ON the D day of Kemenhub (Indonesian Ministry of Transportation) Photo Contest 2014 that took place in Kradenan, Central Java, the weather was not nice to us. The rain had been falling since the day before. Even Semarang was flooding. But the show must go on.
We were transported from Semarang Tawang to Kradenan by a luxury carriage called ‘Kereta Inspeksi’ (Inspection Train). This yellow short train was customized to carry special passengers such as high ranked people from the ministry/the parliament. Fully equipped with meeting room, lush sofa, pantry, and hi-fi entertainment system, anyone would feel very special riding in it.
Kradenan was located in between Semarang & Bojonegoro. This small station was currently busy with the double track project going on, and that was the main theme for our photo contest. We were allowed to shoot everything around including the rail, the train, the building, the workers on project, the local people, you name it.
All the participants were trying their best for the contest, even though the sky was grey and the rain was sometimes falling. Mark, one of the participants, brought his own little black umbrella so that he could still be taking pictures without interference. I should learn from this guy, though.
Unfortunately I just found out that there was a tiny amount of fungus growing inside my DSLR kit lens. I didn’t want to make it worse by taking photographs under the splash of rain. So I used my pro-sumer camera instead. Luckily I brought it as backup.
Participants were then uploading what-they-thought-their best pictures to the server during a-very-late lunch break. The judges would determine the winning pictures based on the data in the server. I didn’t think a chance of winning since many other participants had been using their latest top gears. Of course I knew about ‘the man behind the gun’ slogan, but even professional photographers always use DSLR cameras instead of pro-sumer/pocket ones in doing their job.
Then there came the moment of truth. They shortly announced the winner of the contest. I didn’t win. Mark did. He won the big trophy and the cash prize. His effort on working under the umbrella had been paid off.
I loved all the winning pictures, they all represented good photo-journalism. Congratulations, guys! As I predicted, those were all taken with DSLR cameras. I just thought that it would be fair if there was another classification for pro-sumer/pocket cameras.
On the other hand, I completely agreed with what Mr. Arbain Rambey said that the key to capture a good picture was the right moment. And a brave effort. And a little luck. And (perhaps, if I may add) a little black umbrella. Just in case.
What about the day before the contest? Here’s our railroad trip to Semarang