Amusing & Challenging in Military Photography

photo shoot

 Capturing military forces offers both fun and challenge; it is a rare opportunity to capture a full-armed organic fighter battalion. Taking place at simulation area —covering forests, rivers, and swamps, I was presented with a lot of challenges while capturing the Indonesian Armed Forces soldiers at 134 Tuah Sakti (Yonif 134/TS) Infantry Battalion.

Based in Batam, the Yonif 134/TS soldiers are responsible for guarding the islands of Riau Province, including its national and strategic assets. They are skilled shooters and fighters as they are obliged to walk during their duty as well as expected to always be ready to fight in rivers, swamps, or seashores. Based on their area coverage, the shooting sessions have also included several forests in Batam as well as some rivers and swamps around the headquarter.

Capturing infantry army in their headquarter, with permanent buildings and asphalted roads, might be a lot of fun. However, it is more challenging to capture them in their actual battlefield, even if the battle might be a practical simulation session. Letkol (Lt.Col.) Inf Hendra Haryana —the commander of Yonif 134/TS —assigned at least 2 armed companies for the photo shoot. As Letkol Hendra Haryana has been a talented photographer himself, he was also ’with a DSLR camera and several high-end lenses.

photo shoot

During the practical simulation session where the photo shoot was conducted, the soldiers sneaked through rivers and infiltrated using LCR rafts. The photo shoot was carried out at dawn and before sunset, just as the actual infiltration is supposed to be done. Yonif 134/TS actually also has town-based fighter armies —the thing is just that there had been not enough time to include them in the photo shoot.

When conducting a photo shoot in military forces, we have to be obedient to the prevailing rules as well as be willing to respect and maintain security. It is a standard requirement as all the soldiers are also obliged to obey the commanderinstruction, and including the photographerdirection during the photo shoot. As all involved in the simulation are required to wear battle official outfits, the photographers will also need to wear trousers and outdoor shoes as well as jungle hat.

Capturing Yonif 134/TS became more challenging as I was given the opportunity to ride on military vehicle and to wear military camouflage. While capturing the soldiers armed with SS1 assault rifles and SPR3 sniper guns —all Pindad made, I was also given the rare opportunity to try shooting using those weapons; an experience so challenging.

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