Friday, May 31, 2013

Pelangi untuk hari ini dan Esok

"Nenek moyangku, orang pelaut.. 
Gemar mengarung, luas samudera..
Menerjang ombak, tiada takut..
Menembus badai, sudah biasa..

Angin bertiup, layar terkembang
Ombak menderu, di pantai karang
Pemuda b'rani bangkit sekarang
Ke laut kita beramai-ramai..."



Pagi ini laut memanggil, ada sebuah kapal yang membawa semangat besar, merapat di Pelabuhan Benoa.
Mengarungi laut Indonesia, mulai dari 9 Mei--10 Juni 2013, dari Jayapura, Papua sampai di Bali 31 Mei, kemudian berakhir pada 10 Juni di Jakarta.

Saya mengaku suka sekali dengan laut, tetapi sebenarnya pengetahuan dan kepedulian saya sangat sedikit.
Saya hanya suka jalan-jalan, menikmati keindahan terumbu karang dan ikan-ikan warna-warni.
Ingin sekali bisa berbagi, mengajak teman-teman untuk tahu, ada apa di bawah permukaan air.

Hari ini, saya berkenalan dengan Laskar Pelangi, tapi bukan versi Andrea Hirata, bahkan bukan manusia.
Laskar pelangi yang ini bukan tokoh impersonisasi, melainkan berbentuk sebuah Kapal Layar berkecepatan 7 knot, membawa sebuah semangat dan visi untuk berkampanye untuk Laut Indonesia.
Mendokumentasi dan mencoba untuk menanggulangi ancaman terhadap Laut Dunia, termasuk laut di Indonesia sebagai negara kepulauan terbesar.

Satu kapal, berlayar mengelilingi dunia, menyebarkan semangat, merapat di pelabuhan-pelabuhan di seluruh dunia. Indonesia, Bali, merupakan salah satu penyumbang terbesar terhadap keanekaragaman hayati laut dunia. Saat ini, teman-teman dari berbagai komunitas, lembaga, dan pribadi, sedang berkumpul, mendiskusikan sebuah deklarasi yang bertujuan, untuk membuat "Laut Indonesia yang Terpulihkan, Sehat dan Terlindungi" 

Saya cuma bisa mendengarkan, menyerap, sembari menambah relasi, dan mungkin setelah ini, berpartisipasi, untuk memastikan bahwa keindahan bawah laut Indonesia ini, bisa saya nikmati kembali.

Mari kita pikirkan bersama, dan cek di
www.greenpeace.or.id/laut
mudah-mudahan menginspirasi, kemudian mengambil tindakan.

Niki, Denpasar - 31 Mei 2013









Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mengurai Rajutan Pelangi

Aku suka sekali dengan pelangi.
Ia warna-warni.

Aku suka sekali, berlari.
Merasakan angin di kedua belah pipi.
Aku suka sekali, melihat geligi, dengan lengkung di sudut bibir, senyum yang menggembungkan pipi.
Aku merindukan, rasa hangat di antara kedua belah kaki.
Yang membuat jantungku berdetak barararadumdum...
Aku ingat akan kecupan, jilatan dan hisapan, yang menghabiskan nafasku, walau aku tidak ingin berhenti.
Aku menikmati, saat dingin menusuk tubuhku hingga menggemeletukkan gigi, dan menderakkan sendi-sendi.
Aku tahu, aku berjalan tanpa arti, kesana kemari. Dan akan terus, sebelum aku mati.
Aku cuma ingin, berwarna-warni, seperti pelangi,
Sebelum kembali lebur menjadi putih.

Denpasar, 2013, Mei 16.

Mencoba berpuisi, terbersit karena buku berjudul "Unweaving The Rainbow" oleh Richard Dawkins. Juga terinduksi setelah membaca blog seorang teman yang bahagia hari ini.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wake up, time to greet the Sun

The sun is up, and it's time to go rollin'...

April, two thousand thirteen, twenty eight, Gili Lontar, Sekotong, Lombok Barat.
Waking up on a deserted island can be quite a thrill for some, and a scare for other. I prefer the prior, and the sense of adventure is growing within me. I am not a big enthusiast on outdoor survival, but we do have some times where we just have to gather all the available resources, and keep on going.

The pointy ball of spikes on the picture is Spinnifex grass, or some call it "rumput lari-lari", a tropical version of western movie Tumbleweed. It goes running when blown by the wind. Quite interesting to play with on the sand, with just a handful of people around.

