Liew Tong Leng
Winner of Nikon’s The Big Shot 1.
Liew Tong Leng (or Liew, as he prefers to be called) picked up photography in 1992, as a result of being in the company of friends who were photography enthusiasts. Little did he know then that this hobby would blossom into a full-blown passion that would take him to places he’d never imagine. Literally.
Trained as an engineer, Liew naturally gravitates towards thoroughly understanding the mechanics of a camera and the details of the images he creates. This in-depth knowledge is something he passes on to his students – concepts that he’s personally mulled over to fully fathom, then succinctly put in words to make it comprehensible for the layman. Just ask him about “depth of field”!
In addition to the Science of photography, is the Art of it. And Liew has spent many years cultivating a creative eye. Never bound by themes posed to him, this talented photographer pushes the boundaries of interpretation, and uses his technical know-how to create images that are not only technically superior, but also beautifully and artistically crafted.
As a testimony to his technical and artistic talent, Liew has clinched hundreds of photography awards, including the Great Eastern 4th Photography Competition (2004), Best of Asian Aerospace Photography Contest (2004), and The Big Shot (2010), a reality TV programme aired on MediaCorp Ch5.
But more than capturing images to win competitions are the lessons he’s drawn from participating in them. “I started taking part in photography competitions as a challenge for myself, to benchmark my photography skills against others, and to improve as a photographer,” Liew says. “Later, I realised that it’s actually through the process of being part of these competitions that really helped me to be a better photographer, and not the results.”
One of Liew’s passions is to travel, and to capture images of faces and places, so that he can share with others what he sees through his lens. As French novelist Marcel Proust puts it so succinctly, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Despite having numerous photography awards under his belt, shooting almost every available time he has, and imparting the skills he’s acquired through the years to others, he’s still adamant about not turning professional.