Travel Tip: Carry a big camera

5 11 2008

suzanneThe girl with the bags

The first thing you notice about Suzanne Lee when you meet her are her bags. Two of them. Backpacks. Big Ones.

One contains her camera equipment – of which she has a considerable amount – and the other has her 17″ laptop plus assorted supplies.

“This one’s been with me in the desert, on the beach, and in the snow. Plus, it makes an excellent pillow,” she says patting her laptop bag fondly as she slings them on her shoulders fluidly with amazon-like ease.

Not that she’s built like one; slender and of average (unamazon-like) height, it doesn’t seem possible that she’s been to 16 countries, served as a team mechanic for Aarows Racing Team, stood in as stuntwoman for Mendam Berahi in Bombay Dramas, and hiked through Pakistan’s Thar Desert.

I know what you’re thinking (I had the same thought): how on earth did she do all this, and why?

How it all began

For Suzanne, the turning point in her life, the moment when she became aware of a big, big world out there accompanied by an undeniable attack of wanderlust, came at the tender age of sweet sixteen.

“I fell into modelling by accident. I was spotted for a KFC TV commercial, then went on to do a Philips ad … from there I went on to modelling for print and it just kept going.

“I’ve never been represented by any agency. I obtain my jobs, both modelling and photography, by word-of-mouth. Basically it’s friends-telling-friends,” she explained.

It was also at 16 that Suzanne started travelling alone, admittedly only to Johor Baru.

“I just took off one day! It shocked everyone, but lucky for me, I have pretty liberal parents so they didn’t ground me.

“It wasn’t so much an act of rebellion as a declaration of independence. I just needed to prove to myself that I had it in me to do something like this. And it worked. I felt a lot more confident about myself – both about being alone and travelling alone.

Modelling – a stepping stone

For Suzanne, modelling was a means to an end, not the end in itself. While she didn’t mind posing for the camera, the real joy for her was in going places and meeting people.

“It’s just too passive for me. You don’t create, instead you’re the tool some other person’s using to create his art, or worse, advertisement.

“Having said that, I do enjoy print modelling – photography is a form of art and it allows the model to be creative in interpreting the photographer’s intentions,” said Suzanne.

It was modelling that gave her the means and the contacts to launch her career in photography.

“It was mixing around with photographers so much that made me realise how much I loved the art and the lifestyle.

“I bought my first digital SLR camera for RM3,800 two-and-a-half years ago from the proceeds of a beer photoshoot. With that camera, I took off for four months on a backpacking tour of Europe, and the rest is history!”


Photography — her job of choice

Today, modelling and numerous other occupations, have definitely taken a backseat to her first love – photography. Travel photography in particular.

“It’s very liberating, to go where ever I want and meet whomever I please. I’ve even been invited to Israel – the one country our Malaysian passport forbids.

“I love meeting people, particularly artists, and I adore beautiful things. Travel photography lets me indulge in an endless variety of these.”

One of the questions she’s frequently asked after “how do you stay safe?” (check Suzanne’s travel tips), is “how do you afford all this travelling?”

“I travel on a budget. You need a great deal of emotional and mental control to travel alone for long periods of time. Emotional because you’re on your own and you have to be in control of the situation at all times. Mental control comes into play in expenditure, no matter how much you love a souvenir, a budget is a budget.

“I also do freelance jobs along the way. When I was in Europe for example, I was an unofficial photographer for the Sauber-Petronas F1 Racing Team. I also worked for Sutton Images ( UK – the largest independent motorsports imaging company in the world.

“Now I travel on sponsorship. It’s an exchange of services – I take photos and they sponsor me the trip,” she said with a happy grin.

Apart from her travel-and-shoot trips in Europe and India, another highlight in Suzanne’s career was travelling with Ramli Ibrahim’s Sutra Dancers as the official photographer on their three-month Spellbound Tour of India 2005.

“It was for this tour that I upgraded my Digital SLR to my current Canon EOS 20D. It takes better quality shots and performs better in the dark.

