Amrul, a professional banker, shoots for the sheer pleasure of photography. He’s living a dream he’s had since his student days. Balancing a corporate career with his creative character, Amrul has gone on to travel across Asia to document the human condition in a candid, spontaneous way with his Leica Q2. His photographic style is an expression of a personal perspective — an interpretation, rather than just representation.
Professional banker Amrul Azuar Mokhtar displays his wealth of humanist photographs.
He takes us into his vault to share his documentary style.
You don’t expect to find a talented photographer in a bank.
When you think of a banker, you imagine a mover and shaker in the financial markets, a broker of big business deals.
Amrul Azuar Mokhtar is proof that you can have both a sharp commercial mind and artistic ability.
Successful in his full-time career as a banking executive, Amrul is now attracting attention in the creative world of photography.
Observing through the viewfinder for his hobby, Amrul looks at wealth in a very different way from his work.
When out of the office and shooting with his Leica Q2, Amrul is not thinking about ringgit and sen.
He’s looking at the richness of life, unearthing and documenting a treasure trove of human actions and emotions.
It’s about creating an account of how people go about their daily lives, and he does it in a candid way to spontaneously capture real life.
He’s documenting those golden moments in a truly natural way. One-off gems that are not staged or posed.
There is nothing contrived in his photos. The scenes Amrul captures are the real deal. Authentic images of everyday existence in the city and the countryside.
Defining his photographic style, Amrul said:
“I am a banker by profession. I do not take pictures for others. I do it for me, for the pleasure of photography.
“I document the human condition. To do so, I have travelled throughout Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
“My photography is a testament to what I see, to express a personal perspective, a point of view, an interpretation, and not just representation.
“When I am travelling, out in the field with my camera, exploring the world, I feel I am living the dream.”
Amrul first dreamed of photography in 2004. Recounting how he got started, Amrul said:
“Since my school days, I have been very interested in the art of photography.
“Back then, before I started working, I didn’t own a camera due to financial constraints.
“In the beginning, I learned the basics of photography from my wedding photographer friend.”
Part of the photography dream was to own a Leica camera. The dream came true when Amrul acquired a Leica Q2.
“I love the Q2 because it’s unobtrusive. It doesn’t intimidate people when I shoot on the streets. I find it easier to capture real moments. It’s easy to handle and has a simple, intuitive user interface.
“It’s not just that it’s compact. It’s what’s inside the Q2 that helps too.
“With 47 megapixels of amazing image quality, and a choice of 28 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm and 75mm modes, it’s ideal for a full range of photography: street, portrait and landscape. The Q2 gives me everything I ever wanted in a camera.”
The Leica Q2 is a perfect symbiosis of the essentials with innovation, pristine performance with connectivity, and resilience balanced with elegance.
With its newly developed, 47.3 megapixel full frame sensor, extremely fast Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH prime lens, fast autofocus, innovative OLED technology, and timelessly elegant design, the Leica Q2 elevates the tradition established by its predecessor, the Leica Q.
With the addition of an IP dust and spraywater sealing (rating of 52), the Leica Q2 stands out as the only camera in its class equipped with this feature.
From its classic design and respected “Made in Germany” quality seal to its integrated digital zoom that covers a range of focal lengths up to 75 mm, the Leica Q2 transcends the revered story of Leica’s full-frame compact story to new heights.
The Leica Q2’s 47.3 megapixel full frame sensor captures both richly-detailed still pictures and 4K video in brilliant quality at ISO sensitivities up to 50,000.
The fast maximum aperture of f/1.7 is ideal for capturing the world with your subject standing out in incredible sharpness while the background blurs into a beautiful void, and guarantees you outstanding imaging performance in even the most difficult lighting situations.
What’s Amrul’s dream for the future of his photography?
“There are so many places around the world that I’d love to visit. So many different cultures I want to document.
“International travel is not possible now because of Covid-19.
“The pandemic has made me look inward, to look more deeply at what’s around me.
“It’s now Malaysia that is the current source of my inspiration.
“My goal now is to explore, photograph and document more street life and culture in the country that I love.”
With that sense of purpose and patriotism driving him on, Malaysia is looking forward to seeing a great return on Amrul’s investment in photography.
Written by Kieron Long
Rumah Api Pantai Senuk, Kelantan
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 4.0sec | F1/6 | ISO 50
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 1.9sec | F/2.5 | ISO 6400
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 3.4sec | F/11 | ISO 800
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 1/250sec | F/14 | ISO 200
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 0.8sec | F/10 | ISO 400
Ready To Swim
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 0.5sec | F/2.0 | ISO 50
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 0.5sec | F/8 | ISO 1600
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 0.5sec | F/1.7 | ISO 6400
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 3.4sec | F/2.8 | ISO800
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 1/500sec | F/1.7 | ISO 1600
Road To School
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 0.8sec | F/6.3 | ISO 100
Leica Q2 | 28mm | 1/250sec | F/6.3 | ISO 200