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12 DECEMBER 2014
My mother bought me my first slt camera three years ago, it was an inexpensive entry level slt camera which I still uses up to now and within that period we decide to pay in segment for like 2-3 years just for it. Previously I was just fooling around with a small digital camera and once borrowed a dslr camera from my uncle to try out for fun, my mother – she mostly understands and also trust in my passion for taking photographs (since I didn’t paint that frequently anymore haha). Due to deficiency of skill and money, I ended up self-learning and shooting with just one simple 18-55mm kit lens for two full years unceasingly (it’s actually dedicated).
Afterward I advanced from high school and as well realizing that I have to find myself a scholarship (Finished up in receiving The Star Education Fund scholarship! ) in order to get into university for my favorite course in creative field (currently I am majoring in film & animation), and then there’s a photography subject for 3 semesters in the foundation year (it finished so quick!) and I’m glad that I met Mr.Chemat on the track way that I have taken, after his lesson I was required to have a prime and telephoto lens to finish up the tasks specified (street genre kind of) and that is essentially the first time I came in touch with new lenses, more technical aspects and also some principles of photography, like a more proper education rather after years of self, it did bring a lot of benefits to me. My university's foundation year is over and I’m walking into my majoring (First year). Nowadays I’m on my own again on photography and looking back it was a very long road, definitely I will continue to shoot and as well see where the wind will take me to.
22 APRIL 2015
Well this feels a bit of surreal, travelling alone to somewhere so far for the very first time and the entire trip is fully sponsored by Sony & World Photo Organisation (WPO). I have never been to a foreign country, the farthest place I ever been to is like Johor, Malaysia. I never sit in an airplane and today… perhaps all the tough work do really pays off at the end.
Thinking back to the starting point of my photography journey it’s a mixed emotion, it is absolutely not easy specifically at the point where I just begin to become a self-taught photographer, and I am so thankful that I have true friends who are really supportive (I can’t list all of you out here but I’m going to remember you all till my last breath) and my family too (even if it took me quite a long time to convince my parent, and the three years installment plan for my very first camera is now worth it). Also, thanks to a specific college in Penang for rejecting my scholarship application which eventually leads me to MMU in Cyberjaya, thanks Mr.Ayman & The Star Education Fund for having faith in me all through the scholarship interview. Consequently meeting my foundation lecturer Che’ Ahmad Azhar whom his street photography works – Walk Of Life, heavily inspired and taught me that dedication as well as patience is really important and from the philosophy and teaching of his, it further elevates my thinking and direction towards my works in photography.
Sometimes life is about give and take, and finding a balance. I wish I could inspire more people to go pursue whatsoever they like or are passionate in, or even try finding them, and it is not just for money or fame solely or anything materialistic and luxurious. My airplane departs in an hour time. I do feel a little bit scared but then I remember my name which my parent gave – ‘勇’ Yong which means courage. Wish me luck!
28 NOVEMBER 2016
This is my first ever art, photography talk and sharing in an "Incitement" event organised by the awesome team @JCI Youth University Of Nottingham Malaysia Campus 3 weeks ago, I get to share the story of my journey all the way from painting on papers to shooting on camera, then creating artworks digitally. My family is not financially capable of supporting my tertiary education and passion, so I have to study hard for SPM; securing a full scholarship to study what I like and participating in competitions for gears, equipments and funds are my only way out. 4-5 years ago my mother believed in me and bought me my first ever inexpensive entry level slt camera with 3 years loan, and it improved my life forever. Currently I'm glad that I get to do the stuffs I'm passionate about every day, I don't mind sleeping less and working long hours or going additional miles for these stuffs, still much better than doing or studying something which I'm not truly passionate about (plus it's for the grades) when I was in science stream in highschool.
12 JUNE 2017
I feel like pushing my own limit so I am going to climb Mount Kinabalu with 3 of my friends this Wednesday, wish me luck! Scoliosis (S shaped spine) has become part of my life ever since early form 2 in high school, it is idiopathic. I’m still thankful that I do not have any breathing difficulties or any heavy pain which regularly comes along as a package for a Scoliosis patient. My last meet up with the doctor is like 3 years ago, andmy curve is like 40 something degrees, I have not and refuse to go through any operation yet of putting steel rods into the body to fix the spine, hopefully not in the future too.
