For months we watched as entries came in to our World in Focus Photo Contest. And now, we’re pleased to present the Grand Prize winner: “The Master at His Desk,” shot by Emyr R.E. Pugh, from Carmarthenshire, U.K. Pugh won a 10-day safari for one in Tanzania, courtesy of National Geographic Expeditions. Here’s the story behind the photo.
While traveling in southwest China, Emyr Pugh shot this picture of a master calligrapher in the village of Tunjiao. Master Weng–a retired literature teacher–was preparing to write a traditional blessing. “His desk was pushed up against a large window overlooking the main street of Tunjiao,” Pugh says. “A wall across the street reflected light into his studio.” Using a collapsed tripod as a monopod, Pugh moved about to shoot from different angles. He says his work as a translator and interpreter in Inner Mongolia has opened doors for him. “Communication is part of what I hope to achieve with photography. Being able to communicate one-on-one gives me the chance to photograph many people I couldn’t approach otherwise.” (Canon EOS 40D camera, 17-40mm lens, exposure at 1/13th second, f/6.3, ISO 400.)
For our 21st annual World in Focus photo contest, Traveler partnered once again with Photo District News, an award-winning magazine for professional photographers. More than 4,100 amateur shooters entered 12,472 images in our 2009 competition. You can see all of the winning photographs in the January/February issue of Traveler, and online here.