The island itself is captivating, the white sands, clear blue water, crashing waves going on and on, the coral reef, and the fresh almost unpolluted air, and the cawing of seabirds. We spent a night there camping, making bonfire and all, grilling fishes, octopus, potatoes and shellfishes. IT's nice to get so close to the nature, that the beauty and silence almost choking you, in a good way. Because you have been exposed to way too many pollution and urban life. A getaway, you may call it. I prefer hugging the ripple,  caressing the sea urchins, schooling with the little green fishes and floating over the giant table coral.

I will post some more with more pictures and the whole story, meanwhile just enjoy the sun, wherever you are, because it is a privilege you can enjoy, only as much.

Niki, Denpasar 04 May 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Taking a Silent Day in the Silent World


I will tell you a story, of an enchanted journey.
Not a fairy tale, or out of this world kind of stuffs.
Just a simple Four hours motorcycle ride, with friends, old and new.
All with a similar interest.












The journey begin when I start moving my feet, like all journeys do.
Call it coincidences, or a simple encounter and questions asked.
Followed by spontaneous response, and a promise to a new place yet to be seen.


the four hour ride ended to this place.

This is the Crossing point to Menjangan Island, West Bali National Park.
First time here, almost dusk, the sensation was a mix of excitement, curiousity, tired from the ride, anxious to get on the boat, and above all, Hungry.

There were ten of us. and we were waiting for another person to join, so a total of eleven. After an hour of waiting (maybe more), with mosquitoes sucking our blood, we set sail (more like turning on the motorboat) to Menjangan Island.
It was dark already, looking back at the city light, we are going out to the darkness ahead, toward the island. There are no dwellings there, only some Ranger Posts and Temples. the boat trip took about half an hour. and then it's dinner time. We ate like refugees, there was plenty of rice, thankfully.
After satisfying our digestive problems, having coffee and stuffs. The water seems to be calling our names, as black as the coffee we just drank, yet so alluring. bottling up my hesitation, I dipped my feet into the water, along with the rest of my body. We had some waterproof flashlights to help see in the dark, and so begun our first night snorkeling.
It was cold, dark most of the time, with dim flickering strobe of the flashlight, and generator powered light from the boat and the pier. 
The jellyfishes welcomed us with no mercy. They were small and transparent (like most jellyfishes are) with dark green at the center of their bells (I wish I had a picture of it). Since it was my first time snorkeling in the dark, and also my first time being on the island, I didn't wander far and only encounter some fishes and a Cushion Star, and Corals also, oh and lots and lots of jellyfishes (I have to emphasize that, since they stung me almost every few seconds). The cold took me in, and so I finished my night snorkeling.

We patrolled the area at midnight, from the island perimeter, checking for any illegal fishing boat that might be coming because of the Silent Day, expecting no one is around.
We encountered some menjangan (deer if you please) and went to the Temple at the east side of the island. and then we go back to the camping ground. I wasn't planning on sleeping in the tent, knowing that it would be hot inside. so I braced myself and slept on the plastered pier. it was quite windy, but it was also enchanting, literally sleeping under the stars. 
I Woke up around 5 AM in the morning, and we started getting in the boat and patrolled around the island, not wasting any opportunities to dive in the clear water. 


photo courtesy of @linaPW
photo courtesy of @linaPW
There are still many jellyfishes around, but the clear water, made a friend of mine jump in, me tagging along not long after *chuckled*.
photo courtesy of @linaPW
 
