2016 Portrait Photographer of the Year - Results

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Mucky Rims
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We are proud to announce the results of the


Congratulations to our Winner


Everything about this image works. The lighting, the environment, the subjects expressions, the processing, it all comes together to create a terrific portrait. As a viewer I (subconsciously) assigned each of the subjects a personality based on their expression and pose. For example, (in my head) the chap on the right looks like he might be the type that didn't follow the herd, single minded, maybe a bit of a troublemaker. That seemed to be upheld by the fact his hat is hanging away from the rest, spoiling the pattern. It's because of these little details that I kept returning to this image. Brilliant.​

This photograph grabs your attention with both hands. The processing of the shot gives us a lovely warmth to the colours on their tank tops but is de-saturated enough to portray a harsher edge to life. The boys’ expressions are all individual and with all three looking directly into the camera, this creates a very powerful image. Good staging and processing has brought all of these elements together to create a very powerful portrait image.​

Good portraiture can be about pretty people just looking pretty or it can be more about character, mood, emotion and (that overused word) narrative, this image falls into the latter category and while very well lit & processed sympathetically to the subject its all about the boys' characters coming through, which it does in abundance. Where they are, how they're dressed, the flat caps above and their expressions all show either bloody good luck or perfect & careful crafting, either way its a great shot and my easy winner here​

In 2nd Place is


Character. That what this image is all about. Nice use of B&W and a shallow DoF all but eliminate any distracting background and all your eye is left with is this charming, characterful gentleman. The photographer has avoided annoying reflections in the glasses which allows you direct contact with the subjects eyes. And he smokes a pipe! Top bloke. The excellent processing with a decent amount of contrast really helps as well.​

A striking portrait full of texture and warmth - his face oozes character and the black and white suits this so much - I don't think colour would have been quite as impactful. The portrait conveys a man with character, warmth, knowledge and eyes that have seen many many sights through the years! The angle of his head and the straw hat along with that wiry beard and the pipe just give layer upon layer of character all set nicely against the out of focus background with lovely depth, contrast and tonal range throughout the photograph. Well worth a top 3 placing.​

People with character always make for great characterful portraits and this chap is one such character. Hat, pipe, odd glasses, beard and look of someone musing about the world in general all make for the shot worth taking. The use of limited DoF nicely separates him from any distracting background, and the B&W conversion is good, while adding 'clarity' to bring out the beard and older skin & clothing detail works well too. Hats always make for trickier lighting as you can't light from the 'correct' 10-to to 10-past position but it works well here. Technical details side what makes this shot is the expression & connection we have with him, as we're left wondering what he's wondering about​

And in 3rd place is


Loneliness is the overwhelming feeling I get from this image. Good use of B&W and enough shallow DoF to restrict any distractions from the background. There are great little details there like the youthful image & text in the advertising, his reflection in the window that appears to be the barrier between him and all the sparkly things and his empty shopping bag. I'm not a street shooter but if I was I'd be chuffed to have taken this one.​

Unstoppable. A man of many years looking at time pieces suggest so many stories, does he stop here every day and gaze a the watches that he will never own perhaps? Who knows? The black and white processing is so suited to ‘street’ photography and this is no exception. The empty space to the right of the shot also adds to the overall image – it would have been so easy to crop this to a portrait orientation but here the landscape setting works much better.​

another character portrait as a 'Street' one too, chances are there's no interaction with the subject here but rather superb observation and either patience in waiting for the right person to come along or rapid 'seeing' and reacting to a great shot. What really adds to this shot for me is the fact that we have an old man who's reflection states that he is "unstoppable" while the sign behind him states that its the 'truth' (veritas) and points directly at him; lucky coincidence or skilled planning, either way this is a worthy top 3​
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