Results February 2015 forum competition – Still Life

February 2015 - Forum competition - Still Life results

February 2015 – shortlist

February 2015 – Forum competition – Still Life results

Here we are with the first round of 2015. For this first round, I asked you to photograph an item that holds sentimental value for someone you know. The rounds this year are a little trickier but its good to see that with this first round you dived right in and gave it a go.

Whittling down the images to a shortlist was a difficult task, and not just because I thought all the entries were great. All the images were clearly infected with a heartfelt sentimentality, from both the photographers and the individual who donated the objects. That made them all the harder to cut. But as we all know, the forum competition is an unforgiving killing field and only a select few can fight their way onto my shortlist.

The images I’m particularly fond of include ‘As Time Goes By’ by Satlight. As a writer I’m always fascinated by journals and memoirs (I’m currently slogging my way through Karl Ove Knausgaard’s insanely ambitious My Struggle series) so it was an image that had a particular resonance for me. I also enjoyed Purry by Luisport, a nice take on the representation of objects in still life. While it didn’t make the final cut (because it’s not technically speaking a still life), LesleySM’s ‘I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face’ raised interesting questions on the forum about authorship.

My feeling is that it doesn’t matter who presses the shutter: authorship comes from the director, who in this case was LesleySM. Another that didn’t make the cut due to limitations of space was ‘At Ease Soldier’ by Ready to Snap. Again, this was a shot that held personal resonance for me. The shot reminded me a great deal of the medals that had belonged to my grandfather. I haven’t looked at them in a while. Perhaps I should. Also, I must say offer a hearty congratulations to AntSmith for the sheer moxy of submitting that image. Weirdly, that outfit really does suit you.

Forum competition - Still Life

Photo by Hazzatori

3rd Place
My Boy’s Lucky Penny by Hazzatori

For those of you who are wondering who the pair of little men are in this image, may I introduce Danbo, a cardboard box character from Japan. Danbo is the kind of internet meme that pops up here and there, and was recently featured in an excellent photographic series by Arielle Nadel called 365 Days of Danbo. Anyway, what we really have here is a nice demonstration of the sentimentality we attach to things no matter how small. Hazzatori’s son has offered up his lucky penny. ‘My son gave me what he considered to be sentimental,’ says Hazzatori, ‘and that’s his lucky penny. It’s only been lucky for about three days, but as per the brief I can’t swap it. The Danbos are there to show the relationship between my son and I. Using a ruler show it’s the small things in life are that matter.’

Forum competition - Still Life

Photo by dream_police

2nd Place
A Lady Fryd Sausages and Forces a Cucumber – dream_police

Dream_police said on the forum that still life was not something he would not normally do. As a result he found producing the image rather hard. He needn’t have worried. Not only is the subject a fascinating one, the way in which dream_police has presented it really stands out. Plus, that is a hell of a title for a photograph. Dream_police explains: This is an old cookbook titled By a Lady printed in 1758. This has been passed down through my wife’s family. She took possession of it in 2013 following the death of her parents. It is in very poor condition, the spine has completely gone and is bound in greaseproof paper.’

Regardless of the book’s present condition, it now lives on as a rather good triptych.

Forum competition - Still Life

Photo by johncb84

1st Place
Memory – johncb84

‘I was given, by my mother, my granddad’s Great War memory box,’ says johncb84. ‘In it were his medals, spur, cap badge, shoulder title and several photographs. But most poignant for me was an embroidered field dressing and a crucifix, constructed from bullets, that he had made while in hospital and recovering from his wounds. I have tried to arrange my granddad’s possessions in a way to show them as if they are all part of an old distressed photograph, with my granddad’s eyes looking from beyond.’

I’m sure you’ll all agree this is a quite beautiful photograph. Johncb84 has arranged the elements in such a way that at no point do we feel overwhelmed by the composition. It’s the toning that does this, I think; it levels everything out. This is an image that requires repeated viewing. Each look offers something new and each time we are rewarded with a piece of history (the crucifix made of bullets in incredible!). The photographs featured within the frame are amazing. I want to know everything about the people featured. That’s the appeal of old photographs: we are offered a fraction of a mystery and our mind fills in the blanks. This image is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote the brief. Congratulations to johncb84 for creating a beautiful and heartfelt image.

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