Announcing the Winners,
Finalists, Jurors’ Picks
Street photography, like the medium in general, has witnessed an explosion of popularity over the past decade. What drives us to produce so many pictures, to make such endless piles (or files) of photographs? Scroll through your feed and notice how in many of these photographs the lens is pointed outward—the frame becomes the beholder’s attempt to capture a moment or make sense of the world. Nowhere is this more evident than in street photography, in which the camera is used to find some order, impose a structure, or simply recognize the joyous chaos of the world’s ever-growing cities and built environments.
We began these awards with the idea of recognizing fresh approaches to the venerable genre, hoping to support and encourage this invaluable manner of helping us visualize and understand the surrounding world. With this 3rd successful edition, our confidence in the vibrancy of street photography has been rewarded: we believe the 37 winners, jurors’ picks and finalists chosen here represent some of the most interesting approaches to street photography today. Quietly observed beauty, in-your-face confrontation, deeply personal narratives and idiosyncratic, even humorous perspectives—across all of these varied works, the language of the street is being used to tell all kinds of stories in original and innovative ways. We hope you appreciate these discoveries; we encourage you to spend time exploring all of them and then going on to learn more about your favorites. Congratulations to all!
Single Image Winners
Each of the six jury members selected one photographer to be awarded special distinction and a cash grant. Here are the jurors’ special selections with a brief quote from each juror explaining what they especially appreciate about their chosen photographer and their work.
Fernanda Frazão’s series “Amazon B-Side” depicts the Brazilian middle class in a way that I have not seen before. On a cruise ship through the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, we experience the absurdity of tourists photographing a native girl, playing with a dolphin, consuming and partying. The story is well put together and told in a very precise yet unpredictable way that make us question the world we live in.
For me, street photography is about finding poetic moments in a concrete jungle, the unexpected in the mundane, and Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet, through her photography, is demonstrating great potential in this regard. She says that she looks for peculiar traces of humanity everywhere she goes, and her witty series, named “Un-Organ,” is proof of that. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Etienne Buyse’s project offered one of those very different approaches. Shooting through the bus stop shelter plastic brought a dreamy quality to the images created. The palette was very painterly and diffuse and bore a closer relation to impressionism than the gritty street work of some of the iconic images made by the masters of street photography. Still I thought the quality of alienation and isolation that is often an aspect of street work was present. The subjects were captured in a separate reality, both shielded and exposed.
I felt the tension in these images of Madagascar. The idea of the island being a dream tourist destination is undermined by the raw reality of daily life faced by its citizens. I liked the seemingly casual observations of consumerism and consumption, and the diverse mix of images in this set intrigued me.
These photographs bring about a discomforting view of urban life in London. They seem like vast stage sets with massive generic architecture devoid of any charm or unique character, populated by lonely android-like urban dwellers, anonymized by their own generic business “uniforms,” lost in lonely worlds while out in the public streets, spaced out evenly in an uncanny fashion, almost as if arranged there by a sadistic choreographer bent on reinforcing the loneliness of urban dwellers in the 21st century.
Marco Gualazzini’s photograph of a Somali man walking through the ruins of Mogadishu carrying a large hammerhead shark—while dressed in an FC Barcelona shirt, proudly emblazoned with the insignia of a deep-pocketed regional state actor—is in many ways a perfect encapsulation of the multi-layered issues that many in Somalia are facing.
From the visible effects of the long-protracted war on the city’s infrastructure, to the plundering of the country’s fisheries by foreign fleets alongside desperate locals struggling within a collapsed economy, this is an image of a country and a people forced to fend for their survival time and again.
Street Photography Awards 2017 Jury
London, United Kingdom
Caroline Hunter is a picture editor for The Guardian Weekend magazine. Caroline has 20 years experience of commissioning photography (from concept to celebrity, portraiture, still-life, beauty, fashion and documentary photography) and reviewing photo-essays and proposals. Caroline is regularly invited to review portfolios at international photo festivals and has also acted as a judge for a number of photography competitions. In 2017, she was a nominator for the Deutsche Börse prize.
