Shane Gross on His 2017 Grand Prize Win / by Sophy Nathanail

I mostly photograph underwater animals and habitats for conservation purposes so taking pictures above water (especially of people) is really frightening to me. I had gone to Cuba to photograph the sharks and crocodiles in the marine protected area known as the Gardens of the Queen, but decided to take a few days in Havana to try to get out of my comfort zone and shoot the street. I'm so glad I did! I tipped the odds in my favour by checking what time sunrise and sunset would be as that is usually the best light. Then I hit the streets in search of a nice background. When I found those beautiful pastel buildings I waited for the right car to drive by while panning my camera with the car and using a slow shutter speed on my camera. I took about 300 frames and this one was my favourite. 


My sister emailed me about this contest and I thought I would try it as I was fairly happy with my recent shoot, but never thought I would win. The first thing I did when I found out I won was email my sister. Of course, she reminded me that she has a $2400 finders fee. The prize could not have come at a more opportune time as I have been wanting to upgrade my camera equipment for years. My "old" camera limited me from taking low light pictures and I'm so excited to now be able to shoot the milky way and other brilliant night time shows. Thanks so much to the organizers, sponsors and, of course, my sister Shannon for this amazing blessing.

Follow Shane here:

Instagram and Twitter: @shanegrossphoto