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“WORLD TRAVELERS” – Announcing the winners

“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport” – Steve McCurry

We are delighted to present the results of the fourth monthly theme of Life Framer edition IV – WORLD TRAVELERS. We asked you to expand our horizons with travel and travel-inspired photography, from your doorstep or 10,000km away. The theme was judged by Steve McCurry – a Magnum Photos member celebrated as creator of several of the most seminal images of our time – with many gracing the covers of National Geographic, TIME and Vogue Magazines.

You can discover the winning images below and join the discussion on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Congratulations to all the talented photographers featured, and thank you to everyone who submitted their work.

First Prize: Ruslan Hrushchak

“There’s an elegance to Ruslan’s compositional choice, with the religious paintings, flowers and statues closely framing these two women on each side – you can tell that it’s been set up with care and purpose. Despite that formality, there’s a warmth and unaffectedness to it – their sideways glances, into a natural light just out of shot strikes you as an apt reflection on faith. It evokes a strong sense of quiet companionship, and you’re drawn to the details – the positioning of their hands, the various fabrics, the leaves… but there’s a calmness, despite the level of visual information to absorb”. – Life Framer

Second Prize: Donell Gumiran

“Donnell’s image is immediate and absorbing – the silhouetted figure in Burka facing off with both her shadow and the huge eyes staring back at her, against an apocalyptic, fiery sky. It’s a brilliantly composed scene which finds something cinematic and symbolic, and highly relevant in today’s political climate, in what is an unexpected setting – a Guinness World Record attempt in Dubai for the biggest collaborative graffiti painting in the world, in commemoration of its 43rd National Day Celebration. What works is how Donnell has distilled the scene down to just these two women, and in doing so highlighting and celebrating them, in a part of the world where women’s rights are so contentious”. – Life Framer

Other winning photographers:

Tariq Sawyer, Claudio Rasano, Dario Mitidieri, Alina Fedorenko, Jonathan Moyal, Valery Melnikov, Céline Jentzsch, Andrea Rizzi, Tarek Zaigouche, Ella Mack, Felipe Fittipaldi, Dane Strom, Myles Tankle, Simone Noble, Amy Tuxworth, Kristina Petrosiute, Vladimir Antaki, Mélanie Desriaux.

Winning photographer: Tariq Sawyer

“Tariq’s image of a Kazakh-Mongolian nomad on the search for graze during Mongolian winter, distils perfectly the idea of ‘World Travelers’ – adventurous and awe-inspiring. The sense of scale in the journey and the harshness of the bitter, icy cold is tangible through the frame, well-composed with the sheep cutting a diagonal line across the scene. Tariq has captured a dynamism in the nomad, and a sense of the vastness of the landscape, and the result is mesmerizing” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Claudio Rasano

“Claudio’s portrait, from his series ‘Everyone Lives in the Same Place Like Before’ is an intimate depiction of two South African teenagers. He provides little contextual embellishment, the background unobtrusive and washed out by the gorgeous natural light, and so the subjects take centre stage. This is about them and them alone, and it allows their relationship to take centre stage. The interplay is fascinating – one appears guarded in his expression, the other more open, and they stand in a natural, gangly embrace. It perfectly captures both a fragility and a toughness – a glimpse of openness beyond a hardiness necessary to live in such a harsh environment. It’s a powerful, honest portrait – where the photographer’s influence is subtle but paramount” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Dario Mitidieri

“Dario’s image of refugees in Bangladesh halts you completely. The man’s penetrating eye contact, juxtaposed with the baby at rest is haunting. His eyes tell of the hardship he must have endured on his journey, and the visual device of obscuring more than half of the frame, the viewer distinctly separated from him, is an effective reminder of how little we will understand of it. It’s an image with a true intensity – a powerful treatment of a difficult subject” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Alina Fedorenko

“The bedroom is such a fascinating setting for photography – a peak into our lives at their most unguarded, where we keep our most personal and treasured possessions. There have been many wonderful photography projects of subjects in their bedrooms, and the reason is perhaps twofold – these settings tend to tell us so much about the character, but they also signify a trust between photographer and subject that often leads to magical results. You can’t just invite yourself in to photograph someone’s most personal space.

