Interview with Thomas Phoon ; Finalist in our Black & White 2018

As for my opinion of Dodho Magazine, I only have words of thanks for the award and for the exquisite attention I have always received.On the other hand I think they do a great job in the sense of serving as a platform for dissemination for new photographers as is my case.

Thomas got interested in photography equipment before he actually knew what photography was all about, it’s an ironic story: His brother-in-law wanted to upgrade his camera, and since Thomas had friends who owned a camera store, he offered to research the best brands and see if he could get a good deal. The best bargain could arrange was to buy two new DSLR cameras at a discount, and by this fluke came own a new DSLR camera.

Thomas first turned his eye towards a variety of subjects: birds, landscape, portraits and travel photography. But his interest sharpened as he started exploring the camera’s abilityto make images of things that are not possible to see with the naked eye. He started using more long exposures, experimenting with macro photography, and making long trailing blurs using various panning techniques.

In his hunger for more knowledge he would look for documentaries about photography. He discovered one about the documentary photographer James Nachtwey, who said that he tries to reveal the many things happening in our world, which are not necessarily seen by most people. The mission of his life is to go to these people and tell their stories. “I thought this is the kind of photographer I wanted to be,” says Thomas. “I wanted to capture storiesthat need attention. This became my dream from then on, and I focused all my learning towards documentary photography and photojournalism. My wish is to share the tragedieshappening around us with everyone who cares.”

Thomas works as a Regional Training Manager in the network marketing industry. Hedescribes his work as ‘plain’ and ‘dry,’ with planning meetings, sales targets and such. “Photography has changed everything for me,” he says. “It changed my way oflooking at things: people, places, the buildings around me, and even the weather, since I now pay attention to different lighting conditions. Before discovering photography I didn’treally have much of a life beyond work and fishing, which was a childhood hobby. I’m nowvery proud that I am able to win some photographic awards and distinctions. It has opened my eyes and mind to the world. It is just amazing.”

His excellent works successfully gained the award of distinction as Associate of The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and Associate of Society of Photographers Malaysiain 2014. He gained a higher award of distinction as Fellow of Society of Photographers Malaysia in 2015 with another series of documentary photographs.

Thomas is the first photographer in Malaysia who won The Spotlight Award of Black & White Magazine Portfolio Contest with a series documentation of lifestyle and culture of the community at an abandoned depot and along the railway tracks in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2014. This priceless recognition motivated him adhere to his dream of becoming a documentary and photojournalism photographer. To strive for the best, He travel to Cambodia several times to photographs workers that forced to find previous recyclable materials which they can sell in a dump site near the tourism city of Siem Reap. This story rewarded Thomas another Black & White Magazine Portfolio Contest Spotlight Award in 2015, he is the only photographer in Asia who won this prestige award twice.

International Photography Awards is a strong encouragement and is also affirmation to the concept and values of Thomas`s photography. Thomas traveled a number of countries to search for interesting stories, including Cambodia, Liao, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China. In 2017, he won the Black & White Magazine Portfolio Contest Spotlight Award for the third time with a series of photos taken in China. To share his experience in photography, Thomas aggressively contributed to many photography activities in Malaysia including Photography exhibition, Photography competition judges, Seminar facilitator, Workshops and courses trainer. Fujifilm Malaysia has appointed Thomas as X – Photographer (The brand ambassador) in 2017 to promote the art of photography.[Print Version] [Digital Version]

© Thomas Phoon

What was it that inspired you to do the Teahouse project?

This series of photographs was taken in a traditional tea house which is about 130 years old, located in a small town (Pengzhen) near Chengdu, China. The tea house as it now serves as a gathering point for the  community, I would like to share the traditional culture of drinking tea in Chengdu and how elders pass time in small town while most of the young generation went to seek for wealth in the city. With the ongoing modernisation development in China, no one wonders how long traditional places like these will survive.. By photographing and sharing these unique places, hopefully there will be exposure and awareness leading to appreciation and finally preservation.

How would you define your general style photography?

Photo journalism and human always my preference, besides I always shoot landscape.

Could you please tell us anything about your technique and creating process?

due to capturing the moment, I don’t have much time to adjust my setting, normally I will set the ISO value according to the situation and using aperture priority mode to shoot. After that I will use photoshop for the editing.

In your opinion, what is it about a black and white photography?

In my opinion, I find that sometime colors can be terribly distracting in some images, when taking the colour out of an image, its can make the viewers focus to my subjects and let the subject speak for themselves. I love the subtlety of tones and shape that black and white images can have.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photography?

