Heaven knows I have entered enough photo competitions. More often than not I find myself thinking that the winners were lucky in the sense they were in the right place at the right time. So much luck is involved in photography, though I suppose it’s also true to say that you make your own luck. You know: hike up a mountain in the dark to capture the sunrise lighting the misty valley below; or climb into the depth of a subterranean cave to capture glow worms after first wading through icy water in pitch darkness. So many great photos are made through endeavour and perseverance and they deserve all the accolades they receive, and that is especially true of nature photographers.
But my moment of triumph came from pure good fortune. We were in a car on a tour of Rio de Janeiro alongside Copacabana Beach when the traffic stopped next to scaffolding with workers strung out like birds on a wire constructing the Olympic beach volleyball stadium. I wound down the window and grabbed a few shots before the traffic moved on.
The photo was entered in Auckland Camera Centre’s competition and won 1st prize in the street photo category. This what the judge, Chris Leskovsek, had to say:
“The term ‘street photography’ has been widely discussed as to what is and what isn’t. But somehow all tend to agree that it is the art of capturing the extraordinary out of the ordinary of everyday life. And with that thought, while I was browsing through all the images, this one caught my attention from all the others. I simply love this grid like composition, the symmetry, the colours, the forced perspective and colours palette within this shot. Granted we have all seen construction site workers, but to me, the workers here look like musical notes on a music pentagram to which the photographer has brilliantly directed.”