I fell in love with film in 2010. Those who know me might have already heard the story countless of times; of how I picked up a film camera (a Cosina CT1-Super) for all of $20; of how my heart pounded as I clutched the little disc containing my scans of the first roll of film; of how I impatiently peered at the tiny contact sheet that photo labs provided with the disc, slotted inside the jewel case.
I try to take photographs to try to pay my dues. Sometimes I try to make videos to try to make my ends meet. I touch my DSLR so much that it feels like going to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but shooting for others and shooting for myself are two entirely different entities. Film offers an escape route for me. It lets me feel more. It lets me soak in the feeling and the experience, rather than be concerned of getting that perfect photograph (as if such a thing even exists). I become acutely sensitive and hyperaware of the surroundings; of little pockets of light making a rare guest appearance for all but 5 seconds, of the disappearing silhouettes as the heavy cotton wool in the sky takes a private moment with the orange orb.
Liu Yuhong would understand. After all, he has amassed over the years hundreds of cameras. He has a deep knowledge of the technical know-how and has an undying passion in sharing his love for film. I was fortunate to meet him when I was an unofficial, unregistered ‘member’ of the SMUSAIC (a photography society). He has not only the gear but also the thirst to make beautiful photographs. I stumbled upon his tribute to Old Places in Singapore some time back and have been wanting to do a feature on it.