I'm a professional editor and writer with more than 20 years' experience in print and online formats. For most of my career, I have been based in Hong Kong, an ideal base for an inveterate traveller as I can live in a green, hilly backwater on the island of Lantau while also having one of the world’s most connected and efficient airports just 30 minutes away by taxi. There I am editor-in-chief of Action Asia, a regional adventure travel magazine that has charted – and I hope also helped inspire – the rising interest among locals as well as expats in active ways to enjoy the wild outdoors. In addition, I freelance for a number of other local and regional magazines, mostly concerned with travel of one sort or another.
Photography at is best is not simply eye candy. A shot may evoke wonder with its spectacular setting, vivid colors or high impact, but the truly great images cause us not just to 'stand back’ and admire but to 'lean in’ and ask about the inspiration that brought the photographer to that point in time and place, how the scene was anticipated or imagined, the mechanics of its capture and perhaps a serendipitous collision of circumstance that elevated the final image.
Within this there is a tension between the quest for authenticity and a creative's desire to push their skills in new directions. Much of the best work seen in past illume contests has seen photographers play with expectations, providing unusual perspectives and juxtapositions. Last year’s winner shows how this doesn’t have to mean 'bleeding edge’ technology, prodigious post-processing or complex storyboarding. It can be as simple as faultless execution of a beautifully simple idea.