The name and face of Nicholas Saputra have been synonymous with the successful growth of the Indonesian movie industry in the early 2000s until today. What’s Up With Love (Ada Apa Dengan Cinta), released in 2002, became the debut of his illustrious career. Discovering his natural talent in acting for that first role of Rangga, Nicholas earned his first of four Citra Award wins at the 24th Indonesian Film Festival in 2004. At around the same timeline, he was juggling his budding fame and career with studying architecture at the University of Indonesia. Here, Nicholas was honing yet another talent: photography. Today, his photography works of landscape, portrait and architecture, all taken by smartphone cameras, are closely followed by 1.2mill ardent followers on Instagram.
Akin to many of his movie characters, Nicholas is a sharp observer of what is happening around him. “Finding the best photo composition for a particular moment at the right time is of importance,” he said. “I often encountered many unique, rare experiences during my travels but missed the timing because they happened in an instant.” Nicholas then tells the story of his adventures in Sri Lanka when, by chance, he passed by the Rainbow Hill area in the morning after some rain. Seeing the rainbow at every turn taken, he could not miss the rare moment and started snapping away. “However, sometimes the camera could not record the vividity of some scenes as opposed to our eyes.”
As the brand ambassador of OPPO Find X3 Pro, he stresses the importance of using a good smartphone camera to capture these colours for a real-to-life result. “OPPO Find X3 Pro and its 10-Bit Full-path Colour Management System can capture and produce colours to create real-to-life photographs,” Nicholas said. “Thanks to this advanced technology, the results would be pretty close to what our eyes perceive.”
Another of his favourite feature from OPPO Find X3 Pro is the micro-lens. “We could see shapes and compositions that would otherwise not be visible to the naked eye. When I train its micro-lens closer to an object, many lines and curves create interesting motifs and patterns to see.” The resulting quiet and pleasing aesthetics gleaned from the photographs, and most of his film roles, came from an intuition of his inner feelings regarding the world around him.
From that strong sense of observation, Nicholas comes to cherish precious everyday moments. “If I were to create a time capsule about my life, it would be nice to see the sense of space and time, which would tell many stories about my memories,” he said. “Inside it, I would like to put a picture of nature, one of how my house looks like today, a photo of my friends and one photo of my pet.” Such a time capsule by OPPO is also well underway today, the 2121 Future Photography Project. These Instagram postings of nature and humanity will send a message of hope to the future about the good things in life today despite many challenges.
However keen is Nicholas for nostalgia, he always strives to move forward instead of being stuck in the past. “I like historical memorabilia, such as photos, books and videos, to tell stories about the past,” he said. “But, for my own story, I would rather see what is next to come.” Such a drive for discovery and innovation sets him apart in a different class as an actor and producer at Tanakhir Films. “What I like the most about being a producer is the search for the next story to tell,” Nicholas said. “That search and research as a producer would take much longer to do, comparing to the same process taken as an actor.”
Although meticulous and methodical in his day-today approach, he keeps an open mind to many exciting and positive experiences in the future, including being the Unicef Indonesia Goodwill Ambassador. “When it comes to legacy, I do not know yet what I would like to be remembered for because there are still so many years to do many things for other people and myself. Hopefully, I would be able to find the answers after all things are said and done.”
Photography by Anton Ismael as shot on OPPO Find X3 Pro | Styling by Ivan Teguh | Grooming by Ryan Ogilvy
This story appears in the May 2021 issue of Tatler Indonesia. Read our e-magazine and their full story here.