Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore) was shortlisted for his work And A Great Sign Appeared (Things from the Heat) capturing a moment on 22 December 2019, when thousands of birds suddenly appeared in Singapore. They were Asian Open Bill storks: birds foreign to Singapore.
How did you first become involved in photographing the natural world?
I have been documenting the natural world in my work since I picked up the camera. It was the only subject matter that I always turned my camera to for the last 20 years.
What in particular drew you to Asian Open Bill storks as a subject matter?
The sheer numbers, almost 10,000 of them and the distance they flew to reach Singapore. The flock of Asian Open Bill Storks that we saw in Singapore on the 24th of December 2019 were most likely from Thailand.
I was just very lucky to be able to witness them flying through that afternoon. Their story is one of concern. They were escaping an ongoing drought in Thailand, the worst drought in decades. I would not have imagined that something happening so far away could be visible in Singapore, in the form of storks appearing.