Experienced Singaporean photographer Alan Lim is one of the most celebrated photographers locally. Alan worked for The Straits Times, won local and international awards, and in 2014, was appointed by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as the IP Creative Partner in Photography.
He granted us a brief interview regarding his experience shooting with the New Russar+ Art Lens.
Please introduce yourself to the Lomography community and the readers of the Online Magazine.
I’ve been practicing photography for 27 years now and as a professional for about 23 years. As a photographer I have two viewfinders; one is for my client, I run a commercial photography studio (Eleven Photography) which helps my clients to create images to speak for their business. Another viewfinder is for myself, to create whatever I feel joyful. I also run a photography education center (School of Photography Singapore) which I provide workshops and courses.
How did you get started with photography?
Starting from as young as 4-5 years old I picked up drawing and sketching all the way to when I was around 15-16 and I discovered that a camera was similar to a pencil which I could use to draw into reality whatever was in my imagination. Later I attended an art school in the USA and was classically trained and got myself a degree in Photography and Science.
How would you describe your style as a photographer?
I don’t label myself with a specific style because I let the scene/subject speaks and inspires my approach, and I believe a true artist should be able to constantly evolving. I’ll describe my approach as sensibility and organic.
What/Who do you consider as the greatest influence in your craft?
Everything. As a young boy until early teens, I was influenced by Salvador Dali’s level of imagination. In my late teen I was inspired by CD covers of how the photos were conceptualized and shot. In my university time, I was introduced to Ansel Adam and his amazing black and white printing techniques, and Arnold Newman with his sensibility in photographing his subjects. In my earlier career as a newspaper photographer I was influenced by Heri Cartier-Bresson in his photojournalist style and Peter Lindbergh in his fashion photography. After getting so many influences from so many different people my current inspiration is only from one place, Mother Nature, I learned everything from her, especially the art of harmony.
How do you develop your skills?
Through years of practice, hard work, and self-correction.
Can you share with us more info about why you do street photography?
It’s all about the challenge which is what I love. Photographing people in their most natural state is not an easy thing because you need to be quick, and photographing them in such a critical moment in a precious moment and still considering the composition and exposure, that’s is the ultimate challenge. And when you are able to put all that in a fraction of a second and produce a piece of work looking polished, that’s the same satisfaction a surfer gets ridging a good wave.
Tell us a little more about your Russar+ Art Lens experience. Any challenges or interesting stories?
The lens is very small and light which is a good thing for street photographers to walkabout. The angle of the lens is also wide enough to capture close-range action. The best part for me is the sharpness coz I usually shoot in hyper-focus which requires a high f-number for deeper depth of field and this lens is amazing for that.
Do you have ongoing or upcoming projects that you would like to tell the community about?
One of the most interesting projects coming up soon is a photo story on a dog called Rosalee. She will be photographed while doing her daily life like a human, such as watching TV, working out in the park, having drinks with her friends and such, kinda to humanize her.
Alan used the Fujifilm X-E2 camera for his shoot with the Russar+ Art Lens.