Photo © Sina Kelvani

1st classified

The Persistence of Family
by Diana Cheren Nygren

This series focuses on the role of family history in shaping our sense of ourselves and our place in the world. The photographer has composited his family photos, photographs he took of his children, and images of the New England landscapes in which his family grew up. Generations reach for each other across time. He exists in the tension of the space between those who came before him and those who will come after. He is driven by a longing for connection, and by an anxiety around individual responsibility in passing on family history. His father’s parents came to the United States to escape religious persecution in Ukraine. His mother’s family came earlier, part of a Jewish community determined to erase their history and assimilate into the upper crust of Midwestern American culture. Both of these histories have formed him. This work raises questions about genetics in forming and connecting people, and the continuity of historical narratives, and suggests both past and future resides within each of us.

Runner up

by Yuri Pritisk

Scientists from more than 100 universities from 17 countries are recording climate change in AAMA - the Arctic Animal Movement Archive (open base for the movement of Arctic animals). Since the 1970s, the average temperature in the Arctic has increased by about 2.3 ° C. Earlier spring, less cold winters, extensive ice melting and destructive actions of civilization cause large-scale behavioral changes in golden eagles, bears, deer, wolves and whales of the Far North. The continuing rise in temperature, oil production, shipping and other human activities every year put more and more animals on the brink of extinction. According to many climate models, ice in the Arctic may disappear by 2050 in summer, and with it more than 70% of polar bears, northern whales and other animals may disappear, and most of the territory in which animals live today will become unusable for them.

Highly commended

by Ittai Bar-joseph

Exterritories was created near the photographer's home in Northern Israel, during the Coronavirus pandemic, as an act of escapism, at a time when no travel was allowed and movement was limited to 1 km from home. The dark and mysterious atmosphere does not reveal the place or time at which the pictures were taken and they are not part of a clear narrative thread. By carefully staging each frame, the photographer deceives the viewer into believing that the trees planted by the Jewish National Fund are actually a distant European forest populated by creatures taken from the Grimms' Fairy Tales. The resemblance to photographs and paintings from the Victorian romantic period is revealed as the artist's critical statement about the Europeanization of the Israeli landscape for political reasons. The photos refer to well-known cultural themes in art, film and photography: Dorothy and Toto from the Wizard of Oz, Millais Ophelia, an African-American taken to the electric chair in Sing Sing Prison, the Egyptian God Anubis, Botticelli's Venus, and the Cottingley Fairies.

Highly commended

What Nature Knows
by Gjert Rognli

With the photography project "What nature knows", Rognli draws in references from his affiliation with Arctic Northern Norway, to light, darkness and the seasons. He transforms ordinary landscapes into an enigmatic place to be and takes us on a visual experience in the evening and the atmosphere of the night. In the project he immerses light installations in water, and creates harmony where there is conflict between the elements. He illuminates nature with LED-lights and luminescent material. The project reminds us of our connection to nature, and according to the Biophilia hypothesis introduced by the American biologist Edward O. Wilson, humans have an innate instinct to connect emotionally with nature and other life forms, including natural light and light changes.

Highly commended

Secret Garden
by Fenqiang 'frank' Liu

Each Spring, many nesting pairs of Great Egrets gather at Kraft Azalea Garden in Central Florida, United States to begin their nesting rituals. I was inspired to share with the world the beauty of the Great Egrets. I made countless trips to the location in order to capture the most beautiful moments. Their true beauty is best reflected with their natural living environment. I wanted to fully utilize their enchanting surroundings to better obtain unique compositions. I carefully selected the camera positions and patiently waited for the best opportunities. During post-processing for some of these photos, I selected the sky to make it darker, and then I painted the light using the soft-brush tool to create a more dreamy and artistic impression. Over a period of two Spring seasons, I finally finished the series to display the beauty of wildlife in real Florida.


2021 ± II: Utopia Broadcasting
by Serena Dzenis

Do you think that the first space colony created by mankind will happen during your lifetime? Technology has advanced so quickly over the past few years. In the overall scheme of things, we’re just a flash in the pan and yet we’ve done so much to change our planet. Humankind is leaving a profound legacy on Earth, exploiting its resources to turn it into the paradise that we want it to be or perhaps farewelling a paradise that we’ve already lost. ‘2021 ± II: Utopia Broadcasting’ encapsulates everything about human construction, sheer curiosity, consumerism, as well as the wonders and dangers associated with science. The overall aim of this project is to utilise existing industrial structures within the Icelandic landscape to transport the viewer’s imagination to another world that exists outside of time. In doing so, the hope is to invoke conversation around themes of futurism and dreams for a better life amidst the darker side of human ideals.


