Iris van der Voort
”In a global photo competi-
ton you get a lot of cats, and
some are just cats”
/Urban Brådhe, member of the Metro Photo
Challenge global jury
The legendary nature photographer Ansel Adams once said:
”You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to
the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books
you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have lo-
What a privilege it is, then, to be trusted with such a rich collec-
tion of not just photos, but also millions of experiences, sights
and sounds from all across the world. Metro Photo Challenge is
bigger and better than ever, with more than 225,000 submis-
sions by 80,000 photographers. We are now by far the largest
photo contest in the world, and we would like to extend our gra-
titude to all our photographers, and to the supporters who voted
— Metro Photo Challenge relies on your engagement.
We are honoured to present ”Captured by: Metro Photo Chal-
lenge 2012”, where we have gathered a selection of some of
the most outstanding and memorable photos from Metro Pho-
to Challenge 2012. The photos are presented by category; ”My
Country’s Best”, ”My Night, ”My Favorite” and ”Temptations”.
We’d also like to thank local and global partners, sponsors and
jury members for their interest in, enthusiasm for and commit-
ment to this legacy project.
See you all again in autumn 2013!
Vice-President, Metro International
Mohsin Sayeed is one of Pakistan’s leading journalists and is also a suc-
cessful fashion designer. But, perhaps most importantly, he’s a proud Ka-
rachiite. Indeed, Karachi – which, with its 21 million-some residents is the
world’s third largest city -- has a plethora of accomplished professionals
like Sayeed who could easily move abroad but choose to stay.
What are the best things about your city?
It’s resistant! Whatever the situation is, people don’t get bowed down. It
provides warmth, food and shelter, and it’s always at the forefront of poli-
tical movement. And it’s extremely diverse. It’s huge, monstrous and ugly,
but there are also areas that are completely different. Money counts here,
but Karachi is also a city that appreciates the intellect. You meet so many
different kinds of people here. There are Hindus, Christians and different
kinds of Muslims. There are different ethnicities, too: Pashtuns, Hazaras,
Anglo-Indians. And the actual crime rate is pretty low.
It’s political crime that is common. There are many moderate people here,
but it’s extremists that people abroad hear about. I know Karachi is called
the world’s most dangerous city and yes, people die here every day, but in
the areas where the education level is high people don’t fight each other.
And now people in poorer neighborhoods are stopping fighting each other,
too. The troublemakers come from the outside, mostly Taliban from Afgha-
nistan. Karachiites are sick of it, and people in the poor areas are the ones
most affected by the violence.
Karachi has made a lot of progress in the past several years, with new
infrastructure and even a string of public parks. Tell me about it.
In the early 2000s, we had a directly elected Mayor, who did amazing
things. For example, he reclaimed land from landgrabbers and created the
parks you mentioned. He also created an initiative called “I own Karachi”
to encourage civic responsibility. However, when the “democratic” govern-
ment took over after President Musharraf, they suspended this direct de-
mocracy and we no longer have an elected Mayor.
What are the cultural highlights in a typical year?
Karachi Literary Festival was launched four years ago. This year some 5000
people turned up. It was jam-packed. We also have an amazing festival of
classical and traditional music, and the performances are free! It’s extre-
mely well-attended. There are so many people in this city who do creative
things; there’s even an India-Pakistan social media festival. We also have
three fashion weeks every year. And bands come from abroad to play here.
There must be something about this city.
But living in Karachi is a lot more complicated than living in, say,
London. Why do you choose to stay?
I have an identity here. I’m a first-rate citizen here. Even very rich people in
Karachi don’t want to leave, and they provide a whole range of services to
poor Karachiites. If I left, I’d be known as a migrant worker. I’m a Karachii-
te, and that’s what I want to remain. Maybe I’m crazy, but there are many
people like me here. We can move, we can go abroad, but after a couple of
years we come back.
My Country’s Best
Mohsin Sayeed, fashion designer, journalist, on Karachi, Pakistan
By Elisabeth Braw, Metro World News
How long have you been a cab driver?
Well I started in 1983 for 3 months, and now for the last two years I’ve been
driving a cab. I drove black cars in between, corporate cars.
What are the typical hours for your shift?
It’s 4:30 (p.m.) to 4:30 (a.m.) but I work until 2 (a.m.) every day, except for
Friday and Saturday. Then I work late.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in your cab?
I mean sexually? I’ve seen a lot. I mean crazy, depends what you mean
We’ll start sexually.
