ST photojournalists tell stories behind pics

Mr Desmond Lim (far left) and Mr Alphonsus Chern were among the Straits Times photojournalists who yesterday conducted talks which featured topics such as covering disasters and how photojournalism has changed in a digital age.
Mr Desmond Lim (left) and Mr Alphonsus Chern were among the Straits Times photojournalists who yesterday conducted talks which featured topics such as covering disasters and how photojournalism has changed in a digital age. ST PHOTO: TAMARA CRAIU

More than 180 people attend four talks held as part of the World Press Photo 2015 display

Photographers might find it increasingly "uncool" to take pictures in land-scarce, squeaky clean Singapore, choosing to take off for more exotic climes instead.

"But it doesn't necessarily mean that the farther you go, the better your stories are. Sometimes, things can happen right under your nose," said Straits Times (ST) photojournalist Desmond Lim yesterday at a series of talks at the World Press Photo 2015 exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore, the event's official venue supporter.

More than 180 members of the public attended four talks conducted by Mr Lim and ST photojournalists Neo Xiaobin, Kevin Lim and Alphonsus Chern. They touched on topics such as covering disasters, behind-the-scenes work in photographing the military elite in Singapore, as well as how photojournalism has changed in a digital age.

Mr Desmond Lim, 34, spoke about three of his projects that documented the intricacies of daily life in Singaporean communities - including an award-winning series of photos he snapped while living in a halfway house with former drug addicts for 10 days in 2012.

He got wind that The Hiding Place in Jalan Kayu - Singapore's first halfway house - was going to make way for a road expansion and wanted to chronicle its final days.

INSPIRING A NEW GENERATION

We hope that this (exhibition) will not only increase the local community's appreciation of photojournalism, but also inspire some of them to follow this path and, someday, be featured at future World Press Photo exhibitions too.

MR EDWIN TEOH, head of marketing, Singapore operations at Canon Singapore.

  • Exhibition and ST contest details

  • UNTIL FEB 21

    • National Museum of Singapore, The Concourse (Level 1) and The Canyon (Basement 1)

    • Open daily, 10am to 7pm

    • Free admission


    Guided tours

    • Every Saturday and Sunday, 11am and 2pm (Limited to 20 people for each session, registration on site)


    Visitors also stand a chance to win a one-night stay for two at The South Beach, the event's official hotel. Simply take a picture of the image that impressed you the most at the exhibition and tell us why (in less than 50 words).

    Send it to stwpp@sph.com.sg by Feb 21, 6pm. For details, go to www.straitstimes.com/tags/st-world-press-photo

"It was hard to get access to the place because many of the residents had a past they'd rather not talk about. I tried my best to persuade the pastor who was running the place to allow me in to do a story, and it was only when I suggested that I move into the halfway house myself that the pastor relented," said Mr Lim.

The exhibition, which is sponsored by Canon, is presented by ST for the second year running. It features 145 winning images from the World Press Photo 2015 contest, as well as 13 of ST's best photographs from last year.

"We hope that this (exhibition) will not only increase the local community's appreciation of photojournalism, but also inspire some of them to follow this path and, someday, be featured at future World Press Photo exhibitions too," said Mr Edwin Teoh, head of marketing, Singapore operations at Canon Singapore.

Sponsors for the exhibition include The South Beach hotel, logistics company Famous Air & Sea Services, caterer Purple Sage, public relations firm Weber Shandwick and printing firm Photogenie. The exhibition runs till Sunday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2016, with the headline 'ST photojournalists tell stories behind pics'. Print Edition | Subscribe