Interview with Hengki Koentjoro
#1 Please introduce yourself
My name is Hengki Koentjoro, a fine art photographer base in Jakarta, Indonesia. I graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1991 majoring in Film/video production and minor in Black and White photography. At the moment I’m working as a video cameraman for a production house in Jakarta and we do mostly corporate profile and TV commercials. For now photography is mainly a serious hobby during spare time.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
My parents gave me a Kodak pocket camera for a birthday present. The loves of capturing moments in the family as well as the ability to freeze moments were the starting point of my love affair with photography. Letter on the work of Ansel Adam really set my eyes on Black and White photography. His ability to control the tonality to create moods and atmosphere captivated me and the passion starts from there and never look back.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
Not at all, photography has always been the tool of expression.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
Ansel Adam and Michael Kenna.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph? Are you planning every step or is it always spontaneous?
Almost everything is spontaneous because I love to get lost in a place and explore the beauty of the nature that is full mystery and the unexpected; it’s always fresh. I never go for high expectation, just take whatever nature has to over and most of the time she hardly disappoint.
#6 What fascinates you in places that you shoot?
The love of the ocean is the main drive to express one self. The calm and the vast area is the inspiration and at the same time a place to replenish your mind. I’m lucky to live in Indonesia because she is dubbed as the biggest archipelago nation on earth with more than 13,000 islands. We also have many highlands and active volcanoes spreading over 3275 miles from East to West. This abode of the god is also known for it’s mysterious mist and fog that accentuate the thick feeling of mysticism.
#7 We can see your photographs mainly in black and white, why have you chosen to present them in this form?
The ability to play around with tones and create an atmospheric photograph is the reason to choose monochrome. It is more pliable therefore more freedom in expressing your idea. With the Zone System by Ansel Adam, you are in practice of seeing thing around you in monochrome or learning to see in black and white. This will help a lot in choosing your proper subject matter and forecasting how it’ll look letter on postproduction.
#8 could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?
Now I mainly shoot with DSLR camera. For the ocean I normally use the long exposure technique with double ND filters of 18 stops to allow shooting on the broad daylight for more than 5 minutes. Post processing is done digitally to convert to black and white. And the software of choice is Adobe Lightroom. For printing, Hahnemuhle Rag Baryta paper is the favorite specially when paired with HP printer.
#9 Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in photography?
Enjoy life. Be thankful that you got passion to express your self. Relax and don’t push to hard. Just don’t stop, sooner or letter it will come to you and be ready to embrace it.
#10 What do you do in your life besides photography?
To do nothing at all and stay home with family.
#11 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
Keep on shooting and hopefully finding your trademark along the way.
Hengki Koentjoro Official Website: