Winners and finalists for the 2020 Monochrome Photography Awards

Winners, runners-up and honorable mentions were recently announced for the 7th annual Monochrome Photography Awards – an international Black & White photography competition. 7,096 photos were submitted from 91 countries.

A jury including Petra Leary, Alessandro Zanoni, Christina Dim, Vassilis Tangoulis, Olga Zavershinskaya and Pedro Dimitrow selected their favorite professional and amateur photos from 13 categories including Abstract, Conceptual, Photojournalism and Wildlife.

Ksystof Mozyro was declared the Overall Winner in the professional category for his image, ‘Opponents,’ depicting a heated standoff during a Black Lives Matter protest. Svetlin Yosifov received the title Monochrome Discovery of the Year 2020 in the amateur category for ‘Portrait Woman Mursi’ – an image captured in Southern Ethiopia’s Omo Valley.

Monochrome is currently accepting submission for their 2021 competition.

Monochrome Photographer of the Year (Professional): ‘Opponents’ by Krystof Mozyro (United Kingdom)

Artist Statement: Black Lives Matter is an international human rights movement, originating from within the African-American community, which campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. BLM regularly holds protests speaking out against police brutality and police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.

The movement returned to national headlines and gained further international attention during the global George Floyd protests in 2020 following Floyd’s death by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He died after being arrested for allegedly using counterfeit money to buy cigarettes. A white police officer, knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, leading to his death. Events of the arrest, death, and the actions of the officers have led to international Black Lives Matter protests, calls for police reform, and legislation to address racial inequalities. Protests erupted and have continued since, across many US cities, in Australia, France, the Netherlands and in the UK.

These photographs were taken on 6th June 2020, during the London protest. I found myself in the centre of the gathering, experiencing the whole range of human emotions and observing the uncommon behavior. The fact that the protest took place during the Covid-19 pandemic make this event even more significant.

Just around 11 PM, after many hours of standing in furious the crowd, I was taken for the police investigation. The officer interviewed me and checked the ID. Finally, I was able to leave but advised not to return to the city centre within 24 hours as this would result in being arrested.

Monochrome Discovery of the Year (Amateur): ‘Portrait Woman Mursi’ by Svetlin Yosifov (Bulgaria)

Arist Statement: The Mursi tribe are an African tribe from the isolated Omo valley in Southern Ethiopia near the border with Sudan. The photo is part of the album “SECOND ETHIOPIAN TRIBES EXPEDITION” 2019.

Abstract – 1st Place Winner (Professional): ‘Yin and Yang’ by Gheorghe Popa (Romania)

Artist Statement: This is an aerial view of Cuejdel lake just before the complete frost. Cuejdel is the biggest natural dam from Romania, that’s the explanation for these trees.

Architecture – 1st Place Winner (Professional): ‘The Upside Down’ by Po-Yi Li (Taiwan)

Artist Statement: Holidays in Chongqing recorded the local popular bookstore – Zhong Shugs.

The pavilion, after entering the bookstore, was struck by the sense of perspective of the interior space atmosphere, layer by layer.
The overlapping stairs resemble the rolling hills and the mountain city, one of Chongqing’s famous names.
Echoing each other, the bookcase is full of this room, and there is a tall one in the upper aisle.
The book wall extends to the ceiling, and the ceiling is matched with a lot of mirror glass, depending on.
It feels like being in an upside-down world.
It reminds me Early Dutch artist-M. C. Escher- Relativity.

1st Place Winner – Conceptual Photographer of the Year 2020: ‘Exposed’ by Jerry Stevenson (United States)

Artist Description: N/A

Fashion / Beauty – 2nd Place Winner (Professional): ‘Old Summer Days’ by Avi Dascaloff (United States)

Artist Statement: I decided to use this photo because it was something I was never really into – outdoor flash photography. I’ve always loved creating timeless images, making images that looked like they were taken decades ago.

This photo was made in Vancouver, WA, USA. The model’s name is Anna.

Fine Art – 1st Place Winner (Professional): ‘In My Head’ by Lídia Vives (Spain)

Artist Statement: Self-portrait. Inspired by the spanish expression “tener muchos pájaros en la cabeza” (literally translated like: have a lot of birds in head) which means to have a lot of imagination.

Landscapes – 1st Place Winner (Professional): ‘Horse Man’ by Rudy Oei (Indonesia)

Artist Statement: HORSE MAN in Mt. Bromo, East Java – Indonesia.

Nature – 1st Place Winner (Amateur): ‘Fuerza Natural’ by Cote Baeza (Chile)

Artist Statement: Recién aterrizado en el sur de Chile, zonas de muchos lagos y volcanes y gran naturaleza, ocurre la erupción del volcán Calbuco produciendo una escena aterradoramente hermosa, una gran nube tóxica crece hacia un cielo despejado, haciendo ver al vecino Volcán Osorno pequeño ante tremenda fuerza de la naturaleza.

Photomanipulation – Honorable Mention (Amateur): ‘Stair to Reflecting Reflections’ by Jeff Klagenberg (United States)

Artist Statement: I enjoy playing with the digital dark room. One of the things I do is misuse software in this case I started with a stack of different shots of a tank with a staircase. I took these images and asked some software to align them as if they were the same image.

The repeating curves and the almost cacophony of lines was a great starting point. I don’t know how the reads to others but for me it engages in intrigues my brain while somehow making me feel hopeful.

Street – 1st Place Winner (Amateur): ‘Rainy Day Commute’ by Debbie Smyth (United Kingdom)

Artist Statement: Taken at Tokyo Plaza, Tokyo, May 2018.

In Tokyo, a city of constant motion, my aim was to capture the feel of never-ending hustle and bustle. The scene at this major pedestrian crossing during a heavy rain storm really captured the determination of the people to reach their destination. I used handheld long exposure (1/13 sec) to give enough blur to emphasise speed without removing the detail. Captured as a reflection in a multi-angled glass roof high above the crossing.

Wildlife – 1st Place Winner (Professional): ‘Oryxes On A Walk’ by Thomas Vijayan

Artist Statement: The Gemsbok or oryx, Oryx Gazella, is an iconic symbol of Namibia, appearing on the country’s coat of arms and is the national animal of Namibia. It is always amazing to photograph the animals in their natural habitat.

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