Behind the Images - Volume 1

September 06 : 2022

by Team reFocus

2:30 minutes read

Explore the stories behind an intriguing selection of nominated images from our 2022 One Shot Photo Contest

Photographer: Sour Mohammed

"This photo was taken in my childhood neighborhood. A popular and underprivileged district that has undergone major transformations in recent years thanks in particular to the commitment and activism of its inhabitants. As you walk around, you can clearly observe the difference between new and well-equipped areas and damaged and ruined ones, waiting for their turn to be refurbished. So, I chose this location to highlight this idea of transformation, this constant struggle between the old and the new, the traditional and the modern.

In the photo, you can observe a young Moroccan boy (my little brother) trying his best, with lot of courage and persistence, to express his unique style, his own personality and character, but he still found himself surrounded by ruined and ancient walls, outdated and useless barrier that surrounds him. But as is the case with the neighborhood, with courage and commitment, it is only a matter of time for these walls to disappear, and for this young boy to find his freedom."

Image Title: Maxime

Photographer: Miranda Schmitz

"I don’t have children of my own. The wild stories of my friends and colleagues about their teenagers’ difficult behaviour made me curious. The camera gave me a point of access into their world, a 'looking glass' to observe their lives. 

Between October 2016 and March 2018, I photographed around 30 youths between the ages of 13 and 15. They are the sons and daughters of friends, acquaintances and colleagues. I knew of their existence, but I didn’t know them personally. Since they are minors, I also needed their parents’ permission. But because I have a connection with the parents, that wasn’t an issue.

Maxime was the first boy that I photographed. Before him, I only made pictures of girls because they were more interested in the project. Maxime is a dancer and not afraid to show his body and his emotions. That was important for me, since I strive to compile atmospheres, moods and feelings in my work. I prefer to use suggestive and ambiguous images that are often layered and which viewers may define themselves. It is the emotions and the visual poetry that provide an extra layer to my images."

Image Title: Fall Transitions 

Photographers: Ashley & Zachary Vemwell

"Our photography comes to form from a place of meditation. Sometimes that space is fleeting and in fast motion, while others develop in time and patience—all with awareness and observation of our surroundings in the present moment. We leave our personal distractions behind and give our full attention to the natural world, inviting her to present herself and all she wishes to share.

This particular photo was no different. One early morning along a river on Skykomish Territory, we found ourselves amongst a nook of a landscape within the valley. Our tools consisted simply of our Leica SL and 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Rigid, and the intention to travel light. It was dawn, and morning light was slowly making its way over the surrounding peaks while the gliding motion of delicate mist and fog rolled down into the valley, dancing amongst the evergreen and glacial water. Together we sat for some time with this scene in a moment of meditation, observing her language with all of our senses, and eventually releasing the shutter only once, freezing the motion as we experienced it. Serenity was overflowing as much as the racing river as our feet; the quiet stillness before the earth wakes for the day when birdsong just begins to fill the air. Once we took the photo, we continued to sit in this presence as it gradually evolved; overwhelmed with feelings of deep-rooted gratitude for the natural world, her innate ability to communicate directly with our being, and the folks who continue to open our eyes to how to reciprocate her with honesty and openness. Every second would reveal a new perspective, never to be replicated again. Simultaneously ordinary yet extraordinary. A peaceful exercise of observing with full awareness of one’s senses in relation to the surrounding world. Some scenes emit this energy effortlessly, while others test the endurance of your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual presence. This was one of those landscapes where we found ourselves in the right place at the right time to sit with nature, witness the beauty, and document the presenting energy with fluent ease."

Image Title: Selfportrait in Reunion Island

Photographer: Angélique Boissière

"This picture was taken on the island of Reunion during a trip with my partner. On holiday, I never take pictures, except for some self-portraits sometimes. On this island, I regretted not having a model with me as there were so many magical places. We climbed the Maïdo mountain. A thick mist covered the primary forest (La Forêt-hauts-sous-le-vent). A particular atmosphere emanated from this forest. We stopped on the side of the road and I decided to take the time to take some pictures. As I didn't have a model with me and I like to incorporate humans in my photos, I decided to pose in this forest. My companion helped me to take this self-portrait with a Rolleiflex and a self-timer."




Black & White Photo Contest

Black & White Photo Contest

Early Bird

Apr 8th - Jun 5th

Regular Submission

Jun 5th - Jun 26th

Extended Submission

Jun 26th - Jul 23rd

The Black & White Photo Contest by reFocus Awards welcomes both individual image and series submissions that honor and explore black and white photography.

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