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Category Archives: Art Photography

Photography Awards and Competitions

It is said this is the season to be merry, I know, whoever said that was mistaken, but it seems to me this is the season to be inundated with the outcome of photography competitions and awards. In the past I have produced separate posts on each but I have decided to roll them into one this time as it does all get a bit boring otherwise.

Landscape photographer of the Year

Travel Photographer of the Year

Sony World Photography Awards

Nature Photographer of the Year National Geographic

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Magnum Photography Awards

International Garden Photographer of the Year

Photographer of The Year Panoawards

Taylor Wessing Portrait Photography Award

Urban Photography Awards

This one is always a winner

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Henri Cartier Bresson – Sunday on the banks of the River Marne 1938

 

 

 

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Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize

It is that time of year again when the various organisations hand out prizes for ‘best ofs’. I am rather conflicted by the whole process of photographic, or in fact any creative activity, held up to competition. I am never sure what wins is worthy nor that the winners are understood as the photographer intended. Many of these photography competitions stretch the idea of photography such that images grabbed from Google Streetview have been awarded prizes in the past. However, I can also accept that competition can push some photographers to achieve much better and that is to be lauded

The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize is one that always provides much room for debate about the value of the winning entries. Once all you needed was a redheaded subject holding an animal, this year the portrait that one third prize is of an android.

This is the overall winner and many would argue that it is deserved.

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Amadou Sumaila photographed by César Dezfuli, 20 nautical miles off the Libyan coast – this year’s winning portrait. Photograph: César Dezfuli/NPG

Sean O’Hagan in The Guardian, always a reliable critic says:

handful of politicians, several refugees, various awkward adolescents, two skinheads, the inevitable young girl holding a furry animal and, breaking with tradition, an android – it’s the Taylor Wessing time of year again

This year’s photographic portrait prize, the first to allow digital submissions as well as prints, draws 59 images from 5,717 entries. As a show, it hangs together pretty well, not always the case in the past. The overall standard seems higher, there are fewer celebrities – always a good thing – and most of the portraits of refugees and asylum-seekers tend towards the intimate rather than the concerned.

The exhibition he mentions is at the NPG

16 November 2017 to 8 February 2018

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is the leading international photographic portrait competition, celebrating and promoting the very best in contemporary portrait photography. 

The Prize has established a reputation for creativity and excellence, with works submitted by a range of photographers, from leading professionals to talented amateurs and the most exciting emerging artists.

The selected images, many of which will be on display for the first time, explore both traditional and contemporary approaches to the photographic portrait whilst capturing a range of characters, moods and locations. The exhibition of fifty-nine works features all of the prestigious prize winners including the winner of the £15,000 first prize.

Second Prize Winner

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Intimately powerful … Fleeing Mosul from the series Women in War: Life After Isis by Abbie Trayler-Smith. Photograph: Abbie Trayler-Smith/NPG

Third Prize Winner

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Maija Tammi’s portrait of the android Erica. Photograph: Maija Tammi/NPG

All the major papers and photographic sources have reviews on this, take your pick

The Telegraph

The Guardian

Metro

The Arts Desk

BBC

Independent

 

The Why and How of Gregory Crewdson

When I went to see the Gregory Crewdson exhibition in London earlier in the summer, it was the opening day and I had a strange experience. I went with my friend David and we were looking at these fantastic images and I was trying to explain to David how I understood Gregory worked and the use of symbolism and atmosphere in the pictures. I was eulogising the work and the man, I think he is a genius. Then as I was explaining a man started to invade our space, he was in a suit but creatively scruffy, long hair and with a friend following. You know how it is at exhibitions, you sort of want the space to yourself and as I was in full flow was a touch put out by the intrusion.

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Gregory Crewdson The Haircut, 2014 © Gregory Crewdson

We moved on the next picture and in a short while here was the man again, more lacking in exhibition etiquette I thought in my very British way. The man and his companion had moved to the 3rd picture on the wall so David and I hopped to the 4th. I was leaning in close to admire the exquisite detail in one of the images when they appeared again, the companion leaned in and pointed to exactly where I was looking and turned to the man and said, “That is so beautiful, you are so clever”

I had been irritated by the presence of a master, how stupid of me. I didn’t say hello, a bit embarrassed but I wish I had now.

Yesterday I found this film on YouTube where Gregory talks about his process and motivations and intentions, I so wish I had head it from him in person. The 30 minute film shows him orchestrating the actors, environment and atmosphere to capture the remarkable images he makes.

This is such a brilliant 30 minutes I would really recommend you watch

If I had seen this first I would have recognised him and maybe not have made a fool of myself by explaining to the master his works!

