Interview #1 with Angkul Sungthong

Our first interview is with Angkul Sungthong. He is based in Bangkok and works as an art director. Over the last couple of years he has been taking photography more seriously, and it’s paying off: his work has been included in many international street photography festivals like Streetfoto San Francisco and Brussels Street Photography Festival. Welcome, Angkul!

Hi Angkul, thanks for taking the time. You were featured on StreetRepeat with the motorcycle light image. Could you tell us more about how the photo came into being?

For the headlight image, it’s a scene I passed by for years. The location is close to my office and on a sunny day, I noticed the triangle light. It was always there, from late morning until afternoon. At first I just loved how the light looked so sharp. I shot it just like that, the sharp triangle spot light. After I took these shots repeatedly for a while, I realised the triangle spot light can look like a headlight from a vehicle if someone accidentally drives past that spot. So I draw a layout of what I wanted in my mind and then I tried to do a test on how to make my layout possible. After the first round of my testing, my “first” headlight shot composition didn’t look so well. But I knew then that it was possible to get what I wanted. A few days later I went shooting at that scene again. I tried about 300 shots before I got the final one that was featured on your Instagram.

Do you often have a certain scene on your mind and then shoot as long as it takes to get it?

When I see something, a scene or a subject, I always have a picture of that in my mind before I take a shot. Mostly it starts with: This looks so nice. Then: Can I make a good picture with this? > Ok, I think it has a potential > Let’s take a few shots. This part might take a few seconds. If the result looks ok, I continue to craft the scene. That is going to take time until I got something close to what I want.

I also see some of these variations and preparation shots on your Instagram.
Why do you choose to publish these as well?

At that moment I didn’t really curate my Instagram posts that well. If I like something, I publish it. Just like that. I don’t really know if I’m going to reshoot it in a few days and get the final one. In fact I shouldn’t publish all these shots. After I got the final one I should take all others down. But I decided to keep it as it is, to remind myself how it came from the first to the last.

Fair enough, it can be interesting as well to show the process. And are you inspired by other photographers? If so, in which one of your pictures would this influence be the most visible?

It’s so hard to tell. I got inspired by a lot of photographers. Siegfried Hansen, Pau Buscató, Edas Wong, Akara Naktamna and Tavepong Patoomwong. Especially Tavepong, he is the one who pushed me to reshoot the headlight again till I got the final one.

Good to hear that there is such a strong community. To round up, how would you like to evolve within (street) photography?

It’s a very cliché answer but it’s very to hard reach that goal. I’m trying to find my own voice in photography. As I said I got inspiration from a lot of photographers. Everyone has their own unique style. It would be nice if I can find out what is mine too.

That’s true. It’s not bad at all to be inspired by others in the process of finding your own voice in photography. Thanks again for this interview, Angkul!

 

You can see more of Angkul’s work at:

Instagram
Flickr

 

© All the pictures in this post are copyrighted by Angkul Sungthong. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.

Leave a Reply