Pictures influence my work, not the photographers – Rarindra Prakarsa

From being a graphic artist to becoming a full-time photographer, Rarindra Prakarsa has had a journey that transcends from analogue to the digital era in photography. He speaks to Asian Photography about how this journey happened and also how pictures influence and inspire his work and not photographers.

How did you get into photography and what was the reason to choose this genre?

I started photography when I was in college and took up graphic arts. One of the subjects in that was Photography. During that time it was the analogue era in mid 90’s. I didn’t have camera at that time and would borrow it from my lecturer and friend. These were completely manual cameras and I wasn’t sure what I liked. But I really liked two subjects: Photography and Graphic Arts.

At that time, I liked street photography a lot and also journalism since I worked in a newspaper as graphic designer. Some photojournalists in my office influenced me on how interesting it was being in field taking picture for news. But later I realised that I couldn’t be a photojournalist, since I wanted my pictures to be seen by many people, since I love taking pictures of people and their environment. I converted my equipment to digital cameras 2004 and started developing my style. Internet was really helpful to promote my work and get the response for the style I was developing.

Your photographs have a cinematic and drawing feel to them. How do you manage to achieve this?

There are two moments that have influenced my work and my style. First was the movie ‘Last Emperor’ which featured beautiful light and cinematic art, and the second was after attending the painting exhibition of Water Spies, which influenced me on how he created the depth,

composition, light and colours.

I was trying to apply what I have seen from those arts. I was thinking that the key to achieve that taste is lighting. Of course, I am confidently speaking about this after mastering composition and all the basic photography. Next on my list is perfecting all the pictures with post-processing, making them more dramatic and colour matching.