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Photographers told to focus on content, not number of ‘likes’
Published on: Thursday, November 07, 2019
By: Ricardo Unto

KOTA KINABALU: Focus on the content, and not the number of ‘likes’ on social media, advised internationally-acclaimed photographer Amri Ginang to young pixmen.

The Sabah-born photographer said some of the new generation of photographers are too indulged in creating beautiful photos using the latest gadget or equipment to seek more popularity.

“Yes, they may have created beautiful photos, but they have no content in them,” he said when met after the opening ceremony of his photography exhibition and workshop at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), here, Wednesday.

“And that is why I always advise students or young photographers to spend more time on content and the arts of photography.

“I always talk about the art of seeing as sometimes we tend to not see something when we use our cameras.

“But this idea may not be well-received as most new photographers are into instant popularity, and getting many ‘like’ (on social media).”

The 63-year-old photographer said such photographers tend to lose their sense of direction when they put much focus on seeking fame.

“Stay away from gadget-centric photography, and instead focus on good content as it is easy to capture photos with any camera now…I, myself, had created photos by using my smartphone,” he said.

Amri is widely regarded as one of the most influential commercial and portrait photographers in Malaysia and his photographs have been published internationally during his more than 30 years of practice as a photographer.

Born in Semporna, Amri moved to London in 1976. He studied at Isle of Ely College Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and started his photography in London in the mid 1980’s and worked professionally in Stockholm for 17 years before moving back to Kuala Lumpur in the late 1990’s. 

In addition to his own photography, Amri has also been active in spreading photographic knowledge to young and new photographers around the region. He had also published several books about portrait photography.

He is now based in Kuala Lumpur shooting commercials and fine arts.

His next project will be a collection of 100 portrait photos of Sabahans.

“I will go around Sabah to capture the faces of Sabahans – it will be a combination of arts and humanity.

“The project will start in January and scheduled to be completed in two months,” he said.

Meanwhile, earlier, UMS Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Taufiq Yap said the programme aimed to enhance the technical knowledge and skill of the varsity’s students and staff.

“It also encourages students to use their time productively while waiting for job offers upon graduation,” he said in a speech read by Humanities, Arts and Heritage Faculty Deputy Dean Dr Jalihah Md Shah.

“This can be one of the efforts to tackle unemployment issues among graduates as they can create their own jobs through photography.”

He also said the programme will introduce Amri’s works to be more appreciated by the mass.

“I believe it will enhance our awareness to appreciate the photos created by photographers.

“Through this exhibition, students and staff can also gather ideas to create their own masterpieces,” he said.



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