Here at Lenstore, we wanted to change peoples perceptions of the ugly, by making local eyesores beautiful. So we invited people from all over the country to take a photo of their local eyesore and upload it to one of our categories: electricity pylons, derelict buildings, graffiti and litter, to be in with the chance to win £400 for their chosen charity.
Your photos were weird and wonderful, and we had a hard time choosing the best entries. We enlisted the help of the picture editor of the Metro, Andy Blackmore, who summed up the art of photography beautifully: “With all the portability, ease, availability and omnipresence of the ubiquitous SmartPhone, or Tablet, you could argue they have made taking pictures easier, but in many ways they haven’t actually done much to improve photography, as the rise of the “selfie” well demonstrates.
Photography is not about who you are or who you’re with but ones ability to see. And it’s easy to forget this; the artist not the brush, the craftsman not the tools, the photographer not the camera. ”
So without further ado, here are our winners of our #eyesores competition, as chosen by Andy.
Category: Derelict Buildings
Winner: The Mess Hall by Tyler Collins
Charity: Shine, Northern Ireland
“Here Tyler demonstrates the power of framing and contrast with the juxtaposition of urban decay and the natural world.” – Andy Blackmore
Tyler says; “this image was taken at a location I visit quite often, the old Radio Station from World War 2 on the Craigbrack Road, over looking Eglinton, Northern Ireland. The particular photo was taken from what I believe was the mess hall / sleeping quarters”.
Category: Electricity Pylons
Winner: Man Made vs Nature by Hannah Morris
Charity: Cancer Research UK
"Hannah goes to prove its all in the eye of the photographer – how many may have walked past without noticing? But in zooming in and focusing they demonstrate they see what not everyone else can." – Andy Blackmore
Hannah’s eagle eye has spotted the electricity pylons in the midst of bracken, and has appropriately named the photo “Man Made vs. Nature”.
Winner: Cracks by Kristina Bergwall
Charity: Cancer Research UK
"How many have bothered to look down at their feet as the walk – and if they did would they have even known what they saw? Here we see a textbook example of picking out a detail that would be lost in our busy lives and producing a powerful image in the process." – Andy Blackmore
Kristina says: “Cigarette butts are on our streets everywhere around us, and to me they represent addiction and illness. I’m not innocent myself in previously adding the butts to our streets, but I’m no longer adding to the waste. I’ve managed to capture, in my images, other peoples left overs from their addiction in a way that for me reflects death and new life coming out of the cracks of the cobbles.”
Winner: A Lonely Cartoon by Rachel Walker
Charity: Dogs Trust
"This lonely, modern cartoon is perfectly juxtaposed with the traditional brick wall on which it resides. This graffiti cleverly incorporates it’s surrounding, with the white cartoon seeming to hold a lever from the building." - Andy Blackmore
Award-winning photojournalist Eve Arnold once said; “It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.” Photography is not about the lens, the shutter or the zoom; it is a person’s ability to see the unseen and capture it.
At Lenstore, we understand the importance of being able to see. Andy Blackmore agrees: “Here we see that the creators of these short-listed images do not have the same view of the world as those who so often miss the details. By taking what is on view and isolating and framing they have captured something others have missed and in the process given it greater meaning.”
Congratulations to our talented winners and their charities!