National Geographic Traveler Magazine senior photo editor Dan Westergren posted today his selects for the top 10 photos from 2011 and I was pleasantly surprised to be included. The selected photo was from a shoot at Zed’s Surfing School in Barbados, which was the opener for a story I shot about the island nation that ran in the January/February 2011 issue of National Geographic Traveler. I completely agree with Dan about having the subject in the center of the frame, usually considered to be a visual no-no. I had been lying on the ground shooting, trying to capture a moment of the lessons that are given before entering the water, a very typical event, but often not the most dynamic time to shoot. Later on, as I was reviewing the images from the take, this one immediately caught my eye and was marked as a file select. My husband, who ran a major photo gallery for ten years, remarked that it has the appearance of a diorama.
It’s always thrilling to be assigned such wonderful stories. However, when pictures from those assignments receive singular recognition, particularly when the image is culled from thousands of others that were submitted or published over the year, the excitement is even greater. It’s also an honor to be included among the other 8 fantastic photographers, including Frans Lanting, Catherine Karnow and Chris Rainier. Thank you National Geographic Traveler!!!