World Photography Day is a celebration designed to connect people through photography and to inspire change. International Photographer Simon Watkinson has such a huge and varied collection of work, that it was very difficult to choose just a few. As he shoots Landscapes, Culture, People and the occasional Wildlife as well as shooting for stock library and completing commercial assignments for hotel chains internationally, clothing companies, Stately Homes, Weddings and Events it was hard to narrow it down.
We hope you enjoy the GDS selection...
We are going to open with a scene taken from the top of The Roaches, Staffordshire Moorlands. On the 9th August a fire was started, burning over 200 acres of the woodland and Heather. The scene here is going to look very different now for many years to come.
Here we see a young girl with her mother at the Bel Festival in Nepal. Here the young girl is to marry the Bael Fruit or Wood Apple.
This is a ceremony which takes place in the Newar community in Nepal where young girls marry the fruit, which is considered to be a symbol of the God Vishnu.
This ceremony is held for two reasons. Firstly it is to ensure that the girl will become and remain fertile. Secondly if when she marries a man and if her future husband was to die, she would not be considered a widow because she is already married to Vishnu (the Bael Fruit) and therefore already has a husband that is considered to still be alive.
This ritual has been practiced for hundreds of years.
The wonder of the small World. Even the tiny insects and in some cases, especially more so, can make for fascinating images.
Here is I believe a Long Hoverfly (please feel free to correct me on that one!) on Forget-Me-Nots.
Sometimes I think we tend to forget that there is a whole bigger World on such a tiny scale, going about its daily life too.
From the small, to the mighty...
Here is a scene taken in the Khumbhu Region in Nepal. Here we are looking at the legendary Everest Mountain on the left and Lhotse to the right. Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain on Earth, standing at 8516 meters. As we know Everest is the highest Mountain on Earth standing at 8848 meters.
From the highest Mountain we move on to one of the seven Wonders of the New World - the immensely impressive Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Originally commissioned in 1632 by Shah Jahan, who was the Mughal Emperor as a tomb for his favourite wife 'Mumtaz'. This remarkable building and its surrounding gardens now attract over 8 million visitors per year to the 17 hectare site. This is a really different vantage point of the Taj Mahal, that shows it's vast size and the intricate details in the structure of the building.
From one of the 7 Wonders of the New World, you may be wondering what exactly this image is of?
This is the Sahara Desert taken in the early morning light. By midday the temperatures do hit a scorching 50°c, when it is best to retreat back to air-conditioned rooms or vehicles until late afternoon. The shades of light on the sand make for really impressive and abstract images.
Here we are looking at the Mountain Annapurna South in the Annapurna region in Nepal. This mountain stands at 7219 meters and is the 101st highest mountain in the World.
There are many who live in this region and here we can see daily life happening in front of this extraordinary backdrop.
This image was taken in the Peak District on a very cold and snowy morning. I love the sense of still and calm here and the contrast of the colours. This was taken during a particularly long and cold spell and the temperature on this particular morning was down to -10°c.
Staying with the calm tranquillity of the Peak District, here is an early morning sunrise with an inversion covering all but the highest ground. At the time of year this image was taken it would be an early morning alarm call and a chance that you might get to see anything above the mist to get a shot like this.
Now we are back in Nepal for the Rice Harvest.
The women of Nepal do most of the work it has to be said, although a lot of this is to do with the fact that most of the young men have gone to the Middle East to work and send money back to their families. The work is naturally left to fall on those left behind.
Seen as they spend a full day in the Paddy Fields, all the women dress really beautifully. Often they have young children with them or their young children, even as young as four or five will be looking after the babies, whilst Mum works! Babies are returned to Mum to be fed, then looked after by their siblings again.
Now speaking of tricky jobs and juggling things at work, have you ever seen the Fisherman of Myanmar (Burma)? These guys stand on their boats on one leg, whilst rowing with their other foot with an oar strapped to it, whilst fiddling around with fishing nets! I still don't know how that is possible. This is taken on Inle Lake in Myanmar as the sun was setting. Inle Lake is the second biggest Lake in Myanmar at 45 square miles with a depth varying from 5ft in dry season to 12ft during the monsoon.
Here is an image of a woman dancing in her home in India. Not only are the colours in the room so striking, but I can't get past the cat laying at her feet that looks like a lion cub!
Keeping on with the theme with animals here is this cute little Guy at Monkey at Swayambhunath Monkey Temple in Nepal. I wonder what he is thinking? Unfortunately Swayambhunath was really devastated by the Earthquake in Nepal in 2015.
Speaking of the earthquake, this image was taken in Bhaktapur, in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. These people are actually walking over the debris of what was a street with housing each side! A lot of the debris here had to be moved by hand as it was proving too difficult to bring machinery in. To date, this has been Simon's best selling image in the Stock Libraries.
From the devastation to the beauty of our natural World. Sometimes it is just the simple things that work best, like this silhouette of grasses in the summer at sunset.
To close, we are going to go out with a BANG! This is taken at Diwali in India. Anyone who has been in India during Diwali will know what a bang this will go with.