Last month, I had a chance to interview C.S.Ling, Female Professional Nature and Wildlife Photographer.
Will interview different Singaporean Photographers on their form of Photography over the months.
GT: An introduction about yourself.
C.S.Ling: Hi, I am Cheng Shun Ling, 25 years old, most people will know me by the name C.S.Ling. I have been doing Nature and Wildlife Photography since 4 years ago, combining my passion for Nature, Travel and Photography.
Through this Wild Moments exhibition at Sentosa Nature Discovery, I hope to raise awareness about the fragile environment that we live in. I believe that when you love something, you will want to protect it. We only have one Earth and we should not take it for granted.
GT: When did you start photography?
C.S.Ling: I started in my Nanyang Poly days with a PNS (Point and Shoot) camera. After I graduated and became more well-travelled, I look into photography at a more serious level. I have done weddings, product shoots, events but nothing speaks to me like Nature and Wildlife Photography.
GT: Where was your 1st Nature and Wildlife shoot?
C.S.Ling: After graduation, I worked in a design studio for a few months.
After quitting my job, I used the money earned and travelled to New Zealand with my mum. It was my 1st N&W photography trip 4 years ago.
GT: How many countries have you visited?
C.S.Ling: The number of countries I have visited is not a lot but the frequency of revisiting the same countries is more. For eg. Borneo, I went there 5 times already. Countries I have visited includes New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, China and also Malaysia some of its islands.
GT: ....( thinking* this girl sure can travel)
GT: Your favourite country?
C.S.Ling: Japan! The food, people and climate there is very nice. In Japan, usually I would stay in those Japanese families home, they will prepare delicious homecooked food and take good care of me. Pretty cheap accomodation also.
GT: So I assume your command of Japanese language is quite good?
C.S.Ling: I can speak a few words but to communicate is a different matter. I had some problems communicating but they are very nice and will laugh it off.
GT: No wonder your mum say you very Garang (daring in Malay), dunno the language also anyhow run.
GT: Any dangerous or exciting encounters on your photography trips?
C.S.Ling: For large animals, that would be in Borneo, with a herd of around 30 to 40 elephants. I was on land photographing this baby elephant and it was kind of playful, charged and tried to kick me.
But, I am more concerned with small creatures such as mosquitoes and leeches. For instance, I was trekking with a fellow photographer in the jungle. Beforehand, we had sprayed some insect repellent on ourselves. Not long into the 8km trek, i found my first leech on my right leg. My partner used a lighter trying to get rid of it but the next thing we know, my whole leg was on fire.
The fire was eventually put out, the leech is nowhere to be seen and my leg is very smooth.*laughs*
GT: Good lesson for those aspiring N&W photographers. Insect repellent is very flammable lol
GT: What about your family, whats their view on your N&W Photography?
C.S.Ling: I am the only child, I come from a normal family and not some rich family.
I paid for all my equipments and overseas trips, through my web-designing work.
My parents are worried about me whenever I travel; they cannot sleep at night and will call me. They are quite supportive actually.
BTW, I am the Creative Director and shareholder of Techsailor. We are a fast-growing dynamic team of online social media specialists developing revolutionary Social Media Web Solutions to help Businesses reach out to and connect people.
In the day, I would concentrate on Techsailor, and at night, focus on my photography stuff. During my leaves, I would travel.
GT: What hawker food do you crave most when you are overseas?
C.S.Ling: Chicken Rice (Roasted) , no particular stall as I am not a food savvy person lol
GT: Can I say you are the only female professional wildlife photographer in Singapore?
C.S.Ling: Probably is. In most of my trips, I am the only girl. Its a very male dominant kind of profession. But I like to do things to challenge myself, sometimes the weight of my camera gear is around 12kg, my long lens is like a bazooka. Very heavy but I enjoy the challenge.
GT: What animal you want to 'capture' but have not yet?
C.S.Ling: Orangutans! I have been Borneo 5 times and still could not get a good shot of them. They are always living high up on the trees.
GT: A note to all readers
C.S.Ling: I created a Life List (http://lifelistling.com) when I am 23 years old. It motivates me to live life to the fullest, hope it also inspires you (readers) to do the same. If you really want to do something, you can do it =) I currently have another exhibition based on my Life List at Orchard Central, Level B2, Unit 47.
Wild Moments Exhibition
1st Jan – 28th Feb 2010
Sentosa Nature Discovery @ Imbiah Lookout
My Life List Exhibition
22nd Jan – 21st Feb 2010
Orchard Central Level #B2-47