2020 American Photography Open Winner Azim Khan Ronnie Is Taking Over Our Instagram

2020 American Photography Open Winner Azim Khan Ronnie Is Taking Over Our Instagram

With more than 400 international photography awards under his belt, Azim Khan Ronnie is a rising star in the world of travel and documentary photography. It’s no wonder that his bold, colorful images have been published in over 200 different international newspapers and magazines including BBC, CNN, The Times, The Sun and The Guardian.

Most recently, Azim won the 2020 American Photography Open. He’s also taking over our Instagram this week to share a selection of his most popular photos – and the stories behind them. 

We caught up with Azim to learn more about his recent American Photography Open win and the significance of one of his favorite unpublished images. 

This interview was lightly edited for clarity and was conducted via email. Cover photo by Azim Khan Ronnie.

Below is Azim’s winning photo:

Vietnamese workers sits surrounded by thousands of incense sticks in Quang Phu Cau, a village in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the sticks have been traditionally made for hundreds of years. Incense plays an important role in the spiritual lives of Vietnamese people. People use incense in all worship activities. The bamboo bundles are arranged on the ground on sunny days so as to dry them. To make the incense sticks the bamboo is first split in two, cleaned and dusted and then a third of the stick is coloured red, purple or yellow. To dry them the sticks are laid out on the ground or road-side for about one day. After they have dried, the sticks are collected and put into bunches of about ten and these are fastened together. They are then sold around the provinces. Photo by Azim Khan Ronnie.

Can you tell us about the winning image from the 2020 American Photography Open? Why did you select that image in particular to submit?

As a travel photographer I always try to submit my best and latest photos. Particularly I selected that image because it was my recent best image.

What do you remember from that photoshoot? Can you walk us through that day for you? What gear did you use to create the image?

I was going to Vietnam from Bangladesh for photography and particularly that photo. I was going to Quang Phu Cau, a village in Hanoi, Vietnam. I felt amazing when I first saw this incense drying under sunlight in an open field. 

I used a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone to create the image. 

We know that many photographers have work that’s special to them that goes unpublished. Can you share one of those photos and the story behind it? 

Photo by Azim Khan Ronnie

Fishing festival is one of the old traditional festivals in Bangladesh. Hundreds of villagers and fishermen take part in this festival spontaneously with bamboo made fishing tools, in knee-deep water, forgetting their woes of the summer and cheering with their mates when they trap fishes with their trap. Fish festivals usually take place in late winter as the water of the low land area begins to dry up and the farmlands aren’t prepared yet to harvest new crops in the riverine regions of the country. So people of all ages, sitting idle at home or yearning for an adventure, participate in the festival while hundreds of others enjoy the event. Local people are catching a lot of different types of fish in ponds, bills, lakes, etc.

A huge congratulations to Azim for his big win. Be sure to check out the rest of his Instagram takeover to see more of his amazing work! 

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Jeremy is the Integrated Marketing Manager at PhotoShelter, dedicated to connecting with our creative community and sharing inspiring stories.

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