Travel Photographer of the Year 2017: I am in the Winners' Gallery!

I can safely say 2017 was the Year of the Portuguese Man o' War for me and I am so honoured to end it as HIGHLY COMMENDED in the TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2017 competition (Primary Colours category).My picture was also shortlisted in the Wildlife, Sealife category.

Here is Travel Photographer of the Year's post about me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bcu1CzCAX6Y/ and below is my image. 

HIGHLY COMMENDED IN TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR  2017 - PRIMARY COLOURS

Furthermore, 4 of my Mount Pico images were shortlisted in the Earth & Climate Portfolio category.
I created a gallery of all these shots on my website:
http://www.enricophoto.com/Travel-Photographer-of-the-Year-2017/n-KHzSQQ/

All images were taken in the Azores and, specifically, in Pico, where I have now lived for over 10 years.

For those who suspect there must be a fair bit of post-processing behind my Portuguese Man o' War shot, you are most welcome to read my behind the scenes article.

This is for you, my beloved Azores.

Obrigado!
Enrico

P.S: Don't forget to visit the 2017 Winners' Gallery on the Travel Photographer of the Year's website!

Tallest building in Italy

Thanks to its spire, the UniCredit Tower is the tallest building in Italy (231 metres). It is located in Milan - my hometown - and it was completed in 2011.


Sunset shot of the UniCredit Tower, Milano, Italy
Sony Alpha 77 Mark 2, Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD
300mm, 2.5s, f/7.1, ISO 100 (6-stop ND filter)

More than by the building itself, I was impressed by how well I could see the mountains in the background.
I must admit that I impatiently waited for sunset to warm up the scene, keeping my fingers crossed for visibility not to get any worse. Luckily, it did not.

Call me lazy, it is sort of a tradition for me to try to find a composition from whatever apartment, house or hotel I happen to spend at least one night. In this particular case, I took the shot from the balcony of an apartment I rented when visiting Milano last week.
 
As soon as it got dark and the tower was lit up, I took a second, long exposure.
While I am not at all a fan of black skies, I do still like the cold mood of the scene.
 

Night shot of the UniCredit Tower, Milano, Italy
Sony Alpha 77 Mark 2, Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD
300mm, 15s, f/10, ISO 100

I am not saying the two photos above are particularly good. What I am saying is that my habit not to snob compositions that can be captured from very accessible places helped me understand how photography is for everybody.
Sometimes we assume no good pictures can be taken without hiking like crazy or going somewhere very remote. Well, it is simply not true.

As a second reason, I find it challenging to try to find some beauty in things or scenes that most people view as dull, or even ugly.
I will give you two examples:

1) Another cityscape I captured in Milan last year (many people find the buildings in there ugly).

2) My most successful picture so far of the Brenta Dolomites (in terms of print sales and editor's picks, which was lazily taken from the balcony of a hotel).

All this being said, I am planning to go to a couple of outstandingly beautiful places in January and February 2018. Let's see what happens! ;-)

Cheers,
Enrico