Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Yen Feng: Photographer

I like talent and creativity, and whenever I discover a new such source of inspiration, I like to share it with the world. By happy accident I stumbled upon Yen Feng's album "60 minutes Singapore" filled with the most vibrant street photography. I promptly wrote him a note of appreciation, and he was kind enough to answer. We were mere acquaintances. I had no business asking if I could feature him on my blog--yet I did, and he obliged. Sometimes it pays to throw common sense out the window.

What's your name?

Yen Feng

Would you consider yourself an amateur photographer? (Don't worry. I'm an amateur blogger.)

Yes, an amateur photographer sounds right.

What inspired you for this street photography session of Singapore?

It comes down to two things: creative outlet and access to technology. I started using Instagram in Dec 2011 during a visit to NYC, where I lived for several years before moving back to Singapore. I wanted a way to document my trip that would be easy/convenient. After taking a few photos, I realised that I should develop the idea into a creative project--hence the 60 minutes concept. The concept is to record moments in life that reflect the city I am in. I don't really like posed shots, and these "stolen" moments have a journalistic feel to them that I was drawn to. By ‘journalistic’ I suppose I mean to be an outsider recording what was happening, what I observed. 
When I returned to Singapore, I decided to do the same here - this is obviously an on-going project and it has already exceeded far beyond collecting the initial 60 moments I had for the NYC project.

I was also inspired by all the great street photos I saw on Instagram. Another source was my good friend, who is also an avid Instragram user. He introduced me to new photographers to follow and some editing apps, which I now use in my work.

What kind of camera do you use?

I use my iPhone. That's it. In NYC, that was the iPhone4. Now it's the 4s.

With the advent of camera phones, it is now possible to snap pictures of unsuspecting passersby, while it's decidedly harder to catch them 'in the moment' if you whip out your camera. How do you feel the medium of photography has changed? 

I think it is still possible to capture great street photography using a proper camera. Lots of people do so. For me I suppose because the iPhone is so convenient, I get to shoot wherever I go. I have a Leica but I am not used to carrying it with me all the time.

What do you want this colletion of photos to represent?

I don't think my photos represent anything in particular - to me I see them as moments in a silent film - viewers fill in the stories as they imagine. If there is one thing, however, I hope they represent in its small way the incredible richness of human life.

What are your favorite subjects for photography?

People, patterns

Do you have any advice for the novice photographer?

Shoot often and a lot. Give yourself projects to work on that can give you focus. Instagram's weekend hashtag project I've found is really useful to break out of habit and experiment with new subjects and perspectives.

Like what you see? These pictures are only a small sample of the album; you can check out the rest of his work here:

Facebook web:
Instagram:   @yenfeng

Further details regarding fanmail and upcoming art shows will be provided upon request. 

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