With this final image, the main decision was getting the right composition which would be able to show the scale of the location. From a technical perspective, using a tripod to deal with longer exposures and the smaller aperture needed to get the right depth of field. Also doing bracketed exposures, although in the end I found I could get the result I needed from a single capture with some careful post processing.
• Your title, ‘The Cathedral’, suggests that you saw something else in this image. Is there a story behind this?
The feeling of walking through this space reminded me walking inside some of Europe’s grandest cathedrals with their enormous halls and columns. For any Lord of the Rings fans out there, these columns also reminded me of the scene when the Fellowship first enter the Great Realm and Dwarf City of Dwarrowdelf.
• Do you have any travel stories surrounding your image, ‘Baby Snow Monkey’? Was there a moment where you connected with your subject?
I did have a couple of baby monkeys take a keen interest in investigating my camera bag (no doubt looking for food), then attempting to chew off some of the foam leg wrap on my tripod – they quickly found out it wasn’t good eating. 🙂
• What, if any, were some of the challenges you encountered while capturing, ‘Baby Snow Monkey’?
The main challenge would have been just needing to wait for the right subject and moment while out in the cold. I think it was around -10 degrees that day and snowing with wind. The other challenge was keeping the lens clear – with the snow blowing around that day, some would still get on the lens even with the hood on so it was a hassle to keep retrieving a bit of dry cloth or tissue to clean the lens. Finally, having to keep a close eye on what the snow monkeys are doing and be ready with finger on the shutter to shoot. Unfortunately, as all wildlife photographers would know, the waiting often takes up the majority of the time!
• What do you like best about your winning landscape image from 2016?
For me the best part of this image is that it conveys what Tokyo means to me in a single capture. This dense, energetic, massive city full of millions of people and the center of Japan. Every time I visit Tokyo, I’ll always head out to an observation deck in the city somewhere and watch the view as it changes from sunset to night, and every time I look out in awe seeing the largest city in the world below me come to life as the night lights turn on.
• What does being a photographer mean to you?