Hobbies pay off for contest winners

Sherwynd (left) and Chong showing their winning shots and prizes for the Batu Maung Photography and Videography Competition 2020.

VENTURING into videography proved to be fruitful for freelance photographer Sherwynd Rylan Kessler, who won first prize in the Batu Maung Photography and Videography Competition 2020 in Penang.

The 36-year-old, who filmed and submitted his first video for a competition, won RM500 cash prize and a tablet for coming in first in the videography category.

“I was only trying my luck as I wanted to occupy time during the conditional movement control order.

“I work as a freelance photographer and in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, many events were cancelled.

“I lost some gigs and since I had a lot of spare time, I decided to join the competition.

“I ventured into videography and filmed a video focusing on the theme required for the competition.

“Surprisingly, I won the first prize. It is very exciting for me.

“Filming the video itself was a productive experience. I had to wait for good weather to start filming, ” he said when met during the recent awards ceremony at the auditorium in Komtar, George Town.

Sherwynd, who was formerly an electronics engineer, said he ventured full-time into photography as a career some six years ago.

“I previously picked up photography as a hobby and it developed into my passion.

“So I decided to quit my job and fully pursue my dream to become a freelance photographer.

“Although times are a little hard for those of us in this field now, I am still happy with what I do, ” he added.

Meanwhile, first-prize winner of the photography category, buyer Chong Pek Ling, 32, who bagged the RM500 cash prize and a digital watch, said she was surprised to find her entry coming in first.

“I’m so happy to find that my hobby has become a rewarding one. I initially wanted to join just for fun.

“As I love sunrises and sunsets, I focused on the two settings and went around the seaside near Permatang Damar Laut to take photos.

“I went there once every three or four days for leisure and took photos while I was there.

“Then, I went through over 200 of my shots and picked the one I liked most, ” she said.

Sherwynd and Chong were among 500 participants who submitted a series of photos and videos for the competition.

The competition, which ran from Oct 15 to Nov 15,2020, was aimed at creating awareness of the constituency as an eco-tourism destination.

Its objective was to introduce Batu Maung’s 4Ps, which in Malay refers to tourism, technology, transport and tranquility.

Batu Maung assemblyman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain, who was present, said the event would likely be an annual affair on a variety of themes.

“Maybe in future, we can involve the entire southwest district for the competition so that people can also explore and make known the interesting places in the district.”

State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, who was also present, said he believed that such competitions could help bring out the attractions in Batu Maung.

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