Yong is a photographer and editor born and raised in Singapore. His love for sport originated from his competitive basketball background.
Having picked up photography only in college, Yong honed his eye through covering school sports. Majoring in communication at SUNY Buffalo’s offshore campus, Yong found work with Reuters as a multimedia producer, and later ventured into freelance work. Yong went on to intern with Getty Sport in Los Angeles in spring 2019, and is now a contract photo editor with Getty Images.
Currently based out of Singapore, where there is nary a focus in sport, Yong’s goal is to one day work in the U.S., photograph sport daily and grow alongside the best.
Having been on loaners from Canon through his career, Yong hopes to use the DPPF grant to acquire more equipment of his own and fund international travel to future workshops and gatherings in a post-pandemic world.
Yong gives us some insight into three of his grant-winning photos:
This frame holds up as one of my favorites, considering I was still pretty fresh in my career when I took it. This was my first ever diving event, and I had made sure to read up and look at countless images prior. The venue wasn’t a pretty one, and even pans couldn’t help clean up much of the background. By a stroke of luck, I caught the diver as he broke the water, and the gamble of a tight frame paid off.
I’ve always heard from the veteran tennis photographers on the pleasure of photographing Gael Monfils, and naturally those words helped me understand his gameplay a little better when I got this assignment at Indian Wells in 2019. One of the most agile athletes on the ATP tour, I was hoping for a nice image of him lunging but walked away with an odd one. His form, coupled with the expression and shadow, made it work.
Singapore is not a great place for sport, so imagine my excitement when a rare boxing event hits! This was my first time shooting the sport, and I really wanted to get a nice punch with sweat. A lot of research went into this, including tips from Al (Bello), who’s now one of my mentors. The fight went into the later rounds, and I was literally praying for more sweat ha! Lady Luck was definitely on my side that night as well, as the punch happened my way.
Equestrian sport is one of my favorite events to photograph, as the sport can be pretty challenging with two primary subjects and multiple other elements to note. I’m a huge fan of shooting with remote cameras, and this frame was shot on one. Setups like these are always secondary, and while some balk at the idea of extra work, sometimes the best frames from a day can come from a remote if it works out well! I had 18 attempts (athlete and horse combinations) during the event, and this was one of my best frames from the week-long assignment. All the elements I wanted and planned for fell nicely into place.
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