Learning Gemstone Studio Photography


Gemstone fever. We usually call it akik in Indonesia. A lot of my friends and family members talk about their gemstone collection. I personally am not too interested about gemstone myself. But its discourse surrounding me over and over finally got my mind poisoned, more over when some practiced how to see the gemstone feature. I was a bit curious when they lighted the gemstone using flashlight and cellphone torch. The biggest question was how the gemstone would look like when it was lighted by studio lighting. So then I was honoured when Mr Arya Ndhut, Mr Ucu, and Dr Foki allowed me to borrow some of their akik collections and I brought them to photography laboratory of communication science, Al Azhar University of Indonesia by the permission of Mas Edo, Mas Viand, Mas Yuda, and Bung Qiday.

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I do apologize that I couldn’t mention the name of each gemstone name because I didn’t notice that even though the owners were telling me about its each names and stories. I placed the gemstones on a still-life/multi table then I lighted them using 4 softboxes, generally from the right-top, left-top, below the table, and rear the table. The greatest test and difficulty were about getting the best light reflection and the through lighting out of the gemstones to reveal the inner motives. Some gemstones were not having transparent characteristics so they didn’t have rear through light as the aesthetics factor. Some gemstones were in white or bright feature so I had difficulties about the overexposed and I was unable to reveal its inner or surface aesthetics. For example like these ones :

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When I discussed about how to photograph white, transparent, or bright feature gemstone with the photography lecturer Om Arryadianta and Mas Bagus (a senior photographer), they told me that my biggest mistake was I didn’t use black background to place the gemstone. A very simple mistake and I stupidly forgot about. The other tips from Om Arrya and Mas Bagus was, when photographing a non-transparent gemstones or jewelry is don’t forget to use black cloth and black base on it so the still-life/multi table and the softboxes reflection doesn’t disturbed the gemstone motives. We can see my mistake on these ones :

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One technical problem was that I didn’t have a macro lens so I couldn’t get a closer focus on the gemstone. I’m sure I would get a better close looks of the gemstone if I used that.

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Maybe you have experiences about photographing gemstones in a studio, I’m humbly eager to hear and learn about that more. This is my first time photographing gemstones in a studio and I frankly share my mistakes in revealing its natural aesthetics. Thank you for Mas Arya Ndhut, Pak Ucu, and Dr Foki for the gemstone collections. Thank you for Om Arryadianta and Mas Bagus for the constructive, challenging, and honest critics. Thank you for Mas Edoardo Irfan, Mas Viand Isword, Mas Yuda, and mas Rizky “Bung Qiday” for the opportunity to use the photography studio.

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Sleeping Outside

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“People sleeping in the streets.
No roof above, no food to eat. Tell me why”

(Genesis. Tell Me Why. We Can’t Dance. 1991)

Dina Rachmadiarti


Once a photographer team had a photo session at photography laboratory of communication science major, Al Azhar University of Indonesia. There were me, Om Rakhmat Suandi, Om Ade Miraj, Om Anggi, and Mbak Dina Rachmadiarti whom had a photo session for auditioning some models for my campus visual promo and web content. We photographed more than 10 models and some majors iconic accessories. Then we had a time to take some shots of the only female and the most beautiful photographer of our team (of course the other photographer are handsome). Her name is Dina Rachmadiarti.

Dina Rachmadiarti or Dina, is an alumnus and she works as  PR officer in our campus. She handles our campus press releases, photo documentation, and news content for our website. We set 2-3 softboxes for the photo session. Here are some of the photographs :


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Thanks to Om Rakhmat, Om Ade, Om Anggi, and Mbak Dina for the pleasuring photo session. Thanks to Mas Edo and Mas Viand for the photography laboratory access and availability.

My 100th Post : Our Campus News Room Laboratory


Welcome to the Al Azhar University of Indonesia new communication science laboratory. We have just set a new lab : news room laboratory. It functions as a lab for practicing journalism subjects and as a meeting room. I tried to make a pretest profile photography using 3 softboxes. My first impression of the photographs was that the visualizations looked too flat in term of the lighting. Hopefully I could have another chance to make a better profile or interior photography of this laboratory.

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Then let’s meet our Department of Communication Science chief, Mr. Edoardo Irfan, S.IP, M.Si. He lectures and is an expert of political communication, semiotics studies, postmodernism studies, and film studies. I intentionally set the camera in low speed set and warm white balance to capture the yellow light of the exhibition lamp that beam the chess wall decoration in the left-top of the photograph and to warm the red colour of the chair.

After some minutes of the photo session, then I kidnapped two pupils to get into the session. They were Avianti Ali Saputri and Hanny Maula whom act as Mas Edo subordinates in the news room. I would like to thank you to Mas Edo as our chief, to Mas Viand and Mas Rangga as the laboratory officers and as the lighting assistants, and also to Mbak Avianti and Mbak Hanny for their kindness to be our accidental and spontaneous models.


