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“COLORS” – Announcing the winners

“Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet” – Paul Klee

We are delighted to present the results of the seventh monthly theme of Life Framer edition IV – COLORS. We asked you for color inspired scenes, details, narratives and moods – from single tones to technicolor daydreams. The theme was judged by highly-revered fine art photographer, and winner of the Photography Grand Prix at Hyères International Festival, Lorenzo Vitturi.

You can discover the winning images below and join the discussion on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Congratulations to all the talented photographers featured, and thank you to everyone who submitted their work.

First Prize: Arielle Bobb-Willis

“For the inclusion and careful combination of colors in a scene in which the human subjects merge harmoniously with the urban context.” – Lorenzo Vitturi

“Arielle’s image is bold and inventive – full of angular shapes and clashing pastel colors that pop with a verve and tension. The bodies hold one another in embrace, their interlocking limbs drawing lines that pull at those of their urban surroundings, and it’s simultaneously calming and frenetic, comforting and beguiling. Arielle describes how her photography has acted as a medicine for depression, and that shines through – it’s an image that finds strength and creativity in the mundane, a celebration of making do with what you have and finding a new-found joy and vitality in it. The urban environment on one hand an analogy for struggle, boredom and repetition, but on the other a limitless playground.” – Life Framer

Second Prize: Jon Setter

“For the capacity of highlighting with simplicity yet through a strong compositional point of view, the power of color hidden in an urban corner” – Lorenzo Vitturi

“Channelling a pop art atmosphere, Jon’s bold and minimal composition is an exercise in restraint, carefully cropping the frame to maximize visual impact. It’s vivid and satisfying. The yellow block stands like a monolith to man-made existence, and I’m drawn to the little colored stones that surround it – an urban effluence…” – Life Framer

Other winning photographers:

Lu Wenpeng

“Lu has captured such an evocative scene – the rich colors cast by shadow and light, the hemmed in viewpoint, and the figure in front combine to create a mood and atmosphere that really draws you into this narrow Moroccan alleyway. The umbrella, with its Eiffel Tower print adds another element – the juxtaposition of one of the world’s most famous landmarks and this small, beautiful, but non-descript passageway – probably one of countless many in Morocco – is striking.” – Life Framer

Benedict Scheuer

“Channeling the spirit of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, known for his surreal hybridizations of body and environment, Benedict presents a gorgeous naturalistic self-portrait. But whereas Minkkinen employs black and white, Benedict’s image is alive with color, the contorted body lit red, blending in with the twisting shapes of branches and leaves, the elegant positioning of his fingers reflecting the delicate flowers before him. There’ a powerful magnetism to the image – the arm and plants reaching outwards, and the curve of the reflected trees pulling you back into center-frame. It’s playful and disorienting. Benedict describes the image as an attempt to capture the erotic and playful wildness of the human spirit, and it achieves exactly that – a pure, intimate and dreamlike meditation on the human body.” – Life Framer

Jack Seikaly

“Whenever I see an infrared image, I can’t help but be reminded of Richard Mosse and his seminal series The Enclave. Jack’s work, for me at least, can’t help but stand in the shadow that work casts, but it’s nonetheless a wonderful image. What I think works is how Jack takes such an iconic scene and breathes a new life into it with these alien, vibrant and unexpected colors. Orange sweeps into pink and through to blue as our eyes are drawn through the perfectly composed frame. It channels the magic of travel, of exploring the world with wide eyes, and that’s a totally different message to the one Mosse sought to convey.” – Life Framer

Karen Knorr

“Karen’s image of La Samaritaine department store in Paris is striking in its unexpectedness – a dull construction site scene brought to life by strange and alluring splashes of vivid color. It’s beautifully composed and has an almost hypnotic quality, the viewer’s eyes drawn in to the depths of the image. Static and captivating, it’s perhaps a homage to the construction – messy and dirty maybe, but the mechanistic process behind the most gorgeous architecture in the world.” – Life Framer

Max Moldau

“Like the protagonist center-frame, I can get lost in the colors and textures of this image – a harmonious palette of blues, pinks and browns punctuated with vibrant splashes of orange and red. The clothing might be a sea extending in all directions forever. Max describes the image as a response to the feeling of having too many choices, of feeling indecisive and lost. It’s a relatable feeling, but here countered with positivity and color. Since when did the paralysis of indecision seem so fun?” – Life Framer

Anouk van Kalmthout

“Anouk’s image is surreal and mysterious, an alluring view into a strange and magical land that is unknowable but inviting. The colors are perfectly balanced, and it’s elegantly framed – the small outcrop of land giving way to a vast, ethereal mist. The woman seems to share in our awe – cautiously feeling through her surroundings. The metaphor might be as simple as this: despite all we might know about the world and ourselves, there is still so much left to discover.” – Life Framer

Peter Braunholz

“I’ve seen fewer images that so elegantly frame the urban condition – the pale white sky emphasizing the bleakness of these colorless, lifeless, cookie-cutter apartments, and the chaotic colors and shapes of the carnival layered below – fake trees and flowers and animals, an imitation of nature in an environment that insulates its occupants from the real thing. It conjures so many human feelings – isolation, insignificance, over-stimulation, delight, vibrancy, chaos… – all without a real person in sight.” – Life Framer

