Gold Winner Single image category
The image which won Jorge Retana Madrid first place in the single category was already in his portfolio but, when he realised it fit the remit of the competition, he sent it in.
"I wanted a self-portrait but I did not have a strong idea of what direction to take," he explains. "I was looking for a kind of communication with the environment. In one of my trips to the forest (Izta-Popo National Park at the foot of the Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City) I found a pool of water where the road forks. After watching the place for a while, I decided to take a picture of me naked at the pool. So you can see this shot was completely spontaneous, and that's where its strength lies. I think the simplicity of the elements make it strong, too. It's a very direct image.
"During post-production, Jorge darkened the water, which increases the drama of the image and focuses the viewer's attention on the water and the body surrounded by trees. He also slightly darkened the corners to emphasise the feeling of wetness.
Jorge studied at the Active School of Photography in Mexico City, the University Center of Cinematographic Studies of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and the National Institute of Fine Arts. He works independently, mostly in product photography. He particularly loves landscape photography, portrait photography and photojournalism and has recently taken photos on the coast of Oaxaca, Juchitán and La Ventosa.
"I think all the decisions about taking a picture, framing and exposure, not only correspond to aesthetics but also non-academic elements: feelings, mood, life stages, factors that are sometimes beyond our control," he says. " For me, the photographic act is an act of introspection. In other words, a photograph is the relationship between the scene and the person taking the photo.
" Jorge's next project is a photojournalism one about schools for the blind. He also wants to pursue landscape photography at night. He is planning to present his work in Juchitán, Oaxaca at the end of this year and will continue to participate in national and international photography competitions.