“This is essential for shooting dancers as you cannot use a flash and most of the performances are dimly lit.”

Her current big photography project in the works is the World Peace Project.

“It’s such a feel-good job. We get to travel to 150 countries, which is also an attempt to break a Guinness World Record, and photograph world-leaders signing a petition for peace.

“I can’t begin to say how great it feels to be able to physically do something for world peace rather than just talking about it.”

Travelling – a passion

After stomping through 16 countries wielding a big camera, Suzanne’s favourite countries to travel and shoot in are, without a doubt, India and Switzerland.

“They’re such different countries, but so beautiful in their own ways. For India, it’s the people, the colour, and the culture. In Switzerland it’s the breathtaking scenery,” she explained.

It is her love for travel that has temporarily derailed her tertiary education.

“I was enrolled in a degree majoring in photography and I was doing well, but I got the offer to tour India with Ramli Ibrahim’s group and I couldn’t turn that down. And from there the offers kept flooding in, and I kept taking leave after leave from school.

“Finally I just gave in and put my studies on an indefinite hiatus. I may continue someday, but at the moment I can’t help but feel I’m learning more from travelling and working than I would in university,” she laughed.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page,” said St Augustine, whose long-ago wisdom is echoed by Suzanne’s own beliefs.

“I really think Malaysians should travel more. The more countries you visit and the more cultures you’re exposed to, the more international and open-minded you become.

“One story I’ll never forget was told to me by a Scandinavian backpacker.

“He was on the East-West Indian train stopping at all stations along the way. It was a long train ride – about 20 hours.

“They were at a stop far away from the two nearest towns when the train just broke down. There was no electricity, no lights, and no communication for the passengers.

“It was night and they were in the middle of nowhere, but instead of panicking and getting upset, the passengers just broke out the instruments, food and drink – then partied the night away.

“They were still singing when the train finally started up again, 20 hours later.

“That story taught me that while circumstances may be out of my control, my happiness never is.”

suzanne2Places Suzanne has been to:

India – Madras, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Konark, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Bharatpur Keoladeo, Varanasi, Shimla (trekked to Tattapani). McLeod Ganj, Dharmkot, Bhagsu, Dharamsala
Taiwan – Kaohsiung for Asian 9Ball Competition
China – Shanghai, Hang Zhou
Hungary – Budapest for F1 Circuit
Switzerland – Lausanne, Zurich, Ticino, St. Gallen, Lucerne, Bern, Jura
Spain – Barcelona, Mont Serrat
France (north)
Belgium – Spa/Francorchamps Circuit
Germany – Drive through from Switzerland to Amsterdam
Netherlands – Amsterdam & Haarlem
Italy – Milano
England – Northampton, Milton Keynes, London, Silverstone Circuit
Indonesia – Yogyakarta-candi Borobudur, Bali
And of coure,
Malaysia (Borneo & Peninsular Islands, National Parks, Hills, etc.)

Backpacking tips

1. Blend in
Whenever possible, dress in the native costume so as not stand out as a target. Be sure you conform to local dress customs.
2. If you’re a woman, pretendt you’re married
In Europe and African countries, wear a gold wedding band on you ring finger. When I travelled in India, I wore a bindi and lots of red bangles which made it seem like I was newly married.
3. Don’t go out at night
Stay in your room at night and get some sleep. You don’t want to get caught up in the nightlife if you’re on your own.
4. If you don’t peel it or cook it, leave it
When backpacking through the poorer regions of countries like India, don’t eat anything you don’t prepare yourself, and don’t drink or use any water that isn’t bottled, or that you haven’t filtered and boiled yourself. Going hungry beats food poisoning.
5. Carry a big camera
When I was in a remote and poorer section of India, I was harassed by a bunch of teenage boys. I whipped out my camera with its 300mm lens and chased them with it. Oh yeah, the camera’s good for taking great shots too.

