MRTrip with Kodak Gold

MRTrip with Kodak Gold

If there’s one thing jakarta is known for other than its street food, it’s the traffic. One simply does not commute in this city without experiencing it. For so long the authorities have always been trying to minimise it, from changing the rules of ’3 in 1’ methodology where a car requires at least three people in it to adapting an odd-even number plate rule for a specific set of time, we now have the long awaited mrt that other foreign countries have adapted since aeons ago. Indeed when it comes to public transport, mrt is a big thing among locals who never experienced it. For me, having mrt in the city sort of pulls me back to my experience in foreign countries, specifically hong kong where, if I remember correctly, was the first country I ever rode mrt at.

It began with a phase one free trial held on the 22nd and 23rd of march. My boyfriend and I thought it’d be fun to have a mini adventure on foot since it’s free  anyway and we didn’t have to go through the hassle of purchasing trial tickets from e-commerce site beforehand – which, by the way, was how it had to be beforehand. I also thought it would be a good idea to, obviously, take pictures. I barely leave home to do outdoor things simply because I hate the sunny weather and I’m too lazy to do shit but hey, if it means I can play with my analog camera then I shall conquer the wretched humidity.

the welcome statue at thamrin st

First we had lunch at a mall located in the central district of the city because the closest mrt station to my house was situated downtown. I brought my one and only film slr, the ricoh kr-5 super and loaded it with a kodak gold 200. For beginner level, the ricoh kr-5 is a basic and easy handling for analog enthusiasts. Although I have two point and shoot film cameras, I still prefer using a manually operated slr for a photo session that I really plan for if that makes sense. Trading my yashica fx3 for a ricoh kr-5 has been something I enjoyed so far. While the yashica was a sturdy, dependable camera, the ricoh is smaller and more lightweight thus reducing shoulder and neck pain.

As for the film stock, this wasn’t the first time I tried kodak gold 200. In fact, I think it’s going to be my backup for cheap film stock. I say backup because I still prefer the fujicolor c200 more than kodak gold. The former leans more towards blues and greens while kodak is more on the warmer side. An alternative iso 200 film that’s also pretty cheap is the kodak colorplus 200 but I like it as much.

Another thing about local indonesians is how easily swept up they can get when something new has arrived in town. I’m not sure if the photos justified the situation but the subway was pretty crowded and jam packed that day, specifically with families who brought their kids with them. For locals who never experienced the subway, it was a picnic with a speedy train running at 30 km per hour. Since it was a phase one trial, the route was also predetermined and won’t extend until phase two starts.

In case you’re wondering what it’s like to take pictures inside a moving train — it was quite a challenge. As I’m still an amateur analog practitioner, the difficulty was quite frustrating to say the least. I’m currently in the process of studying zone focusing for candid street photography so hopefully with more practice, my analog skill will improve. Focusing aside, you can see that the kodak gold is giving me quite a lot of fine grains. I personally don’t mind grains for that old school, nostalgic aesthetic as long as they’re this fine. I would also clarify that even though the film stock runs at iso 200 (box speed), I pulled mine two stops below which means I was shooting it at iso 50. Imagine shooting indoor with such a slow speed! I was freaking out at the end of the day and was so afraid I had to retake everything again. It wasn’t on purpose though — I had forgotten to set the iso ring and that’s how I pretty much screwed up. As a result, I had to use a slow shutter speed and the largest aperture to compensate that.

the cool thing about jakarta's mrt is how we not only have underground railway but also above-the-ground rail! everybody went "wooo!" the moment the train left underground. it was so cringey but hilariously entertaining nonetheless.
And this was the part where I got annoyed with the locals. You see, Indonesians have a habit of not following regulations yet demand others to understand that their poor habit comes from the fact that they are not privileged enough. Not only it's ignorant, it's also stupid and invalid. Since when do things like 'throwing garbage into the bin and not on streets' considered part of privileges? It doesn't matter if you are male or female, rich or poor, these things do not stem from how much you have in your pocket — they're life lessons taught to us by our parents and the circumstances around us. If you follow me on twitter, I had days where I went on and on about how ignorant the locals are. Instead of following rules and keeping the subway clean, there have been few cases where people carelessly threw garbage, children jumping up and down train seats or adults temporarily made picnic spots out of subway tunnel. In fact, news about a father telling his child to urinate behind the wall went viral. It was so frustrating that they had to limit the number of people during the second day of the trial.

Other than that one pressing issue, it was pretty fun to have a mini on-foot adventure with the boyfriend. Perhaps we’d do this again and explore the south side. Similarly, this is also the excuse activity that will justify my purchases of film stocks and cameras.