Anton Guatama

“What a glorious image this is – the frame dissected into distinct angular blocks of primary color. It’s bold and alive. What I think works so well is that Anton finds an aesthetic harmony in the moment, but the details of the scene – the lady’s face, the space she’s entering – remain hidden. He steps out of the actuality of the moment to create something visually stimulating and mysterious. Next in line to enter, we wait patiently to see what unfolds…” – Life Framer

Catherine Lemblé

“This lone tree in an arid landscape stands almost iridescent, its bright orange leaves a fiery jolt of vibrant color against the subdued hues of the shrubbery and mountains rising in the distance. Standing tall and defiant, it’s beautiful, and as a photograph is striking in its simplicity.” – Life Framer

Glenn Homann

“Glenn’s image is wonderfully inventive, the low angle distorting the scale of these shopping carts rising out of the urban waste like towering monuments to consumerism. Just as Warhol and his pop art contemporaries used primary colors and bold, graphical shapes to comment on themes of mass media, mass production and global commercialization, I see Glenn’s image as an allegory of our relentless search for material progress – construction soaring onwards at the top of the frame, and a trail of waste and discarded material in its wake. It’s an imaginative, layered collage, simultaneously beautiful and troubling.” – Life Framer

Maciek Jasik

“The use of colored smoke may be a little ‘du jour’ at the moment, but Maciek applies it to great effect, perfectly capturing the ennui of office life. That the surroundings are barren and lifeless is no mistake – they emphasize those feelings of monotony and constraint from which the subject, slumped and dejected, escapes in a daydream haze. I’m drawn to the shapes and textures of the coiling vapor, organic and exciting against the drab lino floor and pale blue walls – the cold blue acting as complementary color to the warm pop of the red. It’s not necessarily a complicated image, but it’s one that exudes a meticulous care for color, light and form.” – Life Framer

Marinka Masséus

“With its opulent colors and beautiful, sweeping shapes of fabric I’m reminded of the Dutch Golden Age oil paintings (especially ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’). It’s visually arresting, the fabric suspended in stunning weightlessness, and yet conceptually rich too – this lady is throwing her hijab in the air as a small act of defiance against the Iranian regime; the headscarf, in Marinka’s words, acting as a literal and metaphorical boundary imposed upon her by the state.

It’s a brave gesture of everyday rebelliousness, as is her brightly dyed hair, and I’m drawn to her quiet expression – at total peace with herself, perhaps a sign more powerful than the deed of removing her hijab. It’s an image that beguiles with its beauty and stimulates with its socio-political concept. An image that works on both levels – left brain and right brain in harmony.” – Life Framer

Stefano Lista

“This industrial scene has a quiet magic to it – the soft pastel tones unexpected given the subject matter, what should be mechanical and inert touched with a warmth and life. It has a painterly quality, a modern interpretation of a nineteenth century naturalistic landscape, and in that there is a subtle joy – nature reclaiming industry perhaps. One slowly decaying as the other flourishes.” – Life Framer

Alexandre Chaplier

“Alexandre bottles youthful abandon, as this young boy races through his urban surroundings – abrasive and uninviting on one hand, but a playground to be explored on the other. It’s a masterclass in capturing light and shadow, the darkness enclosing the frame, and the boy’s ear and sleeve catching the high sun, blazing in harmony with the lustrous blue wall to his left. A magical example of a photographer finding a fleeting moment of beauty in the banal.” – Life Framer

Jonathan Bensimon

“A theme of ‘color’ can of course be interpreted as a lack of it, and it’s something that Jonathan captures magnificently.
We’re presented with an overwhelming palette of grey in an elegantly composed frame. A humdrum, static and soulless scene, and a monochrome palette that further sucks the life from it – a nod perhaps to our influence on the natural world? And there in the center, this white rectangle. A blank canvas for something more inspiring, or a further confirmation of an empty nothingness? I’m drawn to this ambiguity, and it triggers an emotional response, despite the lack of feeling one might associate with grey.” – Life Framer

Michela Corbo

“There is such intensity to this man’s gaze – powerful, penetrating and captivating, as if his eyes alone have sucked all color out of the remainder of the scene. As a viewer your eyes are transfixed on his, held in suspended time. By subtracting all environmental context from the frame, Michela creates a beauty simplicity. There exists nothing but the potency of this moment.” – Life Framer

Jan Wandrag

“Jan’s is one of those images that I can’t quite work out. The color is so perfectly drained from all but the central scene – a wedding tent in preparation in Rajasthan – that it looks like it must be through post-processing. And yet I’m unsure. Either way it’s a fantastic premise for an image. The primary colors bursting forth from the dull and dilapidated surroundings acting as a visual cue, a metaphor for the joy of marriage, celebration and community. I’m drawn to the man in the foreground, unraveling a white-backed banner and about to pull it across the scene, once again concealing the color against the grey. It’s like magic realism – too strange to quite believe and all the more arresting for it.” – Life Framer

Oscar Palomares

“This is not an easy image to get right. Many focal points can lead to a visual mess but here Oscar orchestrates a complex and busy scene masterfully. There’s a visual order to the balance of foreground and background, of light and shadow, and of course color – the face paint and football strips both gesturing to the theme. Each element is harmonious, each protagonist afforded their space. He captures the energy and atmosphere of this football match quite spectacularly, something that could have so easily seemed chaotic and muddled.” – Life Framer

A prestigious jury, 3 international exhibitions and $24000 in cash prizes.

Join the award