Source: The Sun


The images of Suzanne Lee

5 11 2008

the_images_of_suzanne_lee_12“I’m currently checking this email from the Changi Airport – I am on my way to Delhi. Tomorrow morning, I will be in Calcutta, photographing the Chinese Community (hopefully) there…,” Suzanne Lee writes, explaining why she may be unreachable for this interview.

One month later, it’s late July, I write back telling her I still remember her website (

She is candid, but not impersonal, in the few short email exchanges we have. Making, and taking, the time seems prioritised for photography.

Not that Suzanne, 24, is inarticulate. Since she first picked up a camera at age 15, she has been expressing herself very eloquently indeed.

This travel-adventure photographer, “diagnosed with a severe case of Chronic Wanderlust in 2004” has been to over 20 countries since.

The advancements in ICT have brought to the fore that more young adults like Suzanne are chronologically much ‘older’ in their philosophy of choice and thoughts towards life.

The entry in February in her web-linked blog (, states: “As I promised, I will go back to the small community of blind masseurs that I photographed last November (2007) for the Angkor Photography Festival competition. I will bring them the necessities that they cannot find in Siem Reap e.g. talking clocks.” And she has.

“For the next year or two, I intend to be based in New Delhi, India,” she says, adding that she is still available for work anywhere and at any time, “so please contact me via the email listed on my website” (

“Three years ago I came here as a backpacker … eager to get acquainted with India. Two and a half months of travelling here wasn’t enough.”

Backpacking? I express my concern.

“Well, I like to travel alone. It’s really about being conscious of the surroundings, giving out the right body signals and dressing properly… common sense – and sensitivity to what and how people will react and think in relation to what oneself does,” shares Suzanne.

“The world acts in reaction to other actions and it is a constant cycle. Harmony can be achieved if we fully understand the concept of balance and psychology. That said, not everyone can do it without enough experience in this kind of extreme independence. It’s an individual’s choice and risk.”

So now Suzanne is back in India “to live, to grow, to learn, to work and to discover more of myself and my abilities… a dive into the deep end of the pool!”

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a freelance photographer from Malaysia but currently based in Delhi, India. I’ve exhibited my photography works numerous times and have been nominated for two awards. Most recently, I was 1st runner-up in an international photography competition in Cambodia and my most recent (joint) exhibition was at the Galeri Petronas, in KLCC.

When did you start your website?

About two years ago. Fellow blogger, Jimmy Chew ( has been helping me on some maintenance and design of my website (

The site serves to display a selection of my work and a sort of online archive for some digital data I might need when I’m on the road.

Has the Internet changed your life?

Blogging definitely has helped me expand my reach for causes that I want to highlight through my photography. It has also eased the process of showing work to clients and friends or acquaintances alike.

What is the foremost feature in Cyberspace that amazes you?

It amazes me how blogging has revolutionised freedom of press and expression and how it has in turn influenced the way people think and act. It has given the power of the pen (keyboard, maybe) a whole new superpower because now it reaches far wider and with much more ease than we could’ve ever fathomed.

Blogging has its fair share of pros and cons so readers will have to take a step back and review all that they have read because mostly, no one will be held responsible for what they write on the World Wide Web and furthermore, it is all a matter of opinion and not always factual.

That said, I also believe that much facts can be exposed to a wider audience and this will educate the readers on matters that are left unsaid in conventional media.

Which one blog would you choose to read/interact with?

Zorro ( is a blog I sometimes read because this blogger is well connected to the other serious bloggers in Malaysia and thus would churn out an interesting perspective on issues, etc, in the country which not only reflects his personal opinions or knowledge, but also, naturally, has been influenced by interacting with other people on the similar topics.

What would you really like to achieve? (Some personal ambition?

I would like to slowly evolve the website/blog and my career in the direction that I am pursuing. It is a satisfying feeling to view my blog, which reminds me of the paths I have taken and where I want to go.

If there were someone you could influence to take up blogging?

I wish very much that Nelson Mandela would blog because he has so much to say and so much to teach the world (and the world leaders). His Autobiography, although splendidly written, doesn’t do justice to the mine of wisdom that he has, and which he wants to share. His blog, if ever, would be fundamental in shaping many minds and hearts and the world would be a better place with more positive and compassionate people.

