Capturing the charm of HK's nature

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2007, 12:00am

When we say someone can't see the forest for the trees, we mean a person is so bogged down by little details that he or she can't see the whole situation. Here's your chance to show you can see the big picture ... by taking photographs of trees.

For the Go Greening Photo Competition, organised by CLP to promote environmental conservation and nurture a love of trees among young Hongkongers, all you have to do is take a photograph of a tree (or trees) then write a description of this tree, how you feel about it, and the relationship of trees to the community.

The contest is divided into junior and senior sections. Entries must be in the form of printed 8R colour pictures with a 30- to 100-word essay. The prizes include trophies and book coupons.

To help you take a better picture, heed these tips from renowned nature photographer Water Poon. Poon shared his secrets to capturing nature's charms with students at a photo workshop at the ELCHK Lutheran Secondary School last month.

'Good photography involves your genuine feelings and sincerity. Instead of beautifying or debasing a subject, a photographer should always portray the real images through his lens,' said Poon.

The nature enthusiast says expensive photographic equipment does not guarantee quality pictures.

'Equipment is not the most important factor. Ordinary cameras are enough. A brilliant painter can create spell-binding images with only a pencil,' he said.

Poon, who has years of experience in nature photography, has a simple philosophy about life. 'Nature gives us much joy. A small stone or a tiny leaf can induce great pleasure. Such happiness cannot be bought with money,' he said.

Also present at the workshop was Ken So Kwok-yin, a certified arborist of the International Society of Arboriculture, who spoke about the trees indigenous to Hong Kong. 'There are more than 3,000 species of trees in Hong Kong but only about 400 species are indigenous to Hong Kong,' Mr So said.

'Indigenous trees play an important ecological role. Not only are they food sources for wild animals, they also provide a habitat for them. Their existence helps maintain a stable ecosystem.'

After the talk, more than 50 students fanned out across the sprawling campus to take pictures of trees. With Poon on hand to give advice, the students captured dozens of trees on film.

The deadline for submission of entries to the Go Greening contest is February 29.

For enquiries, call 2678 6845