I just returned from Melbourne where I went to watch the judging of the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPAs) where I managed to achieve 3 Silver awards… Of course I submitted 4 Gold with distinction images from one of my many trips to Bhutan, but something happened to them on the way over and they transformed to three silvers and one bombed out completely at 78 (No award, Silver award starts at 80 points).
The judging was certainly fierce, and there were no free rides handed out. I look back on many of my past entries that got easy silvers, and I doubt they would even get a look in now. I think that really shows how the standard of photography in Australia has risen, my own with it I hope, and the competition is now very intense.
Another image from Brasil shot on the Hasselblad XPan (which i didn’t sell on the weekend), This is Santos Beach, the same beach as this previous post of the soccer players. I lived in Santos for about 3 months back in 2003, as you can see from the buildings on the waterfront, its quite a big city, certainly by Australian standards. Big and densely populated, with a big wide flat beach that is always packed with people running, playing football (soccer), swimming surfing reading or walking. Brasilians love their beaches.
This shot was taken just after sunset after a long hot day of tropical humidity. Up the other end of the beach is a popular surf break and these guys had probably spent most of the afternoon catching a few waves before walking back along the shore to home. The sky shows the typical colours of the classic tropical sunset with lots of moisture in the air really bring out the colours.
The city of Santos is built on an island in the middle of the river mouth of the busiest harbour in the southern Hemisphere, one of the 2 or 3 busiest harbours in the world, Santos is an island that is actually a sandbar… it’s made of sand. What you can’t see in this image is that most of the high rise buildings along the waterfront are leaning at crazy and precarious angles. They weren’t built that way, they have sagged over time, like the famous tower of Pizza, as the foundations sank into the soft shifting sand they were built on.
Most all of them have been stabilised now, but fixed on the crazy angles they were leaning at, as it’s very difficult to straighten a high rise building. So if you go up into some of the apartments, especially the upper ones, you can spend your day walking up and down hills. A pen dropped onto the floor will roll all the way across the room, and falling out of bed becomes an everyday occurrence. I think with time it would do some strange things to your sense of balance and perspective or perhaps your neck… as every time you gaze out the window the horizon is a diagonal line across your outlook.
I’m sure i have some images in the vast 5000 strong catalogue i shot in Brasil of those building from the waters edge where the angles are visible, i’ll have to make a concerted effort to find them, in the mean time enjoy the tropical sunset.
This shot was taken on the Hasselblad XPan with the 45mm f4 lens, i wish it had been shot on Fuji velvia, or even Provia 400, but it was taken on Fuji reporter pro, an ISO 800 neg film. This film is great at what it was designed for, quick press work, but it’s not ideal for landscape, Negative colour film is not much fun to scan and requires a lot of dusting. Still, it works, and i won a silver at the APPAs a couple of years back for this image.
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