I accept that people have described the figures in my photographs as looking like replicants (which is perhaps a bit strong), or cyphers. But I like the idea that they appear like this.

Paternoster050310. From the series “050310-030717” © Streetmax 21. Juror’s Pick, LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2017.

I try to choose architectural backgrounds against which I can display separated figures. I like to distribute or choreograph them across the frame. The architecture becomes almost a non-referential space, incidental to a scene that may or may not evolve within it.

Also, I tend to look for sites or places that people pass through without congregating. To begin, I seek out spaces with one figure (or two or more figures who are positioned apart). I wait until they’re joined by others in the hope that they’ll create an enigmatic spatial dialogue. Often these isolated figures don’t have to be interesting in themselves, so long as they create a narrative tension with the others.

OldBailey030717. From the series “050310-030717” © Streetmax 21. Juror’s Pick, LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2017.

It’s important that there is an element of movement from the figures. Everything in the scene must appear to be changing and in flux, while at the same time retaining its spatial integrity.

—Streetmax 21

This project was chosen by juror and LensCulture Editor-in-Chief Jim Casper as his Juror’s Pick during the Street Photography Awards 2017. Here’s what Jim had to say about Streetmax 21’s work:

“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.”

See all of the inspiring work by the 37 winners, finalists and jurors’ picks from the Street Photography Awards 2017!