So you think you can snap decent photos with your compact digital camera and delete undesirable shots from the memory card? Photography before the 1950s was only for the elite who could afford it as a hobby. The capital needed for buying an analogue camera and for setting up a home lab for processing of negatives was a big deterrent.
Most denizens of Sarikei only found a need to take their first photos when the colonial British government started the identity card registration process in 1951 (Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance 1951) after life had normalised post World War II.
Mr Lau Kiing Ing and family.
Mr Lau Kiing Ing
Now our story begins. Mr Lau Kiing Ing 刘恭仁 learned the photography trade while working at 春风 Chung Hong. Once he worked in Brunei but he was recalled home (as the eldest in the family) when his mother fell sick.
Lau Kiing Ing using classic equipment.
Then you would preen yourself in front of their mirror before the photography session. Some of you still have black and white photos which were shot from the third floor balcony with views of the former padang and Cathay cinema.
Get ready. 1, 2, 3 smile. Your image had been imprinted on the negative roll and could not be deleted no matter how ridiculous you looked.