An Interview with Assiva Husman

Foreword by Eric Setiawan. Interview by Dicky Jiang.

When Dicky mention to me the name Assive Husman, I frowned and asked to myself who is he? Don’t blame me because he’s known in Flickr under the name Loekasz. I’ve never met him before, only admiring some of his pictures online, and I’d expected his name to be Lukas (apparently not).

One interesting fact about this man: he is a pilot. Which allow him to travel to places. Which, combined with photography, will result in a unique experience for him (and for us too, of course).

Tell us a bit about yourself. Are you a professional photographer? Or do you have other job beside taking pictures?

I am male, mid 30’s, taken and currently residing in Middle East. Am I a professional photographer? Well first of all, thank you, that is such a flattering question. But, let me put it this way, I am a photographer that take flying as my hobby. How’s that? Hahaha I wished.

Seriously speaking, I am a pilot and that makes me a professional on that field — which is flying. Yet, I am taking photography seriously but I never get anyway near professional level. I am just a lousy photographer. That’s all I can say.

How did you get into photography? When and why?

As far as I can remember, I was the one in my family using and abusing my dad’s Yashica MG-1 and later broke it into pieces. And that was when I was in junior high school.

At around the same year I was taking after-school activities in my junior high school for photography club. That was my first exposure to bulky enlarger, funny smell of fixer, and red light only room.

But I discontinued that photography activity only to found out that being active in school basketball squad got more attention from pretty girls at school. So, I get carried away with basketball ever since.

That photography eagerness however, never left me. I purchased a Yashica FR SLR back in 1993 while everyone else in my flying cadet-ship bought pocket cameras.

Next thing I bought was a Nikon F50 for the purpose of capturing memory of my kids growing up. With that Nikon body, I slowly purchased Nikon F Mount lenses over periods of time. Being able to purchase this equipment did not make me serious in photography at all. Although I have to admit that I enjoy so much taking picture and spend rolls and rolls of film. Now, how can I judge myself not being serious in photography while I keep spending big deal of money for equipments and film rolls!

Nevertheless, I took a new chapter in photography life just recently. It was all started when I joined a local photographer site, which I rather not mention it here. From there, I continuously in touch with certain contacts whose later become friends. We share the same passion on photography and, to be more specific, we share the same interest in either street photography or film lovers. And guess what, now I take my photography even more seriously. How’s so? I bought more and more equipments!

What is your favorite subject to photograph?

Human in Street. Although I have a tendency also to take a snap on Geometry and Composition. Being a family man also, I never stopped taking pictures of my family member as they grow. I believe all my pictures should be a valuable treasure for them in the future.

You shoot mostly street. What is your strategy in taking street pictures? Do you wait for the right moment or take a quick snap while passing by? Do you interact with people before/after taking pictures?

You can mention all strategies that most street photographers used for taking picture in the street, I used them all too. Some of my photos are this ‘wait for the right moment to come’ kind of shot. I once had to wait for 30 minutes in one spot before the right moment came. I used to call this type of shot as a booby trap shot. Only that all the trap and lure are available readily at the street itself.

The most intriguing type of shot is that ‘quick snap while passing by’ kind of shot. Why I said that? Because it is like a gift from God. At a certain time, certain place and certain equipment. I am the right person to be there and take that moment in time. Not everybody else, only me. If that snap turns out wonderful and full of meaning, you are blessed by God.

I found that you’re using medium format and 135mm rangefinder as well. How do you decided to use one over the other?

Honestly, I never knew that medium format exists until I know this guy from Bandung with initial DJ. I thought film is only in one format, which is 135. I never knew that it comes in bigger size. Now you can call me lousy photographer because of this.

Anyway, I like medium format because of its resolution and enlarging capability. And later with the purchase of 6X6 SLR, I like the freedom of composition with that format.

I don’t have any preference to which camera I am going to use for a certain trip. It is normally governed by what film i have in my stock and how much space do I have in my flying bag.

I am comfortable shooting with both format. Although the quick snap shot is always easier using the 135. That booby trap shot I mentioned earlier, I found it amusing using the medium format.

You shoot both color and B/W. How do you decide which films to shoot with?

Again, this is really governed by the film that I have in my stock. But I also have a pre-concept in my head before going on a flying trip.

Some cities that I will fly to, have vibrant colors by nature. For example, the underground station in Frankfurt and most of Germany is more colorful than the one in New York. So I should carry the color film to Frankfurt more.

Season of the year also could affect my choice of film. If it is winter, normally colors are dull and the sky is dull too. I’d better carry with me high contrast black and white films.

I understand that you develop negative and do the old-fashioned darkroom printing by yourself.

Again, this is all because of influential friends! Do I have to mention the name here? I tell you what, the biggest influence come from him who has this initial DJ.

Other friends in local photographer website lured me towards developing my own films. I guess it all come back to the passion in photography. I am passionate in photography. I also consider myself as a Universalist — I want to learn everything and want to be able to master everything. And if I start to learn something, usually I never turn back and become drown to it.

The other reason is also that photography as your and your closed one’s treasury. I found that film photography connects you more emotionally. I would love to know that one day my grandchild will look at a picture in the wall and said to everybody: “Hey that’s my grandpa who took that picture and he printed it himself.” That is priceless, dude.

I found that there are many strong geometric composition on your works. Do you have any background in art?

It is just naturally composed into my viewfinder. I just take a shot when I feel it looks nice in the viewfinder.

Art background? All I can say is I like to draw when I was young. I was an illustrator for high school magazine, that’s all I can think of. I also play guitar, a little bit keyboard, learning to beat the drum also. But don’t force me to sing. I am a lousy singer. But wait, what’s that got to do with geometry?

Any photographer inspired you?

I learn a great deal from among photographer friends. Everybody I know is a strong character photographer from Indonesia. I have Affandi Agoes, Unggul Luberizky, and Dani Subagja that inspire me in my initial online association with them. Their works just full of creativity and imagination. I can’t mention all other talented friends that amaze me over time. From them also I start to know what is street photography in essential.

Do you have any photography projects? Finished or ongoing one?

I have one, but I have not started it out yet. I am waiting to buy the equipment first!

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