Our interview with photographer and creative artist Lester Laut, who works between Taiwan and Hong Kong. Having been brought up caught between the sea, the wind and the neon lights of the city, Lester's work frequently includes these elements as he attempts to capture timeless moments that normally pass by, unnoticed. A frequent traveller, Lester has also won the editors' choice award for National Geographic's travel photo contest.
"I'm constantly trying not to think that there's a perfect moment, as nothing will be flawless in life."
How old were you when you first started shooting with film and what inspired you to pick up the camera?
“I was 16 when I got my first film camera and it was from my family. I always loved photographing moments with my friends and days out to the country parks.”
What cameras and film do you enjoy using the most?
“I do have a lot of fun with my Leica M4-P. It’s lightweight and flexible enough for me to carry around with me the whole day with ease. My top picked film stock is definitely the Kodak Portra 400, it’s great to use it in most occasions with its fast speed and neutral tone.”
How has the Instagram community inspired your work?
“Sometimes when I have no idea of what I should shoot with, I look at others’ work to appreciate the elements that they included in their work. It’s so stimulating when I figure out something that I had never thought of. Then I reflect on what I have missed and make attempts to incorporate these new techniques in the future.”
What advice would you give to someone who has never shot with film before?
“Try to imagine that you are looking for beautiful creatures with imperfections and learn to appreciate it. I’m constantly trying not to think that there’s a perfect moment, as nothing will be flawless in life.”
Do you have any favourite inspirational words/quotes?
“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” — Ralph Hattersley. I feel like every time I review the photographs that have been developed, I can still visualise that particular time. I realise that I’m actually a part of the photograph and I’m experiencing that moment.”