2018-2019 Winners’ Interview


Thaib Chaidar


Open Award photo story Gold Prize

ー What made you decide to apply to Nikon Photo Contest? Do you have any stories and struggles leading up to the application process?

I first learned about the Nikon Photo Contest in 2010 and have eagerly awaited announcement of the winning photos every year since. For me, the history of the Nikon Photo Contest is part of what makes it one of the most prestigious photo competitions in the world. It was first held in 1969, and its winners are always of the highest quality. I have actively participated in the Contest by submitting my own works since 2015.

ー Do you have any episode when taking the award-winning photo/film?

My photo story is about free cataract surgery for those who cannot afford it. I became interested in creating the photo story after I saw a woman named Sorina Ullo, the subject in the photos, register as a cataract patient. She was accompanied to the hospital by her daughter because her eyesight had become so poor that she required assistance. This mother’s struggle to regain the vision she had lacked for roughly ten years was the inspiration for this photo story. The fact that she is now also able to enjoy my photo story makes me very happy.

ー What specific changes have occurred to you, and have there been any changes in your career or in the way people evaluate you after you won the award?

Being a winner of the Nikon Photo Contest is the greatest achievement of my photography career. Attending the awards ceremony and exhibition in Shibuya, Tokyo, meeting with Nikon staff and winners from other countries, and chatting directly with Lead Judge Mr. Neville Brody and Judge Miho Odaka were very meaningful experiences for me. Back in Indonesia I also had several opportunities to share my experiences with the Nikon Photo Contest through photography workshops. For me, photography is ever developing, and I will continue to strive to improve my own skills and to explore and apply bright new ideas to my photography projects.

ー What kind of activities have you been doing recently?

In addition to working on several single photo projects and photo stories, I am active in the field of street photography capturing the city I live in as well as making trips for photographing several cities in Indonesia, and also holding photography workshops for the photo community where I live.

ー Do you have advice for your followers who may be considering participation in future Nikon Photo Contest?

I have participated in the Nikon Photo Contest since 2015, and have learned a lot from the winning photos of previous years. My advice to participants of the Nikon Photo Contest is to be confident. As this photo competition is open to the entire world, I would also suggest trying to find a global theme or issue that is interesting to you and that you think deserves to be shared with the rest of the world.

ー What does “taking photos/films” mean to you?

For me, photography is the art of choosing a story from the many visuals around us. I love photographing human activities. Naturally, each individual has a different story, and that story can be about joy, sadness, life struggles, and so on. Photography allows us to record various stories, even in a single photo, that we can then share with the world.