By Tan Mei Kuan
Hosted by Perak Academy, photographer Omar Ariff presented a talk on “Perak: The Natural Wonders” featuring his collection of photographs that tells the story of Perak’s natural diversity.
It was held recently at the Perak Academy along Jalan Tun Sambanthan.
“I am a photographer publisher, just about to complete my 18th book. I get commissioned by various people to do the books. This goes back to 2002 when Multimedia Development Corporation Malaysia wanted to do a coffee-table book to celebrate their 10th year. I was very fortunate because at that time I did not have any portfolio or done a book before, but they had faith in me. They commissioned me and they were happy with the finished book. Then the next client, Petronas, came and it goes on,” Omar, hailing from Kuala Lumpur but captures pictures all over the world, told Ipoh Echo.
“I’m self-taught, it’s a passion! I always look forward to a Monday morning to go to work. I’ve done books on nature, insects, food and fruits, among others. Some are available at specialised bookstores like Kinokuniya and Silverfish while some are private such as gifts. I’m currently working on another book, it’s going to be on the Kinta Valley; that should be out in a couple of months,” he enthused, citing capturing natural elements as his favourite.
“I used to have a website but I brought it down because a lot of people were stealing my photographs even though the pictures were small. I just don’t have the time to monitor it,” he pointed out.
Here’s his advice for aspiring photographers: “You have to capture from your heart. You have to have the passion and interest. For me, when it comes to nature, why I love it so much is because of what you learn. I’m not a caver but I learned about caving. I don’t know about wild and exotic fruits but because I spent time with (the) Orang Asli, they taught me how to eat it as certain fruits are poisonous.”
His latest book titled, “The Incredible Fruits of Perak” is available online at Silverfish and Kinokuniya at RM120.