Ian Poh | lomography.com/homes/ianthemanIan had his first brush with an analogue camera –a Holga - when he was rummaging through the depths of a friend’s wardrobe. The exterior of the toy camera, plastic and plain, attracted the communication and media studies student who hails from Murdoch University (SMa institute). It was pretty much love at first sight for the 25-year-old. “Holding it in my hands, a curious wave of energy flowed through my body and I wondered if this piece of plastic box could really produce the 'magic' that grants it it's cult underground status.” Indeed, It transformed the way Ian would view his surroundings in the coming years. This was the start of experimentations with rolls of slide film paired up with an assortment of toy cameras, pleasant surprises along the way and a newfound eye for the world. Ian found a lifelong companion in the analogue camera.
Each roll of film exposed paved a small step forward for Ian in his goal to achieve pictures that speak for him and reveal the “bold, cheeky and playful soul” living within him. It’s been four years since he first picked up the Holga, yet the sense of curiosity and anticipation he feels for his art continues to live on. Ian’s drug is his camera. “I couldn't look at everyday life without framing a composition in my head, my fingers would twitch and i soon realized i needed a camera by my side always to capture the world.” Through the pinhole, Ian visually consumes the world, digests the image with a click of the shutter and plants the image in his memory.
The passionate shutterbug highlights the draw of analogue photography concisely - “I simply love the fact that what was deemed as photographic flaws in the past is now widely embraced as 'beautiful'.” He appreciates the rawness of analogue photography, illustrating how little imperfections make a picture more beautiful than before. Analogue lovers adore this form of photography precisely for its natural qualities and for the power of accidental beauty. “Blur is 'in', soft is 'soulful', grains are great and film sprockets scream analogue!”
There is just so much soul and romance in the picture that you cannot emulate using modern technology.
Ian is unconventional in his approach to photography; he sees no need in crafting a “prefect shot”, loves explosive colour shifts, overlapping frames among other analogue techniques. Rather than replicate the pretty sights that the naked eye sees, Ian closes in on the mundane and uses his craft to accentuate the beauty hidden within. “You'd shoot the door, I'd shoot the door knob. You'd shoot Mary in her beautiful outfit, I'd shoot her feet.” Ian believes that life can be perceived from many different angles, and that by opening our minds and hearts to the world, we might just find magnificence.
To Ian, a good photograph is one that uses just enough visual information to make a viewer think, emote or stand in awe. He emphasizes the importance of being open-minded when dealing with film, especially to aspiring shutterbugs that are intimidated by the unpredictable outcome of each analogue shot. “Don't judge your camera, your picture or your hobby by it's technicality, functionality or how much $ that goes into it.” He himself remains inspired, not only by mesmerizing shots and reputable photographers but everything else that “moves, breathes, has form and has rhythm”