Meet the Hero behind the photo!

50 astonishing photos and their photographers have been competing but only one can become the king or queen of the #Urban2020 jungle. Find out who has won now! ⬇️

Introducing Darren Reichel (aka @dlr), our #Urban2020 Hero from Australia whose stunning photo has won him $1000 + 100,000 ⭐️s!

Meet him now and discover discover the fascinating story behind this winning shot!👇

“My name is Darren Reichel and I’m 46 years old. I live in the beautiful city of Brisbane with my amazing wife Rochelle and my beautiful 2 year old daughter Sierra. I’ve been in the IT industry for the past 22 years at a state University and this is my main profession. 

My journey with photography began around 10 years ago, initially following my wife’s interest in it. Being fascinated with technology, I wanted to know everything about her camera so I learnt how to use it and started learning the basic concepts of photography, such as composition and lighting. This gradually progressed to me buying my own Sony DSLR.

Our #Urban2020 Hero – Darren Reichel

In 2013, I began taking a strong interest in consumer drone technology and I was especially attracted to being able to take aerial images. Aerial photography consequently ended up becoming my main passion and I pursued it with any free time that I had. I wanted to constantly improve so I learnt as much as I could about photography in general – from camera mechanics and composition techniques, through to post processing using various software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom. In 2016 I became a commercially licensed UAV operator and I now do aerial photography part time for various commercial clients (and I have quite the fleet of drones!) although I have a lot less time to pursue this because of a gorgeous but overly energetic two year old in the house!

I’m a relatively new user of Agora and I absolutely love it. The quality of the images posted is outstanding and it’s certainly a place to come and get plenty of inspiration from others. I was actually encouraged to use Agora by my sister. She is quite new to photography but she mentioned to me that it was full of amazing images and that you could win prizes for your work. I honestly haven’t looked back and I can’t wait to add more images to my Agora portfolio.

My winning shot was taken near Brisbane’s Inner City Bypass freeway interchange in the northern suburb of Windsor on March 09, 2019. This myriad of roads is just north of the city’s central business district and in the background is the urban area of Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city, and capital of the state of Queensland.

Darren’s winning #Urban2020 shot – Myriad

My wife, daughter and I were driving through this area late one evening, and we both commented on how complex this freeway interchange seemed. I thought to myself that this would look particularly amazing from the air, so I decided to go back the following weekend with my DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone, to capture the scene from above.

This freeway interchange runs over the top of a local waterway known as Breakfast Creek, which is renowned for its mosquito population especially in Summer and early Autumn (which is when this image was captured). I could feel myself getting bitten by literally hundreds of mosquitoes as I was piloting my drone. Needless to say, I came home covered head to toe in mosquito bites. My body was itchy for a week! I was super impressed with how well this image turned out though, so I think that the pain of the mosquito bites was more than worth it. I definitely want to return to this location, but I’ll be remembering to bring along a can of bug spray next time! I’m hoping that Brisbane residents see this photo and feel a sense of pride, and realise just how quickly this amazing city and its urban infrastructure is growing.

I’m over the moon when I received the fantastic news that this photo has won #Urban2020 as I believe it really personifies this scene. It shows the modern, urban sprawl of Australia’s third largest city, and it shows how Brisbane is adopting a very futuristic and forward-looking feel as it rapidly grows. With my prize money I will take my wife on a much needed holiday. I feel that she could really do with a well-deserved break from the stresses of raising our 2 year old daughter. My wife is also my biggest supporter when it comes to my photography, so this would be a perfect way for me to show her how much I appreciate her.

I want to thank Agora so much for this amazing news and for giving me a brilliant opportunity for worldwide exposure! I’m still pinching myself about it, I truly can’t believe the community and judges have voted my photo as the best in the world for #Urban2020! Wow!”

The guest judge for this Contest has been Roc Isern

Our #Urban2020 guest judge – Roc Isern

We called upon Roc Isern (@stoptheroc) to lend the Community a hand with choosing the Hero. Find out why he chose this winning photo! 👇

“I’m Roc Isern from Barcelona. I’m 46 years old and an architect by profession however when I discovered Instagram almost 7 years ago, I couldn’t even imagine how it was going change my relationship with photography, architecture and my city, Barcelona. Since then, through photography, I felt a new interest to revisit and explore my city again in a more curious way, especially focusing on urban and architecture. I’m interested in geometrical shapes, patterns, colors and shadows and obsessed with symmetries. In addition I try to make effective use of the human form to highlight the sheer scale of each construction. The juxtaposition between person and superstructure provides an interesting perspective and an additional dimension to each image.

It’s been an honor to be the guest judge for #Urban2020, the Top 50 were spectacular, however one photo really stood out for me…”

Guest judge’s selection criteria: “I chose @drl’s photo in first place for its futuristic look with his incredible road junction in the foreground and the downtown in the background. The light, colors and contrast are just gorgeous. Congratulations!”

On behalf of the entire Agora Team, congratulations to Darren Reichel for becoming the Hero! 👏🎉

There is a new Hero every week, so don’t forget to check out our previous winners such as the #Landscape2019 and #Happiness2020 Contest Heroes.

Questions for the Agora Community:

What do you think about our latest Hero’s winning photo? 🤩

What Contests would you like to see in the future?

Leave us your thoughts below! 👇