Nature enthusiasts showcase artistic skills at MTCC Photography Contest 2018

Nothing is more awe-inspiring and mesmerising than a photograph that captures the wonder and beauty of nature. That was precisely what the 25 winning photographs and one short video from the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) Photography Contest 2018 have done in captivating the audience at Malaysia’s largest imaging event, the Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival (KLPF), from the 26th to the 28th of October 2018.

Bearing the theme “Experience Forest, Experience MTCS–PEFC”, the Second Edition of the MTCC Photography Contest, which ran from 1 June to 10 September 2018, garnered a total submission of 990 photographs and 12 short videos from 133 participants with a good mix of entries from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

According to Elliot Erwitt, one of the leading figures in magazine, advertising, and commercial photography, “Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

“To a great extent, the MTCC Photography Contest was organised to achieve this objective. MTCC hopes that through this platform and the lenses of nature enthusiasts, the photographs produced and displayed at KLPF will enable both the photographers and general public to see the forests in a different way, to better appreciate the many roles and functions of forests, and a greater awareness that these forests could be sustainably managed, contributing to our national sustainability agenda,” said MTCC CEO, Mr Yong Teng Koon.

Truly capturing the essence of forest sustainability was the Grand Prize photograph titled “Germination”, which bagged Mohd Samsi Sumairi a cash prize of RM2,000 (US$478) and a photobook courtesy of PCP Publications. The photograph showcasing a ray of sunlight seeping through towering trees in the dense Kanching Forest Reserve, with a budding seedling at the forefront taking centre stage, symbolising continued growth and renewal, is a picture that perfectly represents sustainability.

“Forests are valuable natural treasures key to maintaining sustainability of life in the aspects of economy, social and environment,” Sumairi said, sharing his joy and message behind his winning photograph. “My photograph of the budding seedling symbolises two things – the ability of forests to regenerate, as well as sustainability and hope for the coming generations. I am grateful to MTCC for giving me this opportunity to explore and express my love for forests through this contest. I hope that more people will learn to care for and relish our wonderful nature in Malaysia.”

Besides the original three categories: (i) People and Forest, (ii) Forest and Forest Landscapes, and (iii) Forest and Animals, the MTCC Photography Contest 2018 also included a brand new short video category in recognition of the power of videography to spark human emotion and connection to forests. The First Prize winners for the three categories of photography are as follows:

(i)                  People and Forest: Redzuan Bohari

(ii)                Forest and Forest Landscapes: Teoh Wen Chong

(iii)               Forest and Animals: Pang Siew Peng

Bagging the RM500 (US$119.50) cash prize for the video category was Lee Yen Phin, whose short video showcased Sabah’s stunning tropical forest scenery coupled with beautiful sounds of nature.

The first prize winners in each category received RM1,000 (US$239) each, while two merit prizes of RM500 and five consolation prizes of RM200 each per category were also awarded. All winners also received a photobook courtesy of PCP Publications. All winning photographs and the winning short video were exhibited at the MTCC’s booth for visitors’ viewing pleasure.