Metro went along as the grand prize winners of Metro Photo Challenge 2013 flew from their home countries to join the non-profit organization Reach for Change and our photo partner Colourbox on a once-in-a-lifetime photo expedition in Ghana to explore the theme of MPC 2013 — the human senses. Thousands participants tried to capture the way we experience the world around us through smell, hearing, touch, sight, taste – and a special ‘sixth sense’ that’s hard to describe in words. So now our winners Dominika Wypych from Sweden, Alexander Svystunov from Ukraine, David Ryder from UK and Sura Nualpradid from Thailand got that unique chance to experience Africa with their cameras and senses.
Everything here in West Africa feels different.
We jumped into Accra’s city jungle in the same way that you jump into cold water. It was another world, with its hot and humid air and mixed smell of burning wood, smoked fish, ocean weed, fried green bananas and washed clothes.
Sunny bright colors were all around: The vibrant cloth used to make dresses, the blue sky, the unusually red earth, green palms, fishing boats, colorful flags, endless savanna, breathtaking sunsets…
The local people were incredible. They stared, waved, — and smiled! They tried to sell us all kind of goods. Kids tried to touch our cameras and were so enthusiastic about seeing the photos.
The sounds in Accra were similar to waves of mixed loud prayers, Christian and Muslim, broadcast over the radio and spread all over huge neighborhoods, cars were honking their horns, children cheering while playing football and music playing loudly from car’s open windows.
For Westerners going to Africa, one would expect to be face-to-face with the exotic: people, culture, nature. But here in Ghana everything is more than you could even dream.
We went to see the wild elephants in Mole National park. But nobody could expect that we would be able to go so close that we can see how the elephant is eating; we could hear the sound of its breathing; how it is moving its jaws.
We were so dangerously close that our guide, who has a loaded gun (as he explained – just in case), started to beg: “Please, do not go any closer! If this animal decide to attack, we are in danger’.
But still we remained there, dangerously close, feeling fear and excitement in the same time; alert, ready to run to our car at any moment.
The “sixth sense” was profound. During the whole trip, there was a voice in my head, refuting the truth and refusing to believe the experience was real: “I am inside a movie, I am inside a movie’…
Just 9 days feels short and long to describe all the sensations we experienced; so many moments that are hard to describe and impossible to forget were captured forever in thousands of our pictures.
Here you see all five (plus one) human senses working to the max, through the lenses of our winners: