Wilton Wong

A reflection on one’s photographic journey brings up memories deeply buried in the past. For example, as I think about my first camera it really was in Elementary School when I became intrigued by the mini cameras that were sold all over San Francisco Chinatown. There was even film, though tiny, that went in the camera and recorded photographs. In the present day, we referred to the issue as Gear Acquisition Syndrome or G.A.S. During the 50’s, all I knew is that I really like the mini camera and ended with a small collection.

In my late teens, I took over my father’s Pentax Spotmatic to create photographs of friends and family. During my teaching career, I photographed the school events and created a synchronized slide show using two slide projectors. Later, I went to digital shared the images and left the rest to the yearbook class to do the slide show.

When my father passed away in 1993, he left a Rolleiflex 3.5. I experimented with this and fell in love with the negatives it produced. It is at this point I started to pursue learning more about the craft of photography and the artistic pursuits. I engaged in the learning process at first by trial and error. Then I attended workshops led by Alan Ross, John Sexton, Anne Larson, Charles Cramer and Kerik Kouklis. All of the individuals are superb photographers, but more important they were excellent teachers. After each workshop I tried the new learned skills and experimented to help find my own path. Whether it was silver gelatin, platinum-palladium or the digital print, I enjoyed learning the process.

Over the years, I have come to acquire cameras in each format 35mm, 6x6cm, 4×5, and 617. I’ve been fortunate to have photographs selected in Hawaii Magazine (2017), in Image Flow’s Alternative Process Exhibit (2019), and in the International Juried Exhibit at the Center for Photographic Art (2020). It is quite humbling to be exhibited with such talented photographers and artists. The circle has been completed from my young days as the G.A.S. continues, but the joy of creating photographs have grown 100 fold. Looking forward to keep learning and being as creative as possible.

Artist’s Statement

In some cases photographic compositions just appear in front of the camera, but in most cases it’s a combination of environment, light and being in the right place at the right time. The photographs here are a result of all of the above and made to hopefully feel natural and unforced. They were a result of searching and surveillance.  Whether landscape or urban surroundings, when all the ingredients come together there is a little burst of excitement when releasing the shutter.  The potential photograph resides on the roll of film or memory card and acts as a personal record of the experience.

Film development or file processing will transform the image. The print finally solidifies the expression to be communicated. Prints made using Platinum-Palladium salts are rich in warm tones and engages the viewer. The goal is to invite a closer look and observation.  It is this final stage that completes the circle of when or where the image was recorded through processing and finally the print.