Initially, Akhmal and I planned to cafe-hop near Camden Market. Then his friend, Humaira Zakaria, a Bruneian fashion graduate, had tickets to Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) in Shoreditch where all the top-notch fashion graduates from all the design schools across the country come together to showcase their work and she was one of them. How cool is that?! So, we ended up going to Shoreditch to support our very own local talent. Lucky for us, Shoreditch is an upbeat town bursting with so many arts and cafes! If there was one place that I could live in London, Shoreditch would be my first pick!
Another fun fact here is that it was Akhmal himself who took shots of Humaira’s work, so his pictures were also being showcased at GFW! Major love and pride for our talented Bruneians right here, folks!
I remember meeting Akhmal at a bookstore (oh, of course it is if you know him well!) where I worked at in 2014, right before I flew off to London to further my studies, and somehow we clicked on the spot talking about arts, cinematography, photography and none other than the slowly yet surely growing creative industry in Brunei.
Not long after that fateful meet-up at a bookstore, I met him again at a bloggers’ meet hosted by Ainul Apri of Wearrior Instinct. That was also where I met Mu’izz for the first time ever after knowing each other through mutual friends and online.
Back then, neither The Rustic Trove or Wearrior Instinct had existed yet and Akhmal just started getting into digital photography and, if I’m not mistaken, he was probably one of the early few that I told about me wanting to try out film photography.
Clearly, when it comes to collaborations, Mu’izz, or rather Wearrior Instinct, is no longer a stranger to The Rustic Trove. You can read more of our past collaborations here: Dark Winter and Kool Kenzo.
Now that my ramblings have nearly come to an end, it is time for some photos that I took on film and digital i.e. Akhmal’s DSLR. Yes, you read that right: D S L R. I will also feature a couple of shots that Akhmal took of me, which I thought looked amazing!
Gear(s): Akhmal’s Canon EOS 6D with EF 24-105mm IS USM Lens.
1) Photos by Akhmal.
I rarely get my portraits taken, so it was nice to have someone – and a fellow photographer at that! – to do that for me.
My photography style differs a lot from that of Akhmal, but I can definitely appreciate his eye for aesthetics and details! I looked through most of the photos that he took on his camera and they were so crisp and vivid! So much was going on and yet he was able to frame highlights of our day in Shoreditch. I’ve always been a huge fan of his work, so seeing him in action with his camera was thrilling!
Here are a couple of shots that he took of me. I absolutely love them!
2) Photos (or should I say, attempts?) by yours truly.
As someone who is quite comfortable with film photography, I was a bit of a wreck with Akhmal’s camera and I’m not even exaggerating. I kept clicking the shutter once rather than multiple times because I forgot that I could do that with a digital camera and how there was no need to advance the film before taking every shot. Mu’izz and Akhmal had to constantly remind me that it’s not film. Hahah!
Previously, I’ve tried my hands on quite a few digital cameras until Akhmal’s camera came along, which made me realise that it can still be pretty daunting to shoot digital, let alone a DSLR! Although film is difficult in terms of its manual settings, I think digital can be just as difficult.
Both mediums of photography have their own pros and cons, of course, but even as a film photographer, I have to say that film can be a bit inconvenient if one has to be quick, and most definitely uncooperative in areas with low lighting.
So, here’s my take on digital with Akhmal’s camera!
Gear(s): Canon AV-1 with 50mm lens and Kodak Gold 200.
Last but not least, here is the last set of pictures by yours truly for our collaboration. Hope you like them!
And there you have it, my third collaboration of the year!
I’d like to thank Mu’izz and Akhmal (and his friend who tagged along) for such a great day in Shoreditch. I got to meet and talk with such forward-thinking and creative minds and I would love for us to meet again for coffee/tea.