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Friday, 15 July 2011

Pictures that tell a story

* An article about me was published in The Star yesterday. (Thursday 14/7/2011) hehehe. ok i'm not boasting ok. But good news like this, i should share around. After all, it's good for my portfolio and resume. =p

PHOTOGRAPHY buff Oh Chin Eng simply loved to take pictures of older people, portraying the simplicity of their life.
And one of his many shots titled “Home”, featuring an old Sikh man with a long beard, won him the third prize under the individual portrait category at the KL International Photo Award 2011 in April.

Prize Winner: Oh win third prize in an international photography contest with a picture portraying rich Sikh cultural elements.

Oh said he preferred to work with older folk as the subject of his photography.
“There’s a special bonding between me and them, especially when they smile for my camera.”
In the case of the old Sikh man, who was clad in a sarong, the picture captured was a production of assimilation in the plural society, said Oh.
He said he decided to document the Sikh community because they were lesser acknowledged in photography although they have a rich and diversified culture .
Up close: Oh taking an outdoor photo shoot at a park.

“Photographing them was a way to start a conversation and the shots recorded tell a story on its own,” he said.
Oh simply wanted his pictures of old people to be a medium of communication and to “convey a message of love.”
“I first bought the camera way back in 2000 to take part in a national-level photography competition organised by the Red Crescent Society,” he said.
He said winning the competition with the first merit prize had encouraged him to take up photography seriously.
Oh picked up photographyon his own.
“I observed how people composed their pictures to improve my skill,” he said.
Aside from actively taking pictures, Oh from Penang was also actively involved in non-governmental organisations such as Penang Heritage Trust, Anak-Anak Kota and rts-Ed.
“The participation in such organisations had widened my perspective in photography,” he said.
Oh strongly believes in unpretentious act, which was the essence in documenting people in his photography to reflect the stories behind each of his subjects.
“I would never ask people to pose for pictures. Being natural is definitely the best expression,” he said.
Early this year, he won the first prize of a photography competition organised by Kwong Wah Yit Poh. His photographs have also appeared in the The Star’s Thumbnail column since 2006.
On his future goals, Oh, a final year journalism undergraduate, plans to be a photojournalist.
“I hope my experiences and awards would help me land a job when I graduate,” he said.