In his short website biography, Emyr R.E. Pugh describes himself as a linguist, translator, interpreter and a documentary photographer based in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia....but I think he's way more than that. I have no way of knowing how good his translation skills are, but what I do know is that he's an excellent documentary photographer.
Emyr won Grand Prize in the National Geographic Traveler 2009 World In Focus Contest with this lovely photograph of Master Weng, a master calligrapher in the village of Tunjiao (southwest China), who is seen preparing to write a traditional blessing.
Most of his galleries on his website are portraits; some environmental and others straight facial studies. I gather these were photographed in Hohhot (Inner Mongolia) and Guizhou (Yunnan).
My favorite style of photography is most assuredly photographs taken of people where they either live or work, or in situations that tell a story about who they are and what they do....so I find Emyr's work to be really compelling.
I hope that Emyr will be tempted by multimedia...I can just imagine an audio slideshow of Master Weng in his cramped studio, describing his work among ambient sound.
I was tempted to delay this post until the first days of January, in order to include his work in next year's The Travel Photographer Of 2010, however decided that since I'm the editor (and chief coffee-maker) of this blog, I can do as I please and will include Emyr in next year's poll. I think my readers will agree.
To those of us whose knickers are occasionally pretzel shaped about expensive cameras and lenses, Emyr works with a Canon 40D and a 17-40mm f4...I'm just sayin'.