The Photographer

Ch'ien Lee holds a B.Sc. in Biology/Ecology from the University of California Santa Cruz. Having maintained a keen interest in nature since childhood, his enthusiasm has led him to study various subjects ranging from entomology to animal tracking and ethnobotany, and eventually to work as a naturalist and environmental educator in the East Bay Regional Parks in northern California. In 1996, fulfilling a lifelong desire to live in the tropics, he moved to Sarawak (East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo) to work in a program for the propagation of native plant species.

Ch'ien has always considered photography an excellent method to convey ideas and share his fascination about natural subjects encountered during his travels. His hobby became a professional endeavor in 2003. "Borneo is a fantastic place to live if you've got an insatiable interest in nature. It's easy for a photographer to get spoiled by the overwhelming diversity of subjects every time you're out. Of course working in the tropics presents some real obstacles for photography, but it's always worth the effort."

Pitcher-plants (Nepenthes) have been a major focus of his studies for over 14 years. "A lot of my travel over the past decade has been for the documentation of rare Nepenthes and this has taken me to many really remote parts of Southeast Asia." His photographs have appeared in numerous articles and books, and are featured in "A Walk through the Lowland Rain Forest of Sabah", "Visions of Mulu", "Pitcher Plants of Sarawak", and "The Fishes of Kuching Rivers". He is currently a committee member of the Malaysian Nature Society (Kuching Branch), and the Kuching Bird Study Group.

Since 2010, Ch'ien's photography has been represented by the highly-acclaimed agency Minden Pictures.


Great care has been taken to insure the scientific accuracy of all the content of this site, though due to the large scope of subjects, complete identifications are not always possible. The following specialists have generously contributed their expertise to species identifications and general information: Dr. Indraneil Das (reptiles & amphibians), Dr. Phil Bragg (stick insects & mantids), Dr. Dave Rentz (grasshoppers & katydids), Dr. Gen Ito (grasshoppers & katydids), Dr. Björn Lardner (reptiles & amphibians), Anthony Lamb (orchids), Dr. Joseph Koh (spiders), Dr. Peter Boyce (aroids), Dr. Chris Darling (beetles), Dr. Robert Inger (reptiles & amphibians), Dr. Denis Keith (beetles), Dr. Rudy Kohout (ants), J. Lindley McKay (reptiles & amphibians), Dr. Axel Poulsen (gingers), Dr. Jaap Vermeulen (orchids & molluscs), Arno Szwab (mantids & stick insects), and Robert Steubing (reptiles & amphibians).

About the Photos

In the production of these images every effort has been made to reproduce colors as naturally as they appeared in the original scene. None of the photographs have been digitally altered in any way except for standard processing adjustments such as brightness and contrast. Nearly all the images displayed on this website were captured using Nikon equipment.

Due to the calibration of your monitor the colors of the image may appear different than the actual photograph (monitor calibration with appropriate software and hardware is highly recommended). Your monitor's brightness and contrast should also be adjusted so that you are able to see distinctly 9 shades of gray between black and white in the pattern below.

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