The beauty of ugly, the ugly of beauty – David Kretschmer

Mirrors - David KretschmerMirrors - David KretschmerIn my post International Photography Awards 2011 I promised further posts about some of the individual photographers who received awards or placed second or third.

One such was German photographer David Kretschmer, currently based in the Netherlands, whose entry ‘Mirrors’ was runner-up in the Non-professional Fine Art category.

He describes his work thus:

“Mirrors shows the contradictory view on beauty in the modern society. Four beautiful young girls, looking very doubting and insecure. As they are almost perfect looking, they observe themselves very strict and criticize every single flaw on their body and face. The four guys are in complete contrast to the girls. They are not perfect at all but they look very confident at themselves and don’t care about any beauty ideals. They are not pristine but they are satisfied.”

I have to agree.

Consider too a couple of recent pop songs.

Christina Aguilera‘s torch-song ballad ‘Beautiful’ nails this subject to its scarred beating heart. It was penned by Linda Perry and could we imagine her having penned it for Justin Timberlake?

The Sugababe‘s anti-anthem Ugly was similarly stirring in sentiment, but again could we have imagined the, let’s face it, far less photogenic Take That, agreeing to sing the Dallas Austin lyric?

I only have to think of myself and how much time I spend in front of a mirror before venturing out into the big bad world – barely a cursory glance often enough as I tumble outside – and believe me I am not one of nature’s pretty pictures!

Mirrors - David KretschmerMirrors - David KretschmerNot all of David Kretschmer’s work is detailed on the IPA site but you can see it in full on his own website. He is a newcomer to professional photography beginning as a freelancer last year. He already has a number of other photography awards to his name as well as appearing in numerous international publications including the UK’s Digital Photographer, the South Korean Blink and the Russian Fotovideo.

As well as the concept beyond his ‘Mirrors’ work I enjoy the way they have been executed – the opposite of Omar Ortiz who paints pictures that look like photographs, Kretschmer’s photographs look like paintings.

I also like the way some of the subjects have been shot – looking less like reflections and more like they have become Alice Through The Looking Glass as we bare witness to their out of body experience.

I look forward his future work.

Mirrors - David Kretschmer

Mirrors - David Kretschmer

International Photography Awards 2011

Day to Night, Times Square by Stephen Wilkes (USA)

Day to Night, Times Square by Stephen Wilkes (USA) Cat Professional Cityscapes - 3rd Place

IInternational Photography Awards some categoriesn my last post Kirsty Mitchell – photographs from the Garden of England I noted the challenge of a photographer gaining exposure for their work – first getting noticed then drawing the webizen in so that they are doing more than window-shopping the vast virtual glass-face that is the web.

One option available is to submit your work to a competition. Even if you do not succeed in winning a prize there is the added traffic from visitors to the competition-website then seeking out your site if they like your work. You may also get feedback from the competition panel too.

One such prize is the International Photography Awards (IPA). I came upon these awards via an article from August this year on the My Modern Met website. The article explains about the competition then posts some of their favourite photographs. I am going to do exactly the same – and also urge you, if not already familiar, to visit the IPA site.

They are based in Los Angeles, USA and describe their mission ‘to salute the achievements of the world’s finest photographers, to discover new and emerging talent, and to promote the appreciation of photography.’

Their site includes an archive gallery dating back to 2003 where you can explore the work of the winning entrants back to that year plus what they call ‘honourable mention’ galleries for both Professional and non-Professional photographers.

You are able to submit your own work at any time – either online or even – perish the thought! – by post.

In addition to the vindication of winning a prize and the increased exposure and credibility to your work, cash prizes ranging from $5000 to $10000 are awarded too.

The awards are not generic either but divided into numerous categories, too numerous indeed to list here, but to give you a flavour of some, there are awards under the umbrellas of Advertising, Architecture, Editorial, Fine Art, Nature, People and Special (basically anything else not included in the other categories) – which in turn have a diverse selection of sub-categories.

There is no theme or narrative therefore to the photos in this post merely some of my own personal favourites. And personal favourites today, tomorrow I could have chosen a different selection such is the quality and quantity of entrants submitted. Actually there is one unintended theme – trees – this urban-soul is perhaps more rural than he realizes!

I have not at this stage researched any of the photographers featured in this post and am looking forward to later doing so and posting on those that have most impressed me.

Women of History by Peter Lippmann (France) - Cat: Professional Fashion

Women of History by Peter Lippmann (France) - Cat: Professional Fashion - 1st Place

Giraffe IV by Alex Bernasconi (Italy) - Cat: Professional Other

Giraffe IV by Alex Bernasconi (Italy) - Cat: Professional Other - 3rd Place

Expressions of Autumn by John Scanlan (USA) - Cat: Professional Seasons

Expressions of Autumn by John Scanlan (USA) - Cat: Professional Seasons - 2nd Place

dead tree IV by Alex Bernasconi (Italy) - Cat: Professional Trees

dead tree IV by Alex Bernasconi (Italy) - Cat: Professional Trees - 2nd Place

Tales of Tolkein: Walking Ent by Alexander Kitsenko (Ukraine) - Cat: Non-professional Trees

Tales of Tolkein: Walking Ent by Alexander Kitsenko (Ukraine) - Cat: Non-professional Trees - 3rd place