Thank you all very much for your patience over the past few weeks. The results are in, decisions have been made and it’s finally time to announce the winners of the Fuji Instax Mini Monochrome photo competition!

In total, Dan K and I received 60 entries from 14 countries of the duration of the six week submission window and we’ve spent the best part of the last fortnight since the extended deadline deliberating our shortlist, short-shortlist and really-short-shortlists.

It was a tough job whittling down the initial selection to what you see here and I hope that the notes with each of the images below will help you to understand some of our final selection rationale.

It’s also worth noting that we have not contacted any of the winners or runners-up in advance to let them know. Everyone finds out at the same time! 😉

So without further ado, let’s climb up the awards, starting with honourable mentions in alphabetical order.

 

 

Honourable mentions

Honourable mentions were awarded on the basis of “creativity in the creation and submission of entries”; and each of the five photographers below will be receiving a single 10-sheet pack of Fuji Instax Mini Monochrome for their efforts.

Photographer: Anne Holland Award: Best proof Title: Weathered Treetop Location: Granby, Colorado, USA Camera: MiNT InstantFlex TL70
Photographer: Anne Holland

Award: Best “proof” image

Title: Weathered Treetop

Location: Granby, Colorado, USA

Camera: MiNT InstantFlex TL70

 

Photographer: Jonathan Potter Award: Best use of color Title: Fall Leaves Location: Portland, Oregon, USA Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
Photographer: Jonathan Potter

Award: Best use of color

Title: Fall Leaves

Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC


 

Photographer: Lida Tomonori Award: Best long exposure Title: 渋谷モノクローム / Shibuya monochrome Location: Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan Camera: Leica Sofort / Long Exposure
Photographer: Lida Tomonori

Award: Best long exposure

Title: 渋谷モノクローム / Shibuya monochrome

Location: Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Camera: Leica Sofort / Long Exposure

 

Photographer: Ross, Togashi Award: Best use of a non-native Instax camera Title: FIlm noir: a pinhole triptych Location: Honolulu, Hawai‘i, USA Camera: Self-made pinhole camera, using Lomography Diana Instant Film Back and Debonair toy camera
Photographer: Ross Togashi

Award: Best use of a non-native Instax camera

Title: Film noir: a pinhole triptych

Location: Honolulu, Hawai‘i, USA

Camera: Self-made pinhole camera, using Lomography Diana Instant Film Back and Debonair toy camera

 

Photographer: Whatsbehindthat Award: Use of colour and exposure for dramatic effect Title: The birth of Fear Location: Dublin, Ireland Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
Photographer: Whatsbehindthat

Award: Use of colour and exposure for dramatic effect

Title: The birth of Fear

Location: Dublin, Ireland

Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC

 

Congratulations to Anne, Jonathan, Lida, Ross and Whatsbehindthat! With the honourable mentions out of the way, it’s time to look at 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in ascending order.

 

3rd place winner: John scott

Coming in very strong to take third place and three packs of Instax Mini Monochrome is John Scott from Edinburgh with his appropriately titled triptych, “Mix and Match”.

This entry was awarded third place for its creative use of three exposures for the creation of a single portrait. In addition, when considered as individual sheets, each required a different approach to metering/capture and demonstrated the full range of tones available from Instax Mini Monochrome under natural light and with the use of flash. Triptych’s are not particularly easy to pull off and we loved John’s use of stacking in this submission!

Photographer: John Scott Award: Third place Title: Mix & Match Location: Edinburgh, Scotland Camera: Lomography Instant Automat
Photographer: John Scott

Award: Third place

Title: Mix & Match

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Camera: Lomography Instant Automat

 

 

2nd place winner: Alex Lau

Taking second place and five packs of Instax Mini Monochrome is Alex Lau with his pinhole/macro photograph titled “Cornie”.

Macro, or near-macro photography isn’t something typically associated with the Instax format. In addition, the creativity of combining a pinhole camera to take the close focus shot, and then using a native Instax Mini camera as an ejection/development trigger mechanism really stood out to us.

Technical aspects aside, the image itself wonderfully shows the full range of tones that can be achieved with Instax Mini Monochrome, from deep blacks all the way to (near) crisp whites.

Photographer: Alex Lau Award: Second place Title: Cornie Camera: DIY pinhole camera using a Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S to eject the film.
Photographer: Alex Lau

Award: Second place

Title: Cornie

Camera: DIY pinhole camera using a Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S to eject the film.

 

 

1st place winner: Edward Conde

Coming in first place and winning a factory fresh Leica Sofort instant camera (in snappy orange), and 10x packs of Instax Mini Monochrome is Edward Conde with his multiple exposure, “Flower Holder”.

We decided to award Edward first place for his entry based almost purely on creativity and joy. The end result is busy, chaotic and most of all fun, which is exactly what Instax is about.

Instax Mini is not meant for serious documentation or photographic study (although it can produce some very interesting results in that respect). Edward’s entry exemplifies that fun and creativity and for that, we’re incredibly pleased to be able to award him first place.

