Sony World Photo Awards 2017 – the “Open” section, which means not just for those who get paid for photography.
Let me get it off my chest first: I’m not happy that one of the winning entries from Russia features a small child in model getup. If you ask me, children should not be dragged into anything resembling showbiz, the whole glamorous lifestyle and all. Never. Period. But – it’s a quality shot. It’s just that the model should’ve been way older.
Thanks for bearing with me. Rant over.
So, the trends. It seems that we’re really getting to the point where photography is content with not being “photorealistic” – you can see how much most of these entries have been processed. HDR is the norm, coupled with unorthodox editing that, for example, leaves a natural sky/sea background almost uniform white (look at the photo with all the birds). The compositions are purely decorative – the object/subject doesn’t have to be recognisable much anymore, supposing there is an identifiable subject at all. And when there is one, these are most often portrayed as hanging in a sort of vacuum (like those birds, again, but it’s not just them). Even in “street” photography, subjects aren’t always grounded in their environment. They’re elevated to some Platonic sort of existence.