James Estrin wrote the other day:
I have always thought that photojournalism contests lead to bad photography. They encourage young photographers to make images like the ones that won in previous years instead of pursuing their personal vision. Shooting black and white with a 24-millimeter lens at f/1.4, and overprocessing the result, does not automatically make a great image. Following your own passions is more likely to lead to important photographs.
He is so right. (And I don’t say that because James and I share own personal disappointment at the World Press Photo awards.) But this years World Press Photo Awards sadly proof the point made. Guillem Valle won the 3rd prize portraits (single) with this photograph from Sudan:
It is wide-angle, it has a shallow depth of field – and it is black and white. A winner!
However, it happens that Mr. Valle’s Agency Fotogloria has the colour version of the same photograph on offer:
Sad, one could say. Genius I say – it is the black-and-white version that one the Oscar of photography. Only, those that are interested in genuinely exciting and cutting edge photography have to hope that not too many up-and -coming photographers will copy this style. Even if it earns gold.
Nina Hagen already told what women really want: colour! So, don’t forget the colour film.