Adherences and Indelible Signs
by Sandra Paul

This project takes source in my own life experience. The pictures are born from the double exposure of photographs of the scars of my body due to many operations and photographs of places from my past, a dreamlike journey back in time remembering the events and places that made me who I am. I have carefully chosen each landscape image to combine it with one of my specific scar, by associating it with its positive memory; for me they are essentially places of Camargue, the landscapes that are part of my childhood. I have extended this cathartic process with other people, with whom we take this immersive, dreamlike journey through body and landscape.


The World Today!
by Antonio Bernardino Coelho

The world today! Today, from my perspective, the world is very different from what we knew a few years ago! A series of discoveries over time has revealed that the best decisions were not always made between nations, in the use of Earth's resources, in relations between countries, etc. Today we know that, for example, we use plastic in an incorrect way, or at least after its use, we do not always give it the best treatment. We use oil-based energy resources while neglecting the protection of the environment. Today it is known that this was a huge step towards global warming, for the emergence of many respiratory diseases and more. Even relations between countries were complicated by the relentless quest of some nations to try to overcome others, either economically or in terms of occupation.


Palladium Print on Gold Leaf
by Lucretia Moroni

Gold is a color that is impossible to reproduce, and a symbol of the unattainable, and therefore the Divine. This is one of the main reasons I choose to work with gold leaf as a ground in my alternative process photography. I work exclusively with 22-karat Manetti gold leaf, which has been produced in Florence for over 150 years. The technical aspect of working with gold leaf is very important to me, as the craftsmanship required marries my photographic art to the other decorative arts that I have practiced throughout my career. In a way, the unique beauty and spiritual charge of gold brings all these skills and experiences back to life.


Winter View of Dresden
by Ilya Trofimenko

This winter view of Dresden's Old Town, inspired by Pictorialism art movement, was taken with an iPhone and mostly (main "double exposure" effect) processed there right on location. As second “texture” layer I purposely used some surface (tree bark, snow-covered asphalt, frozen grass, stone slabs, etc.) right on/close to the shooting point. Thus, each photograph is, say so, a look "through the eyes" of a particular place to the snowed Dresden's Old Town and this matter acts not only as a creative effect, but also as a storyteller with his subjective perception of a particular space at a particular moment in time.


Drown in Time
by Matteo Donzelli

Lacerations, efflorescences, patinas, falls of matter. The fragile and lost world that Donzelli gives shape to is a poetic mirror that reflects the uncertainties of modern life. Drown in Time, the series of images resulting from the research conducted by Donzelli during the 2020/2021 pandemic, is a lucid and disenchanted reflection on the anxieties of contemporary existence. Those walking figures, anonymous and isolated, that populate Donzelli’s rarefied landscapes, echo the slender silhouettes of Alberto Giacometti’s works. They are images of lonely men in front of the world who, aimlessly, cross an uncertain timeless space, where nature seems to prevail over individuals. Like a modern alchemist, through the physical manipulation of images, Donzelli achieves a balanced equilibrium between form and chaos, between figuration and abstraction. In a permanently connected reality, the photographer rejects digital perfection, he endorses the analogue medium, he defies the storm of images that overwhelm and disorient the contemporary man. With his own hands, Donzelli drowns the Polaroids into an “amniotic fluid” that transforms them, generating snapshots of timeless places, dreamlike visions, spaces of the mind.


Omoide - Fragments of Memories
by Hester Baars

Some memories fade, some are illusive, but a nostalgic feeling often remains. During moments of crises we experience a break from normal life. That is a trigger for nostalgia, which has a regulating function. It strengthens your social connection with others, reduces boredom and strengthens meaning in your life. But are memories always a true reflection of the event? They can be bittersweet. So nostalgia can also be a burden to some who can’t let memories go. That is why in this project the works are all in duo’s, to amplify the duality of our memories and nostalgia, the dark and the bright side. A single picture doesn’t tell the whole story.