For Alina’s image, the subjects are secondary to the environment. The little girl lying on the bed is overwhelmed by the objects and colors surrounding her, and it took me a moment to even register the dog sat obediently and attentively in the corner. The tight framing and bright blue walls pull you into the space, and then there are so many details to absorb. The handprints up the wall, the drum hanging next to a suit carrier, the gas canisters and precariously placed photo frames – each gives a glimpse into the complex and vivid lives of the inhabitants. There’s so much here to examine and to enjoy, I find myself wandering through the scene, piecing together details, imagining stories. The best photography does that – opens a door for you to walk through” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Jonathan Moyal

“Jonathan’s delicate image is seductive and meditative. We take on a viewpoint above the man, absorbing the same view as him, enjoying a stillness that pervades through the tranquil water, empty pavement and muted, earthy tones. His turban provides a single, immediate jolt of bright color, but one can then pick out similar corresponding oranges punctuated throughout the scene. It creates a harmonious and introspective image that washes over you – one far removed from the clamor and energy often captured in photographs of India” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Valery Melnikov

“This is a stunning image – of young miners who have come to Mali in search of gold, to “get rich or at least avoid dying from hunger” as Valery says in his statement. The tree and canopy that sever the scene into quarters, are a powerful compositional device, and act to create an almost suffocating atmosphere with the young boys lined up, their faces disappearing into the darkness. The looks of dejection and tiredness are disquieting, and the connection with the boy on the left, staring straight into camera is profound. I don’t think it is, or could be, a conscious decision but I reflect on the deep blue that pervades this scene – almost as opposed to the color gold as you can get. For me it’s an apt metaphor for just how far the reality of these boys is from the romance of striking it lucky and finding gold” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Céline Jentzsch

“This image from an ice festival in Mongolia is very well framed – the man and his horse cutting a diagonal line across the scene, as the cracks cut their own paths across them, and the frozen surface extending in all directions, limitless for all we can tell. By isolating the subjects from their festival environment, the result is something more profound and meditative. For me, these cracks could be seen as an allegory to the erosion of tradition – the upkeep of traditional ways of life in the face of globalism, as precarious as the surface they traverse” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Andrea Rizzi

“Andrea’s image of a Macedonian shepherd is an homage to a simple and humble life off-grid, but the taped up window and rusting metalwork hint at an immense hardship. The framing is effective in its simplicity – the shepherd, his worldly possessions, and the landscape that defines the rhythms of his life. It’s a fascinating window into an isolated life” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Tarek Zaigouche

“It’s something wonderful when photographers find compositional elegance in a fleeting scene. Here, the man is framed neatly in the darkened doorway, and there’s a symmetry between his gaze in one direction, and the woman’s in the other. Our eyes are drawn outward, beyond the confines of the image. The fact that we are not seeing what they are creates a satisfying tension” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Ella Mack

“Ella’s environmental portrait of a young Mongolian eagle hunter is beautifully realized – the background providing contextual insight, while not detracting from the centrally framed boy and his majestic bird of prey. The basketball hoop behind him acts as a totem to the globalized world, at odds with his very particular lifestyle. It underlines one of the beautiful realities of travel – that there are similarities as strong as the differences in our lives around the world” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Felipe Fittipaldi

“In Felippe’s beautiful series statement, he describes life in Ladakhi – a tri-border area between India, China and Pakistan, whose community is confronting the greatest challenge it has ever faced; “a challenge much more severe than isolation or harsh weather: the test of modern times”.

