Win­ning shot all in a day’s work

The Bulletin - - News - In­ter­views Matt Bam­ford, Michael Mor­row

RO­HAN Kelly, a pho­tog­ra­pher on The Daily Tele­graph in Syd­ney, has won a ma­jor World Press Photo Foun­da­tion award for a strik­ing pic­ture of a mas­sive storm front ap­proach­ing Bondi Beach.

For Kelly, though, it was just an­other day at the of­fice. After cap­tur­ing the im­age, he was off to the next job.

Kelly’s photo took out the Na­ture sec­tion of the awards – one of eight cat­e­gories in the international com­pe­ti­tion.

To put this achieve­ment in some per- spec­tive, the eight cat­e­gory win­ners were se­lected from 82,951 pho­tos from 5775 pho­tog­ra­phers from 128 coun­tries.

Cap­tured in Novem­ber when vi­o­lent late-spring storms caused havoc in Syd­ney, Kelly said the im­age had to be taken quickly as the fast-mov­ing sys­tem bore down. “I was at Bondi to shoot a film fes­ti­val and I saw this storm com­ing through. I was wor­ried it would ruin the shot,” he said.

“But then I saw these clouds as I was driv­ing away, so I pulled over and had about 15 min­utes be­fore it ab­so­lutely buck­eted down.” “I took a few shots then went off to court for the next job.

“A few peo­ple in the of­fice seemed to think it was pretty good, so I en­tered it. I didn’t know it would be a prize win­ner.”

The World Press Photo Foun­da­tion Photo of the Year was won by War­ren Richard­son, an Aus­tralian- bor n free­lance pho­tog­ra­pher based in Eastern Europe.

His win­ning im­age of a man pass­ing a baby through a barbed wire fence at the Hun­gar­ian- Ser­bian bor­der in Röszke, Hun­gary, was taken last Au­gust.

Richard­son, a self-taught pho­tog­ra­pher, un­der­takes long-term projects deal­ing with hu­man and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, as well as as­sign­ments for news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines and com­pa­nies.

He said the photo “causes you to stop and con­sider the man’s face, con­sider the child. You see the sharp­ness of the barbed wire and the hands reach­ing out from the dark­ness.”

Un­til it won, the photo was un­pub­lished. Richard­son said he of­fered it to two news or­gan­i­sa­tions, nei­ther of which re­sponded.

Judges, how­ever, saw some­thing spe­cial in the black-and­white im­age.

Vaughn Wal­lace, deputy photo ed­i­tor for Al Jazeera Amer­ica, said the im­age was “in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful vis­ually, but also very nu­anced”.

Richard­son took the photo in moon­light. “Had I used a flash, I would have given their po­si­tion away to the Hun­gar­ian po­lice,” he said.

As he did not take trans­mis­sion equip­ment into the field, he did not re­alise the baby was in the im­age un­til he re­turned home to Bu­dapest and down­loaded his work to a com­puter.

“But at the end of the day, the pic­ture talks for it­self,” he said.

Kelly’s win­ning shot . . . “I didn’t know it would be a prize win­ner”

Ro­han Kelly . . . “a few peo­ple at the of­fice thought it was pretty good”

War­ren Richard­son and his photo of the year . . . “in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful vis­ually”

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