Andrej Tarfila is from a small town in Slovenia. His career took him into engineering before he found photography again and “rediscovered the passion of my youth”.
His image taken in Gorenjska region of the Slovenian Alps won him the Travel category in the Open competition of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, which attracted over 95,000 images from 186 countries.
Tell us more about your winning image
It all happened on a sleepy Monday autumn morning. I was driving in the direction of Kranj, the capital of the Gorenjska region, part of the Slovenian Alpine area. I suddenly caught a marvellous sight. It was a miraculous haze in the fields which were rushing by my window.
My instinct made me turn away from Kranj, in the direction of the hills above the town Šmarjetna gora. I cut off the road plunged into the silence and the light of the rising sun. The rays were shining through the morning haze in Sorško polje.
The interweaving of the bluish morning light, golden yellow rays, which at that exact moment shone through the landscape, haze and the autumn field created an amazing graphic colour and contrast.
All the elements you see were deliberately kept in the image, with the intention of interweaving and linking together the entirety, which depicts tradition, progress, nature and spirituality. All in all, Sorško polje, located between Kranj and medieval Škofja Loka, offered me a timeless sight.
How did you get into photography?
Photography attracted my attention in my childhood. However, my first career path led me to engineering (R&D) in which I was part of for 8 years. After buying a digital camera I rediscovered the passion from my youth and started as total amateur taught with amateur equipment. I became a member of local photographic society and started to participate in Slovenian and international photography competitions.
All the photography awards I have won are for the images taken in my home of the Selška valley and Gorenjska region in Slovenia, which inspires me endlessly and offers the diversity of colourful seasonal change. Suddenly life with a camera in my hand has become my everyday reality.
For the past four years I have worked as a professional freelance photographer. I provide photographs for different Slovenian media and many other companies. I'm also member of IFJ International Federation of Journalists, and waiting to be confirmed as a member of AIPS - The International Sports Press Association. I enjoy searching for the right moment in nature, capturing the expression on someone's face, an athlete in action, finding the special moments at concerts and shooting in studios.
Do you have a photographic philosophy?
Trying to be most versatile photographer possible and to learn even more photographic genres. When I photograph for press, business or just personal pleasure, I try to preserve special moments in which I find and expose hidden messages, invisible to the eyes of ordinary observers. Therefore for me the story and perspective is more important than the technical perfection.
What’s next for you?
I cannot imagine a different path than the one I am on and If I could send more and more photographs of my country into the world, travel more and photograph new places abroad, my greatest wish would come true. Hopefully small steps in my international photography career have already started to happen.