17 JUNE 2017 - The Summit of Mount Kinabalu!
The first 6km hike to Laban Rata is fine. (We forgot to take our lunch pack, we started hiking around 9.20am and manage to reach Laban Rata around 1.50pm) I guess my daily 3km run and stairs climb helped me a lot, I gradually got used to my scoliosis back sore as well. The last 2km climb to the summit after the rest in laban rata is mentally and physically tough for me personally. Summit climb starts around 2.30am, it's chilly cold and my LED light unfortunately spoiled before the summit hike starts, I have to depend on the lights from my friends and mountain guide as well. My hiking bag shoulder strap broke unexpectedly before reaching Sayat-sayat check point which is kinda frustrating (my friend Pau helped me to tie it back). I got sweet nice shots along the way up (although it's not recommended to shoot while summiting because it will be even more tiring haha). I couldn't make it without my friends, I have to thank them for sharing the weight of my camera prime lenses, each weighs around 800g-1kg, also an extra pair of sock, heat pads from Angeline and the surgical glove from Gabriel - I realize the normal glove is too thick for me to use the camera. Lastly also have to thank our mountain guide Mr.Ivnur who is also a photography enthusiast for guiding and helping us all the way to the peak, and bringing us to the nice spots around the peak and helping us with the group photos!
8 AUGUST 2017
This means a lot to me. I started my digital art self-learning journey via Deviant art few years back when I was in high school. I still recall a high school teacher roasted me saying that I'm wasting my time doing art but I never concerned. In 2012 and 2013 midst of SPM, some of my works are published in local newspaper. In 2014, I saw the chance in Nandos Art Initiative competition and decided to give it a shot but I was only shortlisted as finalist. Around 2015, I tried again and I finally got it - The first placing of the category. Meanwhile I get to have my own solo digital art exhibtiion! It is originally set in the end of 2015 or early 2016 but there's lots of delays from my side due to my final year project and thesis. Lastly, now as I am months away to my graduation ceremony I have an empty gap of free time to finish this up!
30 DECEMBER 2013
Back in 2013, I was kinda in a desperate state and looking for scholarship for my tertiary education to study something which I'm always passionate about. I will have to endure studying form 6 if I fail to do so (not going for science stream again.. it's hell to me). I was rejected couple of times (for interview) by some other intitutes and Multimedia University is the only one that accepted my application for interview (and eventually into the course). I still remember the interviewer asking "You have 10As and so many A+s, why do you still apply for this course - Animation & Visual Effects?! Are you crazy. You can be a doctor/engineer/astronaut blah". My response "Yeah I guess I am crazy haha."
I will always remember the conversation with Prof.Rasat throughout the award ceremony in 2013. It's 2017 now, I did my best for the past 3 years, very appreciative for the opportunity given to study here, fulfilled my responsibility, obligation and also met some great and supportive friends, lecturers, and mentors . Thesis and Final year project officially ends, 1 last semester to go, no more 'creative' system, cage and syllabus to follow, it's time to keep the momentum, twist the throttle and double the hustle.
11 SEPTEMBER 2017
A big thanks to my 4 years education sponsor and those who gave me a chance to pursue higher education - The Star Scholarship, Multimedia University and my family. My parents once told me form 6 would be my only choice after SPM due to economical constraint. SPM result and a full scholarship are the keys to my tertiary education, so I grinded like crazy throughout the last 2 years of my high school - there is no regrets. Life altered when I came to Cyberjaya, Selangor :D I met a lot of great lecturers mentors and friends . I did my best, fulfilled my responsibility, no bonding and I am a happy first class graduate!
19 SEPTEMBER 2017
#UNLEASH2017 – was another amazing experience that I had the pleasure to attend. I want say thank you to PANGEA for sponsoring my trip to Madrid, Spain for my second experience travelling overseas. I was invited to give a talk in a 3-day youth convention & conference called the TEATRO CIRCO PRICE on my photography experience and journey along with other amazing youths from all around the world. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Sandra, Irene and Javi. I will send you guys a self-made photobook from Malaysia!
This was truly a priceless trip, also my second oversea trip to somewhere so far. I’ve met many amazing people during that time. They all have very inspiring and motivating stories when they share it during that conference. A big shout out to Max, Prince Wasim, Alexandru and Lucia! I’ve also decided to tour Madrid on my own time during that trip. I managed to get lost a couple of times but I am glad to be able to take over 300 photos (Thanks to Raúl for the recommendations). I’ve also visited many museums that was recommended by Lola. Absolutely flabbergasted for a village boy like me. Finally, I’ve also managed to meet a ‘neighbour’ from Singapore, Ming! I have no regrets. Adios Madrid!