- Grand Master of Photography Shares How He Picked His Light Awards Winner
Tony Hewitt is a renowned fine art photographer, most well known for his vast, bold and stunningly beautiful landscape work. His images grab your attention and don’t let go. But, at the recent Light Awards LIVE event, at SUNSTUDIOS in Sydney, he set a brief for photographers to capture the exact opposite of that.
His challenge to the masterclass participants was:
“Capture an image of a scene or subject that most people might go straight past, and present in a way that elevates it above the literal.”
The winner of his ‘Art of Vision’ brief was Tushar Garg, who shot the image.
The winning image wasn’t selected lightly. Much thought and deliberation went on behind the scenes. Tony reflects on the winning image in the following way:
With the Art of Vision challenge, I asked everybody to go out and capture an image of a scene or subject that most people will walk past, and to present it in a way which will elevate it past the literal.
What I was looking for is what most people wouldn’t see as a picture in the first instant.
I wanted people to give us a reason to look further, and think about the picture, and maybe give me something unexpected to think about.
The winner I chose is actually a very simple picture, which certainly hits the brief. Perhaps there were other images that were better aesthetically; the image I chose is a picture of a piece of footpath with a cigarette butt and a little piece of grass.
Compositionally, there’s a wall coming in from the left and a crack along the pavement, with the cigarette butt sitting on the crack. The grass is working its way up through the crack.
On one side, there’s the symbolism of life forcing its way through against all sorts of obstructions and the other is how we use organic matter, like grass, to go the other way.
The top of the grass recedes diagonal down to the right, leading us straight to the cigarette butt. And the top right-hand corner has some dark shadowing which creates a natural vignette, so visually it keeps us there.
This scene is something that most people would just walk straight past, but once you really think about it, there’s a really strong poignant message, which I thought was presented in a really definite way. That’s why I chose it as the winner.
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