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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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