Google Photography Prize

Not for the first time, I’m struck by the huge difference between images that are successful in amateur photo club competitions and those that do well in national and international events.

A Swedish student has been named as the winner of the Google Photography Prize.

Viktor Johansson, 24, was given the accolade for a series of photographs documenting Christoffer Eskilsson, Sweden’s top male 10m diver.

The competition attracted nearly 20,000 entries, with the 10 finalists showing their work at London’s Saatchi Gallery from 25 April to 22 July.The gallery’s director, Nigel Hurst, described Johansson’s work as “arresting and unexpected”.

Compare these images with a typical club competition  winner and wonder what a judge might say about them. Confused, blurred, badly composed? Or interesting, exciting and challenging?

There isn’t a right and wrong here and many might find these images unattractive. But I can’t help wondering whether club photography isn’t stuck in a rut of heavily photoshopped  neatness whilst there are wider boundaries that could be explored.                                                                                                               Gary

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