There’s something monumental about this portrait of a young girl against the backdrop of rising mountains and dark sky. She stands exposed to nature and its elements, and it highlights both the simplicity and harshness of this isolated existence. The sparse, colossal background provides no clues to her work, and so you are drawn time and again back to her, and her downwards, resilient glance. As Felipe infers, this is a glimpse into a world that is rapidly changing for its young – and this little girl, moving cautiously across the frame provides an apt metaphor” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Dane Strom

“What’s clever about Dane’s composition of a Zayacos parade – one of many small, traditional festivities that take place across Mexican pueblos as his well-written statement tells us – is his realisation that there’s as much interest in the crowd witnessing these festivities, as the focal points of the events themselves. From our viewpoint we can only guess at the scene the crowd is peering onto, but despite this the composition is rich with detail and texture to absorb. The perspective pulls us into the scene, framed by this over-sized zayaco mask on the left hand side, strange and beguiling, quietly watching on. It’s an original, confident shot that creates a powerful intrigue” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Myles Tankle

“The framing of Myles’ image is just perfect – each arm, head, stick and body interlocking with satisfying geometric rigor. That, and the limited color palette of brown, blue and yellow, combine to create an unusual and striking image. It’s also a wonderful example of utilizing subtraction to great effect – using less to tell more. We can guess that we’re being transported down a river in small boats, but by avoiding any identifiable external surroundings Myles creates a real intrigue – throwing us into the scene and asking us to start to figure it out for ourselves. It’s a very well-considered and composed shot” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Simone Noble

“Simone’s image has a surreal quality to it. Giraffes and cacti and an old European-style period house occupy the same scene, like a frame from a disordered dream, resulting in an absurdist interpretation of world travel – disparate elements from Africa, America and Europe side by side. I like the idea it portrays, of nature taking over, and with no statement provided my mind is left to wander, imaging the fantastical story this image might tell” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Amy Tuxworth

“There’s a wonderful ambiguity to Amy’s portrait – of a woman “collecting dried fabric from the ground which is the last process in the very detailed craft of traditional block printing” and whose face is covered to protect her from the sun. What works is that there is so much interest in this character, despite the absence of her face. The clashing colors and textures, in the foreground and fading into the distance, are mesmerizing. In one sense, it reminds me of the work of Viviane Sassen in Africa – abstract and sun-drenched, very much rooted in the environment. I think the mystery makes this image successful; for a viewer unfamiliar with this textile making process it has a conceptual, enigmatic quality. It may well be straight documentary photography, but it may also appear as something quite fine art, and that lack of straight-forwardness is arresting” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Kristina Petrosiute

“One of the more literal responses to the theme, there’s nonetheless something exciting and monumental in Kristina’s image of a cloaked traveler, silhouetted against an endless sky. It draws on timeless ideas of travel and adventure, but there’s something unique and appealing in the scales at play – the small hills this walker summits, juxtaposed against, and distinct from, the vast and inhospitable wilderness. It’s wonderfully evocative and I’m reminded of the Chinese adage: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Vladimir Antaki

“Such richness of information in a single scene. The shopkeeper, from Vladimir’s series ‘The Guardians’, is dwarfed by religious iconography, almost lost amongst the statues and paintings and busts. It’s a wonderful tribute to one of Vladmir’s so called ‘Guardians of urban temples’ – the people whose business make our cities unique – and also asks interesting questions of religion and iconography; these symbols of faith dusty and chipped and faded perhaps a metaphor for the shrinking influence of religion in the western world, but also for the complex and rich stories, ideas and messages that religion puts into the world. It’s a fascinating peak behind the curtain of an artisan carving out his niche and maintaining tradition in a fast-changing world. A glimpse at the treasures hidden in the mazes of our cities” – Life Framer

Winning photographer: Mélanie Desriaux

“For Mélanie’s series ‘La Conquête’ she made an epic solo trip along the Oregon Trail – a historic, 2000-mile east-west wagon route. This image, perhaps in a conscious push against the ‘wild west’ stereotype of gruff male cowboys, shows a young girl tending to her cattle, and it bathed in a gorgeous dusk light, Mélanie captures some of that majesty, where history and the present live side by side” – Life Framer

A prestigious jury, 3 international exhibitions and $24000 in cash prizes.

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