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A Long Winter in Beijing

My Photo scholarship 2010 entry

Worldwide | Sunday, 17 October 2010 | flickr photos

You should choose me because I have what it takes to succeed:
. mature photographic skill focused on composition and light
. drive to listen, learn and achieve
. clear-eyed ability to find a deeper story and tell it without cliche.

I practice classic photography free of gimmicks and trendy tricks. I rely on composition and finding the real story. In travel work, my writing tightly completes the story, complementing images with cohesive reportage.

Everyone will say they want to succeed. I have the maturity to know I can, and the experience to know how, by asking, listening and learning. I know I need to learn. I want to. This chance won't be wasted on me.

Travel photography should inform its audience. For this, a photographer needs fine technique but more too, a compassionate understanding of humanity and the ability to go below the surface, beyond the obvious. Compassion isn't just donating work (though I've done so for AusAID). It comes from all aspects of a photographer's life (for me, legal work for refugees and sex slaves, life in China).

What counts is how the photographer infuses that into images. This is what I want to achieve: fine imagery that tells a real human story.

For Bhutan, I'm well placed living in China, with its own Buddhism and complexities in Tibet, an ancestor culture of Bhutan. A standard Bhutan story is Gross National Happiness, the Last Shangri La. My research tells me Lost Horizon was not far off. With absolutist governance, censorship and a war on terror, Bhutan shares much with the fictional Himalayan mystique, its neighbor China, and our own society.

There's more to the story. Choose me if you want a talented photographer with the technical skill, life experience and drive to get to the bottom of Bhutan, to tell a story worth telling.

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