Mr. Paul Sack is an Entrepreneur and at a young age managed to go into semi-retirement. He is taking photography very seriously and have joined us for many of our photosafari trips in the past two and a half years. We must say that his photography skills have improved tremendously. Recently he has qualified as a paramotor glider pilot. He hoped to be able to have a perspective seldom seen by man. Watch out for his future work.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’d like to thank Photo Safari for the opportunity to share my story and photos. I was born in Melaka and grew up in Kuala Lumpur. I had a career in the field of telecommunications. I currently live in two cities: Beijing and Kuala Lumpur. Apart from photography, I like various outdoor activities from paramotoring to scuba diving and anything in between these two places.
Photography to me is a new found passion by accident. All I used to have was an old point-and-shoot camera and for most of the time, it just lied in the drawer. Up till three years ago, I decided to buy a DSLR, for my wife’s birthday present. Being Mr. know-it-all, I first had to learn how to operate the camera so that I could teach and impress her, so I thought. This is how the poison got into the blood. Until today, she never really owns the ”present” from three years ago…
2. How long have you been a photographer?
I have never thought of challenging the artistry side of my ability after secondary school. In fact, I was so relieved that I no longer needed to attend art and music lessons. Not until August 2011 have I bought and learned how to use a DSLR camera. Soon after that, I got to know Photo Safari and travelled to amazing places with veterans such as Maxby Chan and Yusuf Hashim. I learned a wealth of knowledge from the gentlemen, and was starting to get a hang of how to shoot better photos. The ability to recognise and capture good images is thrilling. What more being able to share or express emotions through your photos. It is gratifying. I am glad to make friends from Photo Safari. This is the main reason for how I improve my skill and be where I am today. Nonetheless, I am still a ‘young’ photographer by any standards and plenty of room for improvement.
3. How do you describe your style?
I have not given much thought to this question before. Probably because I am still exploring what I’d like or would not like to be. For now, I enjoy taking a wide range of subjects and genres, whenever opportunity presents itself. Most of them involve travelling to other places. My friends say I tend to have better shots at human interests though.
On the subject of post-processing. I view it as an inseparable part of photography. Since I am doing this as a hobby and only to impress my friends occasionally, there is no need to distinguish between photography and digital art. A good piece of work is the one that pleases the eyes I think. It is worth noting of course, if one is about photo journalism or entering for competitions; there are ethics and guidelines to be considered when post processing images.
4. What type of cameras and equipment do you shoot with?
I usually carry two bodies while travelling, a Canon 1DX and a 5D Mark III. I carry the ‘trinity’ lenses most of the time and depending on situation, I might bring extra lenses accordingly. Instead of using back pack, I use belt and harness system to enable me to access the gear I need quickly. This will inevitably make one looks like a walking Christmas tree. It is coolness vs. functionality, tough call.
I seldom use flash hence depend mostly on natural lighting. Main reason being I am lousy at flash. Secondly, with the advancement of technology; taking photos under low light conditions have never been easier nowadays. I find if one is not thoroughly skilful or is constrained by shooting opportunity, it is better off not to use flash at all. Having said that, I admire photographers who master flash and able to use it properly.
5. What is your advice for aspiring photographers?
For beginners, there are infinite resources available on the web and people around you. If you are reading this interview from Photo Safari website, you are already in the right place. For those of you whom reading is a hobby, go read books or articles by the masters. They are invaluable. As for those who are like me that do not read enough, go mingle with the veterans and learn from them. It would be good if you could find a few Shifus whom you respect and learn from them hand by hand. I will share my secrets with you if you buy me a cup of Starbuck coffee. Regardless the type of learners you are, the magic word is: practise, practise and practise.