Gallery 28 – Derek

“I am not one of those photographers that romanticises the days of film – manually developing black and white rolls and printing in the darkroom is something I am not going to miss. That said, I still own several film cameras, including a Nikon F100, Mamiya 645 and even a medium format Sinar. While looking through my back catalogue of images when compiling this collection, I recalled a photography session with Derek that was taken shortly after I set up my Chai Wan studio. When I finally located the images, I was surprised to discover that they were photographed using a film I rarely used – the ILFORD’s XP2 Super. Although not a true black and white film since it a chromogenic emulsion, the XP2 outputs in black and white versus color. Based on these photographs taken of Derek, it has nearly all the merits of my favourite black and white film, the Kodak T-MAX400. What also makes this particular photography session particularly memorable to me is the fact that he was my first model to agree to a full frontal shoot. All the models previous to him were too shy or conservative to reveal themselves to the camera in such a way. Quite honestly, I too was hesitant about doing the shoot as I was at that point wary of the potential repercussions from the public. After all, it is all too easy in Hong Kong to be irreversibly – if unfairly – labelled. All in all, I am glad that this session happened and am very happy to be able to share these gorgeous images here.” – from The Asian Male 3.AM book, available on


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