Top 10 Interview with a Photographer #4: Francis Lee


We are happy to introduce you to our Top 10 Interview with a Photographer series! Meet photographer #4 Mr. Francis Lee. Mr. Lee is a Photography Instructor based in Singapore, and has greatly inspired plenty of his students, including lawypop who conducted this interview!

When I was starting on my Lomo journey, photography terminology such as aperture, shutter speed, exposure etc. never really matters as most of the lomo cameras were point and shoot. But after I got my first Lomo LC-A and starting to wonder about the F-stops, I decided to attend a Photography Class for Beginners!

Francis’s class was never boring because he taught me not just the technical aspect but the creative and fun part of photography! He mentioned to us that it should be our passion that paints the picture. Our cameras (be it the latest DSLR or the LC-A) are just our brushes. After completing his class, Francis sometimes organizes trips where he will invite his students for photo shoot and knowledge sharing!

I’m very honoured to interview Francis. He was very supportive and gave me his time to answer my questions; he even took time to scan his wonderful photo works. Below is the Q&A! Enjoy!

When did you first get started on Photography? What camera did you first use?
Guess it is safe to say I start to learn photography in 1976 & it’s only 1 year later that I own a Pentax K1000.

What sustained your interest?
It has to be the constant struggle/happening in life to stay afloat & the necessity to document it.

Tell me about your IR photography and how it started?
IR photography was a pain to me as I’m the type of person that refused to remember steps or procedures & IR being IR; its such a ‘scientific’ thing to do before we can turn it into ‘Art’. And because of my refusal to remember the critical approaches to handle IR films, rolls & rolls of Kodak HIE & Ilford SFX were wasted even before the shoot & some, in the darkroom. Guess after 8 months of disastrous attempt, I’m back to square one again thinking that IR photography is a dark-dark-no-no thingy
for a lazy photographer like me.

IR photography in the future?
We’re already at the future & constantly creating future in such a short time with Digital-imaging. And its good to know that Artist need not be scientist to use one of their many tools… at least for me.

Before the age of digital cameras, what’s your dream analogue camera like?
Okay! I love this question most as it certainly revives my early thoughts of what’s the perfect camera; of course I understand that I’m the last person on Earth that can afford it. My thoughts of a perfect camera then is as follows & in order of importance- *100% Field of view *Multi-Segment & Spot metering *Manual/Av/Tv modes *Shutter of 60”~ 1/8000 *5 FPS *Flash Sync at all shutter speed *Quiet Shutter *Mirror-lockup *EV Compensation +/- 4 stops *Fast Auto-rewind *Powerful built-in flash *Weather-seal * Universal lens mount

Now, what do you wish for the perfect digital camera?
Very much the same as above… retain all of the above except fast rewind & remove 80% of all those nonsensical bells & whistles features.

If you are given an analogue camera to go for a holiday assignment, which analogue camera will you bring and why?
Canon EOS 3… Why? It doesn’t have a temper or mind of its own. A camera that encourages me to go Av almost everytime… not something that I can confidently say about other brands & even Canon’s other models! Its Evaluative metering simply works to my liking.

Do you ever use a Lomo camera? What’s your impression of these cameras?
Nope! I have yet to use one But I have seen many pictures that come out of it that makes me want to sit up & pay attention. It sure removes my initial suspicious of its ability to deliver decent images. But then again, Lomo or not, it has got to be the person using it to bring out the best of the tool.

What are your words of wisdom for the aspiring photographers out there?
Don’t do photography for the sake of doing it… use it as a tool to document, to narrate, to educate & usually unknowingly, one will learn more about lives of others & more importantly, ourselves too.

Lastly, complete these 2 sentences:
a) If I hadn’t become a photographer, … I’m most certainly a Rocker in a Heavy-Metal Band

b) Photography is… Diary-ing in photographs, living life.

Photographer Info:

Lawypop’s LomoHome –

written by lawypop on 2010-07-21 in #lifestyle #interview #photographers #mentor #infrared #inspiration


  1. maliha
    maliha ·

    Amazing images. Good Interview!

  2. juznobsrvr
    juznobsrvr ·

    beautiful captures... inspiring

  3. boredbone
    boredbone ·

    i also want that perfect camera he described:)

  4. vas_vas
    vas_vas ·

    that dancing girl is just amazing! fucking beautiful!!!

  5. spendospend
    spendospend ·


  6. mikahsupageek
    mikahsupageek ·

    beautiful captures !

  7. brittany
    brittany ·

    great interview! beautiful images!! and yes I HAVE to agree that "dancing girl" is AMAZING!!!

  8. azzzy
    azzzy ·

    nicely done.

  9. ndroo
    ndroo ·

    Great interview. Francis Lee! He's the master! A long lost friend too. :( Do tell him ndroo says HELLO! :D

  10. emilios
    emilios ·

    Well done dude. Great pics!

  11. eva_eva
    eva_eva ·


  12. maliha
    maliha ·

    I'm new to analog... can anyone suggest a good 35mm to me? Not a point and shoot, but the ones that I can play around with different shutter speed and aperture settings?

  13. nural
    nural ·

    wow... the images are breathtaking!!

  14. leela_dark
    leela_dark ·

    great interview with an interesting person! I adore his shots.

  15. poetpunk
    poetpunk ·

    That was a great interview with amazing pictures.

  16. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    Wah! Interview with you shifu? :DD Nice!

  17. lawypop
    lawypop ·

    A Big Thank You guys for voting and comments to this interview! Really appreciate! This is indeed a good platform to get to know other photographers! Congrats to the other interviewers TOO! :)

  18. lawypop
    lawypop ·

    @Maliha sorry for late reply, i dun know any good 35mm camera to recommend, but i bought a SLR Nikon F65 from the internet when i was attending the beginner's photo class. It still serves me well and a good start to learn the camera basic functions :) Hope this helps :)

  19. maliha
    maliha ·

    It does help Lawypop :) Thanks a bunch!! btw, once again, great interview!!

  20. bravopires
    bravopires ·

    perfect! great interview, lawypop!

  21. cruzron
    cruzron ·

    I love the 1st photo!

  22. toyam
    toyam ·

    @lawypop I found it so interesting than I traslated it to Spanish :)…

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