We have chosen three winners from the many entries received in Sekonic’s 60th Anniversary Contest, When I Fell in Love with Light. We were saddened we could only choose three winners after receiving so many great entries. Stay tuned to the Sekonic site to read other entries besides the winning ones posted below.
The winners are Will Boase, Francois Steque, and Simon Halstead. Each winner will receive a limited edition Sekonic L-308s light meter.
Will Boase Bio:
I’m a freelance photojournalist based in Uganda and working throughout East Africa. I’m particularly interested in (and consequently mostly work in and around) post-conflict and political subjects, as well as capacity-building of local media.
My main clients are NGOs and development agencies, but I also shoot events and my pictures occasionally end up in print and exhibitions too. In my spare time I ride motorbikes and shoot personal projects, the last of which was a documentary about the legacy of the Nowa Huta steelworks in Krakow, Poland.
Will Boase Winning Entry:
The moment when I saw what light could do, I didn’t have a camera with me. It was just after nightfall on a damp winter evening in Hereford, UK, just before Christmas. Waiting for a bus on Broad Street, trying to stay out of the fine drizzle as much as possible by sheltering under the eaves of a jeweller’s shop, my eye was caught by a couple walking towards me.
The woman was in her forties, and had been crying. Her mascara was smudged, and she held in one hand a bunch of flowers that were battered and hanging limply down. In her other hand was the remains of a cigarette. Beside her was a young man, perhaps her son, looking frustrated and a little tired. Both wore black, she a smart jacket and skirt and he a very new suit complete with uncomfortably shiny shoes.
At the time I was studying an A-level in photography, and was struggling to understand lighting. I knew I wanted to become a photojournalist, and hadn’t yet seen the link between a good understanding of light and a good news image.
They passed me in silence, and stopped outside the church next door, St Francis Xavier. She said something sharp to him, and he trudged up the steps to the big church door. She turned, took the last drag of her cigarette and stubbed it on the top of the bin, which stands beside the bus stop. She began to move back towards the church, but stopped herself, returned to the bin and shoved the flowers in.
As she was forcing them through the slot, the young man turned back towards her, lit behind by the light coming from inside the church. He looked, shook his head and stepped inside. She followed, and they were gone. I will never know what was happening between them, or what those flowers meant, but I wish I had caught that frame. It was ethereal and too brief, but the combination of the drizzle under the streetlights and the backlighting from the church doorway, gently tinged by a soft mist, was incredible.
It was a defining moment. I suddenly saw that the emotion of the scene was actually amplified by the light, and I realized that it didn’t matter how great the camera was if the light wasn’t good. Nowadays I hardly move without a camera. Work and pleasure is the same thing, but that moment still inspires me to look more carefully. I know, though, that I’ll have to search for a long time to find a scene as perfect as that again.
Francois Steque Bio:
Francois Steque is an enthusiast photographer from France. Francois has lived in Provence, south of France, Wyoming and California. He currently resides in Brighton U.K. Francois enjoys capturing the colourful life in Brighton, urban decay and currently focuses on long exposures photography.
Francois has spent most of this year taking pictures of the coast and its white cliffs and the countryside of Southern England by moonlight.
Francois Steque Winning Entry:
Depth of Feel
Lightning in photography makes the difference between a good shot and a great one. I have dedicated myself to capturing landscape at night, which would seem counter intuitive to get good lightning.
I shoot at night around the full moon to get good exposure. The quality of the light at long exposure is unique and I fell in love with the particular atmosphere it creates. Night photography is all about controlling the exposure time to get detail and dramatic lightning. Most photographers have witness and capture the golden hours during sunrise and sunset but recently the magic of a day unfolding had taken my breath away. I had shot all night and clouds had covered the moon most of the night. It wasn’t a particularly nice night, add a mix of rain and wind and you have the perfect recipe for discouragement. Around 4 o’clock I was ready to pack and the heavens gave me a parting gift: The sun hadn’t risen yet and the moon was setting, there it was the blue hour, the sky and the sea merged into a perfect canvas the white cliffs of Saltdean reflected the golden light of the rising sun, seagulls were posing on the poles of a broken pier. The tranquillity of the scene was awe inspiring. This defining moment was to guide me in my photography. The pursuit of light takes patience and experience. That specific night I was blessed to witness a beautiful scene and lucky to capture it, as for the perfect shot at the perfect light there is always tomorrow!
Winner: Simon Halstead
Simon Halstead Bio:
Simon Halstead Photography
I got into photography about two years ago and it has been a steep learning curve from the word go. My first love is landscapes and seascapes but I have, however, recently being trying to broaden my horizons and branch into portraiture and strobism.
Simon Halstead Winning Entry:
At 299,792,458 meters per second it hit me. I could buy all the fancy cameras, lenses and tripods I wanted but it was something that money couldn’t buy that I sat longing for. I lay prone; hidden, beneath the branches of a willow tree. Waiting.
Hours earlier I had spotted a female Grebe tending to the eggs which lay un-hatched in her nest, readying herself for the ensuing nightfall. As the sinking sun singed the trees on the horizon the scene began to unfold.
With each passing second the sky started to ignite; first bathing the remaining deep blue sky with a with a blanket of yellow then quickly through orange, then red. The sky reflected on the water, the gentle ripples playing music with the soft rays of light. It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep my mind focused as the dusks beauty unfolded.
It was at that almost Zen moment that I remembered exactly why I had fallen in love with photography. To me it is the opportunity to record an amazing, deeply personal moment. A unique moment in time that no-one in the world has ever or would ever experience again.
My trigger finger instinctively awoke the camera, my remaining digits fumbling with the camera settings. I can’t miss this. Not now.
Quickly snapping out of my trance my brain, like camera, whirred into action.
I dialled in a fast shutter speed, knowing that this combined with the large aperture would give me the effect that I sought . I wanted to show the black silhouetted outline of the gracious bird contrasting against the lush cacophony of colour that was happening before my eyes.