Light in the Studio, a photography workshop on a rainy day with Sriwijaya Camera Professional Team.

The last post we wrote about photography was a little while back. It is in fact one of the most constant activities we do here in Sawidji. In preparing our products for catalogues, archiving artworks for the gallery database, fashion photos for our shop and every other little bit, photography is a big part of everything we do. Even as one with a background in it, there is definitely a sense that you’re never caught up and you’re still new to it. Because its an art that is fused with technology. And as we know, technology has a rate of growth that is these days quite diabolical.

Several months ago we actually outfitted our photo studio with flash lighting as well as video lighting. We encountered some challenges with the flash studio lighting. Which presents an opportunity for us to learn more. In one of the few instances YouTube and Google both failed to assist. Sawidji asked the professionals to come in and give us a crash course to make sure we’re doing things right in the studio and give us a few pointers on how we can improve things further.

I find these kind of activities very rewarding. For a change, I am in the student’s seat again which I enjoy. And our team also gets to learn things formally through the expertise and experience of others. For this opportunity I am grateful to Nyoman Butur and Kiki Darmawan of Sriwijaya Camera. They came all the way to Ubud in what was a pretty heavy thunderstorm to take us through dos and donts with lighting. Which has added not a small degree of quality to our studio photography. And definitely a lot more fun with our portrait sessions.

Nyoman and Kiki quickly resolved the issues we had in our studio flash light set up. We learned a lot more about lighting techniques in the studio for different types of photography as well as lots of added functionality on our very smart cameras. Functions some of which I had no idea about.

A workshop like this serves very much like a health check. It gave our team a lot of encouragement to know the things they were doing well already. There actually wasn’t anything that we were doing too badly in fact. So that was a plus. But certainly, always room for improvement.

The guys had an awesome time posing and playing model. I was able to work out a way to get one of my lenses to work properly on a different camera. It was a winning day all round.

The best thing about workshops like this really, is the positive energy you find when you get together with others who have such knowledge and passion for what they do. Nyoman and Kiki are fantastic, talented trainers and made everyone feel really comfortable for us to ask more questions to learn more.

Photography, a Marriage of Art and Science..

Our photography studio is really a work horse here in Sawidji. We have a myriad of things to photograph nearly every day. From products, to people to artworks and prints and clothes etc. For me personally, Photography is very much a very special art form. One that is as versatile and dynamic as the people who practice it. Reflecting their own characteristics through the way their vision is channeled through their cameras.

Even more so today, with the editing tools that are so readily available, the art of photography has transformed. It is no longer simply image capturing, but image making as well. Whatever the direction your photography takes, personally, I think there is beauty in the process. The method. The technical precision that is responsible for such magical and wonderful results. There is so much we can learn from the processes in photography. The science of the lens, the formulas of perspective, its depth and focus. The calculated illusions of light and shadow. Amidst it also, there ironically lies, a confrontational truth. That the camera captures what in reality is in front of it. This does not lie. And yet, so many variations of this truth can emerge through our own manipulations.

Human Imprint, an Inevitable Compulsion.

Is it not interesting that in most areas of any human activity, we can not simply just leave it as it is. We take away from it or we add to it. We seldom simply just accept it as it is. Human beings, we obviously have to tinker. Make some kind of adjustment and claim it for ourselves. Maybe this is just one way of us coping with our own insignificance in the grander scheme of things. We have to find a way to express. Something of ourselves and make a mark, wherever we can. That may be the starting point of any form of art from the beginning of time. Our way of finding significance.

Dewi Dian Reich
Dewi Dian Reich


Founder of Sawidji Artist Collective and Gallery.
Director/Curator of Sawidji & Co

Below are some of the portraits we have taken. With our community, for fun and for work.

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