Malaysian landscape, nature and wildlife photographer Yusuf Madi recently received the title “Highly Recommended” for a selected photograph at the 2021 Mangrove Photography Awards in the United States.
The competition, organized by the Mangrove Action Project (MAP), is now in its seventh year and aims to show the relationship between wildlife, coastal communities and mangrove forests, as well as the fragility of these unique ecosystems, both above and below the waterline.
His acclaimed photograph, titled “Shining Stars Above Mangrove Tree” shows a stunning portrait of the Milky Way shining above a mangrove swamp at Mersing Beach, Pulau Mawar. The area is only accessible on foot at low tide.
Yusuf’s photograph was one of 28 images chosen from a pool of 1,327 submissions.
Create stories through images
In a maintenance with Asian Geographic, where he has already won awards for their Images of Asia (IOA) award, Yusuf started photography by capturing diverse subjects with different ways of creating stories.
He later discovered that his passion was more towards nature.
I have always loved and been obsessed with photos containing a “soul” that can convey stories and create feelings for viewers. The truth is, we don’t create a photo with a camera, we create it with our eyes.
Yusuf Madi via Asian Geographic
Importance of mangroves and photography
Mangroves are important to the ecosystem as they uniquely support plants and humans, from providing breeding grounds for fish to storing carbon to protecting against flooding.
They are also an important protection against climate change. For example, an acre of mangroves absorbs almost the same amount of carbon dioxide as an acre of Amazon rainforest.
Despite their importance, they are also under threat, with more than a third having disappeared due to land reclamation for agriculture, industrial development and infrastructure projects.
It has never been more important to promote the conservation of these fragile ecosystems through inspiring photography.
Robert Irwin, judge of the Mangrove Photography Awards 2021