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27 May 2020

Mobile Photography Prize's Behind the Picture #2

27 May 2020 - Written by PHmuseum

Last year's applicants Noémi Szécsi, Santiago Serrano, Katerina Stratos, and Ge Zeng tell us the story behind their images that were featured in Familiar Stranger, PHmuseum's first book on mobile photography.

© Noémi Szécsi

Romanian born Noémi Szécsi is a photographer based in Budapest, where she graduated from the faculty of Art and Design in 2019. The city is her second home and it’s there that she took the image above. "It was last spring - she recalls - I remember that day being absolutely lovely. The weather was amazing I went to a park with my classmates to enjoy the sunlight. It was a bittersweet moment because we were really close to each other and we realised that in a few weeks, after graduating, our small “family” wasn’t going to stay the same. So now, every time I look at this picture I think about the love that we had for each other during those years”. Her simple simple gesture of encasing a plane flying up in the sky is truly a great metaphor of that elusive moment.

© Santiago Serrano

As a child, Santiago Serrano dreamed of being a football player or a bullfighter, but eventually, he became a freelance photographer, now based in Ecuador. He was flying over the Latin America’s skies when he took this photo: “I shoot with my phone through the plane’s window while on a trip from Buenos Aires to El Calafate where I was travelling to attend an artistic residency. At some point, I was fascinated by this desert place. I do not know its exact position but it must be located somewhere within the province of Santa Cruz, in southern Argentina”. The image, which has been then retouched and digitally manipulated with enhanced colours, gives life to a new and somehow mystical landscape.

© Katerina Stratos

Katerina Stratos is a Greek-Australian photographer and digital artist based in Los Angeles. She took this image while wandering around Elyria Canyon in the northern outskirts of the city. “I walk with my dog Socks as daily meditation and often come across a flock of crows who live by this gnarly walnut tree. I have a love-hate relationship with these clever birds. I love to watch them dance across the sky but they scare me — I swear sometