Hengki Koentjoro’s dreamy, black-and-white underwater photos capture the mysteries of the deep
posted Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 5:44 PM EDT
Indonesian photographer Hengki Koentjoro spends hours underwater armed with a digital SLR and a pair of flippers but his love of photography began on land with the spectacular American vistas captured by Ansel Adams.
"Ansel Adams is an inspiration for me," Koentjoro has said. "I’ve been studying and learning his trademark method, called the zone system. This system teaches that the perfect photograph should expose all tones ranging from the blackest black to the whitest white. This awareness of an image’s contrast is an element I consider in every photograph I take.”
The 50-year-old Koentjoro grew up in Indonesia and is currently based in Jakarta, but studied at the famed Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, CA, where he majored in video production and minored in fine art photography. After graduating from Brooks, he returned to Indonesia and became a freelance videographer/editor, specializing in nature documentaries and corporate profiles. He still retains his love of black-and-white photography and, in particular, the system pioneered by Adams, which influences his gorgeous underwater work today.
Koentjoro says that his love of the ocean is what inspires him most, particularly its calmness, calling it "a place to replenish your mind." At the same time, his images help us understand and appreciate the mysteries of the deep: "Photography can never be separated from the aspects of making the common things unusual, welcoming the unexpected, indulging and embracing ourselves with the joy of photography."
See more of Koentjoro's on his 500px and Flickr pages.
(Via Wall to Watch and Colossal)
(All images used with permission of the photographer.)