Jakarta: On the Streets
On the Street with Arry Ramadhan by Fahmi R
Many people said street is a place for where big things happen. I love seeing and observing the abstractions, patterns, interactions, mimics, and the environment while I sit at the corner of any street. Moments are everything in street photography, waiting for the decisive moment where the most interesting thing may happen while observation. Becoming invisible and blending with the crowd or the people along the street, always watching like an eagle and seeking for the best moment, imagine the theater of life, about what people do and what people think, because of that I think street photography is so great. Many people has attracted me with their work on the street. One of them is my fellow Street Banditos team member, Arry Ramadhan (@arryrama). His approach using mobile devices is very impressive and helps me imagine what actually happened in the frames of photographs that Arry has taken on the street.
Meet Arry Ramadhan
My name is Arry Ramadhan, born as an Indonesian on May 10, 1987. I work as a full-time Graphic Designer. I like music and photography. My devotion to photography took me to unnatural conditions. At first, I learned how to use analog cameras while I sit still in college (IKJ), so I learned the basic of photography from there. In early 2011, I bought Samsung Galaxy Gio as my first smartphone. From there I became more interested in photography and I joined one of the mobile photography communities in Indonesia. At some point I saw some works from street photography genre and I immediately fell in love with street photography. Then I bought a camera to complete my devotion to photography. It was in mid-2012, I bought Fujifilm Finepix X100 and using it until now. I’m very satisfied with the results, and me and my camera became a perfect couple.
Currently I’m a member of the street photography group, the StreetBanditos , Indonesia Street Mobile Photography (ISTRIE) community & member at myx100 blog.
And this is my interview with Arry Ramadhan.
F: Me A: Arry
F: Hi Arry, can you tell us your short story about your photography journey until now, and why finally you decided to work with a mobile device?
A: My devotion to photography took me to the unnatural conditions. Start from college, I learn basic photography from analog camera, but I wasn’t really interested. In early 2011, I brought my first smartphone Samsung Galaxy Gio with 3.2 MP and since then I fell in love as I took candids of people. At one point I saw and learned from some of the great works from within the street photography genre. That was the time when I truly fell in love with (street) photography. Now, I use Motorola Razr for (mobile) street photography and documentary and upload it to Instagram.
F: What is the style that fit you the most? I mean what style in photography that really represent you? Tell me man..
A: I just like street photography and documentary. I like to walk and see everything around me. Observe about social conditions, culture, and talking with strangers. Those things make me know how to be a good person and know much great stories from another persons life.
F: What stories do you wanna tell in your photographs? Is it representing something such as your own mood or you just snap away without thinking anything when you see the objects or subjects?
A: I had different styles when I use my mobile camera (Razr) and the camera (Fuji x100). I used my mobile camera for telling the stories of Jakarta. I try to show stories about people, society, culture, place, and other subjects that I find in Jakarta. When I use mobile camera I usually just capture anything that I see on the streets, make it all fit together into a frame. It’s fun to explore without thinking and sometimes I get some amazing pictures that I don’t realize how can I got those pictures. Less editing is my style, it might make the audience feel that its a simple picture, a picture that tells the truth about Jakarta. The other style is when I use my camera (Fuji x100) for street portrait and those stories are different as they are about loneliness and the dark side of the people in Jakarta.
F: What’s the big differences between shooting using your RAZR and x100 from your point of view? I mean what’ are the pros and cons of each gear that you use for shooting on the street?
A: The big differences is the feelings and the experiences. When I use the mobile camera (Razr), I can easily take pictures without having to be seen by the people, I mean I can do it discreetly. Other advantages of the mobile camera is light and compact, and surely you will need it when the moment is in front of your eyes and need to capture it silently and quickly. I never think to count the frames that I have already taken or make it limited, just snap and snap until I feel its enough. It’s different when I use the x100, I was usually limit my shot for a moment. I was really enjoying the process when taking the photographs, the process which I had to make contact with strangers and get their unique responses. There’s another thing that thrilled me so much, the x100 focal length is only 23mm, it means I have to stand about one meter away from the object that I want to shot while I do the street portrait, those kind of feelings and experiences is what makes me so addicted.
F: Now tell me about your goal for yourself in the mobile photography world. What did you want and what did you wanna show to the world? And did you think mobile photography can compete side by side with the photography using the big gun?
A: I thought for now I was satisfied enough with mobile photography, but I hope one day I can see people documenting their cities, their neighborhood, their environment, and their daily life from their own perspective. Like what I do to see Jakarta using my own perspective. It is fun and interesting when we see the photographs of other cities such Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, or any other cities using the different perspective from other people.
For the competition between mobile and non-mobile photography I thought that was the same thing. I thought people had their own opinion on the context of purposes, for me I like to use the mobile camera for instant photographs and quickly shared it to my friends using the social media, with the big gun I was usually used it for my personal projects or do any photographs that really need the best quality of sharpness, lights, and pixels. So I guess everyone has their own purposes on using mobile or the big guns while their doing their own photographs.
F: The last thing, what’s your favorite application that you usually use on your mobile device? And tell us why?
A: My Motorola Razr was running on Android OS, I was choose the FV-5 Camera as my favorite camera application for my Razr. With FV-5 camera I can do control the exposure and I thought this is the application that had much feature on Android. About the editing application I just using only the snapseed, it was pretty simple and easy to use. Beside that I don’t do much editing for every picture that I take using my Razr, I just need to do some adjustment about the light, colors, and composition. Less edit is great for me.
F: Ok, thanks bro for your time. Keep up the good work!
A: Your welcome Dijeh! Cipok basah lengket!
What Arry does with his mobile phone is absolutely great. He chooses to concentrate on mobile photography to do his street journey in Jakarta. And like what he said, why don’t we share the stories of our cities with our own perspective? It is great to see the different points of view from cities around the world. Street is the real theater of life, a place that can show any drama of our real life. We just need to observe and seek those moments patiently. Rare things happen and why we don’t freeze it into a frame? Why not?
Contact Arry Ramadhan
Instagram / Personal Blog / 500px / EyeEm