For this week's Pick of the Pics, we shift our focus towards the Professional competition, where each project must comprise at least five to 10 images. Representing the importance of the series and breaking new ground in the photographic medium, the Professional competition has 10 thematic categories where each entry is judged for its narrative excellence, technical skill and ability in exploring creativity in new and exciting ways. Retitling our weekly round-up as Pick of the Projects, today we spotlight six series that have been entered over the past four weeks, including their full series descriptions and a small selection of images from each chosen series.
If you have a project you think could win prizes, then enter the Professional competition now. You don't have to be a full-time photographer to participate, all you need is five to 10 related images. Alongside our thematic categories is Portfolio. Your submission doesn't have to be related by subject matter or narrative, it just needs to promote the breadth of a photographer’s portfolio. Highlights from multiple series can be included, or a mixture of commissioned and personal work. The key to succeeding in this category is to ensure your technical skills are evident and consistent.
Cloth #1 by Francesco Merlini
In 2021 for a few weeks, the mountains near the Tonale pass in Italy and the Champs-Élysées in Paris have been bonded by something that has not been seen very often; Huge monuments covered with hundreds of meters of immaculate sheets interrupt the surrounding grayness, sparkling under the sun's rays and reacting to every gust of wind like possessed sails. On the border between Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige an attempt is being made to save a giant that has been dying for some decades now, under the lashes of the increasingly violent solar rays because of global warming: the Presena Glacier. According to a well-established custom, the slopes of this glacier are covered with geotextile sheets placed by the Pontedilegno-Tonale consortium to protect it from melting. The melting of the glaciers shows no signs of subsiding but proceeds at an ever more pressing pace.
Nuptial Flight by Anirban Dutta
This is a story of termites and a clever drongo. We all know before the start of the monsoon every year, some species of termites fly in swarms in the late afternoon and early evening. This is called a nuptial flight. We can find the mound of termites in abandoned places and in each mound there are millions of termites in a single colony. When they become adults and capable of building new colonies, they leave the mother colony in search of their partner. They are attracted to light (why this is is still a mystery to this day). They fly around the light to find their partner.
One day I saw a swarm of termites near a petrol pump. But the rare thing is there was one black drongo near thousands of termites. We know drongos are very clever birds. I observed the termites flying around the light and the drongo catching them very easily. This whole episode lasted for about 15-20 minutes. After choosing their partner the termites shed their wings automatically. I went there for several days with my gadgets and tripod. The flying of termites is a very common phenomenon to me, but seeing the drongo is a much more interesting and unusual incident. I saw only 1-2 drongo/s there. I observed these flying termites in many places in my town. But eating of termites by the drongo is very uncommon.
Displaced Cuisine by Robyn Garstman
Hybridity between different cultures and cuisines from around the world is a result of globalisation. Globalisation means that traditional cultural foods are spreading and are being displaced from their roots, along with the mixing of cultural traditions. This series draws attention to the way that colonized cultures were 'force fed' leading to 'displaced cuisine'. This project aims to highlight colonisation, hybridity and globalisation.
Origin Colour by Haibo Weng
Here are some photographs capturing the city's vibrant colour.
The Great Escape by Enrico Markus Essl
The feeling of making a great escape has often been in my thoughts during the past two years of the pandemic. To visualise this was also the focus of my photographic work. Despite all the adversities and restrictions that the pandemic brought with it, I was always motivated to enter the urban space. In the same way, I also wanted to escape into solitude – to find spaces just for me. I wanted to find people and scenes that speak for themselves and this crazy time.
The White Noise by Lisha Sheng
This project consists of photographs taken in the Central and Western districts of Hong Kong over the past two years. During the pandemic, I established a walking routine around this neighbourhood and was constantly attracted by certain types of things: the projection of sunset light onto a wall, the bags of construction waste, and sometimes the rushing of people. Ordinary things exist like hidden currents, unobservable and undeniable, I sensed there is a spectrum of these things that adds to the atmosphere of the functioning of this society.
They seem to be unrelated, never drift away from expectation, boring and trivial, but fundamental. They remind me of the white noise learned in statistics class, which usually serves as the unnoticed background but underlines the actual routines and proves the existence of ourselves. Therefore I am making this series to note down their easily overlooked significance.