Guys get in cab. One guy drops his head, and the other guy you just see lean
back. I mean, you know a lot of gay people in this town and girls, too.
Have you ever seen more than two people back there?
Going at it? Yeah.
What do you do? Just keep your eyes on the road and let them go?
Yup. It’s not my business. They can do whatever they want in the cab. It’s
the TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) rules. You can’t say a word un-
less they are smoking a cigarette then you can tell them not to because I get
in trouble if they get caught smoking.
Do you guys clean the cabs after?
Yeah. I lease this cab weekly so I’m responsible for keeping the cab clean.
You get a lot of nasty people during my day, then I get a lot of really nice
people. I would say 10 to 15 percent of the people are just, I don’t know
what to say, nasty people.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen non-sexually?
Craziness is all sexually. When I was driving a black car— corporate car—I
got Bill Murray in the car one day, and he started screaming at the girls. It
was summertime, beautiful. I was taking him up to his house in Orange
County up there in Westchester, (N.Y.) He gets up there in the front. He’s
blasting the radio. He was just crazy. (laughs)
Ever get into any accidents, driving so late at night?
I had a crazy guy last night on Lexington… He’s trying to back up Lexington
Avenue, 8 p.m. at night, people beeping at him. He’s got someone in the
car. I don’t know what he wanted to do. I got around him. I hit the end of
his car like, “Moron what are you doing! Go straight.” Finally he pulls up,
we get to the corner. He says, “Pull it over, you hit me!”
I hit you! He pulls over, and I see a mark under his mirror, this whole
black line. He’s trying to blame me for hitting his mirror. Finally, I had to
wait for a cop and everything because we got into a fight. He said, “You
going to hit me? Give me your license.” I ain’t going to give you my license
I turn around. He spits on me. I went back. I grabbed him. I threw him
against the car. There was an off-duty cop there. He showed his badge. He
said, “Stop fighting. I’m calling the cops.” I said, “No problem. No problem.
This guy is attacking me.”
Finally the cop came. I showed the cop. I’ve got a yellow mirror. He’s
got a big black line, and one cop looked at it. She said, “This is old. Your
mirror would have scrapes on it, and there’s no scrapes on it.” I said, “Tell
The other cop came. He said, “He spit on you. You pushed him. You’re
both going to jail unless you both want to leave.” Well, we both don’t want
to do nothing, and I says, “No problem with me. I lost 40 minutes of peak
Photo: Michelle Castillo
Randy Long, New York City taxi driver
By Elisabeth Braw, Metro World News
Ana Luisa Pinto
Metro World News: Let’s talk about your three favorite shoots.
Dale May: I guess I’ll talk about “Lego Wars,” which is a personal series,
and—I’ve exhibited the work—a fine art series if you will. Most of my shoots
are sort of a big production, lots of crew. I wanted something I could just
kind of do anytime.
What drew me to “Star Wars” Lego figures was out of all the Lego figures,
I loved how “Star Wars” is big, epic, iconic. I love how they were transfor-
med as miniatures. They almost looked like infants so it was that sort of
change from the larger than life to these tiny little figures.
I photographed them with microphotography, showing details that you
can’t see with the naked eye and blowing them up to either two feet by two
feet sometimes four feet by four feet pieces, again returning to that iconic
larger than life stature. At the same time, I kind of dwarfed them in the
frame to five them the childlike element again so this sort of back of forth
makes them really interesting.
The project started out that way then I started exploring other more av-
enues, more conceptual. If this was a real person, this “Star Wars” Lego
figure, how would it look like it look like if you x-rayed it. So I did a Storm-
trooper x-ray, a Darth Vader MRI showing the bone structure and used a
lot of the elements, like in the bone structure the elements being the teeth,
that sort of upside down smile I mimicked that in the structure as well.
Were you a “Star Wars” fan growing up?
I don’t have a lot of memory of everything in my childhood, but I’m pretty
sure that “Star Wars” was the first movie in theaters or at least remembered
seeing. So, yeah I was a big fan of “Star Wars.”
What are your other favorite shoots?
I got to shoot a lot of my idols: Gene Simmons, a lot of rock and roll idols.
But, there were two recently that were great and that was Seth Meyers of
“Saturday Night Live.” That was because it was fun, and he called me be-
fore the shoot. He really got involved, and it was fun to deal with.
