February 10, 2012 / 5:00 PM / 8 years ago

Damir Sagolj wins World Press award

Eyes from behind the mirror

Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj won first prize in the World Press Photo Daily Life Singles category with his photograph of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung on a wall in Pyongyang.

Below, he recounts taking the photograph.

“After days of excitement and lots of rare pictures in the provinces, I came back to Pyongyang without big plans for shooting in the capital. All I wanted were some moody general views of the city. This is probably the easiest big picture I shot for a long time – it was taken from the window of my hotel room in Pyongyang early morning, just before the sunrise. I knew that portrait was there and I insisted with our hosts to get a room on a very high floor facing that direction. So, all I had to do is to wake up early in the morning, make a coffee, light a cigarette and make sure I exposed well. The scene has this eerie look for maybe 5 to 10 minutes, then the revolutionary songs and propaganda speeches from loudspeakers wake the city up.”

Canon 5D Mark II, lens 70-200mm, f4, 1/60, ISO 800

Caption: A picture of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung decorates a building in the capital Pyongyang early October 5, 2011. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

To see more of Damir’s photography from North Korea click here.

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