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Apart from being a professional photographer, Simon McDonnell is also a volunteer with the Off Road Rescue Unit and a member of the Rescue South Africa International Disaster Response Team. Having done rescue operations during the 2011 Japan Earthquake and 2013 when Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Philippines, we had to talk about the role his photography plays during missions.

TechSmart: At the recent Canon Expo you displayed some heart-stirring photos of the places where you have done rescue operations. Is it difficult to concentrate on photography while in the midst of so much devastation?

Simon McDonnell: When on a mission with Rescue SA, one of my tasks is to ensure that the media contingent embedded with the team is able to get their stories and images back to their media desks. Getting the media to where they need to be also affords me the opportunity to take a few images, but I’m not primarily there for the photography, so I’m normally concentrating on other things.

The ability of the human race to overcome adversity never ceases to amaze me, and the images I do try to get are those that tell a story of the human spirit emerging triumphant from such horrific circumstances.

Follow McDonnell on Instagram, or view his portfolio on his website

For more in the Canon Series, follow this link

All images courtesy of Simon McDonnell. 

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