Satrio Prabhoto

Satrio Prabhoto

Introspective photography

by Satrio Prabhoto (Indonesia)

First time in Spain. First time in Barcelona. I found it interesting. The intimacy, the expression, everything on the street, at night, and day. I imagine to make a diary of days in Barcelona. Personal diary of something that is rare to be found in Indonesia.

Portfolio from the Introspective Photography workshop with Michael Ackerman, June 2014.

Written review by JULIÁN DUEÑAS,
Director at GEO magazine

Director at GEO magazine, Spain
Dear Satrio, In the first place, and even if I know I should only mention one of the 2 portfolios I was sent, I would like to make comment about both of them. I have to say I was really surprised by the differences between both series. If I go further, I would say it's like 2 photographers have done 2 different works. It's also true that I note some similarities (taste for the detail, the search of double language, unreality,...)- but in general I am astonished by the difference in quality of both sequences.

I read your personal statement and I learnt that those images I have to review are part of a very elaborated series, very thoughtful, about your things and family. It's noticeable. The other one, the series done during the workshop, is more approximate, without a defined angle, of poor quality.


Maybe you were awaiting to grab other concepts, maybe the city – Barcelona – made you feel completely a stranger and you could not feel the same spontaneity as in other places.

Maybe, but this is no excuse for a photographer. I am telling you this because as they used to say for soccer player that they “play as they train”, this is also valid for photographers.

This said, as an extra comment, I will review the series that you sent me about your personal objects. I like it. The way it is. It seems different to me, interesting, sometimes surprising. I am not able to say why the final result is good to me, but I think it has something to do with the fact it is disturbing, indefinite.

You say a lot by showing very little. I would even say that you enter into the dreamlike world. More than showing your personal objects, it seems you want to reflect how you perceive them, how they come to you, what do they transmit you, connexions you have with them. You make me think about what I am thinking of precisely because I do not know what I see. And this results effective. It's also obvious you control composition and tecnics, so on that side I can hardly add anything.

I would like to tell you as a positive aspect that you seem to have very clear ideas. You show a personal vision, a personal point of view, something that is not common and that takes time to achieve. Keep working in that direction.

On another side, I am fascinated by your ability to play with objects, in order to highlight its different dimensions, to confuse, to make me think. It’s an interesting game the one you play at. I don't know if you do it on purpose or not but the result is good. To work in black and white, as you well know, has limits but also positive points and I see you expressed them at the maximum. At a stage where great definition is valued on top of all, you come and play with grain, fading, blur. Bold and interesting.

However, except if your initial position is to focus on pure esthetics, I think it is important to remind that photography is a language and as it is, it's a tool to communicate. That's why I was asking if you did it consciously or not, as I was fascinated by the esthetics of your pictures. If that is the case, as I said, the result is good but it's a short shot.

You will manage without a doubt that your vision sticks in our mind but no more. From there, if you're willing to take my advice, I would say that you need to have always in mind this thought: that photography is a language, the importance of transmission and trying to touch the sensitive line of the viewer, because this is, in my opinion, the real truth about this job.

I have the feeling that you understand it too and I am pretty sure that in the future you will take the concept with more responsibility. Congratulations for your work.

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