Monday, June 21, 2010

A woman ...

One of my distant pen-lovers somewhere in this world sent me following truth:

A woman needs a man who takes good care of her,

A man who can make her laugh out loud,

A man who makes her feel as if she’s the most important woman in the world to him

A man who takes her breath away

A man who stimulates her mind

And it’s important that these five men never meet each other!

Being a man, this reads also very true as:

A man needs a woman who takes good care of him,

A woman who can make him laugh out loud,

A woman who makes him feel as if he's the most important man in the world to her,

A woman who takes his breath away

A woman who stimulates his mind

And it's equally important that these five women never meet each other !

* * *

How does one roll 5 women into one and ensure they never meet each other ?

* * *

These two women do take my breath away ... this was shot in December 2009 and is part of a book being laid out for print.

I've worked multiple times with Sarah and Natalia.

Looking forward creating more with these talented models.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pulau Galang Baru

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I hired a driver for a full day for about $55. This is definitely my favorite way of traveling around in Indonesia. I got a great recommendation for a driver and he didn't disappoint. Ropik showed up in an SUV which was very comfortable on some of the bumpy no-roads on the islands.

Goal for the day was to drive all the way to Pulau Galang Baru, the last island connected to Batam through the 7 Barelang bridges.

I have been many times at the first Barelang bridge, the most imposing one. I've never driven all the way over all seven to see where this leads to.

On my way we stopped at Kampung Vietnam to take a look at the Vietnamese refugee camp. I had read about it online ... I could undeniably feel the suffering still hanging around on this hot day many years after the closing of the camp.

Once we made our way to Palau (Island) Galang Baru, we were rewarded with with amazing views of tropical islands in an environment were time stood still for many years.

Everywhere I went I heard girls yell "bule bule ... photo ... photo ... please take picture ..." (bule = westerner) ... No greater delight for these young women to know someone snapped their picture with their girlfriends ... big smiles guaranteed ;-) No need to worry about leaving an email address for them to get the image ... all that's required is to know someone spend time taking their picture and will have a souvenir from them forever.

At this time in the year, sun is only guaranteed in the morning. As soon as it turns around 2:00 pm, the clouds change dramatically into thunderclouds with torrents of rain falling down. It doesn't last long but one has to take precautions. Not too difficult when one travels in car but it's a totally different story for the locals on their motorbikes and scooters.

Two of the images I shot that day show clearly rain drenching down in buckets at the horizon. We only got wet on our way back to Batam. Rather than hanging out on a tropical beach waiting for a nice sunset, I decided to go visit Tanjung Uma ... a place I'll write more about when I have time to process the images.

Those who have been following my travels know that this is my fourth trip in about 5 months to this area of the world.

I've been in Indonesia before. In 1999 to 2001 I spend quote a few weeks in Bali paradise working special effects for an amusement park. Although a perfect introduction to the beauty of Indonesia, it didn't prepare me for the beauty of the Riau Islands comprising Batam. Most of these islands are sparsely populated and as of today, I'm constantly taken by the genuine happiness of these people whatever their living circumstances are.

More images from my recent Indonesia travels to Batam can be found in my Travel Images folder on Facebook.

So far I've not been able to find any shells on any of the beaches I visited. Who took them all ?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Batam in May

This is my fourth business trip to Singapore and Batam, Indonesia this year. It's the end of May and it's a lot warmer and definitely more humid this time.
The trip to Singapore was uneventful, one does get used to these long haul flights. On my way to the ferry though things changed a bit.

The taxi driver didn't feel I needed my head for the rest of the trip and he slammed his trunk shut while I was still pulling luggage out of it.

I ended up making the trip on the ferry with a bloodied head. Not a pretty sight. Starbucks napkins was all there was at hand to stop the bleeding a bit.

Once in Batam I had a nurse take a look at it ... my head that is, not the napkins. She glued the cut shut and counted 7 scars in total on my head ... 7 stories to tell.

Today I ended up in yet another thunderstorm on my way to Barelang bridge. Just trying to get some images from fishermen villages or what's left of it. It's quite a sight to see the locals making their way through treacherous terrain on their motorbikes and scooters. As usual, it's quite common to see 3-5 family members on one bike and a little thunderstorm is not going to stop at least some of them. There are shelters left and right for bikers to ride the rain out if they like so ... not sure what's worse though ... getting soaked at a "shelter" or continue driving.

Once on my way the drenching stopped close to my destination. Got some good shots but then I slipped big time on some concrete blocks covered with algae slurry down at the water's edge. My camera got wacked around breaking my fall a bit. My glasses ended up in the water. Some scrapes and a slightly bruised ego ... sure ... but I continued shooting ... of course. At least I didn't loose my Blackberry this time like in all my other "water" accidents.

