Every picture tells a story

‘Mafia Briefcase swap? – Palermo Sicily 2020’ by Pam Morris ©

The amazing photograph above was taken by Melbourne photographer Pam Morris when visiting the Italian city of Palermo in Southern Italy.

The photo has just won the Away category of the 2021 Silver Lining Awards 2021 given by AIPP (Australian Insitute of Professional Photography).

But did Pam just happen upon this scene and snap a lucky shot?

One characteristic that differentiates photographers from painters is that they go out in search of prey - they walk kilometres in search of the perfect image to capture. Painters on the other hand might wander about a bit looking for something to paint, might even happen upon the ideal scene to paint; but most often know in their mind studio the nature of what they want to create.

Yes photographers also have images they carry around in their heads and work extremely hard to recreate these in photographs - you will see some prepared shots very soon in another post I am preparing on Pam Morris Photographer in Covid Times. However for the photograph above I will tell you the story as recounted to me by Pam.

Pam and her husband Colin (my cousin) were walking in a park in Palermo, Italy a couple of years ago. Pam spotted the gentleman above in the overcoat walking nearby. He had a look about him that signalled purpose. Pam saw all the signs than this man was on a mission to meet someone. So she followed him away from the park and into the beautiful and quaint streets of Palermo. To her delight she was correct. He stopped, parked the briefcase against the wall of the building and taking up just the right stance befitting a man who knew the importance of his mission waited while Pam, unbeknown to the gentleman, took up her camera and snapped the perfect shot. The nonchalent confidence also signalled to Pam that this was not only a meeting, it was a meeting of significance - perhaps a Mafia Briefcase swap? – taking place in Palermo Sicily 2020.

You look at this photo and immediately think it has been touched up because photographers are allowed to do that in some competitions. But in this case, except for a minor adjustment for light, it is as it was. A brilliant example of the technical skill and creative input of a very talented photographer who saw the potential in the subject matter and was able to visualise him against the subtle beauty of the Palermo buildings. And so took chase and was rewarded for her forethought.

Our congratulations Pam - this is one of the best photographs I have ever seen.

If you would like to see more of Pam's works please click here to link to her website.

Follow the bookmark link below if you would like to view more of the AIPP prize winners in the different categories of: portrait, places, manmade, smartphone, art& science, home shades of grey, colour, natural world, stories, student.

SLAs 2021 Results - Australian Institute of Professional Photography Awards
JUMP TO CATEGORY RESULTS PORTRAIT FIRST PLACE Robert Piccoli SECOND PLACE Damien Bowerman THIRD PLACE Robert Coppa FINALISTS Steph Connell Brett Ferguson Gavin Scott Kristian Piccoli Stephanie Lachance Jacinta Dal Ben Lizzie Gilmour SEMI-FINALISTS Joanne Manariti Robert Coppa Gavin Scott Naomi Reite…


The image Mafia Briefcase swap? – Palermo Sicily 2020 is displayed here with the permission of the photographer Pam Morris. Thank you Pam for allowing us to view and appreciate this remarkable work of art.