Irish photographer Christopher Roche is today named as the winner of Ireland National Award, part of world’s biggest photography competition, the Sony World Photography Awards.
Roche‘s winning image “Monlam, Taktsang Lhamo” was chosen as the single best photograph taken by an Irish photographer entered into any of the awards’ ten Open categories.
Roche, a filmmaker and photographer born in Canada who is currently based between London and County Limerick, has won a Sony ILCE-7M2K. In addition, the winning image will be part of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from 22nd April – 8th May and will be published in the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.
The exhibition will also include the winning and shortlisted images of Professional, Open and Youth competitions alongside the first major European exhibition of the artistic duo andfine art photographers RongRong & inri (China/Japan), recipients of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the awards.
Talking about his win, Roche comments: “I am delighted to win the Ireland National Award. Last year I was second, so persistence pays off and it looks like I’m heading in the right direction. It is wonderful to receive recognition and it makes the memory of standing in the freezing cold of a Tibetan winter, sometimes at altitude, now seem well worth it. Photographing different faith traditions across the world, I try to tell stories rather than create pretty images – after all I come from a nation of storytellers. I’m grateful that there’s an audience for it.”
And about the winning image, he says: “The great prayer festival of Monlam takes place in Eastern Tibet during the heart of winter. Tens of thousands of pilgrims join the monks in celebrating the event. Here the monks of Taktsang Lhamo are performing the ritual known as the ‘Turning of the Buddha’ where a statue of the Maitreya Buddha is carried around the four corners of the village. Maitreya is a Buddha who will appear on Earth in the future, achieve complete enlightenment and then teach the dharma. This ceremony is to ensure that the earthly realm will be ready for his arrival.”
Runner up positions for the Ireland National Award were given to:
2nd place – Jason McGroarty “Totem Fox”
About Jason’s photograph: “When I was a young boy I came into contact with a wild vixen on a dimly lit path in my hometown. I wanted to capture the heart-stopping moment when the wild breaches the barriers of the city and reminds us that the line between humans and wildlife is not as clear-cut as we would like to believe in, and that in the animal kingdom, the only thing we can count on is unpredictability, that the unexpected should be expected.”
3rd place – Norma Gleeson “Little Egret Fishing”
About Norma’s photograph: “The shot was taken last Summer at my local beach Ballynamona, East Cork. I set up a hide to photograph the Little Egrets fishing. As the weeks went on I became fascinated by the different water patterns created at that split second the bird enters the water to catch it’s prey.”
The National Awards programme honours and rewards the best single image taken by a local photographer and runs in 60 countries across the world from Argentina to Australia. It is open to photographers of all abilities.
The winners of all 60 National Awards were announced today. To see all the winning images please go to www.worldphoto.orgThe Sony World Photography Awards rewards and recognises the world’s best contemporary photography from the last year. Attracting photographers of all abilities, the awards incorporate four competitions: Professional; Open; Youth and Student. More information about the awards can be found at www.worldphoto.org
The winning images will be exhibited at Somerset House, London, 22nd April – 8th May. More info here: www.somersethouse.org.uk