Sleek nylon frames sit on his nose. A cotton maroon hoodie under a sports windbreaker. Both fall over the top of his faded blue chino pants.
Grey and white Nike sneakers with black laces rest beside his backpack (and in it, his camera). All seem as clean as new. His jet-black hair is pulled into a messy bun that sits under his unlabelled black cap, and a spare hair elastic sits loosely around his wrist.
“Photography to me is just being able to capture and share moments of my life; moments that otherwise would have been forgotten and often never experienced again.
There’s just something very intimate and satisfying about being able to share photographs, allowing others to experience what I see and how I see it.
I try not to overthink it; photography is just something that I have found a lot of joy in, and I feel extremely blessed to be able to share my photographs with others that seem to appreciate them as well.”
Meet the self-taught photographer and Trent-taught nursing student, Horace Ng.
This story begins in 2010, when Ng surprised his older sister with a digital SLR camera for her birthday.
After she forgot the camera at their family home, Ng picked it up and began to experiment with photography alongside his friend Jordan Crowder.
The two took a bus to Toronto every weekend in search of a new adventure, focusing on street and architectural photography.
Ng explains his style of capturing vertigo-inducing images as “roof topping, which is essentially trespassing.”
However, Ng does not take risks and concludes that he keeps himself quite safe. As a photographer, he is keen to show angles of the city that people do not normally have access to.
From such heights, Ng finds the skyline captivating and wants to share the beauty he experiences.
It is a risk for security purposes only though. Ng explains his security encounters as mutually understanding.
“They [security] understand we are not there to steal or damage anything. They see us with our cameras and just ask us to get down.”
However, these particular instances of trespassing do not seem to be a concern for Trent University.
Although Ng is in his third year at Trent University and a graphic designer for the Trent yearbook team, it is his recent Instagram photos of Trent’s campus architecture that has sparked a new life in the university.
Senior student Sarah McDonald describes his photos as “simply gorgeous.”
This appears to be a unanimous opinion among the Trent community.
The Trent Marketing Association and President Leo Groarke have personally reached out to Ng to encourage collaboration work, and even locals with no attachment to Trent have already admired his work.
The architecture and nature aspect of the campus was a significant factor in choosing to study at Trent, Ng told Arthur.
His hometown of Mississauga does not offer the same aesthetics.
Although Ng wishes that he took photography classes in high school, he values the collaborative learning experiences that he has gained since arriving at Trent.
As a part of the yearbook team, Ng has been able to practice his editing skills. It is common for local car enthusiasts and the like to request the photography skills of Ng, which allows him to experience a range of hobbies.
First-year student Cameron Loucks (@cams.lens) https://www.instagram.com/cams.lens/?hl=en was contacted by Ng in December after Loucks shared his own campus photos.
The two have since met once or twice a week to venture campus and seek new beauty.
Ng tries not to revisit his locations of photography, but instead always keep his camera on him and be ready for new sites and opportunities of beauty.
“Working with Horace is a really fun experience,” Loucks said.
“Part of the fun is exploring the campus and finding things you wouldn’t have seen in your day to day life there. Trent is such a unique place I feel it’s important to look at it from every angle you can!”
With over 500 photos and over 2,000 followers, Ng’s Instagram account (@hn.jpg): https://www.instagram.com/hn.jpg/?hl=en features more than just the city of Toronto and the campus of Trent.
However, in expanding Ng’s portfolio into human portraits, Platt appears as a model on his Instagram. She said she thoroughly enjoys working with Ng.
“He messages me at night and asked if I was free at 8am the next morning… it was really spontaneous… He noticed that there would be fog in the morning and thought it would make for some great shots!” Platt explained.
“He’s very comfortable behind the camera and makes you feel just as comfortable in front of it.”
Ng sees Instagram as a wonderful platform for photographers. While the app may have once been a joke to those that take their work seriously, it has recently become a greatly accepted channel on which to share artistic visual work.
Ng created the photography account in his final year of high school.
Fast forward to the present, his photos are grabbing exponential attention among Instagram viewers, as well as community members of Peterborough and Toronto.
This fame has not shifted his future.
Ng will continue to explore and challenge himself in his love for photography, but his passion for nursing and healthcare will lead his future.