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Winners announcement video: Sony World Photography Awards 2021

A deeper connection with people and nature

By Matthew Oxley | 2 years 7 months ago


"I'd stare into my favourite crystals for hours when I was a kid. All kinds, shapes and colours. They had a vibrancy of light and colour that drew me in like nothing else.... I wanted everyone to experience what I could see."

- Trent Mitchell 


Trent Mitchell is an Australian-based photographer focusing on people, movement, water and light. We featured a selection of his images on the @worldphotoorg feed. Find out more about his work below. 


Hi Trent. Please introduce yourself and your photography to our audience 

I'm an Australian based photographer who thrives working on visually dynamic concepts that involve people, movement, form, water and light. I love filtering a combination of these elements into both my commissioned and personal work. In both life and work, I'm seeking a deeper connection with people and nature. When both of these connections combine in unique situations I often come away with work that moves people emotionally and inspires. I love seeking these peak moments and interpreting them through the endless potential of combining ideas with artistic expression.


Tell us about the series of images we featured. Do you have a favourite, and why? 

I've been working on 'Tessellated Seas' since 2012. It's a body of work documenting and interpreting ocean surface phenomenon in unfamiliar ways. I wanted to bring a sense of repetition and uniformity to such an ever-changing and organic subject. The method I used to photograph this series was very different to the ways I had been shooting seascapes in the past. I took a very systematic approach to create the images by standing at the same location and photographing the same ocean phenomenon over a period of six years. It's a body of work that could only be created over a time due to relying on weather, swells, light, tides and all of the other elements needed to have waves create these unique geometric patterns across the surface of the sea. It's so fascinating to witness and the phenomenon still reveals new details to me.

My favorite image is a detailed one from the work called Tessellated Seas #3. It illustrates two waves colliding with a fountain-like crest spraying upward from the point of union. It's a favorite because out of all the years and thousands of images I have taken it’s the most unique to date. It almost feels unrepeatable through sheer time and numbers.


Why photography? What does the medium mean to you? 

Photography gives me the same magic and surprise that life does but adds another level of depth to experiencing life for me. In one moment I can experience life and also create from that moment. It's like life gives you two things at once. I love the dance between life and the lens. Especially when you can feel something coming together and somehow magic happens and it gets to last a lifetime. It's a way of living and a pure form of expression for me. The medium is such a huge part of my life now, I don't think I could ever see myself putting down a camera. 


Do you have a photographic philosophy? 

I've been dwelling on this recently and I've come to the conclusion that I create from a place of curiosity and wanting to learn more or seek a deeper connection with people, places and how people interact in spaces or nature. I'm definitely drawn to things that I am seeking answers on in life. If something I am truly passionate about strikes a cord I will investigate that curiosity and exhaust it until I can't bear to take another image. I keep on asking, asking, asking with the lens. This curiosity is either results in both documentary and conceptual work or a dance between the two. 


What inspires you?

I'm inspired by people and nature and wanting to learn more about the world we live in. I'm inspired to learn and understand life more and articulate these investigations through concepts, bodies of work and inspirational images. I'm a strong believer in the saying "Imagination is more important than knowledge" and I feel that creativity is the only way we can move today. I wish to help others to be creative and to help solve problems, to question. We already "know" enough, it's time to get creative and move forward with agility and flow.