Winners 2016-2017

Grand Prize

休(Break Time)

田 园园(Tian Yuan Yuan)

China

Comment

I was glad I could participate in the Nikon Photo Contest.
When I got the notification that I had won, I was surprised but at the same time really honored.
My feelings of gratitude really go out to the Nikon company, and also to the contests’ management committee as well as the judging committee.I will be sure to keep on doing photography from now on.

Jury commentNeville Brody
Lead Judge

The main winner this year, 休by 田 园园, is an epic and powerful image, one addressing the global theme of climate change and the necessary shift from industrial to less pollutant practises. This image captures that concern in an intense and emotive way, made more poignantly dramatic by being in black and white. The workers in an iron factory are silhouetted through the smoke in the rays of light that break through from the outside of this otherwise unlit space, one that extends into the unknown in the billowing plumes of smoke and darkness at the edge of frame. Through the open door we see a tree and leaves, reminding us of the fragile nature beyond, one which needs our urgent protection. This iconic image can apply anywhere in our world right now: we can imagine this happening as we speak, in Europe or America, Asia or Africa.

Like a scene in a religious painting, the image is beautiful in its use of chiaroscuro, the utilisation of light and dark to tell a story, and has strong echoes with the work of painters like Goya, Caravaggio or Veronese. The framing and structure, while heavily cinematic, is classically Renaissance, with the diagonal lines of light drawing the eye into the centre of frame where the drama is shrouded by the reverse diagonals of smoke. Silhouettes of workers resting by the door merge into the darkness, and the centre of the image is occupied by a single raised tool hovering over a crouched worker while others look on. A solitary electric fan sits by the entrance, evidently incapable of extracting the toxic fumes.

Beautiful, dramatic and powerful, I would love to have a large print of this image on my wall, a thought echoed by the entire jury!

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