On July 29th 2019 I was named the Gold Prize winner in the Open category for Single Image in the Nikon Photo Contest International 2018-19. It’s exhilarating to have my photograph nominated, let alone win Gold Prize in an international photography contest. The photo, which laid dormant on my hard drive for nine years, was never intended to see the light of day, except for those few moments when future children/grandchildren ask to see a photograph of their great grandparents.
My grandmother, Alma, had been caring for my grandfather, Donald, for a long time when this photo was taken. Here’s the blurb I submitted along with my photograph.
Donald, 90, sits alone in the background consumed in his suffering with Alzheimer's and unaware of his wife, Alma, 84 having dinner just feet away. He came back from World War II, changed from the kind caring man she had married, suffering with shellshock (PTSD). After a violent 60-year marriage with Alma, Donald was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. In the last few years of his life there was a sudden and rapid change of his demeanor rendering him placid, back to the man she had married.
It’s an honour to have the judges pick this as their favourite single image out of all the 97,369 entries from over 170 countries this year. Although, I very nearly didn’t enter it. I wasn’t too sure on the composition or whether the subject would be interesting enough to the judges and public. After a little push from my wonderfully encouraging partner (and 2-3 agonising hours spent writing and re-writing the accompanying blurb) I finally submitted it, and here we are.
I head to Tokyo, Japan in just a few weeks time for the awards ceremony and am taking a little time to shoot either side in the hopes of coming back on assignment in the near-future. For now, I’m going to keep shooting and writing, enjoying the company of my family. Sadly my grandfather passed away a few years ago, but at least my grandmother (who is shocked she could ever be the subject of an award-winning photo!) can enjoy this little lift in our lives and the positive feelings it’s brought us all.