“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
Kindra Cooper, Contributor, Jakarta | Feature | Mon, May 19 2014, 12:45 PM
Captured moment: A photo by Forbes Indonesia photo editor Ahmad “Roni” Zamroni, one of four photojournalists behind the recently launched smartphone photography book NESW. Courtesy of Ahmad Zamroni
Warning death knells tolled for quality photojournalism when major US newspaper Chicago Sun-Times replaced its entire photography staff with iPhone-wielding reporters in May last year.
But for Dita Alangkara, Associated Press chief photographer for Indonesia, trading his high-precision DSLR camera for an iPhone recalls the adrenaline-fuelled early days on the job — before the deadline and technical demands of newsgathering turned photography into mechanical point-and-shoot.
Shooting with a cell phone camera is akin to discovering a new toy, says Dita, as its limitations — slower shutter response, lower resolution and absence of long-range lenses — ups the creative and technical ante.
He is one of four photojournalists behind the recently launched smartphone photography book NESW (short for North East South West) along with Kompas daily photographer Yuniadhi Agung; Mast Irham, European Pressphoto Agency’s chief photographer for Indonesia; and Forbes Indonesia photo editor Ahmad “Roni” Zamroni.