Any memorable incidents through blogging?

Collectively, the memorable incidents of blogging are bitter-sweet. More sweet than bitter, but yes, we have negative people and angry people in the blogosphere… as we do in the world. But these confrontations or provocations done over the Internet have a different effect, I believe… as compared with someone coming up to you in the streets and spitting accusations or negativity at you. When done over the Internet, there is no actual physical violence and there is the option of ignoring the attack or taking a day or two to digest it before a retaliation or reply.

It teaches many people to think before they speak (or write) because what’s written will generate controversies and debates that reflect on oneself.

Source : Malay Mail

Interview – Olivier Föllmi

1 09 2008

Extract from an interview with Gaelle de La Brosse for the magazine Chemins d’etoiles No 7, May 2000, in collaboration with Danielle Föllmi.

Chemins d’étoiles – You discovered Asia at 17 during your first expedition to Afghanistan which triggered off your two passions of photography and the Himalayas. Is it your love for mountains and the desire to share them that attracts you to this type of expression?

Olivier Föllmi – Yes, certainly. In the beginning the passion for summits was a personal passion. I was thirsty to conquer. I wanted to become a high-mountain guide and Asia opened up the new dimension of the human scale to me. I was chasing after the challenge in Europe because mountains are, above all, a playground. In the Himalayas, I was evolving in a life-ground. And it was this life in the mountains that appealed to me.
Photography has become the way to better determine my emotions and especially to share them. When I return, photography allows me to express myself. I’ve always steered clear of language, as words are limited to a vocabulary. Photography, like all the arts, goes beyond that.

Photography by Olivier Follmi

Photography by Olivier Follmi

Chemins d’étoiles – Does photography change your relationship with time and space?

Olivier Föllmi – I feel that in photography time only means something if we want to show a precise moment. I’m not a report, news or documentary photographer. I don’t travel with the eye of an ethnologist either. I don’t want to show how people live. I try to reflect the intensity of a moment shared. And that intensity starts when the notion of time disappears. The more intense the moment the more time seems less important. My photos are therefore timeless. When you’re up on a mountain, at one with nature, the perception of space is modified by the immensity of nature and the feeling of how fragile man is. I like this relationship. And what I find so touching in the Himalayas is this acceptance that there is something bigger, something that can’t be completely dominated.

I wanted to show this dimension through photography, through shadows and light. The contrasts allowed me to symbolically express this idea of smallness, remoteness and fragility. I have learnt to love this light and compose with it. Now I always target a trilogy. To photograph a view, I position myself on the mountainside, depending on the desired angle. But that’s not enough. All the time there is no light, the landscape will stay beautiful, but it won’t be extraordinary.
Suddenly, a ray of light appears, and the moment becomes divine because of this meeting. The meeting of a landscape, previously inert, of a light, which in itself did not exist before to light up the picture, and of a glance that came about at the right moment. It’s a question of a fraction of a second. The waiting phase is similar to meditation. You are completely immersed in the spectacle offering itself to you, to the point of being this beauty, to becoming the instant where it is set up. The moment the shutter clicks is the climax of this instant. And when it is fixed, there is nothing left. The light disappears; the moment of elation is past.
It’s a little like love: emotion mounts, explodes, then falls.
You take up your pack and descend, with a clear heart and a great feeling of inner peace. I love those moments. That’s why I’m a photographer.

Photography by Olivier Follmi

Photography by Olivier Follmi

Chemins d’étoiles – But mountains are not only a natural setting for you. You said once on returning from an expedition that you had understood just how much you loved “the mountain of men”. And it’s this harmony of man with nature that you transmit so well in your photographic work. You are just as adept in showing off the infinity of plains and the majesty of summits as showing the intimacy of a family squeezed into a tent huddled around a candle. In this sense doesn’t your work wander away from documentary and set out to draw a “human geography”?

