Photographer Spotlight: Liew Tong Leng


Wildlife Category April 2020 Winner, Liew Tong Leng, taken at Jurong Lake Garden, Singapore

As ASIAN Geographic’s annual Images of Asia (IOA) 2020 Photo/Videography Competition looms closer, submissions to our IOA Monthly competition – the precursor to our annual event – are pouring in. We have received stunning photos across the categories, and are now featuring our monthly winners in an exclusive interview!

Below is our interview with one of this month’s spotlight, Liew Tong Leng, the IOA Monthly April 2020 Winner in the Wildlife category, selected from the March 2020 entries.

AG: What is the story of your beginning and journey to creating great images?

Tong Leng: I picked up photography in 1992, as a result of being in the company of friends who were photography enthusiasts. Little did I know then that this hobby would blossom into a full-blown passion that would take me to places I’d never imagine. Trained as an engineer, I naturally gravitate towards thoroughly understanding the mechanics of a camera and the details of the images I create.

In addition to the science of photography is the art to it. And I have spent many years cultivating a creative eye. I started taking part in photography competitions in the 90s as a challenge to myself, to benchmark my photography skills against others and to improve as a photographer. 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.

AG: How would you define your style and concepts you enjoy exploring?

Tong Leng: After shooting for a few years, I realised I love to shoot photos with action in it. It can be freeze action or showing motion in a still photo using very slow shutter speed and at the same time incorporating creative composition. 

AG: What is great photography to you, and are there any photographers you would like to work with?

Tong Leng: To me, a great photo has 3 elements in it. Light, composition and moment. Moment being the most difficult to capture as it requires precise timing and patience. Normally I work alone. Sometimes I could be with my photography friends as company but we take our own photos.

AG: What is your preferred imaging gear to work with and why?

Tong Leng: I started using Nikon film cameras in 1992 and now it has evolved to a Nikon DSLR. My favourite camera now is the Nikon D850 and I have a whole set of Nikon lenses to go with it. Nikon D850 has a very high mega pixel sensor and the image quality is amazing. After using Nikon for so many years, I’m so familiar with it that I can just focus on getting the image.

AG: What is the next Asian destination you’d like to explore and why?

Tong Leng: I would like to visit more places in China. China is a very big country with many diversified cultures and tribes that I’d like to explore.

AG: Can you share more about your current and upcoming projects?

Tong Leng:I do not have any current and upcoming projects as the Covid-19 situation is affecting the world especially the travel industry.


Congratulations once again to Tong Leng for being the Images of Asia (IOA) Monthly Winner in the Wildlife Category! You can check out Tong Leng’s Instagram here!

Read about the other April Photographer Features of Images of Asia Monthly Winners:

1. Photojournalism Category Winner, Md Omar Faruk, with his photo taken at Sylhet, Bangladesh

2. Wildlife Category Winner, Liew Tong Leng, with his photo taken at Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

The other two winners for IOA Monthly April are second-time awardees, and their latest photos, as well as previous features, can be accessed here:


1. Black and White Category Winner, Sirsendu Gayen, with his photo below taken at Nanjing South Railway Station, China


Congratulations to Images of Asia (IOA) Monthly March Winner in the Black & White Category, Sirsendu Gayen, with his…

Posted by Asian Geographic on Wednesday, 8 April 2020


2. Street/People Category Winner, Zon Hisham, with his photo below “My Homeland: Paddling through the backwaters of Barisal, where rivers and canals crisscross, creating lush green landscapes”, taken in Barisal.


Congratulations to Images of Asia (IOA) Monthly April Winner in the Street/People Category, Zon Hisham, with his image "…

Posted by Asian Geographic on Wednesday, 8 April 2020


Follow Asian Geographic Instagram for the latest updates.

Love shooting photos of the vast and beautiful Asia? Submit your entries today! More details of Images of Asia Monthly here.


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