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Photographers campaign environmental sustainability through wildlife photography

Nurni Sulaiman

The Jakarta Post

Medan, North Sumatra  /  Fri, October 25, 2019  /  04:56 pm
Photographers campaign environmental sustainability through wildlife photography

People attend a wildlife photography discussion at Consina Store Gatsu in Medan, North Sumatra, on Oct. 20 (JP/Nurni Sulaiman)

Photographer Sutanta Aditya and photographer/author Regina Safri shared techniques of wildlife photography in a series of discussions themed “Before Too Late” in Medan, North Sumatra, on Oct. 19 to 22.

Around 300 participants, which comprised photojournalists, photographers, nature lovers, members of NGOs and students, attended the events. In four days, they took place at North Sumatra University (USU) and Muhammadiyah University, among others.

The discussions proposed that wildlife photography was not just a desire to capture moments, natural beauty and the diversity of flora and fauna. The approach actually encouraged photographers to participate in environmental conservation campaigns.

"Forest conservation, especially in Sumatra and Kalimantan, had an impact on the local population, including protected primates such as orangutans," said Aditya. He said the declining population of orangutans was due to the rampant exploration activities of companies, which mostly operate on plantations and in the mining sector.

Read also: How to shoot the cherry blossoms: Tips from a photographer

Aditya, who won the grand prize in the Shoot for Sustainability Photo Competition by National Geographic Asia and Temasek this year, also shared photography tips. He mentioned that a photographer should do research beforehand.

"To find out about the natural damage in an area, we could use NASA satellites. This way, we could achieve a more targeted and specific topic," he said. He added that the satellites could also help photographers determine the type of gear or equipment needed for the work.

Meanwhile, Regina shared tips for photographing indigenous tribes. "It is more or less like falling in love, we can never tell whether it’ll be slow or quick. We need to be diligent and patient," she said.

Rahmat Suryadi, head of the Indonesian Photographers (PFI) the Medan chapter, added that nature photography might not suit everyone. He said that it required determination to overcome unpredictable obstacles in the wild. (wng)


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