July on Film

Saturday, September 10, 2016

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Moments are fleeting, and humans always have this desire to keep the good ones (to save them for later, and to replay them over and over and over again), and leave the bad ones behind (straight to the trash bin, no questions asked). Unfortunately, that's not possible. 

I've always held the belief though, that photos come the closest to freezing a particular moment in time. It's just so magical, and I still can't wrap my head around this amazing technology. (Seriously, what in the world?!?! I can't...) The more I think about it, the more awed I am. Sure, science can probably explain it but please just let me continue to marvel at the greatness that is the nifty camera. 

Of course, then comes the dichotomy of living in the moment as opposed to capturing it. 

Taking great photos is really satisfying, but a lot of times it doesn't come at first shot. At least for me, I fiddle with the buttons and lenses a lot, which really kills moments. Not being able to capture someone's laughter in focus, having your ice cream melt before you take a shot, the list could go on. I hated that I was putting such pressure on myself - plus, lugging a DSLR around does no good to my spinal health either. 

For the month of July this year, I thus decided to live my life with a disposable film camera. I felt like this old-school option offered a good balance of both living and capturing moments. Because of how simple it was to take a photo, I wasn't going to be caught up with adjusting settings: all I needed to decide was 'flash or no flash'. The fact that I had a limited number of shots in the camera, and not being able to see the photos there and then, also meant I wouldn't be caught up with perfection. All I needed was something that'll allow me to remember the moment, and then go back to living it. 

Bonus: it's insanely light, and comes with an automatic 'filter'. 

Another reason for getting the camera was really to motivate myself to create memories I wanted to keep with me. July, being the only completely free month I had after A Levels and before university started, meant a lot to me. I knew that if I didn't find myself something to do, I'd probably stay in bed for most of the month, which I will definitely regret. So the camera gave me reason to get my lazy self out of the house. I told myself to use up all the film by 31 July, and to do so I had to make the effort to ask friends out, as well as go solo doing some things that I love. 

I can safely say that getting the camera was a great decision, and I strongly encourage everyone to give it a shot. Here are some of the moments I captured with my Kodak HD Powerflash disposable camera. :-) 

The park opposite Ang Mo Kio Public Library. The bus stop here is always very tranquil, and I love it. I was here alone after spending time at the library I frequent most often as a child, and being here always brings back lovely memories. It's crazy how physical places can be so meaningful to some but mean nothing to others. 

Timbre +, one of my favourite places to spend the night at with good company. Really, it's lovely. Live music, good food, and a wide (and I mean wide) variety of craft beers to pick from. 

Sent Dom off at the airport! She's pursuing university education in Australia. :-) She's been there for a while now (I mean, it is September already...) but nonetheless I know she'll do great. 

This doesn't look like much, but I personally love the meaning behind this shot. Going to visit my maternal grandparents always leaves me feeling so happy (and full, because my grandma would cook up a feast for us - and she's the best chef I know). I'm very lucky. 

Another GFD (Get Fat Day) with Christina. :-) Les Patisseries at Upper Thomson is worth a visit. We had the entire place to ourselves.  

Jordan and Sarah at the Singapore Art Museum! :-) We didn't manage to check out all of the exhibitions there, but SAM has always been very well-curated (not that I know anything about museum curation). 

My mum said she liked this photograph. :-) 

Well, we thought that we had to take two photos for two physical copies to be developed from a film camera... turns out I was given the negatives anyway and could actually develop the same photo multiple times. 

Ben and Tiff with lots of food in front of them. 

Ailica and I with lots of food in front of us, plus a guy in the background who is really enjoying his chicken wing. 

Selfie with a disposable camera? Surprisingly focused - good job Shermaine, you've got skills. 

Somehow, I remember this day quite vividly. Shermaine and I went for one of our shared favourite activities - museum visiting! There was an toy exhibit on display at the National Museum, and I was really excited. We spent a good fifteen minutes identifying our childhood playthings... and Shermaine called Ernie "Elmo" (unforgivable!!! Sesame Street characters each have their own identities). We then went to Fabulous Baker Boy for cake. 

