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March 12, 2020


Photography by Adrian Tan
Interview by Melanie Meggs

Stepping into the mysterious and captivating world of street photography is a thrilling journey, one that can often bring us face to face with some of the most raw and honest expressions of humanity. For Adrian Tan, this journey began when he stumbled upon some of the masterful work of the world’s most renowned street photographers. Captivated by the candid human expressions and stylish contrast he saw, Adrian was inspired to take an old camera out onto the streets of Singapore and on his travels. Little did he know that this decision would launch him into a lifelong passion for capturing the intensity, beauty, and emotion of everyday life.

“When I started travelling when I was a teen, I wanted to take beautiful photos with a camera. But found out later that travel and landscapes photography just wasn’t my cup of tea. I put the camera away for years. Recently, I stumbled upon street photos of candid human expressions and stylish contrast work from some of the masters in street photography. Expressions that portray nothing but the simplest and most sincere emotions of the people around us. That’s where it all started.”


THE PICTORIAL LIST: Has your style of photographing changed since you first began your photography journey?

ADRIAN TAN: Yes definitely! From crap to ok. Is that a style? 😁

TPL: Where is your favourite place(s) to photograph?

AT: I just walk aimlessly whenever I go out for walks. But I hope to travel and gain more experience shooting overseas.

TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance?

AT: Trent Parke, Thomas Leuthard and Fan Ho were the ones that got me all started. I respect their work a lot and I’m always trying to draw inspiration from their photos. But I believe that you should always try to find and draw inspiration from every photographer’s work out there. A lot of photographers' work are so good these days.

TPL: Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone just starting out?

AT: I think it’s important in the sense that it’s makes you happy using it. Happy equals to creativity! Whether if it’s an expensive or cheap camera, as long as you feel comfortable using it, you’re good. I would say do your research well and buy the best camera you can afford that makes you happy, after that just keep shooting!

The thought of capturing moments whilst playing with light and composition elements hit me!

TPL: What do you think you need to become a better photographer? What’s your tips or advice for someone in your genre?

AT: You have to have a “feel” for it. If you feel nothing when you click the shutter, you give the viewer nothing to respond to.— Fan Ho said that. And I couldn’t agree more. I use to go about clicking aimlessly without a feel or thought for what I’m actually photographing. Now, I’m constantly forcing myself to think and learn to feel for it. It’s about having a feel when visualizing a particular interesting scene or moment and then make it!

TPL: Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before you delved into photography?

AT: I use to play music with my band as a guitarist.

TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about?

AT: I’m still in the learning process of becoming a better street photographer. Will definitely start doing projects soon when I’ve found the style I’m looking for. I would say...stay tuned!

TPL: “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…

AT: Drink beer and have soccer nights. And then some more beers...”

Constantly forcing himself to think about having that feeling, Adrian visualizes a particular interesting scene or moment. And then makes it happen with the press of his shutter. Connect with Adrian through the links below.

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