Telling stories through award-winning photographs
Travelshooters' emphasis on intelligent travel and photographic storytelling means that we're always delighted to feature stunning work in the social documentary genre.
SocialDocumentary.net (whose tagline is "using the power of photography to promote global awareness") is an important player in this scene. Its last Call for Entries has produced some stunning work. The four exhibits receiving awards were:
- First place: Canada's Garth Lenz, for his work on the environmental harm caused by the commercialisation of the Alberta Tar Sands, which is one of the USA's largest sources of oil; Lenz lulls you, in his first handful of colour photographs, into a sense of calm over the beauty of the landscape, then abruptly shocks you with images and text showing the brutal damage being inflicted on the land and the environment — superb shots, a story eloquently told
Thoughts on being a Travelshooter
Is travel just about pins on the map?
There was a time, back in the last century, when my travel was mainly about ticking places off the list. Pins on the map, exotic cities neatly ticked off, on to the next one.
“I hear Kerala is good… never been to Kerala, must go there next year”… “Angkor Wat? Yeah, think I saw that in 2005, great place, would visit again, +++…”
I still love going to new places — what's not to like about new sights, new sounds, new tastes and smells? — but for a while now I’ve realised that, for me anyway, travel is about more than ticking new destinations (and even new experiences) off a list.
I want two things:
- I want to come away with a better understanding of how different worlds work, of what makes people different or similar, of why things are the way they are…
- and I want to take better photographs.
Fortunately, the two things are not polar opposites. They go hand in hand. In fact, one is a prerequisite of the other. Together, they create better photographs, and often, they create photos that tell a story.
Check this production clip out from Tom Lowe, using Canon and Red MX cameras, some cool motion control and time lapse rigs and, most important of all, a great creative shooter. No CGI, no tricks, no special effects, just a great combination of tech and talent.
Winners announced — some great images
I tweeted this morning about the Travel Photographer of the Year 2010 images up on the Guardian website. Every one of those images is a stunner and inspires me to work harder and be faster and looser with my shooting.
The ones that are real standouts for me are Larry Louie's Great Mosque of Djenné, the amazing Indonesian boy-with-shark by James Morgan, and the psychedelic sadhu by Poras Chaudary… just wow! The sadhu is caught emerging from a cloud of colour during India's amazing Holi festival — which of course reminds me that Travelshooters is big on Indian festivals and we're already catching the Diwali festival in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, on our Pushkar Camel Fair 2011 photography tour. Should be fireworks.