Pas­sion on pa­per

Ded­i­cated Malaysians go around the coun­try cap­tur­ing im­ages of this coun­try’s nat­u­ral beauty.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Ecowatch - By AN­DREW SIA star2­green@thestar.com.my

A PHOTO ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brates “Con­nect­ing Peo­ple to Na­ture” – the theme of World En­vi­ron­men­tal Day 2017 last week (June 5).

That theme urges peo­ple to go out­doors and en­joy the beauty of na­ture that we may come to know it, love it and con­serve it.

But in this age when many peo­ple are glued to their gad­gets, it may need a bit of ex­tra in­spi­ra­tion to get peo­ple into the great out­doors.

One of the best ways to get this boost is to see beau­ti­ful pho­to­graphs of this coun­try’s nat­u­ral gems. And hence, the ex­hi­bi­tion en­ti­tled “Na­ture Thru’ The Lens”, or­gan­ised by the Malaysian Na­ture So­ci­ety (MNS – www.mns.my) pho­tog­ra­phy group. It starts to­day (June 13) and runs for six days till June 18 at Pub­lika So­laris Du­ta­mas, Kuala Lumpur.

“The pho­to­graphs help us to see and ap­pre­ci­ate the beauty of na­ture,” said group co­or­di­na­tor Alex Foong. “You will see some amaz­ing views of Malaysia’s nat­u­ral beauty that you may never have imag­ined be­fore.”

Ex­am­ples of this are an ex­quis­ite shot of a pray­ing man­tis del­i­cately perched be­tween life and death on the head of a pit viper (shot by MNS pho­tog­ra­pher Steven Wong) and the sim­ple yet haunt­ing ele­gance of leaf veins (by Cather­ine Wong).

Another stun­ning photo by Foong him­self is of rolling mist-shrounded hills at Cameron High­lands.

“Yet with­out dense forests that emit wa­ter vapour, we won’t have such amaz­ing scenery,” he said.

“And of course, the leaves and roots of the for­est floor act like a gi­ant sponge that help pro­vide our dams with wa­ter dur­ing the dry sea­son. By high­light­ing such beauty, we hope peo­ple can come to care more for forests and also na­ture in gen­eral.”

The aim of the ex­hi­bi­tion is not only to show­case the won­ders of Malaysia’s nat­u­ral trea­sures, but to foster aware­ness for con­ser­va­tion and also to raise funds for en­vi­ron­men­tal work.

Foong said the 74 pic­tures ex­hib­ited were cap­tured by 24 na­ture pho­tog­ra­phers (all MNS mem­bers) dur­ing the photo group’s many out­ings in re­cent months, when they had an ini­tia­tive called “Doc­u­ment­ing Na­ture One Click at a Time”.

This ex­hi­bi­tion was spear­headed by Foong, to­gether with Lee Hong Leng, a pro­fes­sional printer-cum-pho­tog­ra­pher, and the group’s com­mit­tee mem­bers. It will be of­fi­ci­ated by Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor, a past pres­i­dent of MNS.

Foong said pro­ceeds from the sales of the pho­to­graphs will be used for con­ser­va­tion pro­grammes by MNS.

There will also be a se­ries of na­ture pho­tog­ra­phy talks at the ex­hi­bi­tion venue.

On June 17, a talk on “Lat­est Imag­ing Tech­nolo­gies” will be held at 11.30am, fol­lowed by “Na­ture Thru’ The Lens Pho­tog­ra­phy” by Foong at 4.30pm.

On June 18, the fo­cus is on rep­tiles and am­phib­ians with a ses­sion en­ti­tled “Pho­tograph­ing Her­peto­fauna – Na­ture’s Mis­un­der­stood Crea­tures” by Steven Wong at 11.30am.

Then at 4.30pm, there will be a talk called “Un­der­wa­ter Pho­tog­ra­phy – Marine Life As I See It” by Lil­lian Khoo.

The ex­hi­bi­tion will be held at White Box@ Pub­lika So­laris Du­ta­mas, Kuala Lumpur from June 13 to 18. The ex­hi­bi­tion runs from 10.30am to 8.30pm daily. Ad­mis­sion is free. For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Alex Foong at 012-2893133.

— STEVEN WONG

A pray­ing man­tis perched on a pit viper at Cameron High­lands.

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