Olivier Föllmi – A Tibetan maxim says: “What would light be without the people who perceive it?” It’s true to say that from being the man who wanted to conquer, I have become a man of the encounter. I love to be in close contact with the people from the Himalayas, even if it is on simple terms.

We talk about the health of the horses, the grass that is growing well this year, the snow that fell last winter, the height of the torrents. But there is great depth behind this simplicity to express oneself, in the music of the words, and the intensity seen in the eyes of the person speaking. That is what I try to bring out in my pictures. It’s exactly like the landscape’s sudden illumination. A complicity sets in, a comprehension that goes far beyond simple verbal communication. And photography is once more a catalyst. It makes it possible to capture the spark of the person. I’ve had tears in my eyes when taking photos. Simply because of the intensity passing between the person and myself as I look at them through the camera’s lens.

Photography by Olivier Follmi

Photography by Olivier Follmi

Chemins d’étoiles – You cite another maxim in your book L’Horizon des dieux: “You have two eyes to see others, but you need a mirror to recognise yourself” Is photography this mirror for you?

Olivier Föllmi – Everyone needs another person in order to know himself. We try to see ourselves through the eyes of others. Everything in this sense is mirror.

But photography goes further than just looking. It’s a way of getting near the other person and perceiving what is hidden within. For example, one day, I met a woman who was spinning wool in a sad and abandoned corner. I was touched by her. The more I took the time to photograph her, the more she existed, to the point, where in the end, she looked radiant.
Photography is not a mirror. It is a catalyst of beauty. A means of making someone else smile rather than looking at yourself. At that precise moment, you are no longer yourself and they are no longer themselves. You are transcended by the moment when the spirit is in communication with the soul of the world. And when the person opposite you invests himself in the photo, when you are taken by the magic of this portrait, the instant of communion is so far away from time that it becomes divine.
Photography is a catalyst of energy, a prism, a diamond. The mirror is but one reflection, whereas photography propels us further ahead. It invites us to feel beautiful in the hearts of others. It’s proper to the art: to achieve a state of grace, to express what is not perceptible to the spirit in daily life. This is the meaning of the Zanskar greeting, when we join hands and bow. This gesture made when someone approaches, means: “I revere the god that is in you”.

Olivier Follmi works can be viewed at

Tentang Bustamam Mokhtar of White Studio

30 08 2008
Fotografi oleh Bustamam Mokhtar - White Studio

Fotografi oleh Bustamam Mokhtar - White Studio

MENGAMBIL gambar mungkin kerja mudah, tetapi menghasilkan gambar yang mampu berbicara atau memberikan impak sehingga dikagumi ramai bukanlah semudah seperti memetik jari. Namun, Bustamam Mokhtar, 38, sudah pun membuktikan setiap gambar yang dirakam di lensa kameranya mempunyai magis tersendiri.

Berpengalaman 13 tahun dalam bidang fotografi dan melalui kerja fesyen yang ditonjolkan, Bustamam boleh dikatakan antara jurugambar yang berjaya membina standard baru bagi majalah fesyen di Malaysia. Tiga daripada kulit sebuah majalah fesyen tempatan yang dihasilkannya berjaya memenangi anugerah emas dan perak bagi Magazine Publishers Association of Malaysia Awards.

Wajah terkenal yang pernah menjadi rakaman lensa Bustamam pula termasuklah, peragawati antarabangsa, Lin Tan; artis antarabangsa Michele Yeoh dan Anita Sarawak serta penyanyi tersohor tanah air, Datuk Siti Nurhaliza.

Kepada yang masih belum mengenali Bustamam, beliau merupakan seorang jurugambar profesional yang mengkhusus dalam bidang fotografi fesyen. Banyak menimba ilmu di Jepun dalam bidang fotografi dan setelah itu berkhidmat dengan Utusan Malaysia dan kini memiliki perniagaan fotografi miliknya sendiri.

