Name: Andy Yong
Birthday: 27th November 1996
College: Singapore Polytechnic
Favorite Color: Navy Blue
Favorite Book: I particularly enjoy reading autobiographies and Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis has been my favourite thus far
Favorite Movie: The Wolf of Wall Street
Favorite Food: I’m a sucker for a good burger
Favorite Quote: “Change is the only constant”
For how long have been in photography? How did you start?
I created my Instagram account in March 2016 so i’ve been in the community for almost a year.
Back then, I had a couple friends who were into photography too, particularly cityscapes and landscapes. After seeing their work and the opportunities it brought, I got really inspired and wanted to try my hand at it. Being a media student at the time, I knew the basics of using a camera, so all I had to do was pick one up.
How would you define yourself as an artist?
Honestly, I don’t consider myself an artist. I’m just someone who enjoys taking photos as a hobby.
Where do you find inspiration?
My main source of inspiration are my peers, people who I frequently shoot with. When we’re shooting on location, we get the same lighting, colours and subjects. The fact that we can come up with vastly different shots given the same circumstances intrigues me and opens my mind to new perspectives.
I get a fair bit of inspiration from the people I follow on Instagram too. I like to follow people from other countries as I feel that each one has their own distinctive style of photography. Applying those different styles to my images forces me to think out of the box and improve my skill set.
Is Brainstorming not the only creative method use to create new concepts?
A problem we face Singapore is that most of the well known locations are creatively overdone. Which is why creating new concepts and angles is crucial here.
I’d say brainstorming is the first step of my creative process. I like to visualise how a shoot location will look like beforehand and think of all the possible shots I can do.
Once on site, i’ll try out those ideas and work with what I have at the moment to improve my initial ideas. It can be anything from props like a compass or watch to asking people to be part of the shot.
Please could you tell us about photography and digital technology?
For post processing, I edit all my photos in Adobe Lightroom. It’s fantastic for editing raw files and gives me complete control over the light and colour of the shot. I’m currently learning the in’s and out’s of Adobe Photoshop too as it can add a plethora of possibilities to my edits.
What type of camera do you use most? I only have one camera which is a Nikon D3300. When I don’t have it with me and see an opportunity for a shot, i’ll use my iPhone 6S.
What is your favorite lens? My Tokina 11-16mm F2.8. Having a wide angle lens is crucial for capturing architecture and cityscapes in Singapore. My Tokina allows me to do just that and being able to shoot at F2.8 helps in low light situations which I commonly face.
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
About a year ago, I was assigned to create a photo album of this music festival called Laneway. It left an impression as it was an event which I was already planning to go for. But being able to get a media pass and gain photo pit access was a huge plus. I even managed to get up close and personal with some of my favourite artists through media interviews and from the event, I got some of my proudest shots to date.
What are your favourite three images you have shot recently?
The first image was actually shot at an extremely common location in Singapore. I’m fond of it as the sun was perfectly aligned in the center above the skyline. Because of that I was able to do a starburst effect by framing it with my hand.
The second image is a reflection shot of my friend Ryan. It was raining before we headed out to shoot so we were fairly discouraged by the bad weather. Lucky for us, the downpour stopped soon enough and created many big puddles which allowed me to get the shot above.
The third one was done just two weeks ago and it’s my first attempt at photoshop. I liked the initial shot but wasn’t too happy with the blurry reflection. Up to that point, I had a couple of friends recommending photoshop as an additional editing tool but my desire to get a perfect reflection prompted me to learn the application. After spending a few hours learning the basics, I added the reflection and some stars as a finishing touch.
How important is an awesome website for your business?
A website is key as it serves as a more professional platform for potential clients to view your work on. With a website, you can do other things such as running a blog or even selling prints and presets. Having said that, I should really get around to setting up my own website.
What’s the most important quality a photographer needs to have?
I feel that being a perfectionist induces many positive qualities. For one, being discontent about your work naturally makes you humble, an all-important quality. Being a perfectionist, you will constantly be finding ways to improve which in turn, cultivates perseverance.
Who are the photographer’s you admire the most?
Nicholas La (@nikk_la on Instagram) immediately comes to mind. He posts a huge variety of shots be it architecture, nature, landscapes or even aerial but has a unique style that makes it all come together seamlessly on his feed.
Ta-ku (@Takubeats on Instagram) is a major source of inspiration too. He is one of the few photographers who posts in threes and pulls it off perfectly. Furthermore, he has a wide range of styles such as portraits, fashion, cityscapes and he also has an account for film shots.
What about architects and designers?
Embarrassingly, I don’t know any architects or designed but I do appreciate beautiful architecture when I see it.
What are your next projects? I’ll definitely be travelling overseas to shoot this year, something which I have not done before. Probably Australia, Hong Kong or Shanghai. Oh and creating that website we talked about.