Photographer: Edward Conde Award: First place Title: Flower Holder (Multiple Exposure) Location: Thousand Oaks, California, USA Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
Photographer: Edward Conde

Award: First place

Title: Flower Holder (Multiple Exposure)

Location: Thousand Oaks, California, USA

Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC

 

 

Notable entries

Our final grading for the 1st to 3rd place winners and honourable mentions above was very close and we feel it only appropriate that we also recognize the 11 entrants who were only a hair’s breadth from appearing in those lists.

Here they are in alphabetical order: Alex Yates, Andy Jenkins, Aukje Kastelijn, Claudio Gomboli, Gemma Rochester, Hilde Heyvaert, James Joransen, Leslie Adams, Martin Smith, Peter Sam and Tommy Chong.

Thank you all so much for entering!

 

Photographer: Alex Yates Title: Grasslands Location: Aso-san caldera, Japan Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
Photographer: Alex Yates

Title: Grasslands

Location: Aso-san caldera, Japan

Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC

 

Photographer: Andy Jenkins Title: Rain Followed Location: Dublin, Ohio, USA Camera: Fuji Instax Mini 50s
Photographer: Andy Jenkins

Title: Rain Followed

Location: Dublin, Ohio, USA

Camera: Fuji Instax Mini 50s

 

Photographer: Aukje Kastelijn Title: Dutch Canal Location: Utrecht City, NL Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
Photographer: Aukje Kastelijn

Title: Dutch Canal

Location: Utrecht City, NL

Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC

 

Photographer: Claudio Gomboli Title: Walking Chatting Location: London, UK Camera: Mamiya RB67 with Polaroid Back
Photographer: Claudio Gomboli

Title: Walking Chatting

Location: London, UK

Camera: Mamiya RB67 with Polaroid Back


 

Photographer: Gemma Rochester Title: Sorry Max Title: Beijing, China Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
Photographer: Gemma Rochester

Title: Sorry Max

Title: Beijing, China

Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC

 

Photographer: Hilde Heyvaert Title: The quiet before the storm Location: Netevallei nature preserve, Hallaar, Belgium Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
Photographer: Hilde Heyvaert

Title: The quiet before the storm

Location: Netevallei nature preserve, Hallaar, Belgium

Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC

 

Photographer: James Joransen Title: Desi Location: Athens, Georgia, USA Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
Photographer: James Joransen

Title: Desi

Location: Athens, Georgia, USA

Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC

 

Photographer: Leslie Adams Title: Night at the Museum Location: Overland Park, Kansas, USA Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
Photographer: Leslie Adams

Title: Night at the Museum

Location: Overland Park, Kansas, USA

Camera: Fuji Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC


 

Photographer: Martin Smith Title: UNTITLED Location: Reading, UK Camera: Lomography Instant Automat
Photographer: Martin Smith

Title: UNTITLED

Location: Reading, UK

Camera: Lomography Instant Automat

 

Photographer: Peter Sam Title: Ritual in the fog Location: Sunset peak Camera: Fuji Instax Mini 8
Photographer: Peter Sam

Title: Ritual in the fog

Location: Sunset peak

Camera: Fuji Instax Mini 8

 

Photographer: Tommy Chong Title: Bay Boy Location: Sham Sui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong Camera: Fuji Instax Mini 7S
Photographer: Tommy Chong

Title: Bay Boy

Location: Sham Sui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Camera: Fuji Instax Mini 7S

 

 

Closing thoughts

Dan K and I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of you who participated. As many of you will be aware, the final submission deadline was extended by a fortnight to allow for the limited availability of Instax Mini Monochrome following it’s October 2016 launch.

Although the contest was started one month after the official worldwide release of Instax Mini Monochrome, it seems that Fuji had some issues with getting film stocks into stores outside of Asia during those first few weeks. Thankfully, our friends over at Camera Film Photo in Hong Kong did their bit to help out, and furnished many of the final entrants with stock to shoot – thanks guys.

Camera Film Photo will also be handling the logistics for shipping all of the prizes out. If you’re lucky, you might find a sweet treat from Hong Kong in the box…assuming Dan doesn’t get there first.

On a personal level, the creativity of the entries was a standout aspect of this competition. Subjects aside (which saw plenty of variation and style), I was pleasantly surprised to see all the different cameras used to capture submissions. From DIY pinhole cameras and the usual Fuji fare, to the new Leica Sofort, Lomo’s new Automat, a Mamiya RB67 and even a modified Mamiya C series TLR, it just goes to show that film photographers really see few limits to capturing their desired subjects on whatever piece of equipment suits them best.

With so many real world examples in one place, this competition has also demonstrated to me the versatility of Fuji’s new film – more so than what I covered in my Instax Mini Monochrome review, or Dan covered in his in-depth Instax Mini Monochrome investigation. Instax Mini Monochrome definitely has a place in my camera bag and I’ll certainly be shooting more of it over the coming months.

We all give Fuji a hard time for their seemingly endless film discontinuations but if the release of Instax Mini Monochrome (and Instax Square in 2017) shows us anything, it’s that they will continue to support and innovate film products if they see a demand for it.

For Fuji (and all other film vendors), continued existence in this industry is a commercial reality and not a sworn duty or obligation. Let’s show them there’s a market out there. There’s no guarantee it will work but we can’t complain about that eventuality in good conscience unless we’re putting our hands in our pockets and using the stuff today.

Keep shooting, folks.

~ EMULSIVE

 

 

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