July Photo Contest Winner: Golden Hour

And the winner is………

golden hour photo contest winner Jimmy Sorber

July was “Golden Hour” month at Xpozer, and with nearly 800 entries to our photo contest, Jimmy Sorber’s picture really stood out!

We were curious about Jimmy’s motivation when capturing the winning shot and why it means so much to him to have his photo on the wall as an Xpozer. So we had a chat with our July Photo Contest Winner :

July Photo Contest Winner: Jimmy Sorber

Ever since he can remember Jimmy has been fascinated by photography, but, it wasn’t much more than an interest up until 5 years ago. It’s when he made the decision to take a year-long sabbatical that Jimmy started asking himself what his passions are and decided to invest more time and money into it. Jimmy’s passion lies in nature photography and more specifically landscapes and wildlife. He loves capturing the ruggedness of mountains. The raw untouched outdoors. As well as the tranquillity that nature can give.

He enjoys those moments of alone time and loves going out by himself, walking for miles, or waiting for hours until that perfect moment finally happens.
Jimmy’s job can be quite hectic at times. For him to be able to go out in nature and immerse himself in it, gives him the chance to unwind, take a step back and look at the wonderful world that surrounds us.

When you live in the city it can be a huge relief to step into a completely different world. However, due to the pressures of work and family life, he doesn’t always have the time to do just that. When he does, he aims to make full use of that time. Golden hours and blue hours are the best moments to photograph landscapes, but as he’s not a morning person it can take some persuasion to wake him up in the early hours.

Behind the Photo

Last February, Jimmy was in Manchester for work and noticed that The Lake District is actually very close to Manchester, so he decided to stay for the weekend and bring his camera. Although he had seen videos and pictures of The Lake district many times he’d never been there himself. So, he selected some interesting places to go to and asked a friend to join him.

One of the places that was high on Jimmy’s list is the hiking trail on the Catbells, and after googling the location he determined that the best time to be there is during sunrise. They met the day before to plan their route to the top of the hill.

An Early Start

It was an early night for them, their alarm would go off at 04:30 so they could set off around 05:00. With no idea what the morning would bring or whether the sun would come out and play. They knew they only had that morning to go and hoped for the best. Starting their hike in the pitch black morning they arrived at the top 50 minutes later. The first thing they noticed was that it was no longer pitch black and getting brighter by the minute. The second was the incredibly strong winds up there. The third and most important was that they weren’t at the right location.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time?

They were too far south, so instead of staying and taking a mediocre picture Jimmy urged his friend to go north with him over the ridge until they found a better spot. As they were running along the ridge the clouds already started turning red, and Jimmy was afraid they had missed their chance to shoot the red clouds. In his mind that was it… They missed the most beautiful moment of this sunrise because he made a stupid mistake and didn’t calculate enough time to get to the location. But Jimmy was trying to see the positive and knew, at least he could see this magical sunrise happening even if he didn’t get to capture it. At least he was there to witness it. Little did he know that it would only get better and better.

Perfect Timing

In the end he managed to capture that perfect shot of the sunlit clouds. The sky was on fire that morning. An incredible sight to behold! They stayed on the hill for some time. Jimmy was sitting on the hill as the clouds turned brighter orange and golden colors. He looked back at the trail they’d run over to catch the sunrise and noticed the path on the ridge going back and up the hill to a point where it seemed to touch the golden clouds. Jimmy just had to capture that moment.

Composition

Jimmy knew he needed a very wide angle as he wanted to have both the trail (to the south) and the golden light from the east in the shot. From where he stood the trail split in two. He decided to place his tripod in the middle so the path of the trail would be wide across the bottom of his frame, hoping it would give the illusion of being on the trail to the viewer and thus guiding them over the trail up towards the golden sky.

What winning this Xpozer means to Jimmy

In the moment that I took this picture it occurred to me that no one was up here, witnessing this unbelievable light-show, except my friend and I. And I felt so grateful that I was there during this special moment at this amazing place. That I had the opportunity to go to The Lake District, that I decided to go to the Catbells on this particular morning. This photo represents where photography has taken me so far and the photography path I am on at the moment. I still have so much to learn but I’m loving every minute.

Camera info:

Sunrise over the Catbells was shot on the morning of February 23rd 2019, in the Lake District, UK.
It was taken with an Nikon D7200 and Tokina 11-16mm lens at 11mm, ISO 100, F/16, 1/1.6(0,6s)

Top 25

Check out this fun video for the Top 25 Golden Hour Photos and their feedback!

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