Bustamam merupakan seorang jurugambar yang disegani dalam industri fesyen, penerbitan majalah dan pengiklanan di Malaysia. Studio fotografi White Studio milik beliau adalah merupkan diantara yang tercanggih dan terbesar di Malaysia!

Kid Chan – Interview di NST

11 08 2008


Kid Chan

Kid Chan

AS a child, Kid Chan recalls that he had always loved looking at photographs.

Even then, Chan had discovered that photos, be they of Princess Diana Spencer (1961-1997) or Mother Teresa (1910-1997), could be powerful and impactful.

It is not surprising then that, though his path towards a career in photography has been a wee bit circuitous, he has managed to make this port of call (career-wise, anyway!) on what surely looks like his calling.

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, his childhood was an ordinary one, with the possible exception of his fascination with photographs (he would go to bookshops and look at photographs in magazines).
The 30-year old wunderkind went to the Sri Cempaka School in Kuala Lumpur before furthering his studies at Curtin University of Technology in Australia, where he got his Bachelor of Commerce degree in International Business.

When he returned to Kuala Lumpur after graduation, he worked as a personal assistant to Datuk M.S. Tan, founder of the Metropolitan College Group.

In this position, at age 22, Chan interacted with high-flying business figures and members of society.

Reflecting on those good old days, he says: “I learnt a lot about how one should carry oneself when meeting VIPs.”

He learnt plenty about how to manage a business, and gleaned sartorial acumen, from Tan.

After spending two years as a PA, Chan decided to join a photo studio and worked as an apprentice there.

“I worked there long enough to wash their toilet and paint the wall,” he says cryptically.

Now, Chan is an established name in the Malaysian photography scene, in wedding and corporate photography.

Just last month alone, he travelled to Singapore, Bangkok, Kuching and Sydney for photo shoots, mostly weddings.

And the months ahead are looking busy too. He has a very important wedding shoot coming up in Italy in August.

During the interview, Chan refused to reveal whose wedding it will be (because of the non-disclosure agreement he’d signed with the parties), but there have been news reports in the local dailies that celebrity Maya Karin will marry Englishman Steven David Shorthose in Italy in August. Ahem.

Of his early days as a photographer, Chan recalls that he started out using a manual camera.

“My first camera was a Nikon F90X. Today, I am using a Leica M8 digital camera,” he says.

And he has never stopped learning about his craft. He still consults his sifu T.S. Lim, an avid photographer, who is an expert on Leica.

Besides a technical mastery of the camera and a highly-honed sense of aesthetics, Chan also possesses the precious ability to adapt to any situation.

He recounts his recent experience in Sydney: “It was the first time I was shooting in Sydney’s winter and the weather changed every two minutes. It went from cloudy to sunny, or you’d have a perfect blue sky with a dark cloud in the middle. So, I improvised according to the weather conditions,” he says.

On his foray into wedding photography — he is most famous for having shot singer Siti Nurhaliza’s wedding — he says it was a happy accident.

“I first started out doing corporate jobs. I went into wedding photography by accident, when I was asked by a friend to shoot a Malay wedding. One thing led to another and soon I found myself doing lots of wedding photography too.”

The studio he was with was initially called Portrait One; its name then changed to Kid Chan Studio.

An astute observer of society and trends, Chan makes some pretty interesting observations when prodded.

“Couples who are getting married are often very anxious. I always tell them that anyone who is getting married must not expect a perfect wedding. They are only setting themselves up for disappointment.

“I point out to them that it is the little unexpected or anticipated things that make their wedding experience rich and poignant. My philosophy which I share with them is to take things easy and smile more — that is what a wedding is all about,” says Chan.

He is in such a privileged position to calm the nerves of newlyweds because, as he rightly says, “a wedding photographer is the “vendor” couples spend the most time with on their wedding day.”

As to why every couple should invest in a wedding photographer, the pragmatic Chan says frankly: “Photos last as long as the marriage. So much time and effort are put into a wedding and so preserving the wedding memories is worth its weight in gold. A wedding is part of one’s personal history.”

His observations of the nature of people who engage him are also rich.

“Lawyers usually sign the (wedding photography) contract the fastest”, because they know exactly what they want and they would have covered all their interests well in the contract.

Accountants, meanwhile, are the most careful but Chan loves accountants because he can talk about things like the photographs’ return on investment and amortisation with these money men and women.

It comes as no surprise then that a lot of his clients end up becoming his good friends.

That facility for numbers is also why Chan’s business is very successful. He has seven support staff and five photographers.

He concedes that aside from going out to shoot weddings with his trusted Leica, the bulk of his time is spent doing paperwork.

When not out on assignment or travelling, Chan, who is a doting father to two young daughters aged 31/2 and 11/2 years, spends his time with his family.

• Kid Chan was named one of “100 people you must know in Asia” by Malaysian Tatler magazine. He has taken portrait photographs of esteemed Malaysians like Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz and Minister of Finance II Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop. Chan’s studio can be located online at

Bazuki Muhammad – Interview di Kosmo

4 08 2008

Bazuki Muhammad bukanlah nama asing bagi pencinta dunia fotografi di Malaysia ini. Nama besar beliau disanjung tinggi kerana hasilkerjanya yang amat tinggi nilainya. Jika tidak mana mungkin agensi berita antarabangsa Reuters mengambilnya sebagai jurufoto mereka sejak tahun 1998. “Saya mahu gambar saya menjadi ikon dan ia melekat di ingatan.” katanya sewaktu diinterview oleh akhbar Kosmo. Untuk anda yang meminati fotografi, artikel ini wajib anda baca untuk berkongsi bersama pengalaman beliau meneroka dunia serba indah ini. Saya sertakan di sini artikel tersebut untuk tatapan kita bersama…

Bazuki Muhammad - Jurugambar yang dikagumi

Bazuki Muhammad - Jurugambar yang dikagumi

SEPATUTNYA takdir awal merencanakan lelaki ini bakal menjadi seorang arkitek. Namun segalanya berubah disebabkan seorang teman sekampus bernama Aresh Javadi.

Petikan kamera warga Iran itu yang kerap menghasilkan seni fotografi yang luar biasa menyebabkan Bazuki Muhammad tidak mampu menahan dirinya daripada memegang sebuah kamera. Dan impaknya sangat besar.

“Saya tiada hobi lain selain mengambil gambar,” akuinya tertawa.

Sudah 25 tahun Bazuki bergelumang dengan hobi fotografinya. Beliau kini bertugas sebagai jurufoto di Malaysia untuk agensi berita antarabangsa, Reuters, sejak tahun 1998.

Boleh dikatakan semua jurufoto media di negara ini mengenali beliau. Ada juga yang menganggapnya ‘dewa foto’ kerana anak Melayu ini berada dalam kelas tersendiri.

Bagaimana lulusan arkitektur dari The Bayou State of Louisiana, Amerika Syarikat ini boleh terjerumus ke dalam seni fotografi?

“Ia mungkin darah seni yang ada pada keluarga saya,” tenang beliau menjawab.

Namun orang yang membuatkan Bazuki, kini 43, ingin menjadi jurufoto ialah pelajar kejuruteraan, Aresh Javadi.

Memiliki kamera sendiri sejak usia 17 tahun, Bazuki bagaimanapun berasa pelik kerana petikan kameranya tidak seajaib sentuhan jari Aresh. Sehinggalah Bazuki membelek kerja-kerja lelaki itu yang disiarkan dalam beberapa buah majalah.

“Suatu ketika, saya belajar di dalam kelas yang turut dihadiri Aresh. Saya memerhati kerjanya. Ya, dia membuatkan saya mahu menjadi jurufoto.

“Tapi sampai sekarang dia tak tahu saya menyukai karya-karya fotonya,” kenang Bazuki sambil ketawa besar.

Menurut Bazuki, isterinya, Zuriah Mad Ali, 40, juga mengakui kehidupan mereka sekarang lebih gembira berbanding semasa Bazuki bergelar arkitek 10 tahun lalu.

