C.S. Tjandra is a skillful and advanced photographer. His portfolio has a magical taste when it comes to wildlife and nature photography. His target and vision is to capture unique moments, sharp and clean. Enjoy reading more about the man behind his wonderful work. Thanks to Yvette Depaepe for conducting the interview.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I was born in 1965 and am living in Jakarta – Indonesia, I graduated as an Architect and for the past 20 years until now I am still running my own business.
My hobbies are traveling, and taking photographs, often by combining the two, when a business trip leaves me the leisure to take pictures.
How have your history and life experiences affected your photography?
It is a pitty that I have no history in photography, only with a pocket camera to take my family photos when traveling, I have never taken any course in photography or photoshop so far, hopefully someday I will have enough time to learn and practice more.
Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art?
For me, seeing others photos is a good process of learning, so I always like to see any kind of photos to understand the post processing and sense a lot of the artistic aspects from them.
What first attracted you to photography?
I have just begun to start taking photos as a hobby in the mid of 2011 ( 5 years ago ), when I found 1x Photography and joined in August 2011. I have seen so many impressive and high quality photos on 1x Photography, encouraging me to try to develop my photography as a hobby.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
In Nature / Wildlife photography, my vision is to capture something unique of the specific animal behavior or action that I have observed. I have a general vision of the image in mind that I want to to produce those images have to be sharp, well exposed and clean. I like both monochrome and color images. In each photo there is always the optimal exposure either in monochrome or color.
Here are some photos which I think are better in monochrome instead of color.
Why are you so drawn to nature photography?
Actually I am interested in several genres of photography, but I have a limitation in time and knowledge in post processing. I am aware that for nature / wildlife photography there should not be a need for a lot of skills in post processing, therefore I have mostly taken photos of nature / wildlife.
I usually go on location with some references for the place and take photos.
- EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM
- EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM
- EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM
- EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM
- EF 200-400 mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x
- EF 500 mm f/4L IS II USM
- Some others Canon prime / fixed lenses.
Tripod GITZO GT4552TS with ball head and gimbal / panoramic head RSS BH-55 LR.
I have two bags : “ThinkTANK” Glas Taxi Backpack and “Vanguard” shoulder sling bag.
What software do you use to process your images?
I use Photoshop CS6 with an add-on of NIK Software.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
Starting with the RAW file, I manage the exposure, then do the editing in Photoshop CS6 with NIK Software. Mostly I do only basic adjustments such as brightness, contrast and sharpness, so it is quite fast to finish the task.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in nature photography and how do you get started?
I suppose it is the same as when I started as a beginner in nature photography: We all have to see and can learn from other images, learn how to take a tack sharp images, good details and isolation of the subject with the background, etc.
For instance whenever we take a bird image, the image should have some important aspects such as :
- Dynamic actions.
- Great lights.
- Lower point of view or at eye level with the subject.
For example Mr. Andy Rouse and for sure other 1x Photography members.
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a great deal and why?
I am not sure about this, but overall a lot of photos in 1x Photography have inspired me to learn and sometimes even force me to have a plan to visit the spot and now those are on my to-do list.
Are there any specific direction that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I wish to have more free time to take photos and produce good images in several category of photography, and I will consider to take part in exhibitions and contests.
Describe your favorite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
When I was a beginner, I tried to take a lot of pelican images, the subject is an animal so it is not possible to instruct and arrange as with a model. I usually had to wait for the whole day just to take a few dynamic action photographs and one day, not on purpose , I got this image which I think captures a great moment because of the back-light.