We are proud to announce our PhotoMalaysia featured photographer of the month - June 2011:
Here is the interview with him:
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am semi-retired and determined to live life to its fullest. When I was young I had planned to divide my life into 3 parts, going for an education, earning a living and having my own life. I figured that if I put roughly 25 years of my life into each part, that would roughly summarised my show on this world stage.
Antelope Canyon 2010
Q: What is your photography history?
When I was young, I loved art. However, fate has it that in order to earn a living; I had to concentrate on science. Photography became an escape of sorts from the logical scientific world. I bought my first camera with my second pay check, it was an Olympus OM1n. Later, I added a darkroom. However, I gave that all up due to the pressure of building up a family and career.
An image that was in the mind's eye for 10 years before finally capturing it in camera
I resumed this hobby when I decided to semi-retire. When I started then, it was like starting all over again. The digital photography age was just at its infancy. The technology was still very young and unstable. Owning a digicam with a 3mp was a big deal then. I bought my first digital camera – a Nikon Coolpix 995 at a sum equivalent to today’s mid-end DSLR.
Sunset in Rulous Village, Siem Reap, 2009
At that time I very frustrated with the limitations of the digital sensors. I decided to go back to my roots and started re-learning black and white photography. I spent six to seven years shooting nothing but black and white photos, developing it and printing it in the darkroom. Looking back, that was the best period of my photography development. If forced me to explore this medium intimately.
Boat man, Panchuria, Bangladesh 2010
Three years ago when Yusuf aka digitalartist and I decided to start this PMPE (PhotoMalaysia PhotoSafari Experience) program to impart our photography knowledge to beginners in photography, I moved gradually from analogue to digital. This time the learning curve was much easier and faster. I realised that I could import the film and wet darkroom (analogue) thinking into the digital world quite seamlessly.
Like all other photographers, I am guilty of accumulating and shooting different brands of cameras and formats from small, medium to large. My latest addition was a Pentax K5.
Wenchong Hutong, 2009
Q: Can you describe your photography style?
Creating one’s own style in photography is the most challenging because it goes beyond technical aspects and composition. One has to develop one’s mind eye and telling a visual story in one’s own way. This is an ever developing lifelong process. However, I am building it on my black and white photography foundation. Some of my friends even said that my colour photos looked like black and white. I love simplicity but I find it very hard to achieve.
Fisherman- Long Hai, Vietnam, 2009
Our PMPE programs have given me the unique opportunity to develop this personal style. Most of our photosafari trips consist of 5 to 21 days of continuous shooting day-in-day-out. Our photo sharing sessions also forced all the participants including myself to think critically. It was really the most enjoyable photography experience I have ever done in my life. What started off as a community service of teaching and coaching newbies in photography has grown into personal discovery not only for the participants but the coaches as well…..it is a very humbling experience.
Q: Any advise for aspiring PhotoMalaysia members?
I believe most of the newbies in photography do not aspire to do become professional photographers. Having said that most amateur photographers would eventually give it up when they feel that they are not progressing at the rate that will satisfy them.
Thamel Bazaar, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2011
One of best way on how to keep that interest alive is to learn photography from the basics. Spend some time on building up that foundation so that you can move onto a different level as your style and skills improve. The easier ways to keep that interest alive is to join some of the photography workshops, photography forums, read photography books, magazines, discussion groups or a good photo tour.
Dai Minh Lake, Vietnam 2009
Personally I find PhotoMalaysia’s forum is unique. I may be bias here as I have put in many years of effort in developing this forum. It has both online and offline activities that give photographers the opportunity to interact socially, sharing knowledge, poisoning each other, develop their own photography skills, flaming (hehehe!). The best part is most of its activities are free or cost very little. All these offline activities are headed by experience photographers who have selflessly willing to share their experience…..you cannot get better than that.
Hotan, Bazaar, (Silk Road) Xinjiang, 2010
I hope more photographers would come forward and share their experiences or help out in developing this Malaysian Photography Community.