Chicken Claw Noodle of Pakdhe Misran

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Meet Pakdhe Misran on the road side of Al Azhar University of Indonesia. His chicken claw noodle is very popular there. He has been cooking and selling himself for more than 25 years. The marvelous side of his story is that by only selling the noodle, he could finance his 2 children to go to the college then graduated and became successful persons. His first daughter has become a sales manager of Walls ice cream, the younger one has become a doctor. But Pakdhe (which means ‘uncle’) still does his noodle business in a pavement. Don’t ask for a friendly and smile service from him because he’s a bit boiled-characteristic man. But he can serve your order fast and his noodle is so yummy.

I tried to make a design photography for his well-known chicken claw noodle at the communication science’s photography lab of Al Azhar University of Indonesia. I set 4 soft-boxes and I placed the noodle on a still-life table.

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Pakdhe Misran chicken claw noodle at Al Azhar University of Indonesia’ back road with 2 meatballs, 1 chicken claw and a really hot and biting grilled chilli sauce for Rp 15.000.


Son of a beach ;)

Reblogging an advertisement portfolio. Copywrite by Mas Deny Triyono; graphic design by Kang Pratomo Nugroho; talent by Pak Anung Srihadi; photography by me.

Denytriyono's Weblog

Print ad by Deny Triyono & Pratomo Nugroho

with talented talent: Anung Srihadi

and tireless photographer: Zakaria Lantang

for “Indonesia Bertindak”

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The Other Sides of Our Sunset


What we often see about sunset photographs are about the yellow sun, the wonderfully painted sky, and the silhouette features among the sunset itself. Have we been noticing the sunset impacts on other subjects? One of the sunset impact is that it is causing a warm colors effect on the subjects. Everything goes reddish and yellowish. Visually, everything becomes warmer. Photographing our surrounding subjects when the sun going to hide under the horizon is quite simple but challenging. To get a warmer color for our subjects, we may set an underexposed aperture compensation.

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Meet Mr Poerwanto and His Books

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This is my parent, Mr Poerwanto and Mrs Pudji Astuti. I took their picture after Ied Fitr prayer. Happy Ied Mubarak. Please, we do apologize for our faults and mistakes sincerely and thank you in advance for forgiving us.

This time I want to post about my father, Mr Poerwanto. He usually is called Pak (Mr.) Poer by his students in 2000s until the last time he retired from lecturing ,or Mas (big brother) Poer by his colleagues, his senior students, and by his basketball community friends. He was a lecturer at Business Administration program, Faculty of Social and Political Science, University of Jember. Todays, he spend his retirement times by taking care of orchid and kamboja flowers while sometimes selling them to whom are interested, and writing books.

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Well now allow me to promote his books in this post. He has written three text books relating to his subjects when he was lecturing : New Business Administration, Budaya Perusahaan (Corporate Culture), and Corporate Social Responsibility. Let me share those books photographs and their contents here.

New Business Administration : Paradigma Baru Pengelolaan Bisnis di Era Dunia Tanpa Batas (New Business Administration : A New Paradigm of Business Supervision in the Limitless World Era)

New Business Administration is Pak Poer’s first book. It was published in 2006 by Pustaka Pelajar Yogyakarta. Pak Poer wrote this New Business Administration based on the dynamics of business process, economy, and life quality in the world after millenium. Having described the business administration definitions from 1982 – 2000, neo-futurist elements from Kenichi Ohmae,  and the cases about Jawa Pos and Starbuck, he then proposed his definition about new business administration as “an overall co-operation process of production which are needed and wanted by the customer to the distribution with gaining and giving profit in balanced, responsible, and sustainable to the customer” (Poerwanto, 2006 : 75).

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Poerwanto. (2006). New Business Administration : Paradigma Baru Pengelolaan Bisnis di Era Dunia Tanpa Batas. Yogyakarta : Pustaka Pelajar

Contents (translated to English):

I. Administrasi Bisnis sebagai Fenomena Sosial (Business Administration as Social Phenomenon)

II. Bisnis dan Ilmu Administrasi Bisnis (Business and Business Administration Science)

III. Tanggung Jawab Sosial dan Etika Bisnis (Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics)

IV. Kewirausahaan  (Entrepreneurship)

V. Kebijakan Administrasi Bisnis (Business Administration Policy)

VI. Pengelolaan Sumber Daya Manusia (Human Resource Management)

VII. Kebijakan Pemasaran (Marketing Policy)

VIII. Bisnis dalam Dunia Tanpa Batas (Business in the Limitless World)

Budaya Perusahaan (Corporate Culture)

Budaya Perusahaan is Pak Poer’s second book published in 2008 by Pustaka Pelajar. It is a text book that actually develops his previous researches about Pos Indonesia and Telkom plus cases studies of some global corporates. In its back-cover, he wrote “Corporate culture is a latent power behind the tangible assets in every organization as well as the social energy to direct the organizational behavior. Culture has a significant role in adaptation process to the external environment and the internal integration. Culture functions as the corporate’s moral in controlling the global chance. The question is how does corporate culture begin, operate, and set to be the moral guidance in the corporate’s structural networking and management?”

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Poerwanto. (2008). Budaya Perusahaan. Yogyakarta : Pustaka Pelajar

Contents (translated to English) :

I. Pemahaman terhadap Perilaku dan Budaya Perusahaan (Understanding Corporate Behavior and Culture)

II. Implementasi Budaya (Implementation of Culture)

III. Menanggapi Perubahan Organisasi (Responding to Organizational Change)

IV. Kebijakan, Manajemen Pengetahuan, dan Skenario (Policy, Knowledge Management, and Scenario)

V. Budaya Perusahaan sebagai Moral Usaha (Corporate Culture as Moral)

Corporate Social Responsibility : Menjinakkan Gejolak Sosial di Era Pornografi (Corporate Social Responsibility : Taming the Social Turmoil in the Pornographic Era)

There was a funny thing happened before Pak Poer’s third book published. Pak Poer asked me about what pornography was because at that time there was a popular discourse in Indonesia about Anti Pornography Law and my thesis was a bit concerning about that. Thus his Corporate Social Responsibility was published. I was surprised. I asked him that what the connection between CSR and pornography was, while I didn’t read any case about pornography and media corporate involved in his third book. He just explained to me that the publisher would publish the same theme about CSR as Pak Poer’s. The publisher asked Pak Poer to revise and add another topic in his writing. So he just added a subchapter about pornography and then proposed his own definition about pornography as “an immoral act or thought that makes others sad, anxious, disappointed, angry, or degraded psychologically, culturally, and sociologically” (Poerwanto, 2010 : 14). He said that he was confused to write any topic to add and to revise his CSR book. He just wrote about pornography as the additional revision because he was so busy with his campus stuffs, retirement concern, and about batik trading so he was blank of idea to develop. We had a good joke and laugh about that anyway then. His CSR book is just a common text book explanation (with a special subchapter about pornography as its unique-selling-proposition, I guess).

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Poerwanto. (2010). Corporate Social Responsibility : Menjinakkan Gejolak Sosial di Era Pornografi. Yogyakarta : Pustaka Pelajar.

Contents (tranlated to English)

I. Inspiration

II. Interaction

III. Marketing

IV. Spiritual

V. Scenario

I used manual setting and focusing on the camera with manually over-exposing the lighting because the ambient/available light was not bright for that cloudy day. I intentionally set some flowers and green leaves as the background to relate the book to my father’s recent activity as a pensioner. We also would like to say thank you very much to Pustaka Pelajar Yogyakarta in this post for helping Pak Poer’s book publishing. He is writing for another theme about contemporary business adminstration landscape and hopefully will be delivered to you soon. Matur sembah nuwun sanget, Pustaka Pelajar.

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Snapshots from Ied Fitr Prayer

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July 28th 2014 was the 1435 Ied Fitr date. It is also named as Syawal 1st day. Ied Fitr or Ied Mubarak is a holy date and day for moslems in the world when we finally finish our fasting/shaum for a month previously. The tradition in Indonesia is meeting the moslems one another to ask forgiveness and to give mercy. In other word, we forgive one another among moslem people. But before we practice that tradition, we must have the Ied Fitr prayer on a vast field early in the morning at the Syawal 1st.

This year, me and my family had the Ied Fitr prayer at Muhammadiyah University of Jember. I brought my DSLR to capture some snapshots there. Here they are for you. Wish I could get some critics of my photographs because I haven’t been taking human interest photographs and honestly I feel my skill has been degrading so much.

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Thus least but not last, “Happy Ied Mubarak 1435/2014, wishing and giving sincere forgiveness among us”. Thank you in advance.

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Maxtron IP67-1

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Allow me to share my new cellphone : Maxtron IP67-1. This made in China cellphone is shockproof, waterproof, and dustproof. I bought it for Rp 550.000 from Grand Cellular shop at Jl. Jawa 28A Jember – East Java (http://www.grandcellular.co.id). It is a trusted gadget and phone shop at Jember and on its e-commerce. I and my father have been Grand Cellular loyal customers for years and we have bought 3 stuffs there.

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The cellphone body made of plastic and rubber. We need to use a thin coin or a flat/minus screwdriver to open the battery and simcardcap. Then I found this Maxtron IP67-1 uniqueness. I tested it inside our bath under a flowing water tap and I saw it was floating. We can see that from the left-below photograph here. It’s very different from my previous water-dustproof cellphone, Samsung C3350 X Cover II. We can see at the right-below photograph here where in a glass full of water Maxtron is floating while Samsung (the gray-black one) is drowning.

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Wish this would be a longlife cellphone for me and this Maxtron IP67-1 photographic testimony is useful for you whom is interested about adventure cellphones.