Photo Tips #1 – Left Eye FTW

Claiming to be photo-enthusiast, I realize that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to photography. And today, I learn something rather interesting.

Answer me this; when you peek your view-finder to frame a photo, do you use your right eye or your left eye?

People will have difference preference. Some might say right, some might say left… it’s all based on natural instinct (reflex) or perhaps other reasons.

I normally use right eye for no particular reason. I guess it’s just reflex.

My wife use her left eye because she has more problem with her right eye.

A friend of mine use both (one at a time, of course) depending on the situation.

Bottom line, there is no right or wrong.

However, I just learn that using your left eye to peek has extra advantage – providing that you are using a ‘right hand camera’ (you push the shutter button with your right hand index finger).

Using your left eye peek at the view-finder tend to make your hands and arms (especially elbows) closed/rested on your body, thus providing extra support to prevent camera shake. It will become handy especially when you need to take photo with low shutter speed without tripod. Using this method, I still can get sharp-focused image at 1/8” shutter speed (handheld); Please note that I normally get shaky photo at 1/15″ shutter speed (handheld).

Starting today, I think I’m going to force myself to get accustom in using my left eye to peek. Hope it will help me in getting  better photos for

Further reading:

  1. “Da Grip”, by Joe McNally (Article, Video)
  2. “How to hold the camera with your hands for best support”, by Vesna Koselj (Article)

Photo by Amanda M. Hatfield

Indonesia’s Heritage for the World

A magazine displayed in a bookshop at Bandung Train Station made me stunned. It was Gatra Magazine, Special Edition for August 17th, 2010, entitled “Indonesia’s Heritage for the World”. In a blink, I bought that magazine.

Indonesia’s Heritage for the World. Yes, this is the title of the special edition to commemorate Indonesia’s Independence Day. The edition exclusively discusses 65 kinds of Indonesian legacy for the World, which consists of various Intangible, Arts, Crafts, Architecture, Tangible and finally Sites and Archaeology Heritage. The number 65 is of course used only to coincide with Indonesia’s independence day, 65 year ago. If we’re talking the actual number of Indonesia’s heritage, I am certain that there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of them spread across the country, from Sabang to Merauke, from Miangas to Rote. As the tagline of this site, Beautiful Diversity, Indonesia has a very rich and diverse cultural beauty.

As a small gift from us to our beloved nation, after three months we had this website in beta version, by today, August 17th, 2010, Peep Indonesia is officially introduced to the public. This website can be accessed at Happy and proud to launch the website, we do realize there are many things that need refinement and further development.

To complete our happiness, by today we also have a new crew. Dwi Rahardiani, or more affectionately known as Duy, a spirited traveler, joins Peep Indonesia. She will be our Editor and Narrator and will assist Goyo, our Editor-in-Chief. Through her lens, Duy will also share a lot of pictures of Molo, Belitung and other Indonesian landscapes she has visited. Duy’s enthusiasm and experience will certainly strengthen Peep Indonesia to grow in the future in promoting Indonesia’s Heritage to the World.

Welcome to the team, Duy.

And one more thing that makes this day a very special day for me and the team is that today is our Editor-in-Chief’s second anniversary. I would like to wish Goyo and his family a very happy anniversary. Hopefully someday Goyo and his families will also be part of Indonesia’s Heritage for the World. :)

Finally, Happy Birthday, Indonesia!

Jakarta, August 17th, 2010
Beni Suryadi

Photo credits: bittbox and Gatra.

D-Day Minus Ten

Ten days to August 17th, 2010;
The day when Indonesia celebrate its 65th anniversary;
And it will be the day to launch to public.

The reason we chose the date is not just euphoria to celebrate our independence day. More than that, we want to do something real for our lovely nation; not just by showing false pride, but with the moral values and natural beauty that this nation’s really have, peepIndonesia try to contribute by introducing Indonesia through our photographers’ works.

There are some articles that still under preparation: on the natural beauty of Pulau Tidung and Gili Trawangan, on tea processing at Ciater tea factory, and also on traditional performances of Longser Sunda and Ramayana Ballet.

