There will be a photography exhibition on Level One of Millenia Walk Mall, Singapore from 30th April to 15th May 2016, themed “Good Memories”. The exhibition is organized by a group of photography enthusiasts collectively known as “DarkSlide Photo Club”. I get to sit down for a coffee with one of the member to talk more about it.
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Loo Chee Chuan, raised and born in Singapore. It was on one of my trekking trip that fused both the trekking/travelling and photography together. I started photography in my early twenties and did a part time photography course to shorten my learning curve. I have been always shooting film and only recently gone into printing in darkroom.
Are you shooting mostly film and why?
I shoot mainly black and white film. Why shoot only film? There are many reasons for that. First, I can have many different brands of film and formats to play with ranging from 135 up to 8×10″ and it is a lot more fun to print on different papers too. Besides that, film cameras are a little more affordable and don’t need to worry about upgrade. Okay, you might want to upgrade lenses. Also once CLA you don’t have to worry about anything for the next 5 years.
The feel of film cameras, the weight, the textures, the mechanics and the shutter sound of some are very unique. With film cameras I don’t have to worry about batteries, almost all my cameras are mechanical, so no battery needed and I mostly shoot base on the commonly f16 sunny rules. Of course sometime I have bad judgment too. Besides that, I have lesser images to deal with, say 36 frames in 135 format and 10-12 frame on 6×6-6×7 format. I usually shoot a roll or two on one outing.
To sum things up, I shoot film because I can really simplify the whole process. Shoot, develop, edit and print. Therefore I can focus on taking the pictures. Going for photo walk and printing in the darkroom is two very different processes which I enjoy very much.
Tell us a bit more about the exhibition. What’s the main objective or concept and how it gets into shape?
We are a group of photography enthusiasts known collectively as the DarkSlide Photo Club. Most of our members use large format cameras. All of us are film shooter and I guess some of them might have the same reason as me for going fully analogue. The coming exhibition will be our third photography exhibition.
The theme for this exhibition is “Good memories” which aim to capture the good times and places. In this era of rapid development, many places are likely to be redeveloped and disappear soon, end up only to be found in our memories. The places and people may long be gone but some memories especially the good ones will not be forgotten. We aim to record the good memories and good places permanently using analogue film.
What work will you be presenting in the exhibition?
My work will be themed “Happy Rainy Day”, it’s a different approach to the street. A happy moment in the gloomy weather, this photo series throws a reflection on a different state of mind when it rains. All my work will be presented in darkroom printed silver gelatin paper.
What’s next after this exhibition?
We will continue to have large format photography outing and also print exchange on a quarterly basis. Once in a while we will gather for a positive film slide show using analogue projector. Of course we welcome people to join us. And we hope to do the exhibition biennially. But that will depend on the availability of the location and space, and also our finances. Most of us have a day jobs and some are full time photographer. What bring us together is because of our passion for analogue photography.
Are there any other thoughts that you would like to share?
If I were to start all over again, I would seriously sign up for a photography course, shorten my learning curve, get a simple camera kit and enjoy printing in darkroom all the way.
A great thank you to Mr. Loo Chee Chuan for sparing his precious time and talk with me about the exhibition and his work. His sharing was inspiring and his love for analogue film photography is truly amazing. Do remember to head down to the Millenia Walk Mall, Level One and give them support on this exhibition.
For more information about DarkSlide Photo Club, please feel free to visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/darkslidephotoclub/.
To see more of Mr. Loo Chee Chuan’s work, feel free to visit his instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/verticoastro/.
All photo credits to DarkSlide Photo Club and Mr. Loo Chee Chuan.