THIRD PRIZE: UNTITLED

Max Barstow
Inkjet Print, June 2017
Third Prize: £2000

Joint Third Prize went to Max Barstow (25.05.1994), a London-born photographer with an interest in images about city life, with his work inspired by a combination of studio and documentary photography. The photograph selected, a double portrait of two shoppers, has been taken from Barstow’s series titled, Londoners. Barstow says, ‘I began creating the series with the aim to make un-posed portraits with the intensity of images made by great studio portrait photographers such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. The photograph selected is a strongly composed and graphically-arresting image. It freezes a pair of friends shopping in the flow of a busy Summer Sunday afternoon in the centre of London. I believe the image is peculiarly interesting as a portrait in that it was taken swiftly in the middle of a crowd of passers-by – it is, unusually, both a formally successful portrait with a classic studio-aesthetic and a street photograph in the broad idiom of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Garry Winogrand.’

Judges’ comments: This arresting double portrait, with its stark white background, possess a classic studio aesthetic, isolating the two women from their surroundings in an unexplained tableau. The precision and tonal balance of the composition is all the more remarkable for having been taken in a fleeting moment on a busy London street.