Namun, mengapa beliau meninggalkan satu kerjaya yang dihormati dan stabil itu?

“Sebab saya tak tahan mendengar bunyi klik kamera saya,” ujarnya bersahaja.

Sambung beliau: “Ya, selepas enam tahun menjadi arkitek, saya membuat keputusan yang radikal. Saya kehilangan bunyi klik kamera apabila saya mengadap papan lukisan, tapi saya tidak kehilangan papan lukisan apabila saya mendengar bunyi klik kamera.”

Sambil menikmati cendol dengan pemandangan Tasik Putrajaya yang indah, anak kelahiran Kelantan ini berkata, seni fotografi yang dicetus olehnya adalah menggunakan ‘garapan akal’ dan ‘ketajaman mata’. “Pandanglah dengan mata hati,” kata Bazuki. “Ia datang secara semula jadi.

“Saya pernah membuat liputan Hari Wesak di sebuah tokong yang mempunyai banyak lampu tergantung. Saya memerhatikan bagaimana panas terik yang menghasilkan bayang lampu-lampu tersebut. Itulah gambarnya,” cerita beliau.

Bazuki menambah: “Di laman web saya, ada yang mengatakan saya telah berjaya mencari kelainan daripada jurugambar-jurugambar lain.

“Tapi sebenarnya saya tidak mencari kelainan. Saya hanya menghasilkan karya dengan kemampuan saya, tidak sesekali ingin mengalahkan orang lain.”

Khabarnya tokong itu telah dikunjungi ramai hanya kerana gambar yang dipamerkan di laman web Bazuki sangat cantik dan mengesankan.

Di sebalik kerjayanya yang adakalanya membuatkannya terkejar-kejar ini, Bazuki mengakui beliau sangat puas.

“Saya bangun awal pagi dan tak pernah rasa penat atau malas untuk bekerja dan berfikir.

“Untuk menghasilkan sekeping gambar, saya mesti ada bayangan untuknya. Apa yang saya lakukan ialah melukisnya di atas sehelai kertas dengan melakar sebuah kotak dan isikan dengan objek.

“Kadang-kadang angan-angan itu tinggi sangat. Tapi saya cuba untuk dapatkannya. Adakalanya gambar itu terhasil di depan mata saya,” akui bapa kepada seorang anak perempuan, Intan Nur Aisyah, 12, ini.

Bekerja sebagai wartawan foto juga membolehkan beliau mengenali pelbagai watak manusia setiap hari dan itu kata Bazuki, adalah definisinya terhadap kepuasan.

Beliau juga mahu menolak tanggapan bahawa gambar yang cantik akan terhasil dengan kamera yang canggih.

“Saya menggunakan kamera Mark II sahaja. Ramai jurufoto lain yang memakai kamera yang lebih canggih. Hobi saya juga bukan mengumpul kamera.

“Yang penting adalah hasilnya. Laman web itulah hasil nya, bukannya kamera jenis apa yang telah menghasilkannya.”

Sememangnya Bazuki dikenali ramai. Malah bukan sedikit rakan-rakan yang menjadikan karya beliau sebagai rujukan.

Namun Bazuki ketawa saja bila diberitahu beliau telah terkenal sekarang.

“Bila dikatakan saya dikenali ramai, saya rasa gugup. Ada juga beberapa situasi yang membuatkan saya sedar saya dikenali, bila ada orang curi-curi ambil gambar saya dari jauh, dan ada yang datang bergambar bersama saya dan meminta tandatangan saya.

“Sebenarnya ia memberi cabaran kepada saya untuk terus menghasilkan sentuhan yang lebih memukau,” katanya.

Menurut lelaki ini lagi, beliau tidak menjadikan tuah nama Bazuki di sebalik pencapaiannya, namun akur itulah anugerah Tuhan untuk dirinya.

Kata-kata akhir Bazuki tentu saja menggambarkan dirinya yang sebenar. “Saya mahu gambar saya menjadi ikon, saya mahu ia melekat di ingatan.”

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