BTS: Hasselblad Masters 2016
So it's official- I won! I thought I'd post a quick BTS series of snaps to show how the final image eventuated, because it took a whole village to produce it.
I grew up in Papua New Guinea, and in spending 5 years there, I feel a very strong connection to the land and culture. The representation of PNG as a dangerous, lawless and brutal place always frustrated me- the side I saw was one of kindness, dignity and community. Last year, I decided to shoot a set of images there. I took the fisherman image on the first day of the 2 weeks I was there. I was staying at a family friend's place, and one of them, Eroli, kindly offered to be my assistant for the day!
We drove to a settlement (that I actually flew past on my way to PNG) outside of Port Moresby before running into a bored-looking group of guys. we got chatting, and because it was the weekend, they had nothing to do! I started shooting- jokes were cracked and profile pictures taken. I always find it funny how in a settlement without any running water or electricity, everyone has a Facebook page!
After messing around for a while, someone mentioned that there was a nice beach just down the road. A 4WD materialised out of somewhere, and we all bundled in the back.
I begun taking pictures on the (gorgeous) beach. When I was taking a child’s portrait, I spotted a group in the distance, in the water.
After explaining quickly what we needed to do, me and a few of the guys I met earlier waded out- one with the battery pack, one with the light and me with the Hasselblad! The fisherman was out with his family, and had just caught something. He was on his way back, and let me take one photo of him, before shaking hands and disappearing- it felt almost ethereal.
As I said, it takes a whole village. I'm so grateful to all who helped me (and there were certainly more than a few), and I'm thrilled that this image won. Hope you appreciated having a story behind it!