Results May 2015 forum competition – Kill your Darlings

June 22, 2015

Results May 2015 forum competition – Kill your Darlings

‘Kill your darlings’ is a phrase often heard in the world of literature and journalism. It’s a succinct way of saying that a writer must remove the most self-indulgent passages of their work in order to encourage economy of language and style. But what does it mean within the brief of May’s forum competition. I asked you to take something you love and render it (relatively) unrecognisable. Basically, this was our abstract round. This was a notably strong month. It’s something we noticed in the abstract round of APOY as well. There’s something about creating abstract images that gets our creative juices flowing. I think the mistake is to think that creating an abstract image is easy. That’s not true, as I’m sure you all now know. All the rules of creating ‘conventional’ images still apply.


It should be noted that while I’m using the term ‘abstract’ here, it’s simply a convenience. A few of these images don’t quite fit into that adjective. Regardless, they still fulfilled the brief.

Looking through the shortlist, there are a number of shots that I would have loved to have featured in the top three. Luisport’s ‘Cyborg’ is a fantastic portrait. I’m a big fan of it. Apanacea’s ‘Photo Shoot’ deserves huge kudos for the determination that went into its making. I also loved Skiddawman’s excellent ‘The Face in the Raindrops’. A shot like that is certainly not easy to pull off, but here it is a huge success.

Let’s take a look at the top three.


Faith’s Last Mile – Photo by shantanu.u2

3rd Place
Faith’s Last Mile by shantanu.u2

This was a tricky one. While the image doesn’t technically fulfill the brief, the impact of it is difficult to deny. It’s is a rather incredible and moving image. I’ll allow Shantanu to fill you in on the background.

‘This photo was taken during a Hindu ritual of Dondi, when devotees seek blessings from Goddess Shitala. They lie on the street in front of the temple to pray. Even though I’m a Hindu, and it’s in my hometown, I’m still overwhelmed by the extremity of the ritual. Babies are made to lie on their mother’s back or even on the street. It was a rainy afternoon, and I had to stoop down really low to get this shot. The helplessness in the cries of the drenched baby was haunting to say the least.’


Head in the Clouds – Photo by Satlight

2nd Place
Head in the Clouds by Satlight

I loved this shot from the second I saw it. Then I had to consider why. I think the reason is that it really makes me consider the new wave of fashion photographers we’re seeing pop up here and there. Fashion photography has always bordered on the conceptual but it’s now that we’re seeing it get to a point where the boundaries between fashion and fine art have finally and irrevocably blurred. This shot really made me think about my favourite photographer, a Dutch artist called Viviane Sassen. Her work is definitely not for everyone but it blows me away every time. Her images straddle the parameters of fashion, fine art and portraiture, and in Satlight’s image we have a weird take on that same idea. The person has been removed completely. All we’re left with is the shell of the clothes. It’s an eerie, graphic and beautiful shot.

 forum competition - Kill your Darlings

We’re Cooking – Photo by Tommyt

1st Place
We’re Cooking by Tommyt

I’ve awarded first place to Tommyt because it just shows how far you can go with a couple of colourful items and a bit of homemade lighting. It’s such a great formalist image. The colours are striking, the shape is graphic and it’s perfectly lit. Using an opaque background has helped the colours of the bowls pop out of the image. I think I’ve mentioned before on here about how much beauty there is to be found in the everyday mundane things we usually take for granted. Here’s a perfect example.

See the themes for the 2015 competition

Look at all the entries for this round

Read all comments for this round, Unfamiliar Places

Leave your comments for winning pictures for this round

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