Priya and I tried the freakshakes from Patissez, but before that we got caught in the heaviest, craziest rain. Definitely made the shakes taste a lot sweeter than they already are. They were super expensive though, I don't really recommend getting them. 

After Camp Win 3 with Minglu, who is now in the U.S. studying liberal arts, and I can't be more proud of her. We had a lovely chat while walking to the MRT station together (and I'm glad it was located so far away as the distance gave us time to catch up after so long... except that I ended up see her for the next three consecutive days... some days by coincidence can you believe it). We also shared a chocolate waffle from a neighbourhood bakery because the smell of freshly made waffles was way too enticing for us to pass up. I remember this day being one of the best ones in July. In fact, I had wanted to blog about Camp Win for the longest time ever but school happened. 

Visited RJ with some of my class (pictured here we have Wilson and Josiah). Finally came around to collecting our school graduation certificates, and we sat in the canteen for a good six hours catching up with each other and the teachers that came by the canteen. It felt really nice. 

At NDP Preview 1! (So yes, this happened in July). It was a great show and I was genuinely impressed by the use of technology- I think even my brother was too. Maybe I'm just biased because the creative director was Beatrice Chia-Richmond and hey, RG pride. Time spent with family is always precious too, no matter what the occasion. We got a St John boy to help us take this photo, and he was very amused by my film camera. 

He offered to take another photo... and I'm not sure why I said yes since this isn't digital. But anyway I had to wind the film for him to take another shot and he laughed and said "that's new". I couldn't help but respond with, "well, actually more like old". 

Went back to my favourite school with some of my favourite people. We had a great catch-up session with Mr Faizal, whom we've been blessed to have as our form teacher in Year Four. Left with my heart so full, and I'll forever be grateful to this place for shaping a great deal of who I am today. After our visit to RG, we also met up with the rest of my Year Four class at Cathay where we had such a good time reminiscing about the old days. 

Lady M with Gaby J! One of my biggest photog inspirations and one of the reasons why I even decided to get a film camera in the first place. 

Had to get my photo taken by the legendary Gaby, of course. (The lighting at Lady M is really good by the way). 

And I met Mudassar! We had Korean food at Bugis before taking a night stroll from there to Esplanade. The night sky, cold breeze and conversation was so comforting. I brought him to the rooftop of Esplanade, where we admired the gorgeous skyline, and he brought me to the mouth of the Singapore River where we sat and talked. 

Caught the gorgeous sunset from the rooftop of RJ with Tiffany. It's funny but I never really got to admire many sunsets when I was studying last year even though I really wanted to. Anyway, we were back to support the Habitat juniors for their fundraising at Film Soc's showcase (and I was also there to watch Priya act on the big screen hehe). 

With Melvina at the Film Soc Showcase. :-) All the best for prelims and A Levels, but most of all, take care of yourself. 

Empty buses and long rides, I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee. (Just kidding, there was another lady with me on the upper deck... and when my flash went off she stared at me like I was a ghost. Sunk down into my seat for the rest of the journey). 

Asanoya bakery with Sarah. :-) Always a good time with you. 

The burger was way too much for me. 

Another physical space that holds so many great memories of mine. I used to frequent this hawker centre in Ang Mo Kio a lot as a kid, and the food here holds a special place in my heart (especially the tomato-sauce based bak chor mee, and the super famous yong tau foo). 

Hello, sky. 

IKEA Alexandra with Priya - I was so happy to find out that we have an IKEA relatively near NUS. :-)

We both look so happy. Well, this was before school started officially. 

And shot this on the way to developing the photos in my film camera. Surprisingly, this was the only photo with a light leak - I expected way more. 

That concludes how I spent my July (or rather, the moments with slightly more presentable photos). As for the ones that didn't get immortalized on the Internet, at least I have physical copies of them and I know that it's always the meaning behind each photo that I should be more concerned about. 

I must say, looking back, I'm a terribly fortunate person to have people who love me, and to have people I love spending time with. 

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