Amateur Photographer Forum competition results for the April 2014 round – Look at Me

May 7, 2014

Amateur Photographer Forum competition results for the April 2014 round – Look at Me

Self-portraits have a long
history and can take many forms. In fact most art can be said to be a form of
self-portraiture. It’s often said we can learn more about a person through the
things they create than we can from actually talking to them. The things we
create express those parts of ourselves that we may not otherwise be able to
put into words. In the photographs we take, there really is no hiding who we
truly are. Keep that in mind when looking through this latest selection of
images from the forum competition.

It has of course been
another strong round. I anticipated that this would perhaps be the round that
would give people the most trouble. Photographers are behind the camera for a
reason. If you’re anything like me then the idea of standing in front of a lens
fills you with dread. You’ll note that I have yet to upload a picture of myself
to the ‘Meet the Team’ section of AP’s website.

Fortunately a great number
of you were able to interpret the brief in such as way that we didn’t see you
at all; we were able to get a glimpse of who you are in other little ways. But
then again others took the bold stride of stepping in front of the lens. Let’s
take a look at the top three and see how some of you did it.

Contents not included
Prize applies to UK & EU residents only

Our first prize winner receives a Manfrotto Active Backpack I. The bag is a structurally sound, high-capacity yet compact rucksack that can also be used as a standard daypack. With its capacity to hold a DSLR system with 2 standard lenses, 15″ laptop as well as personal items and accessories. The bag has four zippered compartments with the top part designed for personal items and the bottom for photo gear.

3rd Place
Wendy J – Me
A fine attempt at a trompe
l’oeil from Wendy J here. There’s not a lot to say about it except that it’s a
very clever attempt at creating a self-portrait. Photography compresses time. A
sliver of our experience is captured in-camera and printed onto a
two-dimensional surface placing us in the presence of things past. To
reintroduce that image into yet another photograph takes us into conceptual
levels I won’t bother boring people with. On another level there’s a
sweet-natured nostalgia to the shot that’s difficult not feel won over by. It’s
a lovely shot and more than deserving of a top-three spot. Actually… I
suppose there is a lot to say about it after all.

2nd Place
Tommy t – Self-portrait
Painting a Portrait

Again, this was an image
that was an instant favourite. The joy is in the composition and careful
framing of the image. It gives us a glimpse into the life of the artist and,
for me, brings to mind those times when painters such as Diego Velasquez would
actually include themselves in their paintings (see Las Meninas painted in
1656, for example). For some reason, I’m struck by the inclusion of both the
face in the mirror and disembodied hand with the paintbrush. It creates a space
beyond the frame that we build in our heads. We conjoin the two and create a
narrative that extends beyond the single shot. I expect that makes no sense.
But then our individual interpretation of images says a great deal about us.

1st Place
Ready to Snap – Life on the
Other Side of the Glass

It’s going to sound odd but
I really love this shot. It’s so uncomplicated, so raw and so honest. The
details of the face are fantastic. The crinkles in the brow, the detail in the
hair and the arched eyebrow are all absolutely fascinating to me. I’m a huge
fan of portraiture as I’ve mention before in the forum competition. What
appeals to me is the honesty of a portrait – a no frills look at a human being.
I look at a portrait and I want to know everything about them. What have they
seen? What experiences have they had? The look on his face goes beyond the
blank stare we often associate with these kinds of images.

Ready to Snap’s
portrait has a particular aesthetic to it that I love. It’s the lighting, I
think. It just works. Why leave all that space on the right? Because it
functions with the way the light falls upon the wall. Take a closer look and
you’ll see what I mean. It must be said that there were other portraits similar
to this that I was equally fond of. Mike Morley’s Victorian Christmas
Self-Portrait and Ffolrord’s Bobsworth & I liked. Go back to the gallery
and take a look at them.

Find out how to enter the 2014 competition

Look at all the entries for this round

Read all comments for this round

Leave your comments for winning pictures for this round