Commended Miguel Candela Spain

“I learnt photography in the final days of dark-rooms. My grounding has given me the detailed knowledge and appreciation of post-editing, and made me realize its importance. It has taught me the important lesson of acknowledging and working within limits rather than altering reality, which is unavailable in this photoshop era in which we find ourselves. Being true and honest to oneself and accepting mistakes is as important as the creative process.”

I am a Spanish photographer based in Hong Kong specializing in humanitarian and social reportage throughout Southern Asia. I have a passion for documenting human rights issues such as minority and gender discrimination, human trafficking, and poverty. I focus on culture and traditions from a human perspective by viewing everything through my lens, and report on the environment issues that impact the community.

Photography has given me the strength and confidence to fight for something greater than myself, and it also helps me achieve things that were previously unimaginable. Through photography, I push boundaries and remind myself that I can always do better, as I am my own biggest detractor. To me, photography is not just a profession, but a way to live and view the world. A camera is a tool to capture our present for posterity I feel extremely fortunate and grateful to have experienced and learnt about new cultures while capturing the diversity of humanity. I can hardly imagine my life without photography, it would not be complete.

On my travels it is important to me that I go the extra mile to cover my stories. Overcoming obstacles is part of our work but believing that the final goal is attainable allows me to always make the next step on my journey. My hunger and stubbornness to improve, experience and work hard allows me to deliver my best work under most challenging of circumstances.