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Julia Sham and Ashvir Maharaj capture Sandton Central’s energy and charm with their competition winning photographs
04 September 2018

Two talented photographers have captured Sandton Central through their eyes to become the lucky winners of a R2,500 Sandton City gift voucher each. Julia Sham and Ashvir Maharaj are the winners in the #IloveSandtonCentral photographic competition.

Elaine Jack, City Improvement District Manager of Sandton Central Management District (SCMD), which is behind this competition, says: “Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to the winners. We are thrilled with the quality and variety of photographs received that document life in Sandton Central. We are particularly pleased with the winning images; both are well composed and artistic, and the judges felt that they really interpreted the theme of ‘I love Sandton Central’.”

Amateur photographer Julia Sham snapped her winning photograph on an iPhone. Julia enjoys taking photos, but says luck usually plays a part when they turn out well. In the case of her winning photograph, she believes she happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture an amazing image and share it with the world.

Julia describes herself as being fortunate to work in Sandton Central for the past five years. She is currently a senior associate at a law firm with its offices on West Street. Inspired by the evening sky splashed with a rainbow of colours Julia took her photo at nightfall in late December.

“The sky decided to put on a spectacular display for us poor souls who were still working that late in the year. Having recently moved to the new building and fallen in love with its architecture, I was inspired by the juxtaposition between the building’s solid, dark lines with the soft pastel shades of the sky behind it.”

Julia feels the image captures the fact that Sandton Central has beautiful modern buildings, but is still inherently African. “We get the beauty of nature and man-made structures all in one place,” she says.

“Every time I'm in Sandton Central, I marvel at all the people on their way to work or at the many locals and tourists taking photos with the Madiba statue. It is filled with thriving businesses, restaurants and shops, and has a feeling of a city that is brimming with potential,” says Julia of Sandton Central, adding she loves everything about it.

Spreading her good fortune, Sham will be donating items purchased with her prize money to an animal charity and a children’s charity. Her law firm, Hogan Lovells, has kindly agreed to match her prize. Together, they will be donating goods to the value of R5 000 to charity.

Freelance, part-time photographer, Ashvir Maharaj has been taking photos professionally for about four years. He used a Nikon D610 Full Frame camera with a 24-70mm f2.8 Sigma Lens for his photo.

Ashvir specialises in cityscapes and landscapes, as well as portraits and fashion. When attending a photographer meet-up in Sandton Central he decided to take a walk in the area surrounding Sandton City to get some photos of the amazing architecture.

“I’ve always admired the Bowman’s building and have wanted to shoot it at night for a while. I love the stunning architecture and modern glass finish, and at night, with the lights on, it looks amazing,” says Ashvir.

He believes the busy road intersection evokes both the beauty and busy city life that Sandton Central epitomises. “I love that Sandton Central is always changing. Each time I visit, a gorgeous new office has gone up. It is growing, improving, has so much to offer in one location. It looks and feels like a modern first world city and makes you feel alive.”

It is this energy, movement and beauty that Ashvir captured in his image. “A building on its own is beautiful but features like the bus waiting area and taxis moving past just add character to the image and that is what Sandton Central is all about. It's a place that is full of character and life,” he says.

Sandton Central is South Africa’s cosmopolitan centre of trade, ideas, interaction and lifestyle. Julia and Ashvir’s winning photographs, and sixty others entered in the competition will be used in Sandton Central’s marketing and on its different media channels.


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