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Stéphane Couture, Canada (Open Competition, Travel)
Foley Hits, Malaysia (Open Competition, Culture)
Will Burrard-Lucas, United Kingdm (Professional, Natural World)
Fanjing Lu, China (Open Competition, Travel)
Frederik Buyckx, Belgium (Professional, Landscape)Whiteout. There is a peculiar transformation of nature when winter comes, when snow and ice start to dominate the landscape and when humans and animals have to deal with the extreme weather. The series investigates this struggle against disappearance. The struggle against a whiteout. These photos were made in the Balkans, Scandinavia and Central Asia; remote areas where people often live in isolation and in close contact with nature. A harsh existence, fighting against superhuman forces.
Christian Vizl, Mexico (Professional, Natural World)Silent Kingdom. Ever since I was a kid, as far back as I can remember, I was attracted to the sea. I dreamt about what lay beneath the waves, and how would it look if suddenly all the water vanished, leaving all the animals and living creatures in stasis. In this way, I could walk within the ocean and see them all, suspended for a moment in time and space. To this day I carry within me that dream; and very gratefully realise it through my photography. Each image is a visualisation of that sublime moment whereupon the beautiful marine life around me is frozen majestically in its natural environment. My intention is to capture the essence of being immersed in the experience and presence of the animal or habitat I am photographing, and to share with others their splendour and soul. I hope the images I capture contribute to the existing corpus of underwater photography in a way that energises each of us to form our own dream of preserving and creating a better world where we value and care for all expressions of life. Ultimately our understanding and celebration of the sheer beauty and poetry of life is intrinsically linked to how we communicate and bond with the myriad configurations of life energy surrounding us. In my case, it is the ocean and its marine inhabitants which inform my observance and joy for life. I in turn communicate this through my photography of the underwater realm.
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