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Davie Gan – Featured PMPE Alumni Member

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The Lady of Arbore Tribe in Ethiopia

As an alumni member of PMPE, I was recently featured by Photosafari.com.my in an interview with Maxby Chan (Administrator of PhotoMalaysia.com) about my passion for photography. The original article could be read here. However I re-blog the whole article here for your convenience. I seldom post my travel photos in this blog as I mostly share them in my facebook page with my friends. You could catch a glimpse of some of my recent travel photos in this interview. Note: PMPE is the acronym for PhotoMalaysia Photosafari Experience.

Below is the article reproduced in full.

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Children of Kuro Tribe, Ethiopia

Davie Gan is an advanced amateur photographer. He has joined our many photosafaris to The Old Silk Road, Ha Giang in North Vietnam and Ethiopia last year. He is one photographer who has developed his own unique style of telling his own visual story.  We have watched Davie’s photography progress over the past 5 years and when we say that we are impressed, it is an understatement. We have got lots to learn from him. We are now sharing his experiences and what goes through his mind with our readers. Hope that you all enjoyed it.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I have always been involved in the Computer and Information Technology ever since my first real job in KL. My last real job was with IBM and since then I have been on my own, basically still in the IT related business but with more time (sometimes more time than my work) to indulge in my photographic journeys and true passion in life.

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Young girls of Kuro Tribe, Ethiopia

2. How long have you been a photographer?

My first camera was the Minolta X-700 manual-focus SLR system. Back then, photography wasn’t really a hobby. It was just a tool to capture images on expensive film whenever there was any life events or functions worth recording. So it basically stayed in the dry-box more often then seeing the daylight.!

It wasn’t until 2006, when I got myself a decent Nikon D200 DSLR with a 70-200mm lens that I really considered photography as my new found hobby and that was 8 years ago.

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Children of Bana Tribe, Lower OMO Valley, Ethiopia

3. How do you describe your style?

I don’t really have a photographic style per se but I do have a certain preferences when dealing with my subjects and compositions. When I first started out I tried almost every genre of photography, and that include Macro, Landscape, Fashion, Street, Portraiture, Wedding, Event, Travel, Wildlife and Others. After 8 years and lots of trial and error later, I am more discerning now and I indulge mostly in Fashion and Travel Photography which is suited for my ‘style’. In essence, my preference are ‘minimalist’ people photography, one speedlite with directional lighting and lots of patience.

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Children of Bana Tribe, Lower OMO Valley, Ethiopia

4. What type of cameras and equipment do you shoot with? 

My digital photography journey started out with a Canon 350D kit lens system and subsequently evolved to a full Nikon systems consisting of D200, D2Xs and D700. 5 years ago I switched to a full fledge Canon system and today I am using 5D Mk II, 70D, 1D Mk III and 1D X. However recently I added a Sony A7R full frame mirror-less system for light-weight travel photography. At the end of the day, the camera systems (basic or advanced) are just a tool used to capture your compositions but the single most important aspect of photography that can improve your image quality is to invest in good or ‘professional’ lenses system.

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Children of Hamer Tribe, Ethiopia

5. What is your advice for aspiring photographers?

Photography is really a favourite pastime for many people around the world, especially with the advent of smartphones and Instagram. Recording of events and lives are basic instinct for human beings ever since cave painting came into being. Therefore anyone can be a photographer and anyone can record memories worthy for all eternities. Some just do it better than others. However for anyone aspiring to be a photographer, the most important first step is to learn the basic of light ‘panting’ and how your camera works. Read photo magazines, read photography books and attend class conducted by experienced photographers. Go out and travel the world with fellow photographers and you will gain invaluable experiences and insights from the old hands. Bear in mind. as photographer, you are only as good as the last photo

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Men of Mursi Tribe guarding their cattle with Kalashnikov AK47, Omo Valley, Ethiopia

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Munch time at Lugu Lake, North Western Yunnan Plateau

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Girls of Hamer Tribe

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A devoted devotee at Sam Kow Thong Temple

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A view of their world, Lalibela, Ethiopia

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The coolest man in Lalibela, flanked by two bible reading sons

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