Editing this assignment took us on a varied journey to far reaching corners in urban and rural communities, inside laboratories and factories, mosques and museums. In the end we were most moved by the images that took us inside lives and living rooms with images that would have been a challenge to negotiate and navigate access to, and chance moments that are unlikely to happen again - you can’t access them again, you had to be there.
This selection of 31 pictures was paired down from 13,000. The first couple of cuts were easy because there were many images, perhaps 50% that did not fit the assignment. Then there were many images that were made in places of public access, festivals for example, and we omitted many of those because we felt that special access was not needed there. Editing further, many images lacked the technical essentials of good photography and so were cut.
Everyone has a camera today and we wanted to give weight to images that were photographed in remote areas that showed us something unusual or interesting or were made with a wonderful composition but were made with low quality cameras and perhaps early cell phones. We appreciated seeing those but unfortunately due to the technical limitations those pictures just couldn’t hold up in the final rounds.