The great man at work

Sadly the exhibition of his recent work Cathedral of the Pines has now ended at the Photographers Gallery

Wim Wenders on his Polaroids – and why photography is now over

Wenders, too, now regards photography as a thing of the past. “It’s not just the meaning of the image that has changed – the act of looking does not have the same meaning. Now, it’s about showing, sending and maybe remembering. It is no longer essentially about the image. The image for me was always linked to the idea of uniqueness, to a frame and to composition. You produced something that was, in itself, a singular moment. As such, it had a certain sacredness. That whole notion is gone.”

The article in The Guardian is not one that will explain to you in detail why photography is now over, it is more the sense that for Wenders it left him behind when he gave his Polaroid camera to Patti Smith. The article is littered with the sounds of names crashing to the floor when dropped.

Why the Photographers Gallery would be bothered with showing pictures by someone who never thought of themselves as a photographer is beyond me. However, what do I know, I am sure all those names littering the floor and on the wall in the 3″ x 3″ white iconic frames will be enough to have hordes of people wanting to visit and buy a book or a postcard

If you want to read the article it is here

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/oct/12/wim-wenders-interview-polaroids-instant-stories-photographers-gallery

Heinz, 1973, by Wim Wenders Photograph: © Wim Wenders

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Ephemera … Campbell Soups, New York, 1972. Photograph: © Wim Wenders

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/oct/12/wim-wenders-interview-polaroids-instant-stories-photographers-gallery

‘They were made from the gut’ … Valley of the Gods, Utah, 1977, by Wim Wenders. Photograph: © Wim Wenders/Courtesy Deutsches Filminstitut Frankfurt

 

‘I take portraits of gods’: Nobuyuki Kobayashi

With his gorgeous and patiently realised black and white images, Kobayashi searches for a spiritual dimension in the calm beauty of nature. Using a large-format 8×10 camera, the platinum palladium printing technique and sumptuous paper, Kobayashi fills his nature photography with a deep sensuality. An exhibition of his work, Portraits of Nature: Myriads of Gods, is at Sway Gallery, London, to 28 March. All photos: Nobuyuki Kobayashi

As seen in The Guardian

'I take portraits of gods': the photography of Nobuyuki Kobayashi – in pictures

Kodou Platinum prints allow for deep dark tones and create a beautiful matte finish

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Souzou Kobayashi prints on Hosokawa paper, a product that has been made in the same way since 1642. He says he uses this paper to add a ‘Japanese identity’ to his work

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Zen ‘I just keep walking around until I can find a place that incites my emotions,’ says Kobayashi. ‘I feel as though I am not the one who finds places to shoot but am led there by places’

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Shin ‘Strength, beauty and nobleness: all characteristics reveal themselves to me’

See more here

The body art of Aida Muluneh – in pictures

Sometimes the most startling things show up and it is with thanks to the Guardian this time. Aida Muluneh is a photographer and film-maker from Ethiopia.

Born in Ethiopia in 1974, Aïda left the country at a young age and spent an itinerant childhood between Yemen and England. After several years in a boarding school in Cyprus, she finally settled in Canada in 1985. In 2000, she graduated with a degree from the Communication Department with a major in Film from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

After graduation she worked as a photojournalist at the Washington Post, however her work can be found in several publications.

Her work is beautiful and surprising in colour and presentation and also quite wonderful.

Aida Muluneh

Memory of Libya

Aida Muluneh

Sai Mado. The Distant Gaze

Aida Muluneh

The Morning Bride Muluneh has had an uprooted existence since her birth in Ethiopia, living in Yemen, the UK, Cyprus, Canada and finally the US, where she worked as a photojournalist for the Washington Post

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Age of Anxiety She has since returned to Ethiopia, a move she describes as ‘a lesson in humility, and what it means to return to a land that was foreign to me’

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Denkinesh Birth on Ground These works are from her series The World Is 9, named after a saying of her grandmother: ‘The world is nine, it is never complete and it’s never perfect’

See more of these images here on the Guardian page

Visit Aida Muluneh site here

Unhappy families: Weronika Gesicka’s warped Americana – in pictures

As seen in The Guardian

These rather disturbing but fascinating images are by Weronika Gęsicka

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Gęsicka is a guest artist at the Circulations festival for young European photographers, Paris, until 5 March. All images: Weronika Gęsicka

Polish photographer Weronika Gęsicka takes corny American photography and manipulates it into something surreal and uncomfortable.  Weronika Gesicka, born in 1984 in Włocławek (Poland). Graduated from the graphics department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and the Academy of Photography in the same city. She received a scholarship from the polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Weronika is doing projects about memory and its mechanisms. She is interested in the scientific and pseudoscientific theories, mnemonics and various disorders concerning it. Her main field of activity is photography, but she also create objects and artifacts, often in collaboration with craftsmen and sometimes with other artists. An important part of her art is working with archive materials of various sources. These are both image banks or images found on the Internet and police archives or old press photography.