The locals watching me providing the entertainment of their afternoon found it all "lucu" (funny) and I did get quite a few request to shoot their pictures ... lol ... I didn't get the orange red sunset shots I had hoped for but what I got was well worth the effort. Tomorrow is another day to take a stab at a perfect sunset.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The shells ...

I woke up this morning and against the bright sun peering through the veiled curtains I saw an island floating on an ocean of rattan ... I closed my eyes again as I wanted to go back to the state of slumber and experience this dream again ...
I slowly open my eyes and through my lashes this sight appears again ... I hesitate to open a bit more ... afraid this was going to disappear ... an ocean of rattan with a bright white sky and an island ... two islands ... no ... make that three islands ... three white sand humps on an ocean of rattan ... different size ... different shapes ... all preciously shimmering in the light ...
Where was I ? ... where did this sudden surrender to peace and quiet come from ? ... oceans of rattan don't make any noise ... it was quiet ... ear deafening silence ...

Now I remembered my dream ... it was as in a faint memory coming back ... the silhouette on the beach ... a silhouette walking on the beach in the the darkness of pre-dawn ...

I pause my thoughts and pain my memory ... it all turns dark ...

* * *

The orange glow of the sun is lighting up the water and a silhouette is taking form ... the first rays light up my vision and I see a flowing dress ... a goddess floating over the sand ... tall ... mysterious ... golden skin lit by a rising sun .. the head is framed with long wavy hair ... hiding the face ...

Turn ... turn ... turn ... I whisper in my dream ... alas ... the appearance can't hear me in the deafening silence of my dream ocean ... I walk closer to the scene ... a goddess arm stretches graciously our to me and an elegant hand opens up ... I see three shells ...

Three shells fall out this mysterious hand ... I catch them and hold these little treasures tight ... I turn my head towards the apparition but all I can see is a soul silhouette disappearing in the darkness of the sun ...

"Wait ... wait ... wait" ... I yell ... I scream ...

I pause as no sound is escaping my voice ...

What is ? ... the dark turns slowly to light and I don't have a shadow ... I'm reduced to my soul ...
But wait ... the shells ....

* * *

I slowly opened my eyes and through my lashes I see three islands ... foggy this time ... out of focus ... the bright sunlight is blinding ... slowly I open a bit more ... my vision adjust and I see the ocean of rattan ... the white beaches of the islands ...

The islands slowly disappear in the distance and they get smaller and smaller until each island is reduced to a shell ...

One shell ... two shells ... three shells ... all different ... all beautifully shimmering on my rattan nightstand ...

I close my eyes again and I'm overcome with a warm feeling ... My soul is blessed by three little shells that travelled in a mysterious way to the beach in the dawn of a dream ... dropped from the hands of a beach goddess ...

* * *

Images in this post are from a shoot with Nettie R. Harris ... we worked together almost a year ago ... extremely talented art model .. more images of this shoot later.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Travel images from Batam, Indonesia

It has been a while since my last post ... I don't seem to snap out of this busy spell fixing technology problems.

This images here were all shot on a sunny February Sunday afternoon while sight seeing in Batam.

The sunken boat can be found close to a fisherman village in the neighborhood of Bengkong Laut.

There are still people living in the old fisherman town ... I spend about an hour around noon snapping images around the town ... the lighting was brutal though.

I hired a cab driver for the day and he drove me to the old town on Nongsa beach. That's where I found the pier and a couple of boats. There were quite a few boats available to go visit the neighboring islands (Pulau Putri) with pristine white sand beaches.

I spend the late afternoon on the beach close to the "industrial" park on Nongsa beach. There were plenty of treasures to be found there.

Boats in all sizes, shapes and states and the light changes around the evening were quite dramatic.

I collected sufficient images to fill a coffee table book with the catch of that day ... maybe one day ...

Can't wait to go back there ... it's a different world ... different pace ... ;-)

More images soon ... time to put a travel gallery up on my Facebook page ... ;-) ... soon ...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Travel ...

My travel schedule is still hectic ... been in Singapore and Batam a second time in January/February and I'm ready for my next trip to Asia in March. In between there's the occasional domestic business travel ... Los Angeles, Boston, Orlando ...

All by all a great opportunity to discover new places, meet new people and get a deeper insight in local cultures and habits ... oh ... yes ... let's not forget the culinary aspects ... ;-) ... Indonesian food is a pure delight ;-)

I'm always on the go with a camera so I do have an opportunity to snap some travel images ... Above some shots from my first ferry ride between Singapore and Batam on December 23, 2009.

Whole families travel on a bike ... 4, 5 and even 6 people on a single bike ... dangerous ... yes ... but there seems to be some order in all the biker chaos ... all in all traffic moves smoothly ...