Monkeys and Magic: Exploring the World of Black and White Photography Through the Lens of The Lensculture Awards – Design You Trust

Monkeys and Magic: Exploring the World of Black and White Photography Through the Lens of The Lensculture Awards

As a society, we often take for granted the power of visual storytelling. Photography, in particular, has the ability to transport us to different places, to make us feel a range of emotions, and to give us a glimpse into lives and experiences we may not have otherwise known. The monochrome works featured in the recent Lensculture black and white photography awards are a testament to this.

These photographs remind us that behind every image, there is a story waiting to be told.

Wendy Stone: Siblings (3rd Place Winner, Series)
1
‘Our son has two brothers who are over 20 years older than him and have moved out of the house. Being home with no siblings to play with often has him getting into mischief with our two dogs, Marius and Sasha. Their interactions demonstrate the same sibling interactions as humans: playing, tattling, fighting and snuggling. For this series, I documented their adventures, striving to capture both their good and bad days.’

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Jacob Black: I Can’t Wipe Sunrise Down My Jumper to Get Rid of Fingerprints (1st Place Winner, Series)
2
‘I spent the summer of 2022 in a daze due to concussion from falling from quite a height. I felt spooked, unable to put the simplest thoughts in order. As the weeks went on, I tried to continue my photography work, producing visual records of my surroundings in south Devon. My brain found magic in the small things; the flow of the river and its small flickers of light. I began exploring how my mind experienced life during and after a mild traumatic brain injury’

Nicolas St-Pierre: Where Have the Birds Gone? (2nd Place Winner, Series)
3
‘During the four years that I lived in Japan, between 2015 and 2019, I spent countless hours exploring the streets and back alleys of Tokyo by foot. Almost every day, I was stopped dead in my own tracks by the unexpected sight of something that did not belong to the scene, or the deafening silence of something that cried out to be there. The photographs presented in Where Have the Birds Gone? constitute my attempt at rendering the sense of alienation, unease and at times impending doom that I felt while living in Japan’

Fergus Riley: How Little Weight the World Has (Juror pick, Series)
4
‘My paternal grandfather was a Spitfire engineer during the second world war. Just over a decade later, my maternal grandparents started to use the booming commercial flight industry to travel extensively throughout their retirement. Despite these contrasting experiences involving aviation, each of them spoke about these times as if they were the best of their lives. How Little Weight the World Has is both an investigation into human progress and an attempt to connect contrasting strands of my ancestry’

Sam Geballe: Self-Untitled (Juror pick, Series)
5
‘In 2014, I had gastric bypass surgery and my life radically changed. Most of my excess weight lifted within a year. The changes were drastic. Being alive was unbelievably easier. I could breathe, but I was also devastated to learn I had no idea who I was. For years, I believed I had to apologise for having been big. I started Self-Untitled to help alleviate the shame I had for my body. Self-portraiture is also a way I process life. It is a practice of self-acceptance; a daily conversation and reminder that I deserve to take up space’

Patrice Quillard: Gelada (Juror pick, Singles)
6
‘During a trip to Ethiopia, I wanted to photograph these magnificent monkeys. The wind was strong that day. It seemed an obvious disadvantage but I realised that the weather became an asset in the long hairs of the large males. I spotted one who seemed particularly annoyed by the violent gusts blowing over the highlands. With each squall, his long hairs rose in all directions. There was this moment when his gaze went insistently in the direction of the wind with a grimace that seemed to express all his nervousness’

José Antonio Flores Garcia: The Dance of Fire (Juror pick, Singles)
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‘A series about Mexican traditions in Tultepec, the capital of fireworks in Mexico and the land of the fire masters. The Dance of Fire is about the people in Tultepec who dance in the flames, sparks and fire and offer their bodies and blood to the bulls of fire’

Hady Barry: Wearing the Inside Out (Juror pick, Series)
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‘In 2019 I moved in with my friend Azi whom I’ve known since we were five. I was living with Azi, her husband, their young daughter, the nanny and their dog. The proximity of our lives made it difficult not to grapple with whether I’d like to start a family as well. This was the trigger for this project. What began as a straightforward documentation of my friend’s second pregnancy evolved into a tender meditation on our friendship and the different ways we think of and navigate womanhood’

Ciro Battiloro: Sanità (Juror pick, Series)
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‘Rione Sanità, situated in the heart of Naples, is one of Europe’s most densely populated places. This series is a love letter dedicated to an authentic way of living that we have forgotten. At the centre of my work is the district’s inhabitants and their daily life, suspended between the stigma of marginality and the economic and political processes of gentrification. A strong sense of belonging has grown among the inhabitants of Rione Sanità’

Yudai Ninomiya: Flutter-Flutter (Juror pick, Series)
10
‘My wife and I were in the forest when she said: “I saw a white butterfly.” Thinking that there were no butterflies in winter, I looked in the direction she was pointing. I don’t know whether it was a figment of her imagination, or it existed and was invisible to me because of my poor eyesight. It provided the impetus for this series. At the beginning, the focus was on how to represent that invisible butterfly. But I was really telling the story of how I, who am gradually losing my sight, and my wife were gently separated then reunited’

Cote Baeza Pooley: Fury (1st Place Winner, Singles)
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‘This picture shows Calbuco, a volcano in southern Chile, erupting and making the surroundings look small even though they aren’t. The photograph shows us the fury of the earth, making us feel how small we really are’

Haruka Nishizaki: No Visible Exit (2nd Place Winner, Singles)
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‘Whenever I see news of world affairs, of events happening in my country, I want to turn away. I feel as if I am in a maze with no way out. However, the world can move toward the light, little by little, just as people have done until now. I believe that one day it will open up before our eyes’

Jaume Llorens: Starlings Take Flight (3rd Place Winner, Singles)
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‘This is a negative image of the moment when a flock of starlings took flight from poplars near the lake of Banyoles [in Catalonia]. Every day at sunset, a flock gathers here for a short time until they decide to take flight again to the place where they spend the night. Every day, the same routine at the same time and in the same place, moving as if they were a single organism. Convivial behaviour as a system of self-protection against external threats. My intention was to capture the beauty and poetry contained in that moment’

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