Award-winning photographer seeks fine art that touches people's lives

Delores Johnson, a staff photographer with The National, is rarely without her camera.

AL AIN // Delores Johnson, a staff photographer for The National, is rarely without her camera.

"Producing a photo that touches someone is what I live for," she said.

That dedication was rewarded this week when Johnson topped 11,000 other entries to earn second place in the third edition of the Through Your Eyes competition, held by The Office of the Brand of Abu Dhabi. Just 10 photos were recognised.

Johnson's winning photo was black and white, taken in 2009, of an elderly Emirati woman weaving.

"There is something timeless and classic about black and white," said the photographer from Virginia in the US. "At each assignment, I take photos I need for the newspaper, and another set just for me."

Besides being presented with a plaque by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court (with the award under the patronage of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces), Johnson went home with Dh25,000.

She plans to donate some of it to the women who helped her process her film at the last minute before the competition deadline, and 10 random labourers.

"I will just drive up to a labourer as he takes out the rubbish and give him some money," she said.

Whether it is a photo of a cat as it sits hungry next to a rubbish bin, or that of a sunset, Johnson wants to make sure she does not miss any photographic moment.

"I really love Abu Dhabi, and so I wanted to give back somehow to the place that allowed me to capture such great images," she said.