Aaron Phua is a connoisseur of capturing everyday life on film, from street scenes to countryside retreats. We sent him a Sprocket Rocket to test out which he took on a trip to around Sheffield and the Peak District and asked him how he got on shooting in panoramic.
Hello Aaron, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi there, I am Aaron Phua, born in Malaysia who loves photography. This interest started when I was a teenager making videos for my school projects. Prior to film photography, I filmed wedding videos for my close friends. I spend most of my time working as a paediatric trainee and on my off days capturing moments on film of my family and friends.
What got you interested in shooting with film?
I have memories using my mum’s point-and-shoot film camera when I was in primary school back in the day. Following my mum to the local shop and seeing the little 6x4 prints coming out of the machine was just magic. As we hit the 2000s, digital photography took over like a fast-moving storm. I then spend my teens and 20s getting into videography and mobile filmmaking/photography. I somehow wished to see what film photography would be like. One of my best friends had an Olympus OM1 camera which really inspired me to get into film photography. I recall my partner telling me to just use my phone for photos and videos, isn’t that good enough?
After saving up for a film camera, I finally bought a film camera in early 2023. I got sucked into the world of film photography ever since. I feel like I am capturing moments rather than taking a photo. When I’m using a digital camera or phone, I tend to snap hundreds of photos or take multiple videos from every angle. But with film, you are limited to the exposures you have. I really do get to enjoy the moment with my family and friends more this way.
Tell us about these photos, what did you choose to photograph?
My style of photography is mainly documenting my day-to-day life. Taking photos of the places and people I meet along the way. These photos represent the places around Sheffield and the Peak District.
How did you find the results from the Sprocket Rocket?
I find the Sprocket Rocket to be a very unique camera. As my son says “that’s a toy camera, daddy!” But it really is more than just that. Aside from its colorful exterior, it really gives you a different perspective. Aside from the panoramic aspect ratio, you can see the film sprockets and its markings. This really makes the images stand out as “shot on film.” In conclusion, it makes your photos look fun and like you are viewing a strip of film rather than a photo.
What's coming up next for you in 2023?
My aim is to continue to learn about film photography and understanding the principle of exposure. My current aspirations are to make a photo book and create prints for others to enjoy.
To see more of Aaron's photos visit his Instagram page aaron.phua.film