A sit-down with the winners of #StoriesUntold photo competition

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Recently we sat down and asked some questions from the three winners of #StoriesUntold photo competition. Based on a theme of “Stories Untold”,  three young photographers- Johnson Ng, Noraynee Rahman and Joshua Paul –  were chosen to have their wonderful photo-stories showcased on LED screens all around Kuala Lumpur for a whole month of September! Below are extracts from the interview and their winning stories.

 

JOHNSON NG (@jvansn)

1. Please share something about you and who you are as a photographer – particular interests/subject or style that you like.

Based in Kota Baharu, I am always exploring kelantan to document the life in the kampung;  creating value for the people of labour and the showcasing the traditional culture of Kelantan.

 

2.What inspired your #StoriesUntold? What is it about and how do these images captured the story.

The photos are messages that we are to free yourself from tchnology and/or social media because there is so much more to explore.

 

NORAYNEE ROSLAN (@noraynee.r)

1. Please share something about you and who you are as a photographer – particular interests/subject or style that you like.

I is a photographer from Sandakan, Sabah. and a member of the Jebat Photography Club. I am also a committee of the Kinabalu Photo Festival .  I graduated from Universiti Teknologi MARA in a Bachelor of Creative Photomedia with a major in  in photography. Photography is my passion, especially in the photojournalism genre. My latest artwork is about The Survival Story of Stateless People in Sandakan Landfill. Hopefully, my artwork will  benefit the world in the future.

2.What inspired your #StoriesUntold? What is it about and how do these images captured the story.

It all began in Ramadan 2017 when a studio photography company I used to work with was doing charity work. This creates curiosity about how the community lives and works in the trash. So, I used the opportunity of a year-end project at UiTM to capture pictures and stories of a community that I considered voiceless and invisible.

3. What are your thoughts on photography as art? Do you think it has an impact to the public/your viewers? What can we do more to encourage photography?

Personally, photography is one of the arts to  communicate information. It is also a way for photographers to convey the voices of those who need to be heard. For me, photojournalism is something that cannot be repeated. So, it makes every single moment very precious.

Photography also has an impact on the public or the audience in terms of communicating information or at least making it possible for us to be grateful for what we have now and to nurture to do good and help others.

Lastly, educating people is the best way to encourage photography.

 

 

JOSHUA PAUL (@joshua7paul)

1. Please share something about you and who you are as a photographer – particular interests/subject or style you like

I am a former AP photojournalist turned freelance visual journalist, specialising in both photography and videography. I focus on current affairs – predominantly migration and social issues. My style of story telling is to tell it as it is, as honest and factual without manipulating the truth through my lens.

 

2.What inspired your #StoriesUntold? What is it about and how do  these images captured the story

I was inspired by stories that are often overlooked or forgotten from my biking travels, often we pay more attention when we travel abroad – trying to absorb as much as we see and experience – this inspired me to do the same.

For the stories untold story i chose, i grew up watching this satay man, never thought his story was special until later part in my professional life working as a visual journalist. I photograph him with my iPhone, just that, nothing fancy. All the while chatting with him while i continue snapping away.

 

3. What are your thoughts on photography as art? Do you think it has an impact to the public/your viewers? What can we do more to encourage photography

Photography in itself, it is just a medium – a medium that is fluid and open to interpretation .Before anyone decide how to use the medium, the idea and the intent of the end must be clear. Will the art be used to tell a story, to report or to use it as an abstract interpretation.

As the saying goes, Dorothea Lange – The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. I believe photography affects both the image maker and also the audience, to see what has not been seen – to educate to love to understand without the camera.

 

NABIL ROSMAN (@nabilrosman) –  Hasselblad Ambassador, Curator and organiser of #StoriesUntold

1. Please share something about you and who you are as a photographer – particular interests/subject or style you like

I am a photography enthusiast based in Kelantan and Kuala Lumpur. I am yet to consider myself as a photographer because to me, being a photographer is more than just a person with a camera, and can take pictures. To me, a photographer knows how to translate a story into a language that is understood around the world; a photograph. And I have yet to reach that level. Being an enthusiast, I love taking pictures of anything that captures my attention; sophisticated buildings, portraits of strangers, photo-manipulation of my friend in the water, sunset, literally anything that is to me, will bring some emotions to my audience once they saw the photos.

 

2.What inspired your #StoriesUntold? What is it about and how  do these images captured the story

My #StoriesUntold is a series of photographs taken during Thaipusam 2019 at Batu Caves. To be honest, you can see photos of Thaipusam almost everywhere, whether it was posted online, or even in the newspaper, as there were lots of photographers during that celebration. But what I want to capture is, the intimate moments, filled with emotions, a close-up photos of that wonderful celebration, thus most of my pictures taken there are portraits. To me, we often missed the part where the connection between two devotees happened, as we were always focus on seeing the whole crowd.

 

3. What are your thoughts on photography as art? Do you think it has an impact to the public/your viewers? What can we do more to encourage photography

To me, art has no definite meaning. Every photograph taken by people is an art of itself. It can be a picture of a white plastic spoon at the open blue sea. It can also be a cat trying to climb a tree. As long as it can express the person’s creativity, it is an art. And art is not just a photo, or a painting hanging on the wall, or a sculpture in a museum. Art connects people. We dont speak the same language throughout the world, but we can speak art. It what makes our life colourful, even-though the art is in black and white. What makes an art, an art, is the emotions and meaning behind it. To encourage photography, is quite easy. Create more opportunity and platform for younger people to show their creativity in art.

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