evening lights, Bangkok

Great New Book of “Phone-ography”

This is a great opportunity to see the intuitive, quirky, beautiful, observant, inventive vision of four of Indonesia’s premier photographers ( Ahmad Zamroni, Dita Alangkara, Mast Irham, and Yuniadhi Agung) explored through their phones’ camera.  The book can be ordered here for only Rp 150,000 – thats less than 15 bucks for my non-indonesian friends – check it out!

Indonesia’s Air Gun Capital

GunTown006
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all images copyright Getty Images/Ed Wray

In every corner of the world, people feel the need to proclaim their fame. To shout out to the universe that “we are significant and here’s the reason why” – There is a “carrot capital of the world”, Holtville, California, the “selfie Capital of the world”, Makati, Philippines and my home state, Idaho seems to be known throughout the world as “famous for potatoes” (at least from the number of people who say potatoes after I tell them that they’ve probably never heard of where I’m from). The small village of Cipacing, Indonesia is one such capital. It is the “Air Rifle Capital of Indonesia.” Dozens of homes in the village have sophisticated metal lathes, and woodworking tools with which the villagers have been turning out firearms since at least the late 1800’s. Although since the 1960’s when Indonesia banned guns, the community has mostly been making air rifles which people buy to hunt small animals and birds; but the skill of the villages gunsmiths sometimes gets used to make illegal firearms which are then sold to criminals or terrorists. Its a fascinating place.

Prayer

BaliJava

Balinese Hindus pray on the beach in a ceremony honoring Nyai Loro Kidul, the Javanese goddess of the South Sea, who has a room permanently kept for her at a hotel on the beach.

Darren My multi-talented buddy, Darren McCollester, has just written a book “All the Kennedys are Dead”. Its a scorchingly honest look at the slings and arrows experience of being a freelance photojournalist as the news business contracts.  A series of vignettes and journals which come together, in my mind, in the unlikely and delightful form of a photo essay without photos.  Darren’s eye for the dramatic and telling detail, hilarious, touching and at times poetic make this book a lovely read.  I highly recommend it for anyone who freelances or wants to and for anyone that wants to be introduced to a wry, thoughtful, and adventurous voice.  I hope he writes some more.

AllTheKennedysAreDead

Forest Creatures

Mythical beings during filming for the brilliant multi-media theatrical production “Hanomon – The Ultimate Warrior” by Mirwan Suwarso about Hanuman the monkey god who features in many Javanese legends

Javanese Ceremony

A guard provides ceremonial protection for rice effigies during a procession prior to their being sacrificed the following day A guard provides ceremonial protection for rice effigies during a procession prior to their being sacrificed the following day

Part of an ongoing project.  This ritual sacrifice of rice effigies takes place annually and is linked to a Javanese legend in which a couple were trapped inside the nearby Mount Gamping, whose spirit demanded an annual sacrifice of a bridal couple in return for the safety of the village and the safe continuation of the limestone quarrying going on at the time.

Urban Jungle

Jakarta isn’t easy to love.  There’s the smog, the dust, the lack of sidewalks, and traffic that most city dwellers around the world would just not believe.  BUT…. sometimes when you are out walking, you come across a footpath thats been in use for centuries, the city forming around it, or an insane color that someone has painted a wall, or a great smell or just something you’ve never even imagined; and that makes living here in Jakarta worth it.