Follow along as we introduce the finalists of the 2016 T+L Photo Contest. These nine photographers come from all over the United States—but their photos span the entire world. For Round 2 of the contest, we asked each finalist to subject a few more of their photographs showcasing their talent and a video outlining why they should be named the winner. Don't forget to vote for your favorite photographer before the voting ends on December 13th.
Eighteen-year-old Zachary Asato wowed our judges with his unexpected take (pictured above) on one of the most photographed cities in the world: Paris. “I think the low angle is a little unusual—it was an unexpected way to shoot a Parisian street scene," says Travel + Leisure Photo Director Scott Hall. "Capturing the Eiffel Tower between two rows of buildings—you get the best of two worlds in one shot. You get these beautiful Parisian buildings, but also this iconic monument in the same scene.”
And it wasn't just the angle that brought in the attention—the scene's lighting was also a talking point. “It’s a great exposure, despite shooting straight into the sun," Travel + Leisure Photo Editor Alex Arnold notes.
While the technical aspects of the photo are intriguing, it all comes down to the overall presentation. “People sent a lot of images of landmarks and monuments—it’s like, 'How am I going to photograph the Eiffel Tower in a new way?'" says Hall. "If something came through today, and we had to slap together an page featuring Paris, I’d be happy to come across an image like this.”
"My stylistic approach is ever-changing, constantly evolving as I take on more projects," says Asato. "From originally only shooting landscapes, I have been brought into the realm of fashion, architecture, real estate, and urban exploration photography.
"By embarking on a photography expedition via the 2016 Travel + Leisure Photo Contest, I hope to serve as inspiration. Being 18-years-old, I can relate to the new breed of photographers, such as myself, illuminating that photography is not simply a hobby, but a professional endeavor for the emboldened network of Instagrammers. My social media presence is founded on one key idea: the Aloha spirit, a united force promoting community and inclusiveness."
Want to know more about Asato and his work? Check out his finalist video below—and don't forget to vote!