We end the week, though not the awards, with one of the most hotly contested and sought after prizes, that for the best photoblog. The inaugural winner of the title was Dominic Sansoni himself, only about fourteen at the time but we here at LLD can spot artistic talent early.
He went on to do great things and is now not only one of the world's best photographers but can also be seen frequently in many of Tom Cruises films (sort of). He is also responsible for a large percentage of Sri Lanka's illegal Lamprais trade but doesn't like to talk about it. On top of that he somehow finds the time to sing backing vocals on tour with the Killers, except in Scandinavia where they use a local Swedish bloke because of work permit issues.
Last year's worthy winner is the now legendary Amila Salgado, the scrabble playing bird watching long lensed maestro himself. Yes folks, it's clear that the standards in the best photoblog awards are high, in an entirely subjective way.
Here are the nominees:
1. Aamina Nizar - She's a girl who often appears second, particularly in phone books, when she usually loses out to anyone with the name of Aadvark. As she tells us in her profile she's a Sri Lankan who studies and works in India. Her blog is a heady mix of the delights and sadness of both nations. Her use of depth of field is particularly breathtaking and she has a sense of colour and dynamics that chaps like me take about thirty years to realise we'll never have.
I love the way she can take a cliched scene and make something special from it. This picture of the Taj Mahal is a prime example. It's like a good drum part, it's what's not there that makes it special.
2. Tableaux Of Aufidius - Aufidius is another Lankan student plowing his studious furrow overseas, but this time it's in the UK. He's equally adept at capturing the beauty of Lanka and the different type of beauty of London. It's a shame that the plant people grabbed it first or I'd have used "photosynthesis" as the way to describe that skill.
Some of Aufidius' outstanding pictures are Little Scholars here and Among the Roses here. I've never met the bloke but I reckon Aufidius might be a great comedian as so many people seem to be grinning like the proverbial Cheshires in his photographs.
3. Sean Henricus Photography - I assume this is his real name as it seems an unlikely pseudonym. His profile tells us that he's spent time in New Zealand but is now back in the motherland. Some of his work reminds me of Sebastian Posingis' in that it makes me want to jump on a plane, one of those Sri Lankan ones with an in seat entertainment system that doesn't work, a seat which has a cushion that slides off and lands in Colombo approximately several hours after it was due.
He's got an imagination as well as a camera. Check out these Christmas light shots as examples of his arty side. One of my favourites is this post, the second photograph specifically. There's something about the scene, the dark foreboding cloud and the warm colours in the sky that makes me feel as if I can smell the aromas, feel the heat and hear the insects as they chatter.
But, there can only be one winner. And that winner, of the best photoblog for 2009 is.................
...............Tableaux Of Aufidius
I must say that I don't really know, it's more of a feeling. Aufidius' pictures give me the most constant butterfly in the stomach feeling of all three nominations, which is ultimately how I judge a photograph. The technical bits all count but it's when you feel things that you know it's all come together nicely.
I hand you over to our special guest judge, the Lamprais smuggling king and Killers backing vocalist (except Scandinavia) himself. He had these things to say of our winner:
"How horrid of you to ask me to write anything. I neither speak nor write.
But.... intrigued by a soul that is as interested in spiders as he/she is in space and light. Early pictures like 'Stairway to my bedroom' have developed into much much more (look at 'Liverpool Dock'). I like someone who makes their own lighting (thank you mr. Mondrian), likes people, and again that insect thing.
'Image from my scrapbook' is a joy - and makes me wonder who this is. I think we have the makings of a good architect here and certainly a wonderful photographer. And the panorama of The London Eye just wishes I was back for a weekend."
There you are, a winner and a worthy one, but also three photoblogs that are worth far more than a passing glance. Thanks to all of them for the images.
Have a nice weekend out there in Serendib, I'll be back with the final three awards and more guest judges next week.