Summershow at Foto8

Phil Coomes
Picture editor


The Foto8 Summershow is always a highlight of the year, and thankfully the sun came out for one day last week when I joined fellow judges to choose the best in show, and those worthy of an honourable mention.

The event attracted more than 3,500 entries from 32 countries, which the team at the Foto8 gallery whittled down to just under 160.

On entering the gallery, you come face to face with a wall of framed photographs. Some small, others large and imposing, though to let size dictate your favourite would be a mistake.

The joy of the show is the lack of a theme as each frame offers something new. Everything is here, from hard news to celebrity portraits, with pictures by both professionals and those seeking their way in to the field.

Best in show

image copyrightTitus Simoens

Titus Simoens's photograph was a clear winner among the judges. The picture is from the series Blue, See, which is about a boarding school in Belgium where the children are trained to become fisherman or mariners in an attempt to help them develop more discipline and structure in their life.

The picture offers contradictions between the soft toys and hard stark surfaces, where even the bed covers are pulled tight. The figure to the right also adds a sense of tension.

image copyrightYusuke Harada

Yusuke Harada's picture Freedom Seekers, of rebel fighters on the road to Sirte during the conflict in Libya, was picked out by most of the judges, who felt that although the subject was familiar, the photographer's point of view and wide framing allowed the viewer to explore the details in the large print.

image copyrightLuca Sage

Boxer #7 by Luca Sage, last year's winner, caught everyone's eye. The print is a delight, and the figure's pose and expression, plus the all-important background, results in a tight shot that conveys something of the passion for his sport.

image copyrightOli Scarff

Carnival Stabbing, by Oli Scarff, shows a moment from last year's Notting Hill Carnival, and is one of just a few photographs in history where the news moment has been captured with such amazing clarity.

The 2012 judges were Gerry Badger, Alison Jackson, Simon Roberts, Ossian Ward and Phil Coomes.