Winners of the 2021 Minimalist Photography Awards

Winners for the third edition of the annual Minimalist Photography Awards (MPA) were recently announced. More than 3,700 images were submitted by photographers from 39 countries across 12 categories including Architecture, Fine Art, Conceptual, Photomanipulation, Long Exposure, and Landscape.

‘The Minimalist Photography Award is the only foundation that deals extensively and professionally with minimalist photography as a branch of photography in which the photographic artistic vision takes the lead, and tries to introduce the best works of minimalist photography to enthusiasts every year’ said Milad Safabakhsh, founder and president of MPA.

Australian photographer Allen Koppe received the title of Minimalist Photographer of the Year, along with a $2,000 cash prize. The MPAs are associated with Black & White Minimalism magazine. All winning photos can be viewed in this online gallery.

Minimalist Photographer of the Year: ‘On Route’ by Allen Koppe

About the Photo: For my series “On Route” I wanted to try something new, something different. I wanted to challenge myself and discover a technique that had been sitting in the back of my mind for several years. I wanted to move forward and take what had merely been a concept, an idea, a thought process and make it into a visual reality.

1st Place Winner, Aerial: ‘Pools from Above’ by Brad Walls

About the Photo: ‘Pools from above’ is an open series that I have been working on for 1 year taken via a drone. I wanted to showcase the unseen beauty of swimming pools via an alternate viewpoint. Each pool has its own geometric profile and as such their own unique personality. I have chosen the most visual 5 to represent the series.

2nd Place Winner, Abstract: ‘Hidden Connections’ by Guido Klumpe

About the Photo: ‘In this series I would like to point out the hidden connections that surround us every day. Quite ordinary parts of the cityscape such as bollards, roofs and billboards make unexpected connections
if you find the right angle.’ Guido Klumpe was born in 1971 in Germany. He ́s been taking photographs since he was sixteen years old.

After graduating from high school, he traveled through Southeast Asia for more than half a year. From then on he was infected by street photography, without knowing that this genre even existed. He discovered the magic of the decisive moment. He is almost blind since birth on the left and have 25% vision on the right because the optic nerves don’t pass on as much information to the brain.

You can imagine it like an internet video with a low data rate. If there is only one person on the video, he can see some details. In a crowd, the faces are so unclear that he can hardly recognize friends. Through photography he go to and beyond the limits of my vision. Guido Klumpe won several awards, among others at the Paris Street Photography award, the German Streetfotografie Festival and the Minimalist Photography award. His work has been published in various international magazines.

3rd Place Winner, Architecture: ‘Regional Command Centre, Ziy’ by Max Morawski

About the Photo: ….. (no caption provided)

1st Place Winner, Night: ‘Reflection’ by Mihail Minkov

About the Photo: The submerged church Saint Ivan Rilski, Jrebchevo dam, Bulgaria.

1st Place Winner, Open: ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ by Liz Barker

About the Photo: There are so many visual gems hidden in plain sight in our suburban and urban environments. We walk past them everyday and are blind to them. My goal is to reveal them to those who want to see. These are images of ordinary places we pass by everyday but don’t see them beyond the purpose for which they are there to serve. A shopping centre car park exit, a suburban playground and the entry to a residential car park. They scream to be seen by an appreciative eye.

3rd Place Winner, Photomanipulation: ‘Perspe’ by Gustav Willeit

About the Photo: The title of this series, PERSPE, originated from a fragment of the German word “Perspektive” (perspective): a programmatic statement alluding to the composition work, which is based on a simulation that fully exploits the opportunities offered by digital technology. The artist traces an unnatural perspective, i.e. a perspective that is “ideated,” invented, that acts and creates “different” places by mirroring the image, thus reaching perfect symmetry often disrupted by a discordant element.

1st Place Winner, Portrait: ‘Anima’ by George Mayer

About the Photo: The psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung believed that there was a feminine beginning, or female part of the psychic setup, in subconsciousness of every man. He gave it the name “Anima”, that is “soul” in translation from Latin.

The anima is a personification of all feminine psychological qualities that a man possesses, such as haziness and vagueness of feelings and moods, emotional sensitivity, prophetic insights, susceptibility to the irrational and the capability for individual love. If a man does not try to relate with his anima, he gets what Jung called “a loss of soul”, i.e., a lack of vitality, flexibility and humaneness.

In the process of working on creative projects, I tend to resort to a kind of meditation and try to establish a connection with my anima, which is depicted as a nude female figure. The touch with one’s subconscious mind helps get rid of rigidity, rudeness, one-sidedness and, eventually, bond with the Unconscious.

The red circle on the works is a reference to the planet Mars. The ancient Greeks associated this celestial body with the God of war Ares, who was the personification of pure violence and cruelty. In Western astrology, the planet Mars is associated with the aggressive masculine element, the will and active sexuality. Mars manages wars, disasters, natural disasters, and accidents.

In the photos the anima becomes positive, it is opposed to aggression, soothing it and helping to find inner harmony.

3rd Place Winner, Street: ‘Street Treats’ by Fred Montagne

About the Photo: The streets play an important role in my life. They became my playground when I started skateboarding. Being exposed to street life all around the globe, naturally led me to pick up a photo camera and start shooting pictures. Being a photographer is to me a natural extension of being a skateboarder.

3rd Place Winner, Long Exposure: ‘Niemeyer Centro Avilés’ by Michael Richard

About the Photo: The cultural center was designed by star architect Oscar Niemeyer and completed in 2011. It is located in the city of Avilés, Asturias, Spain. The fascination of this architecture captures you immediately and offers several photo opportunities. Due to the stormy conditions on this day of shooting, long exposures were essential for me.

2nd Place Winner, Landscape: ‘Camino’ by Ricardo Cuartero

About the Photo: The image was taken at dusk in a swamp in Estonia. I was already heading home when a blanket of low fog covered the swamp. It evokes in me a feeling of hope, about the beauty and uncertainty of every journey.

3rd Place Winner, Fine Art: ‘Metaphysical Body Landscapes’ by Anna Lazareva

About the Photo: My childhood I’ve spent at my grandmother’s house in Romania, near Carpathian Mountains. Seeing human’s strong bond with earth, observing nature, landscapes around influenced my understanding of earth beauty and mens connexion with it.

All being is something whole, indivisible. Earth, sky, plants, fruits, mountains, rivers, men, women, day, night- all merged together and flows into each other. This process is infinite and harmonious. Men came from earth, lives on earth and will return to earth. And landscapes of earth is seen in body curves.

Growing up I moved to live in big cities, my grandmother passed away and I felt loss of spiritual connexion with nature. For reconnect I start to search the Landscapes in body in my photography.

3rd Place Winner, Conceptual: ‘Repel’ by Timo Lemmetti

About the Photo: I have a habit to take long evening walks (with my camera of course) at a certain industrial area in coastal Helsinki. This time I saw an opportunity to shoot that bright, rising moon between the beautifully corroded fence – all in a warm sunset light – so I went closer to the fence. That’s when I noticed this one bent pole.

Luckily I was equipped with my 50 mm lens so I was able to capture both the moon and the fence. I actually like the fact that the fence is not 100 % sharp, and I happen to also like that mushy film-like look of the oldish lens. I’ve come to notice that people tend to see this symbolising “Moon’s power”, but from the get-go I’ve had an opposite mindset – hence the name “Repel”.

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