Jens Cullmann, our Photographer of the Year 2020
When Jens Cullmann was notified that he had earned the title 2020 Photographer of the Year, he contacted us to find out why his image was selected above the hundreds of other superb images that made it to the final rounds of judging, many of which gave him ‘picture envy’.
Some images not only tell a story and invoke emotion, but they also speak of the photographer’s journey to secure that particular image – the back story. In Jens’ case, he spent months in Mana Pools during the sweltering peak of the dry season – commonly referred to as ‘suicide month’ – at a time when the bushveld was particularly ravaged after an extended drought period. His day would often involve many hours of walking in the oppressive heat and waiting patiently in whatever shade was available, while nature revealed her stories. This is a time when the bushveld is not for the squeamish, as many animals are suffering and dying due to lack of water and food, and predators are gorging on the spoils. Jens’ popular photo gallery of a few months ago Circle of Life gives testament to the reality of life in drought-stricken Mana Pools at that time.
In awarding Jens the Photographer of the Year 2020 title, we recognize not only the many uncomfortable hours of patience and diligence behind his winning image but also his authentic, artisanal approach to photography.
In this gallery, we share a few of Jens’ favourite images; with more to come later in the year. In the meantime, please follow him on Instagram and Facebook, where he regularly shares his images and thoughts.
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