“Photography is about making pictures, not just taking them. Learn how to use your camera to take your images beyond the casual snapshot!” A staple in the centre, Objectifs has run about 80 Basic Photography workshops (that makes almost 1000 Basic Photography students!) since we opened our doors in 2003.Photography has changed by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years – we saw the gradual switch from film to digital to mega pixels – and has become a lot more accessible with the advent of cameras on mobile phones. The principles of photography, though, still remain as true as gold, since photography techniques and the idea of photography still sticks.

Basic Photography covers the fundamentals of photography – from what is aperture, shutter speed, ISO, to composition and white balance. More importantly, it introduces participants to photography as a craft, and gets them to start looking at photography as more than just pretty pictures. We start off by discussing what makes a good image, introducing the various types of photography and some photographers who are masters in these fields, and getting participants to start thinking about photo stories. If a picture speaks a thousand words, a series of pictures should read like a book.

Amongst the many who have gone through the rites of our Basic Photography workshop, it became a starting point for some who went on to become full-time photographers. One of these people is Sean Lee. Sean took the Basic Photography course when both himself and the centre were budding and new in the scene, and since then, he won the ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu in 2011, participated in many group shows like the New York Photo Festival, Angkor Photo Festival, Phnom Penh Photo Festival, amongst others, and had solo exhibitions in Singapore, Paris, Barcelona, etc. Other notable names include Philipp Aldrup, who went on to do Shooting Home and recently had his first solo exhibition “GEZEITENTÜMPEL” at Objectifs, and fellow Shooting Home alumni Liana Yang who exhibits regularly at 2902 Gallery, and has 2 books The Epiphany of States and What My Pussy Loves to her name.

Most others have just left the workshop with an increased awareness of photography as an art form, and how to use that big SLR (digital or film, or digital camera with manual override if back in the days) and what all those buttons and dials mean. Regardless of the end result, this course is the first step into going beyond the casual snapshot and beyond the common pointing and shooting. Here is a selection of some works by Basic Photography workshop participants throughout the years.