The Shot

One picture, one moment, one memory captured by photographer Austen Johnston

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This photo was taken whilst we were filming in Mozambique around the gigantic sand dunes on Bazaruto Island. It’s not often that I get completely distracted, mid-scene, but the combination of crystal-clear azure water, red sand, and the multi-colored dhow was simply too beautiful to not take pause.

What really caught my attention were the boys’ beaming smiles. Serenity was suddenly broken by excitement. They were mesmerized by the drone and quickly caught a slip stream to chase us as we flew overhead. 

This shot captures youth’s complete freedom. Yet none at all. The art of fishing is passed down from generation to generation in Mozambique. The Bazaruto Archipelago is renowned for its tranquil blue seas and rich fishing grounds, which sustains the livelihood of a large proportion of the coastal population. These boys were bringing in their catch of the day, already making a valuable contribution to their family at such a young age.


Austen Johnston, a photographer and filmmaker, worked in the hospitality industry for years before founding Etched Space, a content-creation company geared towards luxury hotels. He has travelled extensively around Africa and the Indian Ocean filming and photographing unique properties around the world. His background adds depth and context to his work, he looks to capture a place’s true beauty and inner soul and identifies those experiences that make it unique to the industry.

www.etchedspace.com | @austenjohnston | austen@etchedspace.com