Congratulations to photographer Andrew Newey who has won ‘Best Single Image in a Portfolio’ at the Travel Photographer of the Year competition TPOTY 2012 with his image above.
Andrew told me:
“Hi Will, I know it’s been a while since we last spoke but I just wanted to thank you for the advice you gave me back then – it helped more than you know and made me think about which direction to go with my photography. As a result I am proud to say that I was shortlisted in 3 categories of TPOTY 2012 and went on to win ‘Best Single Image in a Portfolio'”
Here’s the background to the photo:
Siberut, the largest of the Mentawai Islands in West Sumatra is home to the vanishing Mentawai people. There are still a handful of scattered clans of the traditional Mentawai who, by choice, live a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle deep in the rainforest, and isolate themselves away from the assimilation of the government villages.
The Mentawai also practice one of the oldest forms of traditional tattooing, which is done by hammering a needle into the skin with wood, and is an important part of their lives.The main clothing for men is a loin cloth and are adorned with necklaces and flowers in their hair and ears. They are looked after by their medicine men known as the Sikeri, or Shamans, the healers of the tribe who practise a form of animism called Jarayak.
I took us three days of hard trekking to reach the Mentawai village and I collapsed of severe dehydration along the way. Fortunately for me my partner who was with me is a doctor, so I was in good hands. We ran out of our re-hydration salts early on in the trip and the locally bought mix only made me worse. She made me eat some ready salted crisps and lick the inside of the packet and within 20 minutes I was back behind the camera.