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Travel Photography Scholarship to South Africa (18-25 JAN 2012)

My Photo scholarship 2011 entry

Indonesia | Saturday, 5 November 2011 | 5 photos

When I take a photo, it is really the child in me that holds the camera and plays the photographer.

As that child, every time I look through my viewfinder, I do so with an innocent and renewed sense of amazement at nature and people’s lives to find moments calling me to “see” and not just look at them. To me, photography is the voice of that little child within me reaching out to the world, trying to make it see and feel things the way I do.

I decided to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a photographer this year when I quit my banking job and headed on a 6-month trip in Southeast Asia to explore myself and other cultures through photography. The adult I am started treating this passion as a more complex process, enhancing and rationalizing the feeling behind every photo.

Making photography an adventure, playing the right music, meeting interesting people and adding a few friends to give it meaning, and it suddenly becomes a real life story. My photos seem to tell this story over and over, in a different setting every time, reducing words to the frame inside which people and places share their tales and invite the imagination of others.

This means of expression complemented my language studies and inspired me to tell my friends in Lebanon and the rest of the world about places and moments that should be felt like real life experiences. I accidentally heard about the National Geographic scholarship with Jason Edwards at this turning point in my life when what I need most is a sense of direction. I never imagined such an opportunity could come my way and that has motivated me to try harder to join this international community of travel photographers.

Walid Rashid