WITH the rich culture and colours Malaysia has to offer, one does not have to go overseas to capture a prize-winning picture.
That is the sentiment of former Cabinet minister Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn, whose images of local scenery have landed him several photography awards.
“There are plenty of landscapes in Malaysia but one has to find the right angle for a good picture,” he said.
Be it on a peaceful beach in Port Dickson or on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, the country offers shutterbugs a range of interesting shots but one has to be patient and wait for the right time for the right shot.
“A lot of Western-based photography judges find our street scenes and the scenery of our coastal beaches interesting,” he said.
Shortly after retiring from the corporate world, Fong picked up photography as a hobby.
He started taking pictures of Chinese schools in Malaysia and some had been used in the affected schools’ yearbooks.
“Some of my friends gave me tips to improve my photography techniques and I attended photography classes to hone my skills
“I have always liked photography especially during my college days but after that, I was just too busy,” he said.
One of his recent works, a black-and-white photograph of a broken jetty, was taken during high tide in February this year in Port Dickson.
Set to a low shutter speed and using the long exposure technique, the moving water captured looked smooth and silky, creating surreal but arresting visuals.
The image, titled “Roller Coaster”, was awarded a Gold Medal by the British Photographic Society in April 2017 and was picked by the Lens Culture Magnum Photography Competition for its gallery in June 2017.
In the city, Fong took an image of one of the Petronas Twin Towers in front of Avenue K with a slow shutter speed of 30 seconds, making the passing clouds look like a moving sheet of lights above the iconic architecture.
Titled “Unexpected Visitors”, it was awarded the Salon Silver Medal by the Grand Indian Circuit last month.
A seasoned traveller, Fong has been on photography trips to Nepal, Vietnam, China and Europe.
He said one of his most memorable moments was when he experienced an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, two years ago.
“I had to keep myself safe but if I had been a more experienced photographer, I would surely have taken some shots,” he said.
Fong said he finds photography a rewarding hobby as it gives him an objective when visiting places.
“So, every time I visit a new place, I would purposely look for a nice shot that describes the place.
“Like writing an essay, photography tells a story,” he said.