I was really pleased to find out from Facebook that my cousin Katie Bennett had been chosen as a finalist for this Prize. Here is an interview with her. I’ve never met Katie, although I’ve heard a lot about her – she’s the professional in the family. I think her image of ‘Granny’s 90th’ was really good in capturing the ladies’ natural vitality at a moment when they were ‘waiting’ to be photographed.
I don’t think I would have linked into this Gallery and prize otherwise, so it’s been interesting for me to have a look at all the finalists. There aren’t any names I recognise although I’m sure some must be very well known in Australia. I still can’t get my head around how the judges can choose from such a variety of images – all deemed ‘portraits’. There’s a whole array of different styles and approaches and it looks to me as if most of the finalists are one-offs which would make it different from Taylor Wessing.
After recent discussions on the OCA student site re portraits I was pleased to see that, in a way, the winner ‘Yhonnie and Indiana” is a portrait of a cat! I think it’s a good use of light and am still trying to work out whether this is natural shadow or achieved by a gobo. “Judy” by Sally Robinson reminded me of the work that John and Yiann are doing regarding dementia, particularly John’s work with the Echoes group. In the OCA Thames Valley Group we had quite a discussion with Sharon Boothroyd regarding issues involved in photographing children and I think that Rewa Nolan’s “Bird’s Nests” is a very good example of the way in which childhood moments can be portrayed both artistically and naturally. The other image I found appealing was “The Veteran” by Vitek Skonieczny – the style is reminiscent of Saul Leiter; the shadowy and dim light evokes for me a sense of twilight years.
I enjoyed the look-through. Well-done again Katie and I hope you’ll be entering the 2014 Prize.
21st March 2013