Eight photography competition participants received awards from the Trade Office of Swiss Industries (TOSI) in Taipei yesterday in an event organized to foster good ties between Taiwan and Switzerland.
The office held the first contest last year and it proved extremely popular.
Contestants were required to submit one picture taken by them in Switzerland from 2010 or last year.
By the deadline of Dec. 15, a total of 404 professional and amateur photographers were vying for prizes worth NT$276,000 (US$9,200), including a mountain bike, watches and money. First prize was a travel package worth NT$100,000 (US$3,384).
TOSI Director Jost Feer said on the sidelines of the awards ceremony that the contest provided a good opportunity for his office to build rapport with Taiwanese.
He said that all the photographs submitted would be displayed in upcoming photography exhibitions and next year’s calendar, which his office would produce.
About half of the photographs were shots of the Matterhorn, one of the highest peaks in the Alps on the Swiss-Italian border, Feer added.
First prize winner Grace Lee (李麗錦) from Taipei, who visited Switzerland for the first time in September last year, said her photograph did not come easy.
“I was racing with the clouds along Stellisee Lake,” she said, recalling that she had to take advantage of a 20-minute window when the fog and clouds started to lift. “I didn’t have time to enjoy the view because I was so focused on my shot.”
Another winner was high school teacher Su Keng-chin (蘇耿進), who came to Taipei from Greater Tainan to attend the ceremony.
“Switzerland is a perfect place for individual travelers,” he said. “Besides the breath-taking scenery, the transportation system is traveler-friendly and the people there are very nice and welcoming.”
The contest marked the first time the Swiss office has held this kind of activity, Feer said, adding that different competitions would be held each year.
From next month to June, a painting contest will be held for elementary school students titled “How I See Switzerland,” with the winners having their drawings used in the 2014 calendar.