Spotlight on The Bridge People project
An ordinary bridge on an ordinary day.
But he walks, observes and shoots, with a penchant for catching people in the midst of quirky antics.
Wui-Liang Lim began documenting people on a bridge near his office using his Samsung phone, often capturing them in in the midst of unintentionally funny poses or actions.
He has compiled these interesting moments on a page called Bridge People (bridgeppl.tumblr.com).
Wui-Liang was a photojournalist who worked for a national newspaper in Singapore before becoming a photo editor for Bing Apps at Microsoft. He talks to Android Editors about what inspired this photo series, and shares his thoughts about mobile photography and the future of photojournalism.
What inspired the Bridge People project?
It was a combination of routine and curiosity. I walk across the Esplanade Bridge to get to work, and back again in the evening. The bridge goes over the Singapore River and offers pedestrians a view of the city skyline and iconic landmarks, so I always encounter tourists taking pictures. Their antics interest me and I began making pictures of them on my mobile phone, whether they are tourists or not.
How do you see mobile photography changing the media landscape?
It is a double-edged sword for photojournalists. It is hard for press photographers to beat the man-on-the-street who is at the scene where the news takes place, and takes a picture with his phone. On the other hand, it is another platform for photojournalists to express themselves. Mobile photography is also changing editors’ perceptions and standards of photography. What’s good, what’s acceptable, what’s bad? The definitions are much more elastic than before.
As a photojournalist, what composition tips do you have for making a compelling photo?
I like to keep my composition simple, or, I go for “organised chaos”. I love taking candid pictures of people and I try to incorporate a sense of connection or interaction among my subjects, or with their environment.
For Bridge People, I shoot with a Samsung Galaxy S3, and I try to be discreet. When I walk across the bridge, I try to anticipate interesting moments ahead, and then adjust my walking pace to “hit” that moment. I never stop or wait to take a picture. If I do, it is just for a split second and I move on. I think most of my subjects do not know that they had their picture taken. No one has stopped me - yet! It helps that everyone is taking pictures and I often shoot without looking at my phone.
What makes a moment? It could be the subjects’ clothes, their looks, or their mannerisms. It’s a gut feeling. Sometimes I’m lucky, but most times, I’m not. But there’s always tomorrow.
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