Javier’s winning shot captures a life enduring amid repeated lockdowns.
26-year-old photographer John Lorenzo Javier recently bagged gold in the prestigious International Photography Awards (IPA) for his photograph entitled “Aquarium.”
Catching a well-framed shot of a fish vendor through a makeshift plastic barrier inside a wet market in Las Piñas City, Javier won first place in the “Professional One Shot – Our Times New Normal” category of the prestigious photo tilt.
“Through March to August of 2020, Metro Manila, Philippines was placed under “Enhanced Community Quarantine” — what was effectively total lockdown — in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, business carried on as usual for essential workers inside public markets, as demand for goods remained the same,” reads the photo’s description on IPA’s website.
The annual competition caters to “professional, non-professional, and student photographers on a global level,” and recognizes “ photography’s leading talents who are creating, shaping and defining the world of photography today.”
This year, the IPA consisted of five categories, all revolving around the theme of life amid the pandemic. Category winners took home $500, while the grand winner bags $2,500.
UK’s Liz Hingley won the grandest prize of Photographer of the Year with her photo of a barrister, dressed in full regalia, working from home, titled “Kitchen Court Hearing.”
The winning photos, which were selected by the IPA Jury Panel which is composed of more than 80 prominent photography experts, are traditionally featured at the Lucie Awards Gala, a culminating exhibit to cap off the event. However, in light of the ongoing pandemic, said shots will instead comprise a specially curated e-book.
A native of Asingan in Pangasinan, Javier currently works as a freelance photographer for CNN Philippines Life.
“Gulat na gulat po talaga ako hindi ko po inaasahan na mananalo ako, hindi po talaga ako sumasali sa mga competition kasi never ko naman inisip na mananalo ako, nagbakasakali nga lang ako for this particular competition”, said Javier in an interview with Rommel Aguilar of the Asingan Public Information Office.