MANATEE -- All you need to know about Lakewood Ranch resident Julio Lucas can be found on his Twitter profile: "I'm a digital strategist, artist, creative professional & social-sharer. In short I'm just a simple guy that likes to be on the move... Enough said time to go."
Now, Lucas might also add his first-place honor as Photographer of the Year in the 2014 iPhone Photography Awards.
Lucas went all the way to southern Argentina to capture his award-winning image of a desolate but beautiful Patagonian glacier. His guide, shown in the lower, left-hand corner, helps provide a sense of scale to the photo.
"We had to climb the side of a mountain and cross an ice bridge to get there," Lucas said. "It was such a surreal environment, and we had to walk about six hours on ice in full trekking gear."
Lucas had been shooting landscapes with a single-lens reflex camera when he decided to try to take some panoramic shots with his iPhone camera. The wind was too blustery to hold the camera steady, and he decided instead to shoot a simple photo of the remarkable scene: an icy mountain range and a glacier split by blue fissures. The scene looks extraterrestrial.
David Glaser, director of communications at Tidewell Hospice where Lucas works as media director, said his colleague is "a bit of an adventurer."
The photograph is "amazing," Glaser said.
When Lucas, 32, isn't traveling, he is thinking about his next trip. Next up: Iceland, then the volcanoes of Hawaii.
"In my mind, I have many trips planned," he said.
He credits his wife, Miriam, for spurring his interest in travel.
"She is very adventurous and got me into traveling," he said.
After his award was announced, he received congratulations from around the world, from places as diverse as Russia, Malaysia and France.
He also received an iPad, an ounce of gold and a certificate.
Although the competition is not affiliated with the iPhone manufacturer, Lucas did receive a shout out on Twitter from Tim Cook, president and CEO of Apple.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.