HENGKI KOENTJORO

MONOCHROMATIC MINIMALISM

WITH THE X1D

Black-and-white photographer and Hasselblad Ambassador Hengki Koentjoro draws all of his inspiration from the ultimate artist, Mother Nature. Portraying themes of mindfulness and being one with nature, Hengki’s photographs capture beautiful simplicity through minimalistic scenes and monochromatic tones. On a most recent trip to Japan, Hengki explored the natural aesthetics of Hokkaido with the X1D-50c and the XCD 45mm Lens.

SHUTTER SPEED: 1/181 SEC
APERTURE: F/5,6
FOCAL LENGTH: 45MM (XCD 3,5/45)

With roughly 10 full days in Japan, Hengki spent half of his trip in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands. With abundant snowfall in this area, the weather was perfect for creating the minimalistic spirit that Hengki Koentjoro is so well-known for. “I love the concept of minimalism – playing with empty or negative space in order to create the ‘less is more’ feeling,” says Hengki. Using his eye for simplicity, Hengki was able to play with contrasting dark shades against the blanket of white snow around him. Such scenes of snowy nature reminded Hengki of the Japanese art form of haiku poetry (a three-line poem accompanied by a minimalistic painting in black ink on white Washi paper); traditionally, these celebrate nature and the changing of the seasons. After only a few days there, Hengki realized it would take a whole lifetime to understand the true spirit of Hokkaido and all its changing seasons.

SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250 SEC
APERTURE: F/10
FOCAL LENGTH: 45MM (XCD 3,5/45)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/400 SEC
APERTURE: F/13
FOCAL LENGTH: 45MM (XCD 3,5/45)

According to Hengki, a black and white color scheme makes a world of difference in his photographs:

Black and white evokes a much stronger emotion when done in the right way. It lets you see more; when no color is present, one starts to see texture, details, shapes and lines. Some of these details are hidden, but black and white brings them to the surface.

The most important feature of going black and white is that he’s able to play with different levels of tonality ranging from the blackest black to the whitest white.

SHUTTER SPEED: 1/400 SEC
APERTURE: F/13
FOCAL LENGTH: 45MM (XCD 3,5/45)

While on site, Hengki used a Hasselblad X1D-50c as his camera of choice combined with the XCD 45mm Lens. With a medium format camera, he commented that there is so much more he gets in his photographs when it comes to dynamic range, details, and texture. “Especially for making huge prints, medium format shows its magic in the way that one can see the details, the tonality, the gradation of colors, and get a three-dimensional feeling. This is perfect for fine art photographers that aim to mimic the legendary 8x10in print quality of the great Ansel Adams,” he adds.

ABOUT HENGKI KOENTJORO

As a Hasselblad Ambassador and a 2014 Hasselblad Master winner in the landscape/nature category, Indonesian photographer Hengki Koentjoro first fell in love with photography at the early age of 11 years old. Working as a freelance videographer and video editor for nature documentaries and corporate profiles in Jakarta, Hengki always makes time for his first love of black and white photography. See more of Hengki's work here.

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