Photographer Spotlight: Sharkawi Che Din

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Black & White Category September 2020 Winner, taken in Batu Sangkar, West Sumatra, Indonesia, captioned “The atmospheric view of a farmer at the paddy field heading home before the sunset”.

As ASIAN Geographic’s annual Images of Asia (IOA) 2020 Photo/Videography Competition looms closer, submissions to our IOA Monthly competition – the precursor to our annual event – are pouring in. We have received stunning photos across the categories, and are now featuring our monthly winners in an exclusive interview!

Below is our interview with one of this month’s spotlight, Sharkawi Che Din, the IOA Monthly September 2020 winner in the Black & White category.

AG: What is the story of your beginning and journey to creating great images?

Sharkawi: Photography has been my passion for many years since 1990. My experience with analogue cameras, specifically using 35mm and medium format slides film, has made me more cautious about the potential ingredients for good photographs. The selection of a proper subject and sufficient lighting condition is imperative for creating images that are highly impactful to the audience. Still, it all depends on how we interpret it creatively in communicating ideas or story to the audience.

AG: How would you define your style and concepts you enjoy exploring?

Sharkawi: My photographic style is very straight forward but requires proper planning; as each photography must depict the illusion of space, perfect moment and embraces a sense of place.

AG: What is great photography to you, and are there any photographers you would like to work with?

Sharkawi: Great photography, for me, is a seamless blend of technical and creative skills. Both skills require different treatment based on types of subject to be photographed. Therefore, a mastery of various technical aspect that contributes to excellent output must be adapted sufficiently with highly artistic treatment. I have no problem working with any photographer who has a similar style and vision.

AG: What is your preferred imaging gear to work with and why?

Sharkawi: I prefer to travel light. Hence, I usually carry two full-frame bodies (one mirrorless) with a maximum of three lenses comprises of a wide-angle and zoom lenses with the focal length ranging from 12mm – 300mm (12-24mm F4, 17-40mm F4, and 70-300mm F5.6-4). These lenses are capable of covering almost any possible subject around me. A telephoto lens provides a great opportunity not only to compress the perspective, but it can be used to ‘crop’ for the best possible composition quickly, especially when I travel to a new and remote location that is unlikely to revisit.

AG: What is the next Asian destination you’d like to explore and why?

Sharkawi: If time permits, I would love to visit Myanmar, Bagan, in particular, to photograph the hot air balloon at Bagan. 

I love how the atmospheric effects over the layering of the monuments, and hot-air balloons floating in the morning sky.

AG: Can you share more about your current and upcoming projects?
Sharkawi: My current and future project is documenting the iconic Malaysian subjects (food, location, people, landmarks, culture), which best depicting its authenticity and the unique characteristics into a possible photography exhibition and publications. Hopefully, these materials may be used as a reference to the younger generation and emerging photographers.

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Congratulations once again to Sharkawi for being the Images of Asia (IOA) Monthly Winner in the Black & White Category! You can check out Sharkawi’s Instagram here!

Follow Asian Geographic Instagram for the latest updates.

Love shooting photos of the vast and beautiful Asia? Submit your entries today! More details of Images of Asia Monthly here.

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