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‘Who are, or were, these people in the images? Are they actors playing happy families, or real persons whose photos were put up for sale by the image bank? That is not fully clear’

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‘Who are, or were, these people in the images? Are they actors playing happy families, or real persons whose photos were put up for sale by the image bank? That is not fully clear’

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Polish photographer Weronika Gęsicka takes corny American photography and manipulates it into something surreal and uncomfortable

See more from The Guardian article here

 

Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2016

I know you have been waiting for this, now the winner has been announced

FIRST PRIZE: Claudio Rasano

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Katlehong Matsenen 2016 from the series Similar Uniforms: We Refuse to Compare by Claudio Rasano, February 2016
© Claudio Rasano
First Prize: £15,000

Swiss-Italian photographer Claudio Rasano was born in 1970, Basel, Switzerland. The portrait, which is part of the series Similar Uniforms: We Refuse to Compare was taken in Johannesburg, South Africa and focuses on issues of preserving individuality in the context of school uniforms. The photograph was shot in daylight, outdoors and in front of a plain white paper background. The sitter for this particular pigment print is eighteen year old Katlehong Matsenen.

 

any comments about school photography gratefully accepted

here is a link to the TW award site

Shortlist announced for Taylor Wessing portrait prize

The Taylor Wessing portrait prize is one of this country’s premier photography awards. It is always controversial with those outside the art firmament. If your idea of a portrait is something that flatters the subject then the annual winners of this award will disappoint you. Long ago I gave up trying to understand or justify the shortlist and winners and so now like just to alert you to what is coming in Taylor Wessing world.

Three photographers have been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. The prize winners and the winner of the John Kobal New Work Award will be announced at an award ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery on Tuesday 15 November 2016.

The Guardian is one of the outlets that regularly features TW and so this article and images come from there

Sternbach’s #1 Thea+Maxwell was created using early photographic processes. Photograph: Joni Sternbach/PA

Sternbach’s #1 Thea+Maxwell was created using early photographic processes.
Photograph: Joni Sternbach/PA

Tilly and Itty, Beitar Illit, one of two images shortlisted from Kovi Konowiecki’s series Bei Mir Bistu Shein. Photograph: Kovi Konowiecki/PA

Tilly and Itty, Beitar Illit, one of two images shortlisted from Kovi Konowiecki’s series Bei Mir Bistu Shein.
Photograph: Kovi Konowiecki/PA

Matsenen 2016 by Claudio Rasano, from a series focused on uniforms. Photograph: Claudio Rasano/PA

Matsenen 2016 by Claudio Rasano, from a series focused on uniforms.
Photograph: Claudio Rasano/PA

The shortlisted photographs were chosen from 4,303 submissions entered by 1,842 photographers from 61 countries.

The annual prize, which began in 1993, is considered one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world and is judged anonymously. It is open to professional and amateur photographers.

After the winner of the £15,000 prize is announced on 15 November, the shortlisted works will form part of a wider prize show at the National Portrait Gallery between 17 November and 26 February.

Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the gallery, said: “In an exhibition remarkable for its range of subjects and styles, the quality of this year’s shortlisted works reflects the outstanding level at which photographers across the world are working today.”

You can read the Guardian article herehere is a link to the NPG and exhibition details

here are some links to previous Taylor Wessing Awards

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2015-david-stewart-wins/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2014/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2013-shortlist-announced/

 

Magical Land Art By Andy Goldsworthy

I have been a huge fan of Andy Golsdworthy for many years and have a number of his books. He is a sculptor who creates such ephemeral works that only photography can capture them before they dissolve, melt, blow away or sink back into the waters. Here are some of his works but you can see more on Bored Panda

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Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, renowned in his field, that creates temporary installations out of sticks and stones, and anything and everything else that he finds outside. The son of a mathematician, Goldsworthy grew up working on farms before eventually getting his BA from what is now the University of Central Lancashire. “A lot of my work is like picking potatoes,” he told the Guardian. “You have to get into the rhythm of it.”

Much of Goldsworthy’s work is transient and ephemeral, leading many to view it as a comment on the Earth’s fragility. But for Goldsworthy, the picture is more complex.

“When I make something, in a field or street, it may vanish but it’s part of the history of those places,” he says in another interview. “In the early days my work was about collapse and decay. Now some of the changes that occur are too beautiful to be described as simply decay. At Folkestone I got up early one morning ahead of an incoming tide and covered a boulder in poppy petals. It was calm and the sea slowly and gently washed away the petals, stripping the boulder and creating splashes of red in the sea. The harbour from which many troops left for war was in the background.”

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see more here

Andy Goldsworthy

Melt

Andy Goldsworthy – Land Art video