For street shooting I just get the camera with right lens and go for it, but if there is board of story I wish to present, normally I will understand the background of the story hence the way to present it, this all about the concept and my mind of thinking.

© Thomas Phoon

What do you think makes a memorable project?

A series of storytelling photographs that content emotions, touching element and showing the authentic situation that is real.

How do you know you got the shot you wanted?

Normally I see the scene I want, I will wait for the right subject and moment to happen, when things fall in place, that’s it

Your idea of a perfect composition?

There is no perfect composition as the massage and mode I want to convey may differ from other shots. When every elements fall into the place for a particular shot at particular time I wanted to create, that’s my perfect composition.

What would I find in your Camera Bag?

Fujifilm X-T2, X-Pro2 and latest X-T3 with Fujinon prime lenses 16mm, 23mm, 35mm and 56mm. When I am shooting landscape, will carry zoom lenses 10-24mm, 18-55mm and 50-140mm.

© Thomas Phoon

How important is an awesome website for your business and how has social media played a role in your photography?

A website is useful to share and link any interested party to view my work, I wish to create one. While social media is to reach out for more viewer.

What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?

I am in the progress of learning fine art photography and printing skill. In the meantime, I am constructing some documentary photo workshops and classes to share my experience. A book about my photography journey will be launch during next spring.

Finally, one last question. What opinion do you have of Dodho Magazine?

Is a great platform to showcase photographers work because it is distributed worldwide to professionals and the goodwill of the magazine that emphasize the quality of photographers that selected.

© Thomas Phoon

More Stories

The presence of an absence by Francesco Pace Rizzi

The presence of an absence by Francesco Pace Rizzi

The ephemeral geometries of the shadows, sometimes complex, sometimes simple, exert a great fascination on me such as to push me to deepen this topic and create a project (started in 2019) where the shadows are in a sort of dialogue with the scene, able to free the imagination and create surreal and intangible images.
Street photography; Hong Kong Lines and Patterns by Jason Au

Street photography; Hong Kong Lines and Patterns by Jason Au

"Hong Kong Lines and Patterns" is a street photography series that comes with a fine art aesthetic and the compositional approach of isolating urban subjects, geometric elements and forms fromthe chaotic urban environment of Hong Kong.
Real vs Unreal by Kaushik Dolui

Real vs Unreal by Kaushik Dolui

Photographs of this trend create a reality that does not reflect reality, but prompted by subconscious, characteristics, the expression of unconscious fantasies. Something like unnatural, supernatural and mysterious.

Color Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Color Awards. We are looking
for the best color picture for this year, 2022.

The competition is open to any interpretation of color photography
in all its dimensions, from everyday reality
to pure abstraction

DEADLINE | FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © DANIIL KONTOROVICH
Cronorifugio

Cronorifugio

Light and time. These two essential concepts in photography are also fundamental for our being and in our life. Here and now, I feel that the time has come to talk about the time.
Sahara Giants by Alice de Kruijs

Sahara Giants by Alice de Kruijs

When in 2000, the palaeontologist Paul Sereno went to look for new dinosaur bones in the Sahara Desert, he did not expect that he would return from there as an archaeologist. Arriving in the northeast of Niger, Sereno and his colleague’s day after day sifted through the sand of Tener, one of the most inhospitable deserts in the world, which even the nomadic inhabitants of the Sahara call “desert in the desert”.
Tell me who I am by Mohammad Sorkhabi

Tell me who I am by Mohammad Sorkhabi

Segregation by gender has existed in highly conservative communities for years, in order to raise their children in an isolated environment and away from any sort of sexual relations. But in most cases, this only causes sexual suppression and severe disorders in sexual orientation identification.

Featured Stories

Wildwood; Out of season by Mark Havens

Wildwood; Out of season by Mark Havens

Wildwood is a small barrier island at the tip of southern New Jersey. Through an improbable combination of economics, geography and chance, it harbors an architectural treasure: the highest concentration of mid-century modern motels in the United States.
Northern Siberia; Like Last Year’s Snow by Oded Wagenstein

Northern Siberia; Like Last Year’s Snow by Oded Wagenstein

In the remote village of Yar-Sale in Northern Siberia live a group of elderly women. They were once part of a nomadic community of reindeer herders.
Ramnami Community by Sanghamitra Sarkar

Ramnami Community by Sanghamitra Sarkar

Low-caste Hindus in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh first began tattooing their bodies and faces more than 100 years ago as an act of devotion and defiance after being denied entry to temples and forced to use separate wells.
Love for Uganda by Victoria Knobloch

