Congratulations to Argentinian photographer José María Pérez for winning our Instagram Portfolio contest we ran during the Sony World Photography Awards 2021. He wins a Sony RX100 VII camera (RRP £1,200) plus a free 20-minute portfolio review by World Photography Organisation CEO Scott Gray.
The contest ran on our Instagram account throughout October 2020 to celebrate the announcement of the Portfolio category in the 2021 Professional competition. The new category was aimed at photographers wanting to enter single images into the Professional competition – the first time this has been permitted since the start of the Awards 14 years ago. The aim of this category was to promote the breadth of a photographer’s portfolio so submissions could be between five to 10 images unrelated in narrative and subject matter. Highlights from multiple series could be included, or a mixture of commissioned and personal work - the key to succeeding in this category was to ensure the photographer’s technical skills are evident and consistent.
Wanting to bring more opportunities to those entering the Awards, the Instagram contest asked photographers to enter their best single images to the Portfolio category and then upload those images to their personal Instagram account using the two hashtags #swpaportfolio #swpa
Entering a 10 of his recent surreal photomontages, José focuses on fantasy led images he creates through a variety of digital manipulation techniques. Photo manipulation isn’t anything new and was around long before the inception of photo editing software. Photographers have been cutting up, superimposing and constructing surreal photographs for over a century – just take a look at the great Angus McBean and Man Ray as examples. Largely taken from his series From Fairy Tales and Mar Austral, it was his understanding of what was required in the Portfolio category that made his submission stand out. Choosing a variety of different aspect ratios, scenes and a mixture of colour and black & white, we really saw the breadth of José’s photography.
Aftering graduating in economics from the University of Buenos Aires, José pursued photography in his free time and is self-taught in digital manipulation techniques. Gravitating towards an experimental approach, José is a member of the Photo Club Buenos Aires (FCBA). Speaking about his win he says: ‘I am very excited by the recognition received, this award is a great joy for me and helps me to renew the impulse and the desire to continue creating and working, especially in these difficult times that we are all suffering. Many thanks to Sony and the World Photography Organisation for this distinction.’
Over the years we’ve seen some fantastic surreal photomontages entered into the Sony World Photography Awards and is a competition that embraces all different genres, aesthetics and aspects of photography. Of course photo editing should be approached carefully and the creator should not misrepresent or mislead viewers. Some photojournalists have been heavily criticised for not representing subjects accurately. Photo manipulation should be for creative expression rather than deception.
We’ll be announcing the Professional competition shortlist – including the final shortlist for the Portfolio category – in a month or so, so make sure you stay tuned!