Music has always and will always inspire me. Not only is it capable of evoking every conceivable emotion and rekindling distant memories but telling a vast array of stories more effectively than words alone ever could. On the surface, music and photography may seem like art forms on two ends of a very large spectrum, however upon closer inspection, some would say that a photograph is not so radically different from a song.
A single work comprised of a number of smaller, more intricate parts with an uncanny ability to elicit emotion, tell a story and bring people together. An assortment of yellow cloths, multicolored corrugated roofs and vivid blues replace a thrumming bass, melodic guitar and the ever pounding drums.
This very concept brings me to this edition of Life Behind a Lens featuring the works of Ralphie Hsiao. A talented camera wielder that sees the world around him less like a sequence of photographs and more like a collection of musical masterpieces.
AMT: What is your favorite restaurant in the world and what would you order?
Ralphie: Favorite restaurant would have to be A&J Restaurant in Arcadia, California. I would order the Fried Pork Chop with Pickled Mustard Green Relish over Rice. If I’m with the fam we go all out with Cucumber in Hot Garlic Sauce, Sliced Pig Ears in Hot & Spicy Sauce, Seaweed & Bean Sprouts in Garlic Vinegar Sauce, Pan Fried Beef Buns, Scallion Pancake, Daikon Pastry, Szechuan Style Spicy Wontons, Szechuan Style Beef Noodle Soup, and Spicy Peanut Noodles. Set it all in the middle and dig in family style. There are better Taiwanese style restaurants out there, but as a 2nd generation Taiwanese kid, this is the one that introduced to me to the world of Taiwanese food. Bomb food plus nostalgia factor makes for a winning combination.
AMT: A band/rapper/producer chooses one of your photos as their album cover. Who is it? What’s your favorite song by them?
Ralphie: Digibal Planets. Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)
AMT: Do you smell that?
Ralphie: Smell what?
AMT: Why do you shoot film?
Ralphie: I’ve always loved the aesthetic and vibes that film gives off. I believe the images produced are closer to reality than digital. There is more character and feelings in the photos. More care and attention is taken in the moments leading up to the sound of the shutter. I believe the constrained conditions of shooting film focuses one to get creative with what one sees. I also enjoy looking back at the photos. Since thought had to be put into each shot I can vividly remember the moments surrounding a shot. Each photo is like a bookmark in my memories.
Name: Ralphie Hsiao
Camera(s): Contax T2. Nikon F3HP
Film(s): Kodak Portra. Fujifilm Superia. Ilford Delta.
As always, if you are interested in having your photos featured on Life Behind a Lens head over to my Contact page for more information.