I am Jimmy Tong, a street photographer based in Singapore. It have been a long journey for me before I ended up in street photography. I hope some brief history of myself will gives you some clue of who I am 🙂
I handled my first camera at the young age of 6. It was my father’s Rollei A110. At that time, it was the smallest pocket camera using the 110 film cartridge, a new standard back in the 70s. Being a kid, the camera was just a toy and I spoiled it in the process. In my growing up years, I seems to have a fetish with cameras. I will find all reasons to get hold of the camera whenever someone bring it over to my house 🙂
Back in 2000 when I embarked on my first road trip to Australia, I borrowed a point and shoot film camera for the trip. I return with a bag full of undeveloped films! Though most of the photographs were just snapshot, but this trip change my life. It got me serious into photography and I bought my first “pro-level” camera, the Minolta Dynax 404Si SLR with a 35-80mm kits lens. The learning process was fun and fulfilling.
I joint the digital bandwagon in 2003 when I bought my first DSLR, the Canon 10D. As part of my learning process, I took up many courses: wedding and event photography, fashion photography, still life, studio lighting etc. I briefly went back to film when I attended the black and white film development course. I used the Kodak T-Max 400 most of the time due to its dynamic range and contrast. That explain the reason why you see most of my black and white photos are process using Kodak T-MAX-400 in DXO Film pack in Adobe Lightroom.
Leaving in a city state have an influence towards my photography path and style. Singapore is a small country. You see buildings, streets and people everywhere. Naturally my photo walk are mainly on the street, photographing people, building. I decide on a district and roam the area hunting for that perfect shot. It came to a point where I felt really burned out. Losing my focus and inspiration. I stop photography for about a year.
Later, I started to learn about Henri Cartier-Bresson, Daidō Moriyama, Garry Winogrand, Elliott Erwitt and Bruce Gilden etc. Their work really inspired me and influence my style in the later part of my photography journey.
I started to shoot again after a year break. Experimenting different style of street photography (Definitely Bruce Gilden style is not for me).
In 2012, I sold all my Canon gear and got myself a used Leica M9 with a 35 Summicron and I never look back.
I am currently using Leica M240 and a Ricoh GR.
I am still learning today and hopefully my work will inspire you too 🙂