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Kukubesi – The Manipulator | Ena Photography

Kukubesi – The Manipulator

On Saturday I had the chance to join a gathering between two photography groups – Kukubesi and Chot Touch. Kukubesi is local photographer, well known for his surreal almost paint-like editing on his photos. Dark and surreal would be the two adjectives that I would associate his pictures to. He is also popular for his manipulating skills which is totally amazing. Manipulation of photos is not the same as retouching. Manipulation requires a whole lot more effort and patience – think of zooming a picture at 100% and working a section at a time of a photo. Chot Touch on the other hand is popular local candid photographer. I came to discover his work when I was notified by a friend that a picture of my best-friend was inside Flickr. Like me, his main gun is a 50mm yet he uses it on the street – taking shots of strangers. That dude has balls yo! Haha.

While I didn’t get the chance to socialize with the group as I intended to, I had the chance to capture a few portraits and the one I’m most honored of, the portrait of Kukubesi himself. The gathering was held at Sg. Congkak – a waterfall area in the woods so I know there will be a lot of mud. Hence I really wanted a subject that was willing to get dirty in the mud and I was thrilled that Kukubesi was up to the idea. Not only that, to make the portrait even more unique and different, I needed it to have some sort of action and Kukubesi came up with the idea of spurting out sand. Gosh. So yes.. indeed he put sand in his mouth and spat it out.. resulting in the portrait below. A whole lot more was captured with his camera and you can check out a shot edited by him at his website (its the first picture).

Editing wise. I wanted textures in the final picture. Textures, hard, gritty and extremely contrasted. Not many are fond with this type of editing but what do you think? I’m pretty happy with it.


Believe it or not the picture above was the first shot. We then tried numerous times to perhaps capture it with a better lighting but couldn’t came close to this one.

Kukubesi - The Manipulator


A few more of my favorites are in the gallery.


  1. OMG REALLY AWESOME SUPERB photos! Good job with the editting too! :) Wish I was half as talented as you.

  2. Absolutely stunning Ena. Always love your style of editing. The photos are smashing too. Well done and keep it up!

  3. Gempak la Ena .. the photos, the editing are top notch. Just 1 question .. mana pulak dapat the gas mask ? lol

  4. omaigad you went to the gath babe! i was about to go but the thing is that i have wedding to cover a day before and i dont think i can join the gath on the next day. anyway, are you goin to join the Penang outing with Chot, Kuku Besi and Wazari Wazir this coming Feb? :)

    Oh btw, I am Nono. A photography enthusiast too. Haloha! ;)