Malaysia can conjure up images of Skyscrapers and businesses, but Yeow Chin Liang's street portraits gives us a better picture of the street life there. Jump in for a small conversation and images.
Yeow, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I am Yeow. I like street photography and particularly like to shoot environmental street portrait. I shoot film and particularly like to shoot in colour.
What Inspired you to become a photographer?
I am just a photography hobbyist. I like to capture street life and street portrait in more humour way and in joyous mood. I just feel happy while shooting on the street 🙂
Where in the world are you located?
I am from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of a beautiful country, Malaysia.
What do you like about portraits?
I like to shoot street portrait. I like to capture what I see of the unique features on each of the stranger and convert into an image.
I feel satisfied when able to capture strangers that we meet on the street and capture their best in few seconds. I guess I like both the process and the outcome of the portraits.
What do you look for in a good portrait? What attracts you to shoot one portrait and not another?
In my opinion, a good portrait image must include few elements: the uniqueness of the subject, able to hold the attention of the viewer, the lighting, interesting environment and would be able to tell a story without further elaborate. That is why I always attract to shoot a street portrait when everything is in place.
Do you ask for permission when making a portrait?
Yes. I will acknowledge or ask for permission from the street people if I want to have a proper street portrait.
How do you keep your portraits from becoming too similar?
To be honest, it is very hard to keep my street portraits from becoming too similar. It is my “style”. However, in order to avoid similarity, I will sometimes use different focal length of the lenses, different kind of films, shooting from different angles etc.
In my opinion, it is alright to have similar style of portraits as long as the subject is not the same one 🙂
What are your usual settings -if any- for Street Portraiture?
I mostly shoot street portrait with Agfa Vista ASA 200 film….with either a compact or range finder film camera. From F1.4 to F4.
Some fear making photos of complete strangers, what are your tips to not fear?
Based on my experience shooting in Malaysia and in some other Asian countries, I think most Asians are very friendly.
For street portrait, as long you acknowledge or ask for permission, they will be more than happy to comply. Be polite to street people 🙂
I remember I met an interesting and stylish uncle on the street. Just before I managed to ask permission to shoot his portrait, he asked me to shoot his portrait instead. I was very happy to comply and the end results are great 🙂
Any closing comments?
Shoot what you like and it will show in your images.
About the photographer
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