Interview with ELAINE KWAN & KEITH YAP, MALAYSIA

Updated: Dec 7, 2017

Film basically slowed us down, we the like the thought process of every picture we snap and the surprises we get once we get back the pictures from the lab.


Super delighted to have you guys here. Please tell us something about yourselves and how you got into film photography?


Elaine & Keith: There's 2 of us behind 27th Wonder. We are a couple and we're both recruitment professionals. We wanted to take up photography as something we both can learn and do together. So we thought why not explore  in to film photography  and we are both familiar digital camera  users . So we started off fhe journey with two olympus cameras, the OM 1 and an OM 10. We started not long ago mid of 2017. Still a lot to learn but we did realize we both like to take pictures of different things.


What type of film do you guys use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?


Elaine & Keith: Well we haven't really tried all the film stock. Experimenting with different films and seeing the different tones that we would prefer, currently we like Ilford HP5 and Fujifilm Xtra. We have also tried Kodak Gold and Afga photo Vista plus.



What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?



Elaine & Keith: Film basically slowed us down, we the like the thought process of every picture we snap and the surprises we get once we get back the pictures from the lab. The wait time for a roll for us will be a week or two, that wait time is like the most anxious time for us not knowing if we load the film correctly, are they in focus, etc but that is the best part we keep learning things with every roll that comes back.


Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?

Elaine & Keith: We don't print our pictures but they are developed in a lab. We did print two pictures which we submitted for a competition but we didn't win (it was not surprising that digital pictures won).


What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourselves through film photography?


Elaine & Keith: What aspires us is that there is a community out there that still appreciates film and the whole process of taking photos from checking our settings and seeing better pictures with every roll. Well we learned to appreciate the finer things in life as we are now more aware of our surroundings, there are times when we walk around without our cameras we will be like that will make a nice picture. We also realize that we both take better pictures of different aspects, one of us are better at portrait shots and the other better than landscapes and objects. 


Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?


Elaine & Keith: William Klein and Michel Salgado are one our fave. Their body of work is amazing and the way they went against the grains in their compositions. 


Do you see any value or merit shooting with film? 


Elaine & Keith: Well it helps by slowing down the picture taking process. Getting the right shot the first go and not just snapping a 100 pictures and praying you have one that you can use. Other than that, is showing the community that film photography is still a lot of fun.



What do you think your future is like with film photography?


Elaine & Keith: Well the future is not that bright as film photography is a dying art with technology moving so quickly in the digital realm, we analog photographers aren't that many but with the likes of a few people who are still pushing the scene we the analog photographers should still be here in the near future. We also hope more people will appreciate film photography as it requires a lot more skills and practice. 


Do you have any dream film photography projects?


Elaine & Keith: We would like to photograph the slums of the world, the nitty gritty of places and go to places that not many have gone to take pictures.


Would you like to offer a few words of wisdom to those who want to try film photography for the first time? What must they learn before venturing into this format?



Elaine & Keith: Well our two cents will be just do it, film cameras are cheap find one you like, get some film loaded into and just shoot. Learn the basics of course, e.g. focusing, metering, exposure and just shoot. 


Practice, go out on the weekend shoot what you like to shoot. Could also help to bring your camera along with you wherever you go. You never know when a good shot will come by. 


Follow Elaine & Keith: on Instagram and check all their impressive photographs posted there.


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Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Elaine Kwan and Keith Yap. She devoted her time, and worked so hard in making these photographs. You are not allowed to copy, download, reproduce, reprint, modify, distribute, publicly display, license, transfer or sell content retrieved from this page in any way, for any public or commercial use or to any commercial source, including other websites, without prior written permission of Elaine Kwan and Keith Yap. You don’t want to go to jail, do you?


Well now, if you are a passionate film photographer and would like to be interviewed? I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email at mapamelvin@gmail.com with the subject, "Interview me", and share your story, thoughts, and work related to film photography. I’ll get back to you as soon as I receive your request for an interview.


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Cheers!

Mel


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