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UPY 2016 Up & Coming - Winner
'Three Pillars - Practice, Patience & Luck!' - Pier Mane
Weary of shooting sharks head-on, and keen to avoid diver’s bubbles in my shot, I decided to turn away from the peak action and the crowds it attracts. I wanted sun rays, dramatic foreground, background perspective, and - the cherry on top - to capture the 'master of the house' in all of its mystique. The three sponges were well-positioned to set the scene beneath the boat and it took countless shots to balance the elements I wanted; but perseverance, patience and practice all paid off. I would like to dedicate my first winning shot to my father, for his introduction to photography, and to my mother for passing on her resilient attitude.
Judge's comment: Martin Edge: Throughout the judging process, this image grew and grew on me. It got better every time I viewed it, to the point of looking forward to seeing it again in the next round. Whilst the Shark is perfectly composed within the frame I have a gut feeling that the author framed the boat and three sponges together with the light shafts at top left. This was the backdrop, the stage and it was just a matter of patience and position for the shark placement. The composition in this image is so balanced that it looks easy to simply press the shutter every time it swam into that particular space. Imagine it as a manta, turtle or hammerhead. All would have worked well. The underbelly of the shark could so easily have proved difficult with the flash illumination but the subtle tones and circles of the near- view sponges bring it all together.
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