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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:
email: photographerfrancis@yahoo.com.sg

Lawypop’s LomoHome – http://lomography.com/homes/lawypop

written by lawypop


  1. maliha


    Amazing images. Good Interview!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. juznobsrvr


    beautiful captures... inspiring

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. boredbone


    i also want that perfect camera he described:)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. vas_vas


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

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. spendospend



    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. mikahsupageek


    beautiful captures !

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. Francis

    Thanks for the encouraging words...
    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. brittany


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

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  9. azzzy


    nicely done.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  10. ndroo


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

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  11. emilios


    Well done dude. Great pics!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  12. eva_eva



    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. 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?

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  14. nural


    wow... the images are breathtaking!!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  15. leela_dark


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

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  16. poetpunk


    That was a great interview with amazing pictures.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  17. renaishashin


    Wah! Interview with you shifu? :DD Nice!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  18. 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! :)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  19. 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 :)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  20. maliha


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

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  21. bravopires


    perfect! great interview, lawypop!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  22. Francis

    Thanks again everybody for your kind words... francis lee
    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  23. cruzron


    I love the 1st photo!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  24. toyam


    @lawypop I found it so interesting than I traslated it to Spanish :) http://www.lomograph(…)francis-lee

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish.