Slideshow: Winners of the 2022 Minimalist Photography Awards


Winners of the 2022 Minimalist Photography Awards

Recently, winners and finalists were announced for the 4th annual Minimalist Photography Awards. Over 3,400 images across 43 countries were submitted to 12 categories in the competition. German photographer Daniel Dencescu, whose abstract takes of patterned bird movements, was declared Minimalist Photographer of the Year and received a $2,000 cash prize.

The Minimalist Photography Awards is a non-profit organization powered by black & white Minimalism magazine. The work of first, second and third place winners will be published in the annual Minimalist Photography Awards book. Winners will also have the opportunity to sell their work as an NFT (non-fungible token) on the Foundation marketplace.

Below is a selection of winners representing each category in the competition. Links are to the entire series of photos from each winner.

Abstract Photographer Of The Year/1st Place Winner: ‘Forms of Murmurations’ by Daniel Dencescu

About the Series: I want to describe the murmurations of starlings as an elegant dance. There’s certainly something mesmerizing in how these birds move – a vast, impromptu choreography, each bird part of something vastly bigger than themselves. The colossal organic shapes that form have an inherent beauty, but here we see many unexpected coincidences. Photographed all my murmurations series against a flat, cloudless sky the resulting images are undiluted.

Sparse and beautiful, letting place for a lot of interpretations. The dawn cream color palette for my calligraphic photographs is based on the works of surrealist painter René Magritte and the master Irving Penn. I have spent more than 200 hours on the field chasing and photographing the starlings, all of the scenes are real.

The term “murmuration” comes from the fact that thousands of wings flapping at once give a murmur-like sound. Grouping together offers safety in numbers – predators such as peregrine falcons find it hard to target one bird in the middle of a hypnotizing flock of thousands. The starlings also gather to keep warm at night and to exchange information, such as good feeding areas. I always search where their roosting site could be, this is where they perform their wheeling stunts before they roost for the night.

There is no leader in a murmuration, the flock behaves as one single entity. To stay united through the different escape patterns, each bird tracks and mimics the behavior of seven neighbors. The group can adapt quickly by focusing on a fixed number of birds, becoming dense or sparse, splitting and changing shape. Starling murmurations occur mostly at dusk, when the birds gather together for the night. With these series I want to reveal the hidden beauty of common things shown from an unusual perspective of an elegant dance.

3rd Place Winner, Abstract: ‘Line, Form and Color’ by Gleici Rufatto

About the Series: With a playful approach to color and form, the geometric, block-like images that are a perceptual observation of abstract forms in urban landscapes. By striping down the narrative and simplifying, sometimes blurring the borders between representation and the real, the images reveal the harmony and dreamlike quality of life itself.

Fine-art Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘Last Night I Dreamt I Knew How to Swim’ by Natalie Christensen

About the Series: The first pool I remember was the one I fell into as a small child. It was at an apartment complex that my young parents lived in. I recall falling in, opening my eyes, and seeing the color of the water and the reflection of sunlight shimmering in my field of vision. My mother pulled me out. I was around four years old. Eventually I became a good enough swimmer and spent the summers of my childhood and adolescence in any pool I could find.

My parents were divorced by the time I was eight years old and I spent every other weekend with my dad. Back then he lived in apartment complexes; some of which had pools. My father would let my brother and me play for hours. And during the winter he would take us to hotels that had indoor pools. These stays helped us avoid the sense of loss.

My father’s business endeavors were prone to sudden changes. When times were good, he lived in luxurious homes; the best ones had pools. But when the tides would turn, the moves came abruptly. There were 11 homes in 10 years. And sometimes the pools went dry.

I came to learn that the presence of a pool was a distraction from how impermanent things actually were. Underneath, there loomed an impending sense that everything could be lost. Stable could quickly become unstable, and suddenly we were in over our heads. Yet the pool was always seductive. There was a comfort in the stillness of its waters, albeit a calm that couldn’t be trusted.

Now, I look at pools as windows into my past, and insights into my present. Beyond their surfaces, the depths of my discoveries are seemingly infinite.

