After the excitement surrounding the 2020 award, spud-loving photographers were again called upon to apply their artistic talents to the humble potato in a competition inspired by Kevin Abosch’s image of a potato which sold for $1million in 2016.
Every entrant stood the chance of winning a great prize from the likes of Fujifilm, the Royal Photographic Society, ThinkTank, Fotospeed and Mindshift. However, the expert panel of judges, which included Martin Parr, Paul Hill, Amy D’Agorne, Angela Nicholson, Nigel Atherton, and Benedict Brain selected the following as the top ten:
The overall winner is: Fish & Chips by William Ropp
William Ropp said, “this was a challenge from a friend who after following art school courses ended up as a potato seller”.
“There’s something extremely wonderful and weird about this work. The amalgamation of vegetables and animals creates a strange portrait of the everyday food we consume. The fact that the image was taken on a polaroid camera with just a flashlight is of great credit to the photographer’s skill” Amy D’Agorne.
“There’s a wonderfully surreal element to this image with dark undertones but also a touch of humour, an interesting combo, that maybe speaks to the times we live in. It has been artfully conceived and beautifully put together using analogue techniques” Benedict Brain.
Second Place: Precious Potato by Clair
“Jean is in her late 90’s she has raised four children, been very close to her grandchildren and is lucky to see her bubbly great-grandchild growing up. For most of her life she has cooked and cared for her family, feeding them traditional nutritious meals, she appreciates the simplicity of the humble potato and how it can feed many around her ever-growing table. Many things in Jeans’ lifetime have altered, except for the classic potato.” Clair
The wonderfully simple and delicate approach to this image has been beautifully handled” says Ben Brain
Third Place Hands Holding New Potatoes by John Glover
“Hands holding homegrown new organic potatoes recently harvested” John Glover.
“I love the simplicity of this as the gardener proudly shows off their homegrown spuds”. Martin Parr
Fourth Place My Potato Necklace by Clair
“Exploring the possibilities of how the humble portable could be re-imagined.” Clair
“This is a beautiful portrait in its own right. The photographer plays with both humour and intrigue with the added necklace of potatoes. I have heard of some old myths of a necklace of potatoes being used to cue a cold or fever. I wonder if the photographer was playing with this myth through their pairing of the potato necklace with the doilie?” Amy D’Agorne
Fifth Place Potato Ketchup by Steve Caplin
Made with Potatoshop
“Truly inspired!” Benedict Brain
Sixth Place The Potato In Motion by SpudWhite
“Photographing a potato at 1-millisecond intervals reveals that they are in a constant state of chaotic movement” SpudWhite
“Sometimes photographic pastiches seem laboured, but the wit and technical sophistication employed have made it an original piece in its own right. A homage to Muybridge, of course, but a creative work of irreverence too”.
Seventh Place The Screaming Potato by Erin Marie
This image was created using potato peels dipped in acrylic paint and a carved potato.
“The peelings replicate the brush strokes in Munch’s painting brilliantly and the potato face has the same haunting quality. I hope this is one of a series!” Angela Nicholson
“A wonderful and very creative mix of photography, sculpture, and painting. A lot of time, effort, and skill obviously went into this work and it definitely all paid off”. Amy D’Agorne
Eighth Place Local Growers Market India by Ron Boon
Ninth Place Growth by Nigel Summerton
“Very simple and nicely lit potato sprouts” Martin Parr
Tenth Place Submerged by Cashou
“Experimenting with potatoes underwater – this one reminds me of an embryo attached by its umbilical cord”
“I love the connection made here between the way the potato grows its new potatoes and an umbilical cord/the way new life is formed in humans. In Rebecca Earle’s ‘Feeding the People; The Politics of the Potato’, she claims “Potatoes and people alike are born from the dark earth and return to it”. I think that acknowledgement of just how similar we really are to the food we eat, and nature itself, is illustrated beautifully here”.
Potato Photographer of the Year 2021 Prizes
The overall winner, William Ropp, receives prizes worth over £1000:
- Fujifilm X-T200 (kit with XC15-45mm)
- Think Tank Advantage XT
- Photocrowd ‘Master’ subscription for 1 year
Second place, Clair receives:
- Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon
- Fotospeed Framed print
- One Year Royal Photographic Society membership
- Photocrowd ‘Pro’ subscription for 1 year
Third Place, John Glover, receives:
- One day workshop with Ben Brain
- ThinkTank Retrospective 7 v2
- Photocrowd ‘Challenger’ subscription for 1 year