When I first met C.S. Ling, I couldn’t have been more impressed. There is a certain aura about her that gives everyone she encounters a certain confidence in their own passions. It is because the passion she has for her art comes through with every action, every movement that she takes. It is very easy to understand why she earned the title of being one of the “Great Women of Our Time” by Singapore Women’s Weekly Magazine in 2011 for arts and media.
“I created a Life List,” she told Travelled Paths. “I use it to motivate me to live life to its fullest. I’ve learned that if you really want to do something, then you can do it!”
Her list of accomplishments are numerous. Her photography is stunning. Instead of trying to keep her gift to herself, however, Ling is often hosting workshops so that other photographers can enhance their own skills and get a taste of what it is like to capture some of nature’s most intimate moments.
There’s also a sense of humour about Ling that you won’t find with other photographers. I suppose it is partly because it is a challenge to be a woman and a photographer in Singapore at times at a good laugh is necessary. Part of it is also her natural style – after all, not everyone compares their camera to a bazooka!
You can feel what she feels with every shot, see what she sees, and it really is a breathtaking experience. Love, peace, and gratitude come through with every image, touching the heart. Even when you see these images online, it is easy to see why she has been featured at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
“I have a passion to capture the vanishing landscapes and the endangered wildlife of our world,” says Ling. “If an image is compelling enough, then maybe it will inspire someone.”
C.S Ling’s Pictorial Journey – in her own words
One of the largest hornbills in the world, up close and personal! These majestic birds used to inhabit the forests of Singapore a long time ago, but with the progress of civilisation and the resultant habitat loss, they’ve become extinct locally. It was almost as if he knew we were photographing him as he proudly shows off his beautiful bright orange casque, which reminds me in some ways of the prehistoric hadrosaurids. The most memorable moment for me was when he flew overhead, I could clearly hear the whooshing sound of every wing beat. It was AMAZING…
I observed this pair of juvenile Pig-tailed Macaques on the river a few years back. For almost half an hour, they drink, eat, climb over each other and play fight like there’s no tomorrow. When finally that magical moment came when they started to take interest in me; a strange creature with a huge lens staring at them. Our eyes met and their wide-eyed curiosity was captured on photo. And it’s that wide-eyed curiosity that captures my heart, and brings me back to Borneo every time.
[Grand Prize of Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice Award 2012]
My most rewarding shot is of this Pig-tailed Macaque drinking water at the Kinabatangan River in Borneo. It’s a place which I’ve been to more than a dozen times over past 6 years! Selected from nearly 20,000 images from photographers in 46 countries, this winning photo was exhibited at the prestigious Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. from June 2013 – 2014.
I returned to the Pearl Shoal Falls for several days before capturing this image on an azure blue sky day. This photo of Pearl Shoal Falls in Jiu Zhai Gou combines the essence of the four seasons – the red and yellow foliage of autumn, snow-capped mountains of winter, evergreen pines of spring and cooling waters of summer.
A Snow Monkey mother and child sleeping while soaking in a hot spring and waiting out the snow blizzard which blazed through for the whole day. Even I was covered by snow like they were. 😀
These amazing high fliers have been known to fly to amazing heights during migration. They have even been visually identified by an airline pilot at 29,000 feet! I waited hours in the freezing cold, approximately -15 degrees + windchill, for this image of the Whooper Swans flying towards the frozen crater lake in Hokkaido, Japan.
If you would like to join C.S. Ling on one of her upcoming workshops, then hurry because time is running out fast! You can also catch up with her on Facebook or get to know more of her images on her website. It’s not just endangered animals around the world that Ling helps either. With her pets and family photography studio, she’s also helping local pet shelters.
I wouldn’t expect anything less.