Washington, D.C., United States
Olivier Laurent is a photo editor at The Washington Post. Previously, he was editor of TIME LightBox and before that, the associate editor for British Journal of Photography and the editor of FLTR, an independent weekly magazine about smartphone photography and its impact on today’s society.
Born in France in 1980, he graduated from the American University of Paris in 2005 and immediately moved to London to pursue a career in journalism, starting in the financial sector on publications such as Dealing With Technology and Post Magazine, before joining British Journal of Photography in 2008.
He has sat on the juries of the Visa pour l’Image Web Documentary Award, the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Prize, the FotoEvidence First Photobook Award, the Getty Images Grants for Editorial, the Visa d’Or News and Features, Photoreporter Festival, and LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards.
Washington, D.C., United States
Molly Roberts is a photography editor, curator and photographer; she recently joined National Geographic Magazine as a Senior Photography Editor after 15 years as Chief Photography Editor at Smithsonian magazine. Previously she led the Washington Post Magazine and USA Weekend photography teams.
With 25 years of experience in the magazine publishing world, she is responsible for the content and appearance of magazines, books, websites and apps. Roberts is an advocate for powerful visual storytelling and human rights and recently created the non-profit HumanEyes USA to present documentary photography projects in public spaces and to use imagery to help illuminate complex issues facing America. She is also committed to developing diverse voices in the media: she is currently the acting director and board member of the DC-based organization Women Photojournalists of Washington.
New York City, United States
Currently serving as the Creative Director of United Photo Industries, Sam Barzilay is also the co-founder of Photoville, a photographic gathering that has rapidly become one of the largest and best-attended photography events in North America. Sam is also one of the founding producers of the T3 Photo Festival in Tokyo, Japan.
Sam holds a Master in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster (UK), where his studies focused on curatorial and photo-editing practices. Over the past decade, he has worked alongside some of the best and brightest minds in the global photographic community in pursuit of developing new audiences for photography. He is interested in devising methods of presentation that further amplify the power of photographic storytelling to help increase public awareness and bring about social change.
Jacob Aue Sobol is a member of Magnum Photos. He was born in Denmark and studied at the European Film College and the Danish School of Documentary and Art Photography.
He has completed several award-winning projects and authored critically acclaimed photobooks. His book Sabine, a personal perspective on life in Greenland, was published in 2004, and the work was nominated for the 2005 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. A project from Guatemala won First Prize Award, Daily Life Stories, World Press Photo 2006. His book I, Tokyo was awarded the Leica European Publishers Award in 2008 and was published in seven countries. A new book B (about Bangkok) was launched at Paris Photo in 2015. Jacob is currently working on the ongoing project “Arrivals and Departures”—a journey by land from his childhood home in Brøndby to the east coasts of Russia and China.
With more than 40 solo exhibitions over the past 10 years, Jacob’s work has been shown extensively around the world. Exhibitions include San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (Shanghai), Milwaukee Art Museum, Michigan Museum of Modern Art, Three Shadow Gallery (Beijing), Les Rencontres d’Arles, Polka Galerie (Paris), Yossi Milo Gallery (New York), and Museet for Fotokunst in Denmark.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Jim Casper is the editor-in-chief of LensCulture, one of the leading online destinations to discover contemporary photography from around the world. As an active member in the contemporary photography world, Casper organizes annual international photography events, travels around the world to meet with photographers and review their portfolios, curates art exhibitions, writes about photography and culture, lectures, conducts workshops, serves as an international juror and nominator for key awards, and is an advisor to arts and education organizations. He serves on the board of directors at SPE, the Society for Photographic Education, the world’s largest association of photography educators.
Join us for the San Francisco Exhibition!
The 37 selected photographers will be exhibited at SF Cameraworks, a non-profit gallery space in San Francisco that has been supporting emerging artists for over 40 years.
November 11-18, with a reception on November 15 from 6 - 8 pm.
LensCulture would like to thank every photographer who participated in this competition—your diverse responses to our call for innovative street photography came from 139 countries all over the world. We have been truly inspired to view the streets with fresh eyes. We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the members of the jury who dedicated time and effort to reviewing the entries to the competition and ultimately selecting the diverse group displayed here.