Open Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘Small Additions’ by Guido Klumpe

About the Series: A Series of juxtapositions in our urban environment. Here, I was all about the little details that turn a mundane scene into something completely new.
The Artist Guido Klumpe was born 1971 in Germany and is based in Hanover, Northern Germany now. He is been taking photographs since he was sixteen years old. After graduating from high school, he traveled through Southeast Asia for one year. From then on he was infected by street photography, without knowing that this genre even existed. All the colors, shapes, and situations poured in on him. He discovered the magic of the decisive moment.

He is almost blind 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. E.G. if there is only one person, he can see some details. In a crowd, the faces are so unclear that he can hardly recognize friends.

“My work combines three genres that influence each other: street photography, minimal photography and abstract photography. I like to explore and push the boundary of genres.

I see my city as an urban landscape. A landscape made up of shapes, colors, reflections and light.

My style of street photography is characterized by a clear visual language, everything superfluous is left out. The overarching theme is the tension between urban architecture and its inhabitants.“

Aerial Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘A River in Southern Iceland’ by Daniel Franc

About the Photo: This very very long black sand beach (you need to walk a trail for a couple kilometers from the nearest road to get there) is especially fascinating on gloomy days like this. Add the river and cover it with a bit of grass and moss in the late Autumn colors (which is September, in Iceland) and you get a truly ethereal scenery like out of this world.

Landscape Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘Simple Elegance’ by Tara Workman

About the Photo: Like most of us, sand dunes have been shaped by their environment, but we all have different sides and moods we show. With this collection I have chosen to highlight the dunes’ graceful curves and their softer sultry side. Each image in its abstractness has its own unique story to tell and through their subtle lines and curves they exude both simplicity and elegance alike.

Photomanipulation Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘Memories’ by Benjamin Briones Grandi

About the Series: This series is a representation of our inner landscapes using composite photography. The work is inspired from two sources: One is “The Mansions”, written by St. Teresa of Ávila. The second inspiration comes from the mechanisms used by the human brain to integrate memories, to dream, and overcome traumas. The images are a result of playing with perspective, time, scale, and colors. It is a construct made out of pieces from real places put together using imagination and dreams. A rather healing combination.

The first image is a visual representation of fatherhood, the second one is an interior altar, and the third one is a representation of the transition from darkness to light.

Architecture Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘Cluster One’ by Daniel Fisher

About the Photo: This is an underpass to a road bridge made from precast concrete sections. I walk under it to work and the scale of it and how brutal it feels against the river and nature reserve surrounding it always surprises me. It looks especially sci-fi in the fog (from various angles) as it disappears into the distance.

Long Exposure Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘Huts…’ by Martin Annand

About the Photo: An impromptu photoshoot at the huts.

Portrait Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘Dancers in Black & White’ by Fredrik Gille

About the Series: Dancers in this series: William Dugan, So-Yeon Kim, Madeline Woo.

Conceptual Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘In Time’ by Allen Koppe

About the Series: I have always been drawn to minimal uncomplicated imagery. I like the simplicity and balanced harmony of minimalist photography where elements are arranged in a manner that removes the noise and clutter of our everyday world and allows the unique subjects, shapes and forms to be revealed in quiet isolation.

With this series of works I have sought to create a pictorial fable, a myth where the imagery sits between reality and the imagined.

The use of collage and the re-assembling and layering of photographic elements helps to shape the narrative. These images are a contemplation of isolation, a depiction of a surreal, future world where majestic animals are seemingly lost amongst the remnants of the human juggernaut.

The power of the works can be found in their representation of the sanctity of nature, the beauty of the natural world and its vulnerability to the environment impact that human’s have on the planet.

Night Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘Night Series’ by Brian Kosoff

About the Photo: Keeping my self busy on clear nights. Film captures.

Street Photographer Of The Year, 1st Place Winner: ‘After a Long Day’ by Tamás Wachsler

About the Photo: Visitors of the Hungarian Parliament, after a strenuous walk have some rest on the roof of the visitors’ centre.

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