Friday, July 8, 2011

Oskar Barnack Award 2011: The Winners

Leica announced the 2011 winners of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, and produced an 18 minute movie of their work. The movie was presented at the Arles Photo festival of 2011.

Jan Grarup received the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2011 for his “Haiti Aftermath” series and Jing Huang won the Newcomer Award 2011 for his photo set titled “Pure of Sight.”
"Regular readers of The Travel Photographer's blog won't be surprised. I am not moved by most of the photo essays that won the Oskar Barnack Award 2011."
I've watched this movie three times, and readily confess that the majority of the photo essays left me indifferent, and even puzzled. I found that the exceptions were the two projects by Jan Garup; the Haiti Aftermath and Darfur (at the end of the clip) and a poignant photo essay by Carsten Stormer titled The Acid Survivors. I just wasn't moved by the remainder of the photo essays....largely because I just didn't understand what the photographs meant to convey.

That being said,  I generally liked the multimedia production of this movie. I found the varying sound tracks (although none were ambient) to be appropriate, slow and deliberate, and in keeping the theme of the photo essays. I also like the sobriety of the typography and the titles of each photo essay....with the technique of underlining the names of the photographers to accentuate their importance to the viewers.

The transitions were mostly simple, and the dissolves were kept to a minimum. The other effects kept to a minimum were the Ken Burns effect and the panning, but only for the first half of the movie. Subsequently, there was more reliance on the zoom in-zoom out effect, and it was unnecessarily  heavy handed. I also noted that the producer(s) used alternating of verticals on a single frame.

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