Photographer of the Month | Agoes Alwie | January 2015

Date Published: 2/21/2015
Category: Photographer of the Month

A memorable photograph he saw in 1980 taken by his uncle ignited a sparks for his photographic interest, which didn’t rekindle again until he bought his Nikon D90 in 2012. Started with a compact film camera in the 90s, Agoes Alwie kept his interest alive until the digital revolution of the camera industry. He is a doer and an incessant knowledge hungry photographer who are eager to learn. He is an urban photographer where the street is his stage and the people are the performers. He captures hidden moments in our city that we often overlook. Together with his friends, he founded the unique STEET TO STREET-Photo Exhibition, a platform for street photographers to display their work. Early 2015, his most recent project called “PEARL OF THE BINS – Life of the trash pickers“ was exhibited at FEEKA Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. Nikon Club is proud to honour Agoes as our Photographer of the month for January 2015.
1. Please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Agoes Alwie. I Was Born in Sibu, Sarawak. Based in Selangor. Work as a Construction Project Manager (architecture). Self-thought in photography.

2. How did you get started in Photography?
It’s started (learn and deeply into) when I purchase my very reliable D90 in 2012. But my first camera was Nikon film (it’s a compact but I can’t remember the model) back in 1990. However, the inspiration begins in 1980 when I saw a photo of a girl by the window taken by my Uncle back in 1976. That was a photo that really stuck into my head until today. I wish I can show you the photo here.

3. Please list some of your most notable (big or small) achievements in photography?
1. Finalist for NIKON Annual Photo Contest in 2013.
2. Photo selected for the “Cities and Realities Photo Exhibition” by NIKON-2013
3. Photo selected for the “Say Something Nice Photo Exhibition” by NIKON-2013
4. Consolation prize for “Impression of Port Dickson Photo Contest by NIKON/STARBUCK – 2013
5. One of the top 3 for the NIKON Facebook I AM CELEBRATION - 2013
6. First Runner Up for “Green KL Photo Contest” by NIKON/STARBUCK – 2014
7. Grand Prize for “Tune Hotel+Nikon Photo Contest “ – 2014
8. Photos selected for “Vibrant Festival Photo Exhibition” – KLPF 2014
9. Consolation for “Merdeka Photo Contest” by NIKON/MID VALLEY-2014
10. Finalist for NIKON ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST 2014

4. What does photography mean to you? 
I can’t write. So I use my photography to write a story of me and the story I want to tell. As of now, photography is ‘serbby’ to me, its mean, serious hobby. You can tell that you are fall into this term when you apply a day or a week off (leave) from your full time job, just to take photo. Or you wake up earlier (to take photo) than your normal working day. I spent my time with my camera everywhere and every time, make it this way, I shoot an onion or ginger from my wife kitchen to the milky way in the dark night and everything in between.

4a. what do you think have changed in you and your life after you discover photography?
Obviously I can appreciate photos better. And when I watch movie, I look how their play with the lighting. I don’t just watch story line only.

5. What range and models of equipment do you use? (which would be your favourite body or lenses for shooting your favourite subject? and which are for work? and why?)
I own two units of D7000 body. Nikon 12-24mm f4, Nikon 18-200mm f3.5-5.6, Nikon 50mm f1.8D, Nikon 105mm f2.8D, Tamron 70-200mm f2.8. Beside that I own Nikon J1+10mm, Nikon L320, Nikon AW100 and FM2N.
I love all of them; I need all of them in my style of photography. But my favorite is 18-200mm

6. What's in your camera bag when you go out shooting? 
It’s depend on what I gonna shoot that day. With range of camera that I own now, I have to say, I love D7000 with 18-200mm. (it’s make me ready for almost in every situation)

7. Every photographer has their favourite subject and method, which is your? and why?
I can say that my favorite subject is portrait and the easiest is my daughter. I love dim light but would play in harsh sunny day for my street shoot. I love contrast photo when it’s come to street photography. I almost don’t use flash light. It’s very seldom I flash my photos.

9. Do you have a favourite place for your photography?
I don’t really have favorite place for my photography. But since that I do more street photography and I love dim light, that make me love any alley with that kind of light. If I have to say, I can say any ‘lorong belakang’ or of any street of any town.

10. What do you like most about photography?
I love what my viewer notice in my shot that his/her (even me) would have missed completely. That makes me love photography.

11. Do you feel that your viewers or fans of your pictures are important? And how much do you think the viewers have influenced your way of making pictures? Do you take your pictures with a certain type of audience in mind? Who would they be and why?
Yes, my viewer is important (especially if they are judges...hahaha). like I said, this judges tell me indirectly with the photo that win the contest, (they teach me indirectly and its influencing).
I took picture for all type of audience; I shoot from onion to Milky Way and everything in between because these types of style giving me drive to learn photography deeper.

12. Where do you find inspirations for your work? How do you learn in the beginning? Would you like to recommend any good reading materials for other photographers?
The inspiration of my works came from books, magazine, internet, friends and family. I learn from books, magazine and internet and also from friends. I don’t have any particular book to recommend, but I recommend read and read a lot! And ask, ask a lot!

13. Who can you described as a photographer you look up to or admire in Malaysia? Why? Do you have a favourite photographer in history that inspire your work? and why?
I admire good works. There’s so many!
But I love Yusof Hashim and works (his travel a lot) and Ashraf Sharuddin I like his approach in his work and sorry I don’t have particular favorite photographer in history.

14. You are an inspiration to many photographers out there? From your own experience of learning, what would be your advise to beginners to improve themselves to take better pictures?
Not much advice that I can share, but a lot.
Read, practice, read, practice, read, practice, read, practice more and more….

15. What is your next goal/project/personal achievement?
I am doing a couple of my own project right now,
One of it is the “life of the trash pickers”. This is the story about the people who make their living by picking trash and sell it for money. It may not the types of photos that are easily enjoyable to look at but we cannot deny that this is part of this town, part of this country and of course it’s part of us as a human being.  And the other project is “Heptagonian” this is the series of seven type/approach that I use or apply in my photography.  Besides that, my next goal is to become one of the elite peoples who’ve won NIKON ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST.