I knew winners would be announced this afternoon.
I reluctantly opened my laptop this morning. Considering the time zone, 11pm in Buenos Aires would already be afternoon in London.
"It's already great to be one of the finalists", I said to myself.
The only time I was brave enough to enter the Travel Photographer of the Year was back in 2006, I believe. I sent some (pretty average) images of a trip to Japan. That very year the deadline of the competition was postponed due to the low quality of the entries - or something along those lines. It took me 10 years to try again (a photographer's ego is very big as it is fragile, after all).
So yes, winners announced. I had one picture selected for the "best image in a portfolio section", which did not make it. Oh well.
I scrolled down the winner's page, hoping that at least one of the four images selected for the "Smart Shot" category made the cut. "A honourable mention would be a great result", I think. And there it is, my name is the first one of that section, right after the word "winner".
I am happy beyond words.
The winning image (above) shows two women waiting for the annual 14th of July parade along the Champs Elysées in Paris. It is a photo very dear to me, as it represents a lot of the things I believe in. It was taken with an iPhone, which makes me even happier as I have always believed smartphones can be a precious ally when it comes to reportage photography.