Love for Uganda by Victoria Knobloch

Many times I already traveled to Uganda and have gained a lot of insight. But I travel there not only for photography, but also because of my humanitarian project Deseret Foundatione.
UFO: Un-identified by Annick Donkers

UFO: Un-identified by Annick Donkers

The actual idea for the series started after visiting the International UFO Congress in Phoenix. I was impressed by the multitude of people attracted to this event and the secrecy surrounding the theme.
Being a child in a mundari camp by Elena Molina

Being a child in a mundari camp by Elena Molina

This project was selected and published in our print edition 19. Being a child in a Mundari camp is synonymous with working tirelessly from dawn to dusk. From their earliest age, they actively participate in the care of their livestock
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/color-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Color Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/banner22.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Bath by Barbara Iweins

Bath by Barbara Iweins

Barbara Iweins is a Belgian photographer who has lived for some time in Amsterdam.She is now back in Brussels with her latest delicate photographs of women bathing. A collection of vulnerable moments infused with soothing colors of milky waters with hues of pink, mint and blue.
I Never told Anyone by Bénédicte Vanderreydt

I Never told Anyone by Bénédicte Vanderreydt

These seven images represent the women in Bénédicte Vanderreydt’s family that have been oppressed and objectified by a male dominated society, at a time when personal honour was of great significance to men.
Second Best by Nikolai Linares

Second Best by Nikolai Linares

Historically we always only focus on the winners so giving a name and a face to the people who come in second was Nikolai Linares whole idea.
Unequally; Urban Women by William Guilmain

Unequally; Urban Women by William Guilmain

The urban space is unequally shared between genders. Patriarchal cultural codes make the street as a place dominated by men. If it is well accepted that men can stay in the street, women only cross it.
Lomisoba – A feast of many meanings by Fallckolm Cuenca

Lomisoba – A feast of many meanings by Fallckolm Cuenca

North, on the military road, about 100 km from Tbilisi, one finds the epicentre of a yearly manifestation of human faith. It takes place on the slopes the Caucus and is an ode to an arduous journey of shared history and religious devotion.
Rohingya refugees by Joxe Inazio Kuesta

Rohingya refugees by Joxe Inazio Kuesta

We arrived at Teknaf, in the district of Cox's Bazar (Bangladesh) at noon, and that same afternoon we left for the refugee camps. It was raining, and the moto-rickshaw carrying us broke down halfway

Trending Stories

Rapt; The Strange Bifurcated World of Beauty and Brutality by Wes Bell

Rapt; The Strange Bifurcated World of Beauty and Brutality by Wes Bell

Used to restrict access to the landowner's property, this series of photographs focuses on trees that have been used as supports for a variety of chains, cables, or sections of fencing.
En Detail by Sebastian Gruia

En Detail by Sebastian Gruia

I grew up with this around the corner market "Piata Flavia", and it was always a lot of fun to go there with the hope that maybe, this time, I can find that "golden fish", meaning something useful and as cheap as possible.
Ashura Day by Kostis Ntantamis

Ashura Day by Kostis Ntantamis

The Day of Ashura is commemorated by Shi'a Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH.
Still life Part XI by Stefania Piccioni

Still life Part XI by Stefania Piccioni

Still life can be a portal to a personal kind of history. In some ways it’s very intimate: the objects chosen by the Photographer  reveal what they consider to be either of social or cultural importance, or of personal value to them.
Oblique rays of light by Guillaume d´Hubert

Oblique rays of light by Guillaume d´Hubert

Walking through the garden where the famous French author was raised leads me to connect with ancient feelings surviving around like perfumes in the air.
Around Flamenco by Oliver Weber

Around Flamenco by Oliver Weber

Every country has its fair share of folktales and legends with Spain certainly not being the exception. Andalucía in particular, which has a rich history, has some mysterious, spooky and scary stories
Interview with Laurent Baheux

Interview with Laurent Baheux

Laurent Baheux is a french photographer, born in Poitiers in 1970. Laurent Baheux was attracted to journalism and editing at first, rapidly discovering a passion for photography and becoming a self-taught photographer.
Fashion photography; Lights and style by Irvin Rivera

Fashion photography; Lights and style by Irvin Rivera

When I was younger I used to see patterns of lights that other kids can’t see. My eyes would show me a cluster of soft, circular colorful orbs instead of a supposed to be a single light bulb from a lamp post.
Start of an epidemic: COVID-19 in China by Vlad Timofeev

Start of an epidemic: COVID-19 in China by Vlad Timofeev

When the early messages about a new virus appeared in the press in January of 2020, Shenzhen was full-on getting ready for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.