Ophelia © Renée Munn, Canada, 1st Place, Gold
Judging by the superb photographs in this exhibition — which come from photographers in 24 countries around the world— there is no doubt that the medium of photography is alive and well and thriving as a vital form of art in the 21st century.
As editor of LensCulture, I was honored to be the sole juror for this year’s San Francisco International Photography Awards. Here are the 6 top winners and 71 finalists: 77 great photographs.
Reviewing the entries for this international competition was a joy. I was delighted by the rich diversity of work submitted — not only in technique and subject matter — but in the range of artistic approaches with which photography serves as a universal visual language to communicate ideas, information, emotions and more.
From the thousands of compelling entries, what bubbled to the top is an eclectic mix, a truly subjective selection, but one that demonstrates the vibrancy of richly varied photographic practices across many genres from all corners of the globe.
Likewise, these award winning photographs prove that it does not require an expensive, “professional” camera to make award-winning work — these images include work made with old-fashioned alternative processes, hand assembled collages, large format film cameras, plastic “toy” cameras, the latest digital cameras and mobile phones.
What seems more important than photo equipment, is attaining a heightened way of seeing, and an ability to capture *that* in a compelling manner.
Each of these winning images benefits from careful viewing: the more you look, the more you will see and appreciate.