Encountering, Questioning, and Sometimes Finding


An interview with Kristof Vadino

“Being in other cultures allows me to question my own culture and myself. I hate tourism where one only takes what one wants. Travel is different. It is about encountering, questioning, and sometimes finding.”

Kristof Vadino won our November 2019 theme – STREET LIFE – with an incredible documentary image that captures so much with an effortless finesse. It’s the sort of scene where the viewer can get lost exploring its layers, but it’s also not without an important socio-economic and environmental story – something we found out when we asked Kristof about the image, its broader context, and his working practice as a reportage and documentary photographer…

Kristof’s Street Life winning image

“Kristof finds beauty in dynamic disorder through a masterclass in framing. Each element is perfectly composed – from the central figure whose outstretched arm provides an anchor to the frame, to the man on the left interacting gracefully with the birds, the silhouetted figure on the distant wall, and the frame-within-a-frame of the young boy reflected in the motorcycle wing mirror. There’s a huge amount to absorb but it’s presented with a compositional clarity that makes it a joy to explore. Technicality alone is of limited interest however, and here Kristof combines it with a strong narrative. Like the young boy watching on, we absorb this wasteland ritual, fascinated by what’s going on.” – Life Framer

Hi Kristof. Firstly, congratulations on winning our theme STREET LIFE. What did you make of the jury’s comments about your image?

Thank you! ‘Beauty in dynamic disorder’ is what I’m perhaps often looking for. But only on the condition that it tells a story, so I am glad ‘strong narrative’ is also mentioned. I want to get inside the rawness of reality and out of that try to make some sense. Just trying to be as open as possible to the situation I am in and to the