The Anatomy of Love
by Ana Priscila Rodriguez

This series represent my exploration on the phenomenon of “falling in love” and the irrationality of an infatuation as well as the physical chemical processes the human emotions go through. I find it also fascinating how this phase doesn’t seem to be designed to be ever lasting, it is like a spark that lights up a longer and deeper flame which stands in rationality and maturity, what we call a deep and truthful, understanding love between two people. However when the process finds itself trapped in the spark before lighting a fire, it may be a long process of detox from the chemicals and high emotions that were looking to ignite a flame but they were killed at the spark. It’s like turning everything off right before any climax. This can become a burden and can be sometimes even traumatic. The spark of love that didn’t get to become a flame… is that still love? This series navigates with that question through the images, trying to convey the passion and the pain with the red color and the darkness and confussion of an unrequited love and the absence of words.


Ethereal Encounters
by Offer Goldfarb

Since I am not pleased with reality, I created, in my project, my own reality. In my project, my own reality and the outer reality are a frame within a frame. I searched for my own voice while connecting with my brother, friends, artists I love, and nature. As I have twin brother (the two trees in image 1), I am always interested in identity questions and in the border between me and others. My work inspired by architects, painters and photographers. The houses stand for identity, so, if one has problems in one place, he can escape to another house in a better place (except rare cases like the story in image 8). As I am not disconnected from my outer world, it reflected in my work (e.g. the encounter between the plastic tape and the sea in 2, stands for pollution caused by man, or, in image 9 I tried to symbolize the general climate of the current global crisis). Most of the people in my works are my colleagues and their children, and friends. In my project, I first created digital collages from photos I took in Israel and abroad, and portraits I took in Israel. In the next step, I printed materials, based on my digital collages, and created a hand-made 3 dimensional collages. In the last step, I scanned my collages, using a state of the art scanner ("Cruse"). The light and shadow on the surfaces of the collages produced by the light system of the scanner.


Colour Studies
by Paul Gravett

Each Colour Study originates with photographs of papers and films, layered three to five deep on a stack of glass shelves. With the camera positioned directly above, each layer is photographed in focus as the others fall outside of the field of focus. The images are layered and blended to create abstractions that reference contemporary art, including pointillism, colour fields, opaque and transparent layers, collage, and textures. The experimental technique remains true to the original photographs as nothing is added or subtracted in the process - everything that makes up the final image originates from the original set of photographs.


Mood Changes of the Sea
by Alexej Sachov

Most of the wave photographs are taken above water from a shore. This series was taken on scuba dives during the storm. The pictures do not fit ordinary underwater photography because they investigate the surface and not the deep of the sea. This is a view suitable to underwater creatures that would have curiosity about the world beyond their natural environment as humans are curious about the world under the surface. In the photos I try to visualize my underwater experience and share it with the viewer. Looking at the images the viewer experiences waves like the creatures of the sea and feel more responsible for the safety of their amazing world.


Scent of Bro-pa
by Ziesook You

Scent of Broqpa Broqpa is the name of a small village in Nepal. Ziesook first learned of it from a TV documentary, The Last Empire. Ziesook was moved by what she learned about a small village located at the end of the Silk Road in Nepal named Broq-pa. In Broq-pa, the symbolic meaning of flowers is very special. In the Nepalese culture, flowers symbolize love, happiness, and appreciation for God. Broq-pa’s women are committed to growing flowers in their garden and decorate their hair with flowers every day. Ziesook wanted to incorporate this traditional symbolism from Broq-pa into her work and into her own personal life. She believes that this ephemeral medium, the flower, can carry a piece of happiness into people’s lives. Ziesook’s desire to share the spirit of Broq-pa with people through her artwork was the inspiration for her series, Scent of Broq-pa. The first work in the Broq-pa project began in 2016 with floral portraits of her twin daughters. Ziesook is continuing the series by exploring floral portraits of seniors, single mothers, people from multicultural backgrounds, and different age groups. Ziesook’s art form always involves communication with the subject. She strives to have her work project the individual’s personality. Ziesook’s goal is to create an intimate visual that incorporates multiple layers of meaning. By experimenting with various media and combining fresh flowers and dry flowers, Ziesook creates an image with characteristics that lie somewhere between photography and painting.