More recently it was Daniel Day-Lewis (for the covers of Time Out Lon-
don, later the cover of Vanity Fair Italy), and that one was kind of an im-
portant one because growing up in Chatsworth, Pennsylvania I didn’t think
I would ever meet someone like Daniel Day-Lewis or get to photograph him.
But more importantly the shoot was interesting. A lot of celebrity shoots
you get an hour with them, but this shoot I had 10 minutes. Although the
magazine was nice enough to say “Oh we just need a headshot for the cover
and then something pulled back for the inside,”—not too many demands—
I looked at it as “I have 10 minutes with Daniel Day-Lewis, this amazing
actor who I’ve idolized. What am I going to do it?”
I set up lighting in a way so I had three different setups, three different
looks in 10 minutes. It was just by me moving around, having different
seamless setups: blue on one side, black on another, and as I moved around
the other side of him the background changed and the lighting changed.
Then I moved over to a window that was nearby. Everything—even two ca-
meras so I wouldn’t have to change my exposures or anything.
Another interesting thing, and a lot of people don’t realize this, but in the
talks with the publicist I was informed that I wasn’t allowed to ask him to
do anything or direct him. Don’t ask him to move his arm, don’t ask him to
turn his head, he wants it to be a natural organic process.
Is that a normal process?
Sometimes. With Seth Meyers, Seth and the publicist called me to say “I
hate photoshoots. I’m really uncomfortable.” It was more of a conceptual
thing so he kind of had to act for that one. In the end, that turned out great.
With doing a portrait of Daniel Day-Lewis and a lot of actors, one would
think, “Oh they’re actors, they can do whatever you want.” But I think for
the most part if the portrait is of them, they don’t want to act. If they just
show up on set and they just stand there because that’s what they feel like
doing, they want the portrait of them to be just standing there.
Other actors are a little different, you say “Oh I want this or that.” You
ask them to smile, and they’ll do it. A lot of the more serious actors, you’re
going to get what you’re going to get.
When Daniel walked into the room, he introduced himself. He’s a nice
guy—he’s not “I’m being difficult” or “I’m being a diva” thing. It just has to
be organic. So, you’re free to talk to him, make small talk, and if you say
something that makes him laugh, you’ve got a smiling picture. Just don’t
ask him to smile.
Photo: Dale May
Dale May, professional photographer; has shot covers for Vanity Fair and Time Out
By Michelle Castillo, Metro World News
How would you define temptation?
Temptation I think it has a bit of taboo ele-
ment of it. You want what is forbidden.
You’re tempted by things that you shouldn’t
be—at least in my head.
What tempts you most in your life?
I’m a 30 year old woman so: food I shouldn’t
have, drugs, shopping – anything that gives
me that exhilaration, that quick fix, that’s
temptation to me. I literally have no skills, no
resources to treat the temptation so I usually
wind up doing the bad thing.
You have written about your love/hate affair with prescription drugs.
How did it all start?
It all started when I was 15. I was in boarding school. I was failing, and my
father, who is a psychiatrist, this senior in my dorm gave me Ritalin and
I loved it, so I asked my father “Can I get prescribed this?”… Then I got a
huge bottle of it of the mail or my parents brought it up — I don’t know why
— anyway, the first time I got one my self I crushed one up and I snorted it.
And then I snorted Ritalin all throughout high school and I got straight As,
and I became very convinced that that was it for me. And then I’ve been on
stimulants ever since.
I’m in a situation where I’ve been off pills a month, and I can’t do anyth-
ing. I can’t write. I can’t function. I’m just very tempted always to go back
them. The only reason why I’m off them is because my boyfriend said he
would dump me, and I love him.
What makes uppers so appealing?
I think with any drug—or sex or shopping or even like tattoos, that’s not
my addiction but people get addicted to them, Internet—at the core is this
depression that feels unbearable. I think that those negative feelings can
be reduced to depression.
You write about the negative consequences of doing drugs like bur-
ning out and meaningless sex, but you get criticized for glamorizing
Yeah, I do glamorize drugs. Build them up just to knock them down! No, I
used to deny that I glamorize drugs, but I do so I can’t deny that anymore.
Pills have never been glamorous to me. That stopped being glamorous
to me along with, you know, I don’t think tragic beauties are glamorous
either…. That’s not it. But, where if you’re in New York City and you’re using
cocaine, you’re probably going to be around some relatively chic people so
I write about… Whatever, I am sort of glamorous, and I can’t help that.
It’s something I’ve cultivated. I’ve always wanted to live a glamorous life.
You encounter a lot of drugs if you do something downtown.
