Roberto Fenanti has been nominated as the winner of “All of Asia”, the second international travel photography competition organised and run by 1000for1.com.
Myanmar, © Roberto Fenanti
Roberto’s perfectly timed image captures an everyday moment but under unusual conditions, with an extraordinary lighting and in the marvellous setting of Bagan’s temples.
Roberto is not new to 1000for1 and in the first edition his picture of the Rat Temple made it to the final selection. A proof that commitment pays off!
© Roberto Fenanti
We got in touch with Roberto and we took the liberty of asking him a few questions.
First of all, congratulations for the prize: good job! The whole jury agreed that your photo was the best one although there were so many good shots. How did you react when you received the news of your victory? Did you think you had any chance?
When you announced that I was the winner I couldn’t believe it, even though I have to confess I had high expectations. Then my mood changed to an utmost ecstatic joy, for receiving such an important international award is really gratifying.
Your picture stands out among many others views of Bagan, not only because of the very peculiar light but also because you managed to capture that incredible detail of the shepherds among the dust their cows are raising. How did you manage to create such a beautiful image?
The photograph was taken at sunset from the Pyathada pagoda in the Bagan’s plain of temples, in Myanmar. My attention was captured by the dust that I could see rise among the trees and bushes and I figured out a herd was passing through. I waited until the shepherd arrived where the contrast was higher and where his outline was made clearer by the dust: I shot at that magic moment where you are sure you are in the process of creating something special.
What is your approach to this kind of photos? Do you plan a lot in advance or do you trust your instincts?
The latter, for sure. I’m as instinctive as possible, because these things happen without any warning and you have to be ready to freeze that single moment in time, without forgetting to set your camera according to the environment and light around you.
What kind of advice would you give to other people who would like to take photos of Bagan? And more generally Myanmar?
In my opinion, to shoot from any temple in Bagan I would suggest to bring a good telelens, without forgetting to bring along a more conventional lens like the 24-70 mm that is always with me in any of my trips. Bagan is packed with tourists and sometimes it gets very hard to find the ideal position to shoot the sunset, because of the crowd. I would definitely recommend to arrive quite early on the temples’ terraces to find the best spot.
You are an amateur photographer but also a painter: what was your first passion? What is your approach to photography and is photography influencing painting or the other way round?
Photography has always been a passion since childhood for me, but painting marked a true turning point in my photographic development. Through painting I started looking at everything from the point of view of light, colour and framing, things that I found later on in photography. From 2006 I’ve started attending the local camera club in Thiene, Italy, and that helped me tremendously in refining my vision of photography. Whenever I shoot, I live through a series of experiences that mix photography and painting. Painting gives you full control of the creative process, allowing plenty of time to lay out your ideas on the canvas, choosing the right balance and colours. In photography the process is of course quicker but you have to frame very rapidly: in that instance time works against, and you have to be extremely quick to decide how and when releasing the shutter.
We hope that winning “All of Asia” will serve you as a drive to create other stunning images: do you have any other trip planned?
I am really attracted to Asia and I would like to go to Cambodia and Vietnam soon. I find that people over there are wonderful, sociable and always ready to help out people in need without asking anything in return, probably because consumerism hasn’t blinded them yet.
The jury have also awarded four honourable mentions: these go to Jakub Rybicki, Chee Keong Lim, Neil Herbert and Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman.
All honourable mentions are allowed to participate free of charge in the next competition organised by 1000for1.
Afghanistan, © Jakub Rybicki
Myanmar, © Chee Keong Lim
Myanmar, © Neil Herbert
Bangladesh, © Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman