Monday, July 23, 2012

Photographing Baybeats 2012

By Nur Shereen Binte Ibrahim, Year 2, Diploma in Mass Media Management
In Each Hand A Cutlass by Donald Soh
It has officially been three weeks since Baybeats wowed music lovers for three consecutive days. Has the post-festival blues left you yet? It certainly hasn’t for me. It is, after all, not often that you get to indulge in three days of quality music carefully put together by professionals.

While hundreds come down to Baybeats to soak in the wide spectrum of music and euphoric atmosphere, not many can say that they are there capturing the moments, and keeping emotions and memories intact. Moments pass but pictures last forever, which is why Donald Soh, one of Esplanade’s budding photographers, holds an important job indeed.

A graduate from NYP’s very own Diploma in Digital Media Design (School of Interactive & Digital Media), Donald is one of the six aspiring photographers picked by Esplanade to be mentored by Aloysius Lim, one of Singapore’s highly sought-after photographers (he has photographed bands like Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand and Coldplay).
Darren Ashley by Donald Soh
The thrill and gratitude Donald felt is only understandable. An avid Baybeats fan himself, Donald has been going to the festival every year without fail since 2008. We asked of his experience on being there in a different capacity.

“What made me pick up photography was my love for band gigs, seeing musicians live and trying to capture their emotions and actions through photos,” he said. “I have never had the chance to shoot for such a big festival as an official photographer before so I’m really just happy and thankful to be able to do so for Baybeats.”

The festival gave us an insight on the hidden yet obviously blooming music scene. The performers generally gave everyone a good time. We thoroughly enjoyed Cashew Chemists, The Great Spy Experiment and The Trees and the Wild just to quote a few. Some of Donald’s favourites include King Ly Chee from Hong Kong, Love Me Butch from Malaysia, Carlos Castano from Philippines, and Rudra, Plainsunset, The Great Spy Experiment, A Town in Fear, The Bois, Cashew Chemists, ANECHOIS, Monster Cat, Inch Chua & the Metric System and In Each Hand a Cutlass from Singapore.

Cashew Chemist by Donald Soh
Now that Baybeats has come and gone (well, until next year at least), Donald is only glad to have taken back one lesson from his experience - Experimentation.

“There's never right or wrong in photography,” he said determinedly. “You need to constantly experiment and play around different methods and styles to achieve the shots you want and make them stunning.”

The art of photography is a wonderful thing.  Thinking and dreaming big can always be the start of something new and exciting so it’s only natural we ask Donald of his dreams on photography. “I would love to shoot big festivals like Wacken Open Air, Download Festival, Sonisphere in Europe, Soundwave Festival in Australia or maybe Spring Scream in Taiwan.”

However, as concert photography opportunities don’t come by often, Donald intends to build up his portfolio with commercial works first.

Keep those dreams in mind, Donald, for the sky is the limit. In the words of Harriet Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”  We wish you much success!

Check out more of Donald's Baybeat photos here.

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