The second edition of the Ori Photo Contest, our community-driven photography exposition, was our biggest yet. With over 500 votes from multiple countries, competition was fierce, but in the end it was Natasha Chalmers and her stunning panoramic shot from Cape Town, South Africa that topped the podium.

We caught up with Natasha to hear what went into the shot and how she approaches her photography. To see this shot and more breathtaking imagery, subscribe to Ori today.

Ori: What’s the story behind this shot? Why’d you snap it and how did it all come together? We love a good anecdote so bring us there!

Natasha: To be honest, this shot came about from a totally spontaneous moment! I was traveling in Cape Town with my family at the time. We were walking along the gorgeous waterfront when my mom (a totally adventurous woman) snuck off for a few minutes. When she returned, she grabbed us all by the hands and had us running to squeeze onto a helicopter ride she had somehow managed to get us on. I couldn’t quite believe I’d get the chance to see views of Cape Town like this and when I saw I only had a handful of shots left on my film camera—I knew I wanted to make them count!

Ten minutes later when we were up in the sunny skies I noticed a tiny window that I could open to snap a shot. I don’t think I realized what a challenge it would be to even get my camera in a position to take a photo and then deal with the even bigger problem of seeing what I was doing through all the wind. I thought I had totally blown it on the photo front but to my surprise, I got this really beautiful photo. Not only is it a totally unique view of Cape Town, but it holds so many memories for me. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime moment for me caught on camera.

 

What’s your photography journey been like? What kind of photo draws you in?

I’ve always been inspired by my father who has been the photographer in my life. He taught me about cameras, bought me my first photo book, and gifted me my first film camera a few years ago.

That first film camera was really where my photo journey started. I totally fell in love with film from my first roll, and have grown to love the entire process of shooting film ever since. I love the way you have to trust not only yourself but the process.  I’m not always trying to perfect a shot, I’m really just trying to capture moments. As an avid hiker and adventurer, I think it is also a great way to balance living in the moment and capturing moments! There’s also something so exciting about seeing what moments you’ve captured or photos you forgot about that bring back memories as soon as you develop a roll of film! 

As far as the types of photos that really draw me in, I personally love landscape photography. There’s usually a really unexpected story behind a lot of landscape photos. Whether it is the journey to get there, the people that made the moment so special, or seeing places you can only dream of visiting in someone else's shot. 

 

How did you connect with Ori? And why did you submit to the contest?

I found Ori completely by chance! I saw a few photos shared from the release of the first magazine and was totally hooked. The photos I saw were absolutely beautiful and by photographers who had really powerful stories to share. I thought it would be fun to be part of it in my own way and see work by other photographers. That’s when I decided to submit to the contest myself!

For more of Natasha's photography, follow her photo page at @tashchalmers
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