Winning Photographs

Michal Koralewski - 1st Place, Photographer of the Year

Michał Koralewski

Koziegłowy, Poland
1st Place, Photographer of the Year

Michal Koralewski: Picking Up Inspiration Everywhere

You can find a striking moment when you least expect it if your eyes are open to it. Michal Koralewski came across one of those moments as he strolled through a market square in Warsaw and spotted an accordionist playing traditional Polish songs. As soon as he saw the bearded musician, he knew he had to take the photo.

“His face was the first thing I noticed,” Koralewski says, “so expressive and beautiful in it’s own way. It was like an open book. You could almost read his life story from the wrinkles.” He was able to get the image he wanted without disturbing the rich atmosphere by snapping the shot with his iPhone.

Koralewski, who resides in the village of Kozieglowy, close to the old and beautiful Polish city of Poznań, tries to pick up inspiration everywhere he goes. Even when he’s walking the same streets every day, he’ll look for new angles, intriguing lighting or distinct moods. He’s also interested in using his art to illuminate the emotions of people around him.

Although he’s busy with two demanding jobs and three energetic children, he keeps his eyes open and ready to find the next captivating image.

David Craik - 2nd Place, Photographer of the Year

David Craik

Surrey, United Kingdom
2nd Place, Photographer of the Year

David Craik: Shooting Images Never Seen Before

The only restriction on a photographer is the photographer’s own imagination according to David Craik. This philosophy shines through in his photo of Starlings that had come to snatch the crumbs off his table at a coastal café in the United Kingdom.

While a photo of birds may seem ordinary, the compelling image Craik created is astonishingly unique. “After the first bird landed and I saw the shadow on the white wall behind it,” he explained, “I knew this was a great image to be captured. Now it was just a case of operating the iPhone properly and finding the best composition.”

Craik’s experience as a wildlife photographer showed him that you can rarely force a photo to happen. Patience is key and can pay off in enormously rewarding ways. “Some may think I’m mad,” he said, “but one of the most exciting things about wildlife photography is the waiting.”

His inspiration often comes from compositions, shapes, colors, emotions and subjects he hasn’t experienced before. He’s also inspired by the work of other photographers. For him, it’s not about re-creating the same images, but rather imagining an entirely different photo that conveys the feeling he just experienced.

Yvonne Lu - 3rd Place, Photographer of the Year

Yvonne Lu

New York, United States
3rd Place, Photographer of the Year

Yvonne Lu: Capturing Moments Along the Journey

It’s all about those unique and sometimes surprising moments along the journey for Yvonne Lu, who captured a quiet yet captivating image of a couple on a train. She noticed the pair as she travelled along the Hudson Valley River on her way home to New York City.

Lu was taken by the beauty of this scene just a few seats away from her own and silently snapped the shot. “The couple,” she explains, “looks like they don’t need anything else in the world. I also found the romantic, vintage feel very entrancing. The two looked as if they could be coming back from a movie set.”

She relies on the iPhone to capture moments like these because it lets her take pictures quietly without disturbing her subjects. She also loves the ability to post her photos to social sites, like Instagram, and share them with the world instantly.

Lu, whose Chinese name is Yichieh, is a Taiwan-born fine arts photographer who currently resides in New York. For more on her work, including intriguing self-portraits and astonishing imagery of pottery from the Chinese Song Dynasty, visit her website.