In pictures: ageing around the world

Andy W Langton has won the amateur category of the Age International photo competition, with this incredible shot of two divers in South Korea.

The women, both in their 70s, can hold their breath for minutes at a time and dive to depths of 20 meters without any breathing equipment. ‘What comes across most from these ladies is their warmth and zest for life,’ Andy says. ‘A complete refusal that age should ever be a limit to what you can do.’

In South Korea, 45% of the Haenyeo – or Diving Women of Jeju – are over the age of 70. Ja Kang Song and Ja Hyun Su are the main breadwinners for their families. Only 0.1% of divers are under 30 – this generation is not prepared to put up with the harsh, dangerous and physically demanding way of life that the older women follow.

‘Companions’ places first in the professionals category


Professional winner: ‘Companions’, Robin Bath

Robin Bath has won the professional category of the photo competition, with picture showing a moment of peace and tranquillity between owner and pet.

An older gentleman himself, Robin was delighted to win. ‘I am myself over 70!’ he told us. ‘How that happened is a mystery…but I wouldn’t attest to being “mature” just yet!’

Robin travelled to an area of Myanmar called Lake Inle in order to get the picture, where the indigenous Intha peoples have built their homes on stilts.

‘The astonishing fishing techniques and the cottage craft traditions in the small villages around the lake were a delight to see,’ he says ‘It was as I was leaving a weaving workshop that I spotted the photo opportunity.’

Special commendations

About the competition

The Age International photo competition aimed to draw attention to global ageing – by showcasing the reality of later life across the globe.

Winning images were chosen by an expert panel of judges, including the Head of Photography at The Guardian, Roger Tooth; award-winning Guardian photographer David Levene; and News Editor at Charity partner Silver Travel Advisor, Roger Bray.

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