student wins ‘Photographer of the Year’

Wednesday October 24, 2018

A Concord student had to be persuaded to enter a national photographic competition, featuring images from around the world, following a three week trip exploring the landscape of Bolivia on the South American continent. Fellow Concord students of sixth former Michael were so impressed with how he had captured some amazing scenes that he agreed to submit half a dozen of his images to the trip organisers. They were selected as the best from all the expeditions last year and Michael was declared 'Outlook Expeditions Participant Photographer of the Year.' The organisers said on their website:  "Michael's photos captured the vastness and the Bolivian light perfectly.  His photos were creative and you could tell he was having fun and using his surroundings to their full potential." Lucy Le Gassicke, Outlook Expeditions Marketing Manager, revealed that 242 images were submitted for the competition from around 45 participants. She explained:  "Images were from expeditions all over the world, including Morocco, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Borneo, Malawi, Madagascar, Mongolia – the list goes on!  A professional photographer that we use for marketing photography judged the competition based on criteria such as composition, how the photo tells a story, creativity and use of light. "We are delighted to help Michael get the recognition he deserves," she added. Outlook Expeditions is a leading provider of life changing overseas expeditions for young people and since 2001, has taken over 18,000 young people and school leaders to over 80 destinations across the globe. Outlook describe the expeditions a 'no ordinary school trips.' They say they are tailor-made, immersive travel experiences designed to meet the learning objectives and complement the curriculum of each school with whom they work. Michael is seen back at Concord with one of the images, capturing a car driving on a vast white salt flat, as he stood on a hill. He only recently heard about his success when he was contacted by the organisers asking for his bank details to pay in the £100 prize money. Michael, who is from Singapore, took his trusted Canon EOS 750D camera with a battery pack he bought specially for the Bolivian trip because of the known shortage of charging facilities in the remote parts of that country. He said:  "I entered the photos for fun - I never expected to win.  I was persuaded by friends because Bolivia had captured my imagination. "It was a once in a lifetime trip because when I return to Singapore following my studies at Concord I shall be enlisted for two years of national service when there won't be any opportunity to travel and take photos. "However, I am hoping to be able to use my photographic skills as part of my national service training and, who knows, I might one day become a professional photographer." Assistant Principal (Enrichment & Examinations) Dr Phil Outram, who was also on the trip, recalled that the group of students witnessed the salt flat plans of Salar de Uyuni which stretch to three times the size of Shropshire. Said Dr Outram:  "The salt flats make up the biggest salt sight in the world - a scene that the group described as totally breathtaking. "Michael had a wonderful ability to capture through his lens not only the amazing scenery that we found ourselves in, but also the sense of fun and adventure from our expedition to Bolivia. "His photographs provide a lasting record of our journey that I will treasure as the memories start to fade and he thoroughly deserved to win this prize." Two of Michael's prizewinning photographs are shown below.