Behind The Lens: Leslie Heng (@blackmobil)

BAZAAR finds out more about what goes behind the Instagram photographer's creative eye

Leslie Heng. Photo: Instagram/@blackmobil

Leslie Heng. Photo: Instagram/@blackmobil

As arresting as any meticulously designed architecture out there may be, it takes an artistic perspective to capture and amplify its beauty. Leslie Heng – also known as @blackmobil – has exactly that, which is probably why it’s so difficult to pry your attention away from his breathtaking images of architecture on his Instagram account. Since he first began his venture with the photographic social media app 4 years and 1, 455 (well-curated) shots ago, Heng has garnered a substantial reach of 49.3k followers… and the numbers are still healthily on the rise.

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Geometry, lines, curves, colours, and light… Heng’s play with those elements and more makes him a whiz with charming the crowd with his images. So impressive are his shots that he was reached to partake in a project with Italian fine jewellery brand Bulgari earlier this year for its exclusive B.Zero1 ‘Design Legend’ ring – the brand’s design collaboration with none other than the legendary architecture maestro, the late Zaha Hadid. Curious about what goes on behind Heng’s lenses, BAZAAR speaks to him about his inspiration, editing apps, and dream destinations in the interview below. We even uncovered an interesting fact about himself (that didn’t stop him from snapping enchanting shots), so read on to find out!

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How did the Instagram handle “@blackmobil” come about?

It was completely random. Thank goodness I didn’t come up with a weirder one! People often ask if it’s about a black car… It’s not!

What got you into photography?

It was Instagram that sparked my interest in photography. Like most people, I started out using Instagram as a tool to document the places I visit and the things I do. I soon discovered that Instagram was a platform that I can express myself through my pictures and also learn from the many amazing photographers around the world.

One thing led to another, I started finding myself spending my free time going places to take pictures and taking pictures wherever I go. Last year, I decided to take a leap forward and make the transition from mobile phone to a proper camera.

Who inspires your photography?

I take a lot of my inspiration from the Instagram community, like @nicanorgarcia and @nunoassis. There are so many talented people out there and so much to learn.

Share with us some spots you go to snap great shots.

Any place with interesting architectural elements. A few of my favourite Singapore spots would be Gardens by the Bay, Chinatown, Little India, Marina Bay, and our HDB estates!

Which locations are you dying to shoot at?

It would be nice to take a break from the cityscapes and immerse myself in nature. I would love to visit Yosemite National Park in California, or do a road trip to New Zealand.

Fragmented

A post shared by Leslie Heng (@blackmobil) on

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What can we find in your camera roll?

Buildings and more buildings! I enjoy telling visual stories through the use of interesting architectural landscapes. Recently, I’ve also started experimenting with night photography and portraiture.

How would you describe your photography aesthetic?

It would be interesting to note that I’m colour blind. The pictures you see are from a perspective of a colour-blind person. My pictures are always about colours, symmetry, patterns and lines.

What are five things that you never leave home without?

The essentials… My phone, wallet, watch, fragrance (it’s either Prada’s L’Homme or Aesop’s Marrakesh depending on my mood) and keys!

What are your top editing apps you can’t live without?

Snapseed, VSCO, Lightroom

Share with us some tips on how to nail the perfect shot.

Keep practicing, and be a perfectionist. Do not rest till you get your perfect shot. Some people think I’m obsessed, but I think having that bit of obsession helps me get better.

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