Photo Essay: Elaine Ling

March 22nd, 2016  |  Published in March 2016  |  2 Comments

Baobob #13 – 2009, South Africa

Baobob #24 – 2010, Madagascar

Baobob #30 – 2010, Madagascar

Baobob #8 – 2008, Mali

Baobob #29 – 2010, Madagascar

Baobob #26 – 2010, Madagascar

“Baobob: Tree of Generations” – artist statement

In some of the most arid and infertile regions of Africa, Madagascar, and Australia the Baobab tree grows to enormous size. These miraculous giants are one of the largest living things on the planet and have a potential lifespan of more than a thousand years. They are great friends to their human neighbors—providing an ever-renewing source of textiles, netting, baskets and roofing. Their nutritious fruit has many medicinal properties.

My photographs are reflections on the ancient, life-sustaining dialogue between these enduring mega-trees and the people—grandmothers and fathers, parents, youths and small children— who live among them. These portraits, pairing individual Baobabs with their human neighbors, document a most intimate relationship. They were taken in South Africa, Mali and Madagascar.

Elaine Ling is an exuberant adventurer, traveler, and photographer who is most at home backpacking her view camera across the great deserts of the world and sleeping under the stars. Born in Hong Kong, Elaine Ling has lived in Canada since the age of nine. Upon graduation from University of Toronto, she has practiced family medicine among various First Nations peoples in Canada’s North as well as in Abu Dhabi and Nepal. Seeking the solitude of deserts and abandoned architectures of ancient cultures, Elaine Ling has explored the shifting equilibrium between nature and the man-made across four continents.

Ling used Polaroid P55 4×5 P/N film to make the photographs.  Exhibition prints are 30” x 40”

A portfolio of “Baobob:Tree of Generations” is available at

Elaine‘s website is


Kent Krugh is a fine art photographer living in Cincinnati.


  1. William Messer says:

    March 22nd, 2016at 11:54 pm(#)

    Feel compelled to mention that Elaine Ling had a solo exhibition of her Mongolian photographs in Cincinnati three years ago at Iris BookCafe and Gallery (where her exquisite book can been viewed). Also should mention she’s a classical cellist in an orchestra in Toronto and a phenomenal bundle of energy.

  2. Kent Krugh says:

    March 23rd, 2016at 3:26 pm(#)

    Elaine is driven to create, and that she does prolifically. See her website for her many portfolios. Fantastic!