Sharing Adventures from a Singaporean Perspective with Couple Damian Wong and Sandra Ong

Damian Wong and Sandra Ong remained friends despite Sandra being away to the UK for her studies. When she returned to Singapore to stay permanently, this friendship blossomed into something more. At present, this couple continue to share adventures and their passion for photography.

In this interview, the couple confesses to being avid users of Lomo'Instant Cameras -- even having a couple of tricks and tips to produce images with the Lomo'Instant Wide.

How did you two get into photography?

Sandra: Together or separately? Haha! 

Damian: Well for me, I recall as a kid, using a film camera since I was young. My childhood was encapsulated in those printed photos, and I still have them to this very day! Growing up, I was exposed to DSLR cameras, and I would borrow one from my friend and used it when I travelled overseas.

Sandra: Growing up, my first instant camera was a Polaroid iZone camera (which I still keep in my dry box with one sheet of film left inside it!). My uncle also gave my sister and I a Sony DSLR camera to share, which further piqued my interests in exploring photography whether I follow my friends for "photography outings"! My sister gave me her spare Fujifilm Instax Mini 7s as a farewell gift when I left to study in UK. Since then, I have always been keen to improve my skills in photography!

Which subjects do you normally like to shoot?

When we decided to launch our website (which caters to all formats and modes of photography), we immediately knew that most of the landscape would be set in our country of Singapore! It may be a small country on the world map, but we feel that it has one of the most diverse cultures and experiences. Thereafter, our focus for photography ranges from everything that we can capture! So thematically speaking, we don't have a topic in mind when we shoot; we just shoot photographs! 

How would you describe your photography style individually and when you're together?

Damian: It's very difficult for me to describe my style, because I really like taking all sorts of photographs, be it with analogue or digital cameras! I feel like my experiences with photography is just as important as the outcome of the photos, so I try to ensure that I'm really enjoying myself when I'm taking photographs.

Sandra: I too don't really have a style per se, although I tend to lean towards focusing on specific effects like bokehs and multiple exposures. It is especially fun achieving that technique with instant cameras as you play around with the settings to get that effect!

Damian: When we're together taking photographs, it's usually in the context of visiting a location or experiencing an event. We try to ensure that we fully cover the location as much as possible (both in person and with our cameras!). However, we do not feel pressured to upload something 'generic' or 'commonplace', and this is where for example Lomography's cameras come in handy, because we can use those cameras to express ourselves creatively!

You mentioned that you guys are Lomography camera users from the get-go, any particular reason behind this?

We've always been intrigued by analogue cameras, and we knew Lomography was known for this! In Singapore, there was a Holga camera craze and we got into the hype! Sandra first got her hands on a Lomo'Instant camera in August 2015. We were impressed by the many features of the Lomo'Instant, such as the multiple exposures, long exposures and the variety of lens attachments to make our instant films more creative. The automatic settings also reduced the hassle of having to manipulate the settings, given our nascent understanding and knowledge of instant cameras at the time! 

Can you share with us some of your photos taken with the Lomo'Instant Wide? Any story behind these photos?

We have so many Lomo'Instant Wide photos - it was hard to choose! Some of our personal favourites here are:

Here, we combined our favourite Holga multi-images lens effect and attached it onto the Lomo'Instant Wide!

We took this at Singapore's Gardens by the Bay! In celebration of the Mooncake Festival, Gardens by the Bay showcased a brilliant display of lights figurines telling the story of the Legend of Chang Er.

We took this long exposure shot of the Sentosa Gateway, the entrance to Sentosa Island in Singapore! We intended to capture the vibrant colours of the lights emanating from the walkway, buildings and attractions!

Here, we took the opportunity to not only play a game of Damian's favourite sport (billiards), but also to fiddle with the zone focusing system of the camera.

This photo was taken during our visit to Lee Kong Chian Natural Museum located in the National University of Singapore! We love this picture as it appears to simulate the effect of us being underwater with the fishes!

One of our favourite feature of the Lomo'Instant Wide is the wide angle lens attachment! We took this long exposure picture of a fireworks celebrating Singapore's National Day. The camera was flimsily mounted on some wire netting, but we loved how it turned out: imperfect but memorable.

We captured this multiple exposure, including the bus’s light trails as it passed us while waiting for a bus at Taiwan's National Museum!

1-2m focal length is the perfect setting for taking images with background shots.

Even at auto exposure setting, the Lomo'Instant Camera is brilliant at taking sunset shots (taken in Taiwan).

How was the Lomo'Instant experience?

We think that the Lomo'Instant Camera is good for daylight shots; otherwise, shoot at bulb exposure mood for all indoor and cloudy situations (which will more often than not require a tripod). One of the highlights of this camera are the creative features that comes with it. There's the classic Lomo "splitzer" which we love using. However, unlike the Lomo' Instant Wide, there's no remote lens cap for us to take the both us together in one film. Therefore, we resort to taking our photos with the splitzer, to capture the both of us 'together'! With the splitzer, we can be in two places at once... and more:

Another feature we love about the camera is the Bulb exposure mode. By placing the Lomo'Instant on a steady surface/tripod and using a shutter cable release, we often capture light trails wherever possibly! At "-2" exposure setting, one can capture the light trails with greater clarity in terms of detail:

The macro lens attachment is also another fun feature! We could focus on near objects, creating a large depth of field.

Lomo'Instant or Lomo'Instant Wide?
Both has its strengths and weaknesses; however if we have to choose one, it would probably be the Lomo'Instant Wide! We love the wide angle feature, and the remote function built in the lens cap is brilliant when you want to take group photos! 

Anything you'd like to say to your fellow Lomographers out there?

Don't ever be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. We know it sounds clichéd but if we had not first decided to create our website dedicated to photography (and subsequently our Instagram account), we would never have had the privilege of meeting other lomographers and photographers; and being inspired by their amazing creative techniques, and getting tips and opinions about their photos! 

written by Crisselda Robles on 2016-11-08 #gear #people #lomo-instant-lomo-instant-wide

Mentioned Product

Lomo'Instant Wide

Lomo'Instant Wide

We're thrilled to introduce the Lomo'Instant Wide — the world's most creative instant wide camera and lens system! Combining high quality craftsmanship with versatile features, the Lomo’Instant Wide is the instant camera for any and every person who revels in capturing every beautiful, bizarre and bewildering moment in a creative, super wide, crisply sharp and perfectly exposed way.

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