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Gallery: 2021 Potato Photographer of the Year photo competition

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Gallery: 2021 Potato Photographer of the Year photo competition

Hold your spuds. The organizers behind the second edition of the world’s only international potato photography competition have announced the winning photograph (and runner ups) of the 2021 Potato Photographer of the Year photo competition.

Inspired by Kevin Abosch’s Potato #345 (2010), an image of a potato which sold for $1M in 2016, the Potato Photographer of the Year photo competition also serves as a means to help fund The Trussell Trust, an charity that helps support a network of more than 1,200 food banks. After a successful 2020 competition, the organizers said they ‘once again called on the spud-loving creatives of the world to raid their gardens and local supermarkets, grab their cameras and join us in elevating the humble potato to even greater levels of artistic relevance.’

The photos were eyed over by a panel of judges, including documentary photographer Martin Parr, photographer Amy D’Agorne, photojournalist and educator Professor Paul Hill, Amateur Photographer Editor Nigel Atherton, SheClicks founder Angela Nicholson and UK based photographer Benedict Brain.

In the end, The title of ‘Potato Photographer of the Year 2021’ went to William Ropp for his photograph ‘Fish & Chips.’ Second and Third place were claimed by Clair Robins and John Glover for their photographs ‘Precious Potatoes and ‘Hands Holding New Potatoes,’ respectively. Fir taking home the first place prize, Ropp receives a Fujifilm X-T200 (kit with XC15–45mm), a Think Tank Advantage XT and a Photocrowd ‘Master’ subscription for 1 year. Robins and Glover also received a set of camera accessories and prizes, including bags, subscriptions and workshops.

You can find out more about the annual Potato Photographer of the Year photo competition on its PhotoCrowd website.

Overall Winner — Fish & Chips by William Ropp

“This was a challenge from a friend who after following art school courses ended up as a potato seller” — William Ropp

Judges Comment:

“There’s something extremely wonderful and weird about this work. The amalgamation of vegetables and animals creates a strange portrait of the everyday food we consume. The fact that the image was taken on a polaroid camera with just a flashlight is of great credit to the photographer’s skill” — Amy D’Agorne

“There’s a wonderfully surreal element to this image with dark undertones but also a touch of humour, an interesting combo, that maybe speaks to the times we live in. It has been artfully conceived and beautifully put together using analogue techniques” — Benedict Brain

Second Place — Precious Potato by Clair

“Jean is in her late 90’s she has raised four children, been very close to her grandchildren and is lucky to see her bubbly great-grandchild growing up. For most of her life she has cooked and cared for her family, feeding them traditional nutritious meals, she appreciates the simplicity of the humble potato and how it can feed many around her ever-growing table. Many things in Jeans’ lifetime have altered, except for the classic potato.” Clair

Judges Comment:

The wonderfully simple and delicate approach to this image has been beautifully handled” — Ben Brain

Third Place — Hands Holding New Potatoes by John Glover

Judges Comments:

“Hands holding homegrown new organic potatoes recently harvested” — John Glover

“I love the simplicity of this as the gardener proudly shows off their homegrown spuds” — Martin Parr

Fourth Place — My Potato Necklace by Clair

“Exploring the possibilities of how the humble portable could be re-imagined.” — Clair

Judges Comment:

“This is a beautiful portrait in its own right. The photographer plays with both humour and intrigue with the added necklace of potatoes. I have heard of some old myths of a necklace of potatoes being used to cue a cold or fever. I wonder if the photographer was playing with this myth through their pairing of the potato necklace with the doilie?” — Amy D’Agorne

Fifth Place — Potato Ketchup by Steve Caplin

Judges Comment:

“Truly inspired!” — Benedict Brain

Sixth Place — The Potato In Motion by SpudWhite

“Photographing a potato at 1-millisecond intervals reveals that they are in a constant state of chaotic movement” — SpudWhite

Judges Comments:

“Sometimes photographic pastiches seem laboured, but the wit and technical sophistication employed have made it an original piece in its own right. A homage to Muybridge, of course, but a creative work of irreverence too”.

Seventh Place — The Screaming Potato by Erin Marie

This image was created using potato peels dipped in acrylic paint and a carved potato.

Judge’s Comments:

“The peelings replicate the brush strokes in Munch’s painting brilliantly and the potato face has the same haunting quality. I hope this is one of a series!” — Angel Nicolson

“A wonderful and very creative mix of photography, sculpture, and painting. A lot of time, effort, and skill obviously went into this work and it definitely all paid off” — Amy D’Agorne

Eighth Place — Local Growers Market India by Ron Boon

Ninth Place — Growth by Nigel Summerton

Judges Comment:

“Very simple and nicely lit potato sprouts” — Martin Parr

Tenth Place — Submerged by Cashou

“Experimenting with potatoes underwater – this one reminds me of an embryo attached by its umbilical cord” — Cashou

Judges Comments:

“I love the connection made here between the way the potato grows its new potatoes and an umbilical cord/the way new life is formed in humans. In Rebecca Earle’s ‘Feeding the People; The Politics of the Potato’, she claims “Potatoes and people alike are born from the dark earth and return to it”. I think that acknowledgement of just how similar we really are to the food we eat, and nature itself, is illustrated beautifully here”.


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