Nothing ever attracts people as many as a close up of a beautiful woman’s face, a sexy woman in a boudoir, or a profile of nude woman, or to be blunt, a tight shot of a vagina in nude shot. Unconsciously, we all pay more attention towards those body parts more than anything else. Face, leg, hip, breast, butt, genital, but no body has been attracted by hands. Yes, hands only.
None of us could make a living or work, or creating without a hand. And yet we don’t pay any attention to them. I got a mild stroke due to dengue fever in 2007, the fever so high the heat damage a nerve system in my rear right brain. Right away in the midst of the fever I woke up in the morning with left arm and leg weakened. The function of those parts slowly degradated day by day. The funny thing is I never had any idea of how our muscle interconnecting each other in such integrated system. After the arm and leg got weakened, moving a finger was such an issue and I could felt which muscle interact with the finger and what big muscle on upper arm actually trigger the muscle, and so on. Without experiencing this incident I wouldn’t be able to appreciate how amazing our body system is. By the time I am writing this, I am on neurolog’s physio therapy and my left arm and leg are improving daily. The whole experience is amazing and it changed the way I look and feel about life.
Jero Gadung’s Hand. Canon 550D, Revuenon macro 24/4 shot at 1/250th, ISO 400, F 4.0
In my recent travel in 2010 to shoot traditional dance in Pliatan, Bali, I started to pay more attention and try to focus on people’s hands. It’s quite interesting to discover how certain people ignore their hands, and some decorate them with accessories to make them look beautiful. Quite interesting to know that artists also have a look on their hands. At least some. You can tell by looking at them. Well, people wouldn’t hang a portrait of a deceased hands, but the face. That’s for sure, but I think it would be a good idea if I photograph also the hands of a famous painter or a sculptor, as those are the creative tools that produce the art. It’s also part of my curiosity to know what the hands of famous people like Balinese dance maestro, a therapist, a painter, look like ?
A moment in backstage slightly before the performance in Puri Agung Pliatan, I photographed the performers and among others the maestros were also there having evening chat with their fellow maestros and guests. What an euphoria, I thought ! Being in the midst of these living legends. They have been dancing for more than 50 years and this was my first visit. I started feeling excited and thought, this is something valuable and I wanted to record it with my camera. So I explored everything, their face, hands, and it’s so interesting looking at their hands, so I decided to take a few shots. Sadly one of the maestro, Jero Gadung had a stroke not long after the performance and she passed away a few months after wards.
Gus Aji’s Hands. Backstage in Pliatan August 2010.
Canon 550D, Revuenon 24/4 macro shot at ISO 6400, 1/200th, F 4.0
Another interesting hands are Gus Aji’s. He’s a Balinese dance maestro in his eighties. He specializes in Kebyar Duduk dance, which dance mostly consist of sitting position. This dance is quite interesting and he is still able to perform well. While in backstage, I met him sitting with other dancers doing the make up. Jero Gadung was there, too. Gus Aji have very down to earth character, decent, open hearted, and very warm personality. It’s completely different from celebrities attitude. His face is full of wrinkles but have a charm and somekind of misterious charisma of a wise man. Then I looked down and saw his hands. He held his hands together and it looked good on his Balinese traditional cloth. I took some shots and moved on.
Ketut Liyer’s Hand. While doing palm reading I shot his hand. Is he really 101 years old ? God knows.
Canon 550D, Canon EF 50/1.4. Shot at ISO400, 1/1250th, F2.0
Another interesting object is Ketut Liyer’s hand, the fortune teller in Eat Pray Love movie. I was in the neighbourhood when one of our friend, a writer who happened to be staying at his house offered us to see him. I was on my spiritual trip again and met some new friends in Runa Museum, Bali, where we stayed. Everybody knows Ketut Liyer character in the movie, who’s quite interesting as he foretold Liz’s difficulties, from marriage problem, losing all her money, till meeting her new partner in life. So, finally we were there in the real place the movie was filmed, everything looks interesting to me as I had not watched the movie yet, only read the book so my imagination was got in the way somewhere. Anyway I was thrilled as my dream to meet Ketut Liyer had become reality. A lot of people had come in queue as we arrived and I moved closer to his porch. He is much more interesting in real person than the star acting as him in movie. When he talked with a client, he made lots of hands gestures and also laughed a lot. In one opportunity I quickly took some shots of his hand when he leaned over.
All shots taken with Canon 550D with Revuenon 24/4 macro M42 or Canon EF 50/1.4 while on trip to Bali. Post processed in Adobe Photoshop. All Images are cropped.
Review of Revuenon : http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic.php?t=38191
Review of 550D : http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos550d/