It’s fun to do that concerning the unexpected results. It’s one of the differences between digital and analogue.

Credits: Her Basuki Margono

Looking at your LomoHome, it seems that you shoot varied subjects and have a few outstanding landscape photos. Do you consider travelling as a hobby as well?

Thank you for noticing my works. I think travelling and photography is a perfect combination. We were buying the experience in that precious moment while freezing the memories in photos. It’s a remarkable memento.

In what ways does film photography affect the way you travel?

Every frame counts. I have to consider and reconsider which moment or scene I'm going to shoot related to the itinerary and the number of rolls I bring. It slows and calms you down. Its limitation makes you focus and be creative.

Credits: Her Basuki Margono

Which cameras and film stocks do you prefer to use when doing landscape photography on film?

I have no preference. I’ll take whatever camera and film is available. But I usually take color film and for the camera I'd rather bring a lightweight, compact camera with a relatively bright viewfinder, easy to focus and recompose, and no batteries required if possible.

What's most important for me is exploring the vision and ideas, and being able to make “great photos” with whatever kit I have, related with the light conditions of the scene or landscape.

Credits: Her Basuki Margono

Is there a place in Indonesia that you like photographing the most and why?

I don’t have any favorite place to photograph in Indonesia. Each destination I've traveled with my analogue camera has a different ambience, but I choose mountains over beaches as a subject to capture. Mostly I pick places where I can avoid crowds, or be away from the tourist trail because it’s much easier to compose the scene in a secluded place. Although sometimes adding a human element in the landscape photo can give a different vibe.

Relatedly, is there a dream destination that you'd like to travel to and photograph?

It’s a very long list, but this is my destination bucket list in no particular order: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cuba, Northern India, Iran, Japan (especially Kochi, Mie, Niigata, Nagano, Shizuoka, Wakayama), Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Morocco, North Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan, Tibet, and absolutely other regions of Indonesia which I haven’t visited yet (especially Takengon, Kerinci, west coast of Sumatra, Kayan Mentarang, the Lesser Sunda islands and the Moluccas).

Credits: Her Basuki Margono

Do you have any tips for taking landscape photography on film?

Follow the light and let your intuition lead. Never use a light meter (this was the best advice I've ever recieved from one of my best friends when I started film photography.)

Be thoughtful yet playful. Pre-visualization is all you got. Commonly I dig the information about the spot by internet research before I photograph. And the “don’t think just shoot” means to me that if we want to break the rules, we have to know the basic rules first. We don’t want to our images just as visual garbage floating around the internet, because in the end, I think photography is a personal reflection yet has a huge social impact.

Credits: Her Basuki Margono

We'd like to thank Uki for sharing his images and stories with us! To view more of his work, visit his LomoHome or visit his Instagram Page.

written by sylvann on 2023-12-25 #culture #people #places #travel #landscape #indonesia #her-basuki-margono #hutancahaya

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