Photojournalists give insight into the work behind ST's photo projects

(From left) The Straits Times executive photojournalist Kevin Lim, co-founder and partner of Objectifs Emmeline Yong, and ST executive photojournalists Neo Xiaobin and Seah Kwang Peng.
(From left) The Straits Times executive photojournalist Kevin Lim, co-founder and partner of Objectifs Emmeline Yong, and ST executive photojournalists Neo Xiaobin and Seah Kwang Peng.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
The Straits Times' executive photojournalist Seah Kwang Peng talking about his photo story on Han Fu  at the Home In Focus photo exhibition.
The Straits Times' executive photojournalist Seah Kwang Peng talking about his photo story on Han Fu at the Home In Focus photo exhibition.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
The Straits Times' former photojournalist Desmond Lim speaking at the Home In Focus photo exhibition.
The Straits Times' former photojournalist Desmond Lim speaking at the Home In Focus photo exhibition.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - For years, the sight of cars parked along a Punggol road during durian season intrigued former photojournalist Desmond Lim.

His curiosity finally got the better of him when he moved to Punggol in 2012 and he ventured into the forest to find out just what was attracting so many to such a remote area.

There, he discovered an entire subculture dedicated to picking durians as a hobby. This subculture no longer exists there because works to clear the forest began last year. But he immortalised the group in a picture spread called Durian Hunters which appeared in The Straits Times.

Mr Lim, 35, who switched jobs in July last year and is now a public affairs associate director, was speaking at the Home In Focus photo exhibition at the Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film in Middle Road on Wednesday (Aug 16) evening.

He said that while he is no longer a photojournalist, the tips he has picked up about story telling remain with him.

"Photojournalism isn't a career. It's a way of life."

He was joined by ST photojournalists Neo Xiaobin, Seah Kwang Peng and Kevin Lim.

They talked about their experiences with the Home In Focus series, a two-page spread that runs every Monday in The Straits Times.

Giving a behind-the-scenes insight into their work, they told the audience of nearly 100 about the effort and challenges that went into capturing the at-times quirky but always constantly changing side of life in Singapore.

Mr Seah, for instance, said that sometimes photojournalists had only one day to complete their assignment, and so they would have to work around the clock to capture a spectrum of around eight pictures that were varied enough to make it into the papers.

The next and final photojournalist talk is on Aug 30 at Objectifs. The exhibition, held at the same location, will end on Sept 3.


Freelance technician Syahrudin Pasha Dasa secures the the picture spread with nails on a wooden display shelf at the Objectifs Chapel Gallery during the installation of the Home In Focus exhibition. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Admission to this exhibition is free and it is open from 12pm to 7pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays, and from 12pm to 4pm on Sundays.

The exhibition is curated by Objectifs' centre director Emmeline Yong and manager Chelsea Chua, as well as ST picture editor Stephanie Yeow. It features more than 90 works from 46 stories.

For more information, go to https://www.objectifs.com.sg/homeinfocus/