This photograph is an homage to the famous painting by Edvard Munk. The boy was completely candid, not blinking for a second as he bellowed “DAD!” across the quiet late winter afternoon. He wasn’t upset so much as driven by ambition to skate home by himself while his father and younger brother trailed behind. As part of the fun I slipped a couple of ghost images of the famous painting into the photograph. However, they are buried so deep you’d have to have the original to detect them. I’m not saying where they are…that’s your puzzle and my fun.
Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2019 is open to professional photographers annually. It is enormously prestigious, paying a huge sum of twenty five thousand euros. Photographers world-wide submit up to twelve thematically consistent images, of which only twelve are chosen from all submissions.
My feelings notwithstanding, I expect this work isn’t groundbreaking. Yet, the act of assembling a collection to compete at the top level distills the best of my efforts. Along with the photographs a very short statement of no more than 900 characters is required.
This is the statement I submitted: “The world is in a shooting war and the armies wear no uniforms. On every continent, the threat of annihilation is either implied or explicit, by bullet or by bomb, even in my home town, and everyone is suspect. For more than 40 years I have walked the streets peering into faces, seeing those masked to hide the fear of death. But there is something else that comes unguarded too. Hope and courage emerge as a thread and if you watch for it, it will come out straight and true. These are some of these images from the last couple of years.”
Oskar Barnack (1879–1936) invented the Leica camera. This is the legendary instrument used to great effect by the world’s renowned photographers since it was invented in the first part of the twentieth century. The Leica is built tough and small enough to fit your hands, and has the finest optics by far for any camera system now or then.
I have two of them, both digital M models, which I have used exclusively for ten years.
From the awards website: “Entry submissions must be a self-contained series of images in which the photographer perceives and documents the interaction between man and the environment with acute vision and contemporary visual style – creative, groundbreaking and innovative.”