A South Surrey photographer has added a prestigious award to his resume.
Michael Bjorge recently received a Platinum Award from Master Photographers International, as part of that organization’s annual ‘Image Challenge.’
Bjorge’s winning photograph, titled ‘Lucky Charm’, was taken on the west coast of Vancouver Island – near French Beach, he explains on his website – and features a forest scene, with beams of sunlight cutting through the fog.
Bjorge told Peace Arch News that while the award was decided upon earlier this fall, he only was only notified about the honour within the last week.
The photo was taken while Bjorge was on a spring break trip with his daughter Bailey in 2019. He explained that he almost didn’t take the photo, as they were originally planning to head home a day earlier. After extending the trip by one day, they awoke to see a dense fog covering
“We rushed back to that spot… we got there and it just looked really cool, and then the light starting shining in, and we just thought, ‘wow,’” he said, adding that the area is a little tucked away.
“We just found it by accident while we were out exploring. I don’t think many other people know about it – I’ve never seen any other photographs of it.”
Bjorge, whose nature photos have won a handful of photography awards before – including first-place awards in the Double Exposure Photography exhibitions in 2017 and ’18, as well as a gold in the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen Gallery Awards – told PAN the recent honour from MPI was his biggest honour yet.
The photo was evaluated by a panel of 10 judges, and the average score was highest enough to be deemed a platinum winner.
Bjorge is also an award-winning landscaping designer; his company Pacifica Landscape Works has won numerous awards through the years, including in 2013 when it won a BC Landscape and Nursery Association’s Landscape Award of Excellence.
Last year he was also recognized by Master Photographers International as a master photographer in fine art.
Bjorge has always had an interest in the outdoors – growing up on the north coast of Vancouver Island, nature “was literally at his front door,” his website explains. His work – much of which is on display at his home studio – has been collected by numerous individuals worldwide, as well as large corporations and other public institutions.
His work can be viewed, and purchased, at his website, michaelbjorgephotography.com