Interview With Travel Photographer Chee Keong Lim

The Malaysian travel photographer Chee Keong Lim is an artist guided by a clear vision: to present nature and human nature with all honesty.

“I hope my work is not only beautiful but also shows kindness and captures the reality and truth of the moment the camera clicks”. [C.K. LIM]

What captures the viewer’s attention when looking at Lim’s photographs for the first time is a sense of natural beauty, purity and powerful energy. Dynamicity and stillness, fearlessness and candor are just two sets of opposites magnificently featured in Chee Keong Lim’s art.

I wish to thank Lim for another rewarding and inspirational interview. Let’s discover more of his incredible work and photographic experience.

G.M. Could you please tell us about your first encounter with photography? What made you start as a photographer?

C.K.L. I have loved photography since I was little. To be exact, my passion for photography started when I was in secondary school. At the time, I had always wanted to capture the beauty of the world. With my poor artistic skills, I couldn’t do it with a pen. Therefore, I started looking into learning photography. To me, a camera can record a beautiful moment and capture more than what words can describe. This is what motivated me to learn photography.

On the Way Home Photo Taken by Chee Keon Lim in Myanmar
‘On the Way Home’ © Chee Keong Lim, Myanmar

G.M. What is your favorite destination for travel photography?

C.K.L. My favorite country to go for travel and photography is Myanmar. Its rustic beauty and simplicity makes it the top of my travel list. When I first stepped into the country, I knew I will go again. Right now, I am preparing for my forth visit to Myanmar to take some awesome pictures.

G.M. How do you choose the location for your projects?

C.K.L. Whenever I plan for a photography trip, I start setting up the theme. Is it going to be scenic, architectural, or people-oriented? So far, I have focused mostly on the people and culture of the country I have visited. For this reason, Asia has been my travel choice. Besides Myanmar, Yunnan and Indonesia are also my favorite places for photography.

Beautiful sunrise photograph taken by Chee Keong Lim in China
Sunrise in Yuang Yang, China © Chee Keong Lim

G.M. How important is post-processing in your work? Is there an editing software you prefer using?

C.K.L. I love to remind myself: THINK BEFORE YOU SNAP! The composition, the light and shadow etc., along with good planning will lead to good pictures. Instead of spending lots of time on editing, I rather spend time thinking over the composition and pay attention to the details when the photo is taken. Nevertheless, editing is still a part of my production process. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are the software programs that I use.

G.M. What camera gear do you currently use? Do you take with you any additional equipment on a shooting day?

C.K.L. The model of the camera I use is Canon EOS 1DX. My favourite lenses are 8-15mm, 16-35 mm, 24-105mm and 70-200mm, and few other fix lenses. I rarely take all of them with me when I travel except for the zoom lens and fisheye lens.

'Alone' Photo by Chee Keong Lim - Silver SALON Medal
‘Alone’, Malaysia © Chee Keong Lim – Silver SALON Medal

G.M. Where do you find inspiration?

C.K.L. Besides traveling and photography, I also enjoy reading. I believe enriching one’s knowledge can enrich what he produces.  A picture will tell the viewer what the photographer thinks, that’s why people say a picture is worth a thousand words.

“I still wish to learn more about art so I can improve my understanding of beauty.” [CK LIM]

G.M. How would you define your photographic style in three words?

C.K.L. I have been striving to portray sincerity, kindness and beauty through my works. I hope my work is not only beautiful but also shows kindness and captures the reality and truth of the moment the camera clicks.

Winning photograph by Chee Keong Lim for Open Portfolio 2015 Tera Bella Media Contest
Winning Entry for Terra Bella Media Open Portfolio 2015 © Chee Keong Lim

G.M. If you could start again as a photographer is there anything you would do differently? Are there any sectors you’d like to explore more?

C.K.L. If I were to start over, I would have spent more time strengthening my foundation in arts. Up until today, I still wish to learn more about art so I can improve my understanding of beauty.

“A serious attitude towards each shot will determine the depth of your picture”. [CK LIM]

G.M. If it weren’t for photography, what else would you do?

C.K.L. I love photography, without it, I think I would feel very empty. If I had to choose another occupation, I hope I could help people through reading and travelling. Perhaps hosting events and share my experience.

Beautiful sunset picture taken by Chee Keong Lim in Myanmar
Myanmar © Chee Keong Lim

G.M. Any words of wisdom for photography enthusiasts at the beginning of their journey?

C.K.L. Think before you snap. Every time before I take a picture, I first ask myself: why am I taking this picture? I think a serious attitude towards each shot will determine the depth of your picture.

G.M. Can you tell us a bit about your future projects?

C.K.L. I have been hosting photography trips. In September, I will be taking a photography tour to China. Then in December I will be going to Myanmar again. I hope to host more of this kind of trips in the near future. Those who are interested can Facebook me.

A monk on his way back to temple - Photo by Chee Keong Lim
‘Going Home’ © Chee Keong Lim

Discover more of Chee Keong Lim’s work and photo projects on his 500px Page or Facebook.

Disclaimer: This interview has been lightly proofread and edited for style purposes.

All photographs featured on this post belong to CHEE KEONG LIM and are protected by intellectual property rights. 

2 thoughts on “Interview With Travel Photographer Chee Keong Lim”

  1. Thanks, Melih, for bringing this to our attention. There’s a striking resemblance between “Playing” and “Water Symphony”. As far as I know Chee Keong Lim took the “Playing” photograph in 2012. I hope I am not wrong. Without doubt, however, in 2013, he earned the first prize in the Single Image Category of LensCulture Exposure Awards with this entry.


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