What is the quintessence of (my photography) life?

Definition of quintessence

I remember the reason why i watch Walter Mitty’s movie, it wasn’t because i’ve already read the book which i never did. it’s because there’s a photography aspect being talked on the movie, about the end of film photography and printed magazine into a digital era. And i’m happy having watching it. It’s a good movie, it opens up my mind about how important for us human to not just sit in one place, to not just daydreaming about being a hero saving life of a cat in an apartment building that is on fire with a scottish accent saying “becareful” to the pretty cat’s owner or daydreaming about being an explorer exploring the unknown land in Antarctica and being cool with that full of risk lifestyle, but at the end you just woke up from daydreaming back to a normal and boring life, just-like-that.
After watching the movie, i aware that the nature of being human is not to stay forever in one place, but to explore the world and learn many different and exciting things in this earth, be brave to take a step outside your comfort zone and take risks. That’s why if we do traveling somewhere new, it feels good, stress reliever, mood back to great and we are fully loaded to fight back in the battlefield of a normal life, getting more money, traveling again and repeat.
But, is that the purpose of life? Shan the photographer has this quotes written on the wallet that he gave to Walter, says that:


I understood the meaning of the quotes above, but at one scene, Shan the photographer gave a name “The Quintessence of life” for his one photo that will be used for the cover of the final edition of LIFE magazine. But, what is the Quintessence of life?

I have two questions, the first is what quintessence word suppose to mean?i just heard that word, ever.
The next question ofc, what is the quintessance of life?
I’ve been googling the meaning of the word quintessence, and VimalKumar at Quora explain it like this:
The word quintessence is originated form Latin, which means Quinta Essentia (Fifth Essence). Hence Quintessence of Life means the fifth essence of life. According to the western philosophy, the circle of life comprises of four essences: air, fire, water and earth. Air, represents the movement. Fire represents power. Water represents idea or thought and finally Earth represents the steadiness.
Then what is this fifth element? In the Vedic philosophy, along with these four elements of life, they also recognize the fifth element – Space/Sky, calling them as Pancha Bootas (Five Elements). This fifth element, the Sky represents the cosmos, the heavenly bodies, our spiritual connection and the self discovery. They believe, the human body is not only made of the earthly elements it also has a part of cosmos and our journey should be in the path of understanding this cosmos. Cosmos can be understood by understanding the ‘Self’, as the self is contains the cosmos. That is, you can’t understand the cosmos with understanding self and you can’t understand the self without acknowledging the cosmos.
Hence, I think the movie portray this self discovery mode of the journey of life as the fifth essence or Quintessence of Life.


So, quintessence of life, huh?– i guess the answer for every and each one of us will be vary since it is personal. It’s more about our perspective on ourself, the way we see ourself. But if i’m speaking about me as a photographer with my photowork so far, i wonder which photograph will be best describing me down to date?– one photo that can represent the quintessence of (my photography) life so far? Hmmm.

Quintessence of my photography life so far

Build upon the movie, the quintessence of life was actually referred to the people behind the LIFE magazine and It’s represented in a single photo which will be the cover of the last and final edition of LIFE magazine. And since then, i wonder which photograph of mine that are able to be the quintessence of my photography journey so far. Since it have to be represented in a single photo, it becomes harder, mostly dilemmatic because i’m not that consistent playing in one genre of photography, if you know what i mean. i’ve been trying many things along the way such like portraits, street photography, stage act photography, still life, minimalist architecture photography, nature macro photography, and landscapes. I’m certainly almost like a jack of all trades, doing many things, master of none.

Btw, do you know there’s one advantage of being an active blogger that are seriously making blog template or its content very much in tune with the blogger personal brand?
It is the one question that constantly being asked to ourself, “who are you exactly? What do you want to be known as?”, “what are you capable of?”, all those question thrive to forced me to get to know myself better, to listen carefully to my inner voice, what i want to do in my life and for the future, and particularly in photography. I become aware of my current position and which direction to go to. But at the other side, i know i still constantly changing, maybe it’s because i’m still processing and growing, still not an end product.

But back to the earliest question, if i have to choose which is the one photograph that can be the quintessence of my photograpy so far so i can put it in the homepage of this blog as the cover picture, i am choosing this one below.

Probably you are already know which photo that i choose since i’ve already change the cover of my blog earlier before publishing this post. But the reason why i choose this one, i remember that this photograph is one of my very first photo i took with my very first analog slr camera. It was Pentax K1000, a fully manual camera without the need for batteries to operate it except for the lightmeter. it was so perfect, the bokeh, the sharpness, the color, the feeling that perfectly captured in a single photograph, it’s a magical moment to me. A result that i didn’t expect to be that good. a photograph that made me in love with film photography and photography as a whole. From that moment, all i want to do in my spare time was just to capture everything into my camera such like: moments, beautiful places, random places, random people, beautiful flowers everywhere i see it, moments with family, with the love one, with friends etc. And the rest is history.

Pretty much this photograph suitable to be the quintessence of my photography life so far, it’s worthy enough to be placed as a cover in my blog, my photo blog. and now you already knew the reason why.

From this, to my fellow bloggers out there who are still actively write in your blog, i encourage you to make and design a landing page / home page that can make people who are stumble upon viewing your blog can easily recognize who you are and what you do. It doesnt mean that mine is already great, it’s not, yet. But with this mindset, i hope it will help you to get to your own audience with the same interest as you are, or maybe help people who need your skillset to find you with ease, who knows, right?

But, apart from everything I’ve written above, it’s your blog, and eventually it has to be your way. i’m here just sharing my thoughts, but i hope you get my point. Thank you for the reading. and i’m sorry if i’m rambling and mumbling indistinctly. haha. well, i try. using english. tsk. damn, it’s the worst.

4 thoughts on “What is the quintessence of (my photography) life?”

  1. Noticed the new landing page a couple days ago. Looking great!
    Also, I first watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty because of exactly the same reason lol – and also because Iceland is on top of my bucket list.
    Congrats on making a new milestone today by sharing this post in full English! If I were you I’d just erase the last few sentences, don’t discourage yourself from trying new things out 😀

    1. aha! iceland is also my top bucket list!

      hahaha.. aduh euy jadi malu,
      well, using english for writing is … confusing, i don’t know if i will consistently using english to write a blog post since my top priority to learn is how to do a good storytelling. itu dulu, soalnya saya tuh suka belibet, ribet, ga enak dibaca tulisannya.
      not like yours, dhania…
      but i’ll try, step by step, learning by doing, so pardon me with my worst grammar, ever.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s