Minimalism isn’t just about black and white, though it often defines style. The winners of this year’s Minimalist Photography Awards have shown that whether it’s a monochromatic scene or a vibrant tableau, less is more and you don’t need an elaborate set to capture a convincing picture.
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About Minimal Photography Awards
Now in its fourth year, the Minimalist Photography Awards attracted 3,400 photographers from 43 different countries, who submitted work in 11 categories: abstract, architectural, conceptual, fine art, landscapes, long exposure, night, open, photomanipulation, portrait and street photography.
“Minimalist Photography Awards is a non-profit association, powered by B&W minimalism magazine and founded by Milad Safabakhsh, which aims to recognize, reward and expose talented photographers around the world and introduce them to the professional photography industry.
The jury includes gallery owner Jennifer Kostuik, cinematographer Rob Hardy (of Ex-Machina, Annihilationand Men), art collector Sashaku, photographer and collector Peter Molick (“pixelpete”), and founder and president of the Minimalist Photography Awards, Milad Safabakhsh.
The overall winner receives a cash prize of $2,000 and the designation of Minimalist Photographer of the Year. In addition, their work will appear in the “Best in Show” exhibition. The winner, along with first, second, third and honorable mention, will also be published in an online gallery and in the annual Minimalist Photography Awards book. If they wish, they can also sell their work as NFTs on Foundation.app. Here are some of our favorites from the contest.
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2022 Minimalist Photographer of the Year
The ultimate Minimalist Photographer of the Year title went to Daniel Dencescu from Germany and the “Forms of murmurations” series. In it, Dencescu captures a dazzling dance of starlings against an empty sky.
“There is certainly something fascinating about the way these birds move – a vast impromptu choreography, each bird being part of something much bigger than themselves,” writes Dencescu. “The colossal organic shapes that form have an inherent beauty, but here we see many unexpected coincidences. Photographed all of my whisper series against a flat, cloudless sky, the resulting images are undiluted. Sparse and beautiful, leaving room for many interpretations. The dawn cream color palette for my calligraphic photographs is based on the works of surrealist painter René Magritte and master Irving Penn. I have spent over 200 hours in the field hunting and photographing starlings, all scenes are real.
Jacob Mitchell took second place in the concept category with the “EMPTY SIGNS” series. This particular image conveys the melancholy of what was and the relentless American optimism of what might happen.
“The EMPTY SIGNS series explores places that once had names,” says Mitchell. “When I started the show in 2018, I didn’t give it too much thought; there are many where I live, so I decided to photograph them. Everything from fast food restaurants, sporting goods stores and hotels are simply forgotten. The panels are giant decaying monuments that show the collapse of capitalism in America.
“Doki Doki” by Hector Palacios took third place in the portrait category. I loved this series because it showed that minimalism does not mean absence of color. In fact, simplicity can pack a lively punch.
Long exposure category
The title of Long Exposure Photographer of the Year went to Martin Annand and the image, “Huts…” The fog creates a dreamscape, where reality and imagination intertwine in the soft, hazy reflections.
In Union and Intersection, runner-up Michael McLaughlin explores complementary structural and architectural details. What drew me to this photo was the intense blue curvature punctuated by a harsh red line.
Inge Schuster took third place for her “Landscape” series, which examines the haunting beauty of nocturnal loneliness.
fine arts category
Fine Art Photographer of the Year Natalie Christensen gave me the Slim Aarons vibe with her sunny poolside images bursting with pops of color.
“I learned that the presence of a swimming pool was a distraction from the impermanence of things,” Christensen writes, recalling his childhood. “Below there was an imminent feeling that all could be lost. Stable could quickly become unstable, and suddenly we were in over our heads. Yet the pool always appealed. its waters, though a calm that could not be trusted.
How to Enter the Minimalist Photography Awards
The early submission deadline is April 27 – check the website for next year’s schedule. Entrants must pay a fee of $15 to submit an image, $25 for a series, and $10 per additional image. The final deadline is June 5 and prices increase by $5.