MPA PHOTO ESSAY WINNERS

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1st PLACE WINNER

NEW PILGRIMS ON MOSES MOUNTAIN by Chaoyue Pan

“It is fun to see how tourists visiting the historic Moses Mountain in the province of North Sinai of Egypt behave compared with those pilgrims in the past. On the one hand, present tourists and local Bedouin guides keep the traditional way of transporting, dressing, praying etc…and on the other hand, they use mobile phones and modern technology to memorize the scene on top of the mountain, instead of what pilgrims did in the religious way a long time ago.” – Chaoyue Pan.

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2nd PLACE WINNER

The Old Loftus Tramshed by Paula Broom

“The Loftus Tramshed was an abandoned and decaying public transport depot, hidden within the Royal National Park behind Loftus Oval and across still functioning train lines. It’s purpose was unclear to many of the urban explorers, photographers and graffiti artists who visited, but it appears to have been connected to the transport museum located up and across the highway.

Entry was through various holes; firstly through the mesh fencing and then, unless the door was ajar, through one of the numerous chinks in walls of the massive, corrugated shed. After squeezing from the outside through the peeled back metal, the inside was somber and ominous. The sound of the highway, no more than 600 metres away, faded into a deafened silence; only the broken shards of glass underfoot crunched with every step.

Here, in solemn decay, stood wrecked and dilapidated old trams and buses from days of yore. They were tightly packed in alongside the extant tramlines that ran through the shed. In the dim light, the broken, vandalised vehicles appeared sad and impotent, yet still splendid in spite of fact that their seating was torn out, window glass smashed and much of the flooring rotted away. The overall combination of natural decay and vandalism made the graffiti adorning them seem almost beautiful. Rust and tears in the metal overhead let in the odd shaft of light, which lit up the cobwebs gathered in nooks and crannies, and shed light onto the trams below. This old shed contained the last proud vestiges of a Sydney transport system long gone: a veritable vehicular graveyard.

In producing this photo essay from a visit there in June 2015, I wanted to pay homage to the Tramshed which was sadly razed to the ground by vandals in October of the same year. The outpouring of sadness and disgust expressed on the various social media channels proved its appeal with photographers and railway enthusiasts alike. I hope that this essay serves as both a testament to its rare beauty and dignified abandonment and a reminder to what we as a community have lost.” – Paula Broom.

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3rd PLACE WINNER

Ériu – Ancient Ireland by Sean Hayes

“In Irish mythology, Ériu was the goddess of ancient Ireland. I love shooting landscape in Ireland. The nuanced light combined with the etheric body of an ancient land almost guarantees interesting results. My series of images of this mysterious land are an attempt to capture the special ‘atmosphere’ of the topology rather than classic picture postcard photography. Hopefully I succeeded. All images shot with the LGG4 and edited exclusively with the Snapseed photo app.” – Sean Hayes.

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