artist spotlight: hengki koentjoro

Self Portrait (c) Hengki Koentjoro)

Self Portrait (c) Hengki Koentjoro

If you had to describe your overall photographic vision in 25 words or less, what words would you choose?

I love to create atmospheric photographs. Playing with tonality is my fundamental approach to creating my black and white photography.

"Dunes" (c) Hengki Koentjoro

“Dunes” (c) Hengki Koentjoro

Who are three of your favorite photographers, and, more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?

Studying Ansel Adams taught me the possibilities of improvising with B&W tonality.  The Zone System— which shows us how to see B&W tonality in a more complete way with 9 shades of Grey between the blackest black and the whitest white–  revolutionized the way we process photographs.  This allows us to orchestrate photographs that convey stronger emotion.  Michael Kenna is another master that has inspired me.  His art of composition, his trademark of simplicity, is a reminder that less can be so much more.

What artistic influences, outside of photography, have had a significant influence on how you approach your photography (for example, painters, filmmakers, musicians, poets, etc.)?

The only influence comes from other photographers.

What are your thoughts about trying to find the best gear possible versus working on making the best possible image with the gear you already have?

The second one because you need to know your tools by heart.   They become a part of you.  Indeed, it is very important to cultivate what you are working with because there are times when thinking is not an option and reflex is everything.

Breath (c) Hengki Koentjoro

Breath (c) Hengki Koentjoro

How would you define fine art? Is it just a label?

Fine art is work that stirs the emotion and the imagination.

If you had to come up with one very important lesson that you think every photographer needs to learn, what would it be?

I’m still learning as well, so my advice is to never stop learning.  Also– learning to see in black and white is very crucial if monochrome photography is your passion.

What are your thoughts about the benefits of online sharing? Are there any particular social media or image sharing sites you prefer or do not prefer?

The ability to connect to the world was not very easy until the Internet and all of this technology we now live with. For the first time, our work can be shared with– and criticized and praised objectively by– many people from different walks of life.  There are many image sharing sites available on the web, but if I was limited to only one, I would pick Art Limited because of all the exceptionally talented photographers involved there– as well as the comparatively smaller size of the community.  Some of my works are inspired by the work of artists that I have enjoyed over there.

What photographic cliché or common photography question, if any, irritates you the most?

Can I see the color version? I try to do my best with everything I create, but sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don’t– but it is the effort that truly counts. I have nothing against color but with B&W I can perform better.  It is much easier for me to express myself with B&W tones.

"Highland" (c) Hengki KoentjeroIf you were stranded on an island, and you could have one camera, one lens, one filter, one tripod, two books, and ten CDs, what would they be and why?

I would just bring the two books because I could make a fire out of them so that I could more easily burn many trees to signal my position!  By the way– can I have a Leica M Monochrome camera too?

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?

I like to take it one step at a time.   At this time I am enjoying what I’m doing and would like to continue to develop my vision even more.

Is there any specific place that you would like to visit to take photos?

I would love to capture the ever-shrinking icebergs of Iceland– just to make sure I have a glimpse of them before they disappear.

Why are you so drawn to long exposure photography?

It takes you to another world, a world of the surreal that borders reality and dreams.  It is easy to get lost within.

Why do you prefer black and white photography?

B&W is more pliable– and the B&W tones evoke dramatic moods that illicit stronger emotions.

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Explore more of Hengki’s photography: Website | ArtLimited | Facebook | Google+ Flickr |

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The Gallery Selection

"Fallen"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Anemone"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Dunes"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Frenzy"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Vulnerable"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Free Play"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Free Play"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Breath"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Wrath"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Atlantis"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "The South Sea"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Bromo"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Highland"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Borobudur"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Layers"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Mass"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "MiniM"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Rhythm"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "S"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Sparse"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Humid"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Silence"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Rain Forest"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Tropic"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Jurassic"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "T'ai Chi"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Fatamorgana"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Kemboja"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Ocean Journey"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Detach"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Tenggerese"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro "Android"  (c) Hengki Koentjoro

All images on this page are protected by copyright and may not be used  for any purpose, without Hengki Koentjoro‘s permission.
The text on this page is protected by copyright and may not be used for any purpose without Hengki Koentjoro or Nathan Wirth‘s permission.

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