Do you think many people who criticize you do it because they recog-
nize many parts of your writing in themselves?
It depends on the criticism. A lot of people criticize me for very valid things.
I don’t consider it criticism. She’s attention-seeking—of course I am! That’s
what using your writing to get famous is. If I get famous, you can make
money. Of course I want people to pay attention to what I write and what I
say, and it works.
But I’m writing for the addicts most of all. Drug addicts come in all sha-
pes and sizes and forms, walks of life. So I write for them. If I write my book,
and only drug addicts bought it, it’s still going to be a best seller conside-
ring how many drug addicts there are in this world.
Photo: Getty Images
Cat Marnell, Vice magazine columnist, beauty editor at Galore and self-described
By Michelle Castillo, Metro World News
Metro International, the global newspaper group, launched the sixth
edition of Metro Photo Challenge, the world’s largest photo competition.
An annual contest that has become an exciting event for professional
and amateur photographers alike; Metro invited its 18.5 million daily
readers in over 100 cities in 20 countries to submit their photos for free,
and win global fame and great prizes.
Metro Photo Challenge 2012 ran from 17th September 2012 and the win-
ners was announced on the 30th of November 2012. The competition
concept was built on the categories: ”My Country’s Best”, ”My Favorite”,
”My Night” and ”Temptations”.
Photos were submitted and viewed on www.metrophotochallenge.com.
The 10 photos in each category with most votes, likes and views was no-
minated as local finalists to represent their country in the second round
of evaluation. The local finalists were judged by a global jury consisting
of Mattias Klum, world famous wildlife photographer; Lara Jade, inter-
nationally acclaimed fashion, portrait and commercial photographer;
Urban Brådhe, press photographer at Metro Sweden; and Esben Darling
Meng, CEO of stock photo archive Colourbox.com.
The global winners in each of the four global categories will enjoy a
10-day photo expedition to Greenland together with our partner Desti-
nation East Greenland. The prize includes a return flight to Greenland,
accommodation and trekking adventures. The photos taken during the
expedition will be published in Metro newspapers, reaching more than
18.5 million readers worldwide.
Watch out for Metro Photo Challenge 2013.
Metro Photo Challenge ran in collaboration with stock photo site Colour-
box.com. Photographers could register with Colourbox.com directly on
metrophotochallenge.com and earn money instantly every time their
photos are downloaded. At the end of the competition 40,000+ photo-
graphers had done that.
Colourbox CEO, Esben Darling Meng, was part of the global jury and has
been delighted with the cooperation with Metro:
“It would have been impossible for us to get these types of photos th-
rough traditional means. We have received photos of great variety – eve-
rything from children playing in the streets of small Bolivian villages to
amazing nature shots from remote parts of the world. It says something
about the reach and the impact of contest and we are very proud to be a
part of Metro Photo Challenge”
Metro Photo Challenge
The dog is excited. This winter’s first blizzard is raging through the
Arctic night. That means soon the dogs will start running again. Like
the Inuits themselves, the Greenlandic dogs have developed amazing
survival skills for the harsh Arctic environment, making dog sledges
still the prime choice for transportation. The dog can’t wait to lead
his pack and the 4 winners of the 2012 Metro Photo Challenge on to
the frozen sea ice on a photographic expedition of a life time.
Print Albelli Photo Books
Albelli is a subsidiary of Albumprinter BV, one of the largest European photo book suppliers active in the Netherlands,
Belgium, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom. Albumprinter has its own production facility in
the Netherlands where production takes place for the entire European market. In 2009 the brand name Albumprinter
was replaced with the international consumer brand name Albelli. In October 2011, Albumprinter became a subsidiary
Visit www.albelli.com/metrophotochallenge and start creating your own photo book.
Ana Luisa Pinto
Dennis van de Water
Fernando Serrat Ortiz
HiNain Anj Rawalpindi
Iris van der Voort
Jacobo Castro Cristo
Jose Besa Donoso
Maunir Rabhi Hallner
Melanie van de Raaij
Miriam van der Weele
Monique van Braak
Mylena Rodriguez Lopez
Nyi Lin Win
Raúl Rodrguez Quirarte
Roel van Koppenhagen
Valeria Navarro Guiterrez
Wing Yin Chan
Yuen Seung Hung
Editor Michael Friedson, Metro International
Writer Elisabeth Braw | Michelle Castillo
Production Emilie Rud Metro International | Johanna Runebjörk Metro International
Layout Metro International