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By Alan Behr

NEW YORK, 28 APRIL 2013 — Photojournalism has been a stud farm of fine-art photography almost since the first print publications began including photographs to illustrate text. Now in its third iteration, the Hearst 8x10 Photography Biennial Competition is sponsored by the Hearst Corporation to help the next generation of media photographers (aged 18 to 35) bring their work into public view. Images by the eight winners (from four countries) and ten honorable mention recipients are on view in two galleries inside the Norman Foster-designed atrium of Hearst Tower in Manhattan.

Perhaps because of the vastness of the atrium, the photographers were encouraged to print big; even though they cover a broad range of what media photography typically delivers, the collected works are thereby united by their monumentality. Laura Morton, a San Francisco newspaper photographer, chose black and white for her series about Bay Area high society. It was an act of courage on her part; too many curators and critics believe that photojournalism becomes fine art only when the subject is people who are less well off than curators and critics. Although recognizably made in the tradition of Larry Fink, Morton’s images evidence a somewhat gentler and more forgiving touch.

Another winner, Jordan Baumgarten, went in an opposite thematic direction; in the belief that he needed to get in touch with his masculinity, the Pennsylvanian devoted a year toward mastering what to him was about the most masculine thing he could do: learn and practice the craft of hunting. The result is a color portfolio of stark and simple images, freely employing negative space to showcase both the isolation of the hunter in the wild and, by implication — if this is not reading too much into it — his emotional isolation back home.

Open to all U.S. and international freelance, amateur and professional photographers and students, the 2013 Hearst contest received more than 1,600 entries from across the U.S. and 78 additional countries.

2013 Award Recipients

·         Laura Morton, California

·         Michael Massaia, New Jersey

·         Jordan Baumgarten, Pennslyvania

·         Karen Miranda, New York

·         Tomasz Lazar, Poland

·         Al Palmer, U.K.

·         Kiana Hayeri, Canada

·         Caleb Cole, Massachusetts


2013 Honorable Mentions

·         Jack Latham, U.K.

·         Jared Tyler, Michigan

·         Aneta Bartos, New York

·         Diana Markosian, New York

·         Nico Chaipperini, Netherlands

·         Noga Shtainer, Germany

·         Probal Rashid, Bangladesh

·         Tony Luong, Massachusetts

·         Vitor Sah, Maryland

·         Serrah Russell, Washington

Through 31 August  2013 
Alexey Brodovitch Gallery and Hearst Gallery
Hearst Tower 
300 W. 57th Street
New York, NY
Tel: (1) 212 649 24 61 .

An attorney based in New York, Alan Behr writes on photography for Culturekiosque. He will contribute images to the summer exhibition at Leica Gallery in New York.

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