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AWARDS 2019 WINNER FOCUS: Dan Burn-Forti

9 January 2020

BURN FORTI DAN 3166 copy

© Dan Burn-Forti

Tell us more about your Selected image, what’s the story behind it? 

This picture of a buffalo and a Toyota Corolla was taken in The Badlands in South Dakota, 

USA last year whilst on a road trip that went from my wife’s hometown of Edmonton Alberta, via here there and not sure where, to Winnipeg, Manitoba.  It was a bit of a drive along memory lane as it was a return to a trip I’d made some twenty years before and I was curious as to what I’d remember and what would have changed.  My memories of The Badlands were all about its wild otherworldly nature and the unfeasible scale of the country as a whole.  The intervening years have done nothing to change the landscape, but a lot to its accessibility.   I remember feeling very much alone and miles from any other people, with one lonesome motel and little else for what seemed like a thousand miles.  Nowadays, it is well and truly on the tourist map, with traffic jams of coaches and selfie sticks for days. My sad but funny picture is, at least for me, a bit of a record of this change.



© Dan Burn-Forti. SILVER - Personal, Environment, Single


Can you tell us something surprising about the image?

I like that it’s a magnificent beast with a pretty rubbish car! 


What impact has being a winner in last year’s awards had on your career? 

It’s very hard to say really.  I know that no one has asked me to shoot their latest buffalo with a car campaign since the Awards book was published, so without a direct link, I can’t really tell what the impact is.  I’ve been lucky enough to have had a fair number of images included over the years, but I can’t ever remember getting a commission based purely on one of these pictures.  But I’m sure it does help as they are, at least I think so,  the most prestigious of the photographic competitions and getting stuff accepted has to help with work as I know that the art buying World takes a keen interest in them.

What does the AOP do for you? 

I’ve occasionally needed their legal know how which has always been very helpful and I like that they fight for photographers rights and all of that.  Their website is often very handy when trying to find props or suppliers of different things.  And The Awards.  They run The Awards.


Will you enter the next awards?

I’m sure I will.  Not sure what though.  That’s always the hardest part.


Have you got any advice for photographers considering entering the next awards?

Yes, do it!  It’s not exactly cheap and it’s super disappointing when you’re favourite work doesn’t make the cut, but the process of looking through what you’ve done over the year and the benefits of the exposure success gives you makes it thoroughly worthwhile. Although, maybe I should say don’t do it, that way the competition would be reduced.  Hmmm.


View more work from Dan in Find a Photographer

Further information about the Awards 2020

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