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Wildlife snapper trains lens on plateau
By:China Daily
update:May 06,2022
Photographer Bao Yongqing's award-winning picture, The Moment, taken in Qilian Mountain National Park in June 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]
 
Dubbed the "roof of the world", the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is often associated with snow-capped mountains, vast grasslands and a cold climate, but photographer Bao Yongqing has captured an entire wildlife paradise for the world to behold.
 
Bao, 56, won the prestigious title of wildlife photographer of the year in 2019 for his image, named The Moment, which captured a standoff between a Tibetan fox and a marmot.
 
The first Chinese photographer to receive the international honor, awarded annually by the Natural History Museum in London, Bao says he is happy to use his camera to bring the plateau to the world.
 
Bao was born in Tianjun county in Northwest China's Qinghai province. Part of the Qilian Mountain National Park, his hometown is ideal for capturing wildlife because of its rich biodiversity.
 
His odyssey with the camera began in 2012 when he was working at a local livestock company. As a hobby, he used to take pictures of animals in his spare time. However, thanks to the encouragement and influence of his photographer friends, it soon turned into a profession.
 
A photo taken by Bao shows a mountain weasel capturing a pika in the same park. [Photo/Xinhua]

In 2015, he tracked a flock of falcons for more than 40 consecutive days and captured photographs of their life on wings. Seeing the older falcons taking care of a brood of fledglings, he was astounded by the resemblance between the animal world and the human world.
 
"The male falcon would fly out to forage at 6 am to feed the chicks and this reminded me of how human parents treat their babies," Bao says, adding that, be it animals or humans, both love their children the same way.
 
This experience impelled Bao to devote himself to pursuing wildlife photography. He once stayed alone for nine days in a canyon cave at an altitude of nearly 4,000 meters, in order to completely record the living conditions of snow leopards.
 
Under China's highest national-level protection, and listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, snow leopards are Bao's favorite subject for photography.
 
"The snow leopards always walk with confidence and even when they encounter humans, they don't run away," Bao says, adding that he shivers with excitement every time he spots a member of the rare species.
 
Despite his obsession with capturing thrilling moments, Bao refrains from luring animals closer to get a good picture. He always maintains a distance of more than 200 meters from his subject when shooting.
 
Bao in the Qinghai section of the Qilian Mountain National Park in June 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
 
The best wildlife photographs are produced when animals are in their natural state and free of external influences, Bao notes.
 
The shutterbug believes his years of dedication and creative endeavor are bringing positive outcomes.
 
"A picture is worth a thousand words"-Bao realized the true meaning of this idiom when his works were exhibited abroad and the Chinese government and people were lauded for their conservation efforts.
 
"I am glad to show the world our efforts in ecology protection on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau," Bao says.
 
He has also enjoyed showing the beautiful wildlife species to the children in his hometown. "Because of urbanization, children nowadays are not as connected to nature as we once were," Bao says.
 
Expressing his utter joy in enlightening children about wild animals, Bao notes that only when more people know about wild animals can nature be better protected.
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