Thanks to not knowing that we would be wet on this patrol, I stripped to my underwear and dive (almost showing my two buns to the morning sunrise and everyone around ;P) 
I took some pictures and video footage underwater, and not aware of my surrounding, bumped my bare back to a coral (ouchy!). It stings, but I do hope the coral would be okay. Meanwhile the jellyfishes are still prowling the water, not giving us any chance to dodge them. Getting back to the island, we have taken some beauty shots of the sunrise, along with poses with the pirate flag we brought along (Ahoy matey!)
Back on the island, breakfast was served, but unfortunately, the other group has the courtesy of leaving us with rice and soup, finishing all the meat and fishes. Disappointment occurs within our group, but being happy and cheerful and all, I let it passed and just go straight to continue snorkeling in front of the pier. the contour of the reef right in front of the pier was a drop off, with coral walls down to 20 meters deep. I saw a lot of sea lilies, sea fans, colourful corals, many species of reef fishes, and occasionally, other bottom dwellers. 
I dove to 10 meters deep (maybe) or more, but being out of stamina and lack of exercise, It took my breath away, not to mention pressure pushing my eardrums. took more pictures and footage of the reef wall, the Abudefduf fishes, and chased down a triggerfish to quite a dive, before giving up and emerge for dear ol' air. This is just too much too handle :)
I am having the time of my life, yet my mind went on an overdrive of things that i want to do, between taking pictures, recording videos, or just simply dive in and forget everything and have fun. My oh my, do I need to straighten things up.
Back to the trip then. We moved to another spot of the island, going westward from the pier. we took the boat to get there. The bottom contour was a bit different from before. It was a reef slope, from the beach, steadily descending into the deep, the corals coverage nearly 100%. This is where we took fun pictures and engulfed ourselves with the surroundings of table corals and school of fishes.
Oh yeah, some info about Menjangan Island, it is part of West Bali National Park, so it is a non-occupied island, safe from the temples around the island, which have their caretaker and Hindu priests staying on the island. otherwise, the biggest organism living on the island are only the menjangan itself, prancing around freely all over the island (I should check on their population later on). So we have the island to ourselves. Another note, on other days, the island are forbidden to be occupied by tourist or nature enthusiast, except maybe for religious or research purposes.
Ganesh looking Westward
Statue of Ganesh
Back to our trip, we got hungry after so much snorkeling and free diving, and without any freshwater to bathe, our hair are all sticky and tangled with saltwater. this will last until we get back to the mainland, so in total, we have no contact to freshwater for almost 48 hours (counting from our last bath, if we even took it before starting the trip :p). Luckily, the fishes and corals doesn't really mind, heheh...
The day are coming to an end, dusk is closing in, and we were chasing sunset, but not as lucky as before, we only got the glimpse of orange clouds, no glowing red orb to see alongside it. Dinner was fishes, freshly caught with simple hook, line and sinker. we ate plenty of it. nothing beats the fresh fish with only saltwater as seasoning, and a bit of chili. 
on the next morning, ready to go back to the mainland, we took the boat, already packed our stuffs from the night before, and leave the island with a sense of longing (I want more time to explore...). But to add some more awe, we saw splashing of water just about 50 meters from the boat, and fins. Dolphins!!!! There were a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in search for fishes, and they started to swim in front of our boat, bow riding (we saw maybe 5 of them) for a few minutes. And then they swam away to join their pod of maybe 10-15.
the Dolphin was our last nature encounter, after that, we arrived at the mainland Bali, and the journey ends, as a start of another one :)

Underwater pictures of biotas and fun pics

orange pipefish on branch corals

Sergeant Major Fishes (Abudefduf sp.)

green table coral
butterfly fish (photo courtesy of Shiro)

Clown fish (Amphiprion ocellaris) Photo Courtesy of Shiro


Black Sea lily (Crinoidea)

Soft Coral










meeting the jellies



And some video footages


video video video




Sunday, February 24, 2013

Runny nose, sore throat, and silence

Two thousand thirteen, february, twenty fourth. Art Centre, Jalan Nusa Indah, Denpasar. Sunny day.

Packing up my camera for a photo hunt, I felt sick. I went anyway. Arrived at the meeting point and found out it was indeed some photography event going on. This is not my idea of photo hunting, models and vintage cars. All set up for hundreds of photographers (wannabes) to catch some light into their digital photo sensors. It tooked me some time to find my friends, so I wonder around to look for other events going on at this art centre, hooked up to a Balinese dance performance.

Finally got to meet the guys, I didn't take many shots. Instead I sketched a little. I took pictures of us together, for documentation purposes. Just before heading back home. And that was all.
Not a very productive weekend, if I may say.

Niki, Denpasar - not in the best mood, or health.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Analogue-digital photo hack: cheap way to digitalize your processed films.

This might be already been thought about by other people, but i will try to share what i found out today.

So, looking at my pile of film negatives, and not having a film scanner at hand, i decided to try and take pictures of them using my camera phone. Under a fair light, i took a picture of it, resulting a negative picture. Then i figure, how about i use my camera apps to invert it from negative to positive (color photos). So, i used 'vignette' apps, took a picture and set the filter to negative. You can see the results below. I posted both color and black and white pictures.
It does not produce a focused pictures, thanks to the limit of my camera phone. But you might have a better camera on your phone, and with proper light, voila! Instant film scanning :)

Just the right choice if you are, like me, can't wait to get your pictures uploaded and shared to the rest of the world.

I will post some more ideas in the future, i hope :)

Cheers,
Niki

All pictures are my collection and the for for yours to enjoy. Make your own and let's create more :)