Curious, aren’t you? Be patient, okay. When the time comes, you can peep at all of those things through our pictures.

Ten days left and we still have bunch of homework need to be done. On that launching day, whoever you are, wherever you are, you shall enjoy this site. We will work hard to ensure that.

Just wait for it.
August 17th, 2010 it is.

Jakarta, August 7th, 2010.
Beni Suryadi

Journey to 11 Articles

For now, the team is still working behind the scene of

The beta version of peepIndonesia has already been available and can be accessed through

However, there are still a lot of things need to be improved. Raiza suggested that to have a good and attractive visual display, we need to publish at least 11 sets of article and photos at the launching of the website. And of course, those 11 sets will indulge the curiosity of the visitors so that they can have a bunch of things to look at their first visit to the website. But still, collecting 11 sets of photos is a big homework for us, especially for our main photographer, Danang. We do have another photographer, Goyo, but he hasn’t been able to contribute much since he’s still busy going back and forth between Indonesia and Japan.

11 sets of article and photos is not impossible indeed, but it is also not an easy thing to create, so we have to try hard to make it; to ensure that you can peep the beauty, diversity and hospitality of Indonesia at the time the website launched on 17th August 2010, on the 65th anniversary of Indonesian Independence Day.

Jakarta, 24 July 2010

Photo by Arria Belli

Peep The Team

Starting this project with five team members living in different parts of the world is really a challenge.

Five different people, five different ideas, five different ways of thinking.

However, apparently, it seems that we can meet that challenge.

Work division, of course, is the key to everything.

Each person in this team worked well in constructing this site so that only in few days we leaped on significant improvements.

  • Danang, the photographer, enthusiastically uploads his photography collections which will be displayed on this site.
  • Goyo, the editor and proof reader, reviewing and editing all the scripts for each story.
  • Raiza, the web developer, trying hard to design an attractive display of the website.
  • Noudie, the business developer, popping ideas on how to develop this website.
  • And I, Beni, play the role as narrator.

For now, the work division thing has not been fully implemented yet. We are still helping each others’ tasks. Therefore, we are trying to define role and responsibilities of each team member and we’re also trying to design the work flow so that we can run this website continuously and professionally.

With all of these efforts, we sincerely hope that our dream to introduce the beauty of Indonesia to the world come true.

Photo by woodleywonderworks

Start the Dream

Two years ago, when I introduced myself to a forum in one International web site, it is still fresh in my memory how people in that forum were surprised when I told them about the natural beauty and cultural diversity owned by Indonesia. And not only surprised, some of them didn’t even know if a country named Indonesia does exist.

Someone in that forum then wrote on my thread, “I just googled the word ‘Indonesia’, but I can not find any of good story like the one that you just told me”.
Another person said, “Well, I did find some pictures of Indonesia, but not like the one that you described”.

And it’s not just once I experienced this kind of thing.

In 2009 when one of my friends, Danang Adiwijaya, shared me the same concern about this, we decided to do something. We want to introduce Indonesia’s true charms to the world so that people can see and acknowledge it, and they will spend some time to visit and enjoy this country. And since Danang is always keen of photography, we will use pictures to convey this message to the world.

A website which shows the pictures of Indonesian beauty.
This is it!
This is the project that we chose to make this dream comes true.

At first, we found out that it is not that easy to live the dream. For some months there is no significant progress until one day in June 2010 we got new spirit from additional team member, not just one, but three new members. The team which was only consist of me and Danang, now accompanied by three friends who have the same vision with us — Cahyo Martosudirjo, Noudie De Jong, and Raiza Mahardika Nurmasanto. Together, we start the project of

Even though currently we are living in different places across the world — Cahyo/Goyo in Japan, Noudie/Nodi in The Netherlands, Raiza in the United Kingdom, while me and Danang in Jakarta — we are confident that the amazing talents of these five team members can liven up peepIndonesia well.

Thursday, 30th June 2010, for the first time, the beta version of peepIndonesia was launched on .

There are still a bunch of things that need to be prepared; articles for the pictures, enhancement of the website, etc, but at least the first step has been taken. And I’m really excited!

Photo by nickfarr