Photographers spotted in the wild

Posted on 24 January 2012

….blink and you might miss them.

Photographers spotted in the wild

She’s a talented 28 year-old dynamo who’s just won the “Green Role Model” award at the Green Carpet Awards last year organized by the National Geographic Explorer magazine. She’s also one of the first few photographers sponsored by Nikon and has been celebrated as the Singapore Women’s Weekly Greatest Women of Our Time (Arts & Media).

He’s a dude, also twenty-something, who just quit his job in Jurong Island as an Inspection Engineer at Shell. He picked up photography last year and claims that his winning picture, exhibited in France, at the AFPAN 15th International Photo Competition 2011 was sort of a fluke.

Quite the motley pair.

Ethan and Ling separated at birth only to find each other in their late 20s.

The story began in January 2010 when Ethan met Ling at her photography exhibition. After a combined exhibition in May and a wildlife photography trip in June with 4 participants, Ling managed to charm Ethan into dumping his career as a $hell engineer, and to embark on a lifelong mission to chase his dreams.

Ling herself was previously a creative director at social media marketing company Techsailor and possessed 10 years of experience as a web designer. She finally decided to put her full focus on photography in Sept last year.

Ethan: How did you convince me to leave my job for this crazy journey?

The relationship is strictly platonic, they claim, even as they picked food off each others plates and discussed what they cooked for lunch. Ethan, the dude, handles the operations of the company while Ling handles the creative and communications work.

Bro, I'll take care of you.

Like most startups, they’re going through humble beginnings and that means working out of their homes.

Life, surprisingly, has been easier than what one would expect from wildlife photographers. While some have been bitten by snakes and others mauled by tigers, Ethan and Ling have, at worst, been mock-charged by elephants in Sri Lanka.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been any damage done to the pair before. Their tripod was once damaged by an orang utan on their debut trip together to an Orang Utan conservation in Borneo. But this turned out to be a convenient pitch when they asked for sponsorship for a new tripod. FYI, they’re currently using a GITZO Mountaineer Series GT3541 which costs nearly $700 USD.

Not the monkeys that broke the tripod, but a cool picture of snow monkeys in Japan.

Ling and Ethan are currently working on their next trip to Sri Lanka – a 7D6N expedition with 6 participants. But more than just being wildlife tour guides, they hope conserve the very landscapes that provide inspiration for their pictures. Working with local conservation groups, they’re hoping to raise awareness among the locals about the potentially lucrative business of eco-tourism.

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Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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