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This is a year in the life of the world’s most exciting and adventurous photographers’ co-operative. If it were possible to chart the spaghetti tangle of trails The WideAngle photographers made across the world in 2011 there would be little of the map itself left to see. The carbon footprint would be scary if it weren’t for the fact that there are so many stories that so desperately need to be told. Here are just a few of the highlights.
Tatiana Cardeal – famed for her dedication in fighting social and environmental injustice in South America – travelled for WA on assignments in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Our Nanjing correspondent – in ‘the China Box’ – Boaz Rottem switched base to become the Hong Kong connection..and was almost instantly recalled to head into the wilds of Kashgar to document a beautiful “unknown world” story.
Several WideAngle shooters displayed typical tenacity in what was a tough year of particularly unpredictable weather. Paolo Picones was forced by a tight deadline to carry on shooting for a travel feature right through a cyclone in Philippines. Luke Duggleby waded through the Bangkok floods, chasing his stunning reportage images and Mark Edward Harris covered one of the worst natural disasters modern man has ever known in the wake of the Japanese tsunami.
It’s not always about the wilderness and the fury of nature though. Even mountain-man desperado Buck Forester – normally no stranger to the challenges of mother nature – was lured out of his natural habitat in the forests of northern California for a shoot in the urban jungle of downtown San Francisco.
The indomitable Marcus Wilson-Smith tackled his adopted Dubai hometown while Carlo Morucchio followed in the footsteps of a line of great Venetian photographers in shooting several outstanding assignments in Europe. The indomitable Rod Simeon – famous for his grittily shocking “down-and-out in Paris” images – proved that he was equally in his element among the glitz and glamour of Monaco.
Our ex-Jakarta correspondent Jonathan Perugia set off around old Berlin while, back out east, Melbourne-based Cameron Herweynen stepped in to cover a shoot in Jakarta. [Cam still probably holds the record for the most coveted WideAngle assignment of all time – hard to beat a (well-)paid assignment to shoot a helicopter pub-crawl along the NSW coast.] Our new Indonesia correspondent Maciej Dakowicz barely had time to settle in before he dashed off to his first Asian assignment for us in Varanasi.
Celebrated Czech nomad/photographer Lucie Debelkova has now completely abandoned her old Kuwait base and recent assignments for WideAngle have taken her to Helsinki and back home to Prague. Our photographers are consistently proving that there is no substitute for good local knowledge and tough hands-on travel experience. Inquiring travellers know that – way beyond the simple tick-list mentality of places visited – there is a real thrill in feeling like a local in a score of places around the world.
As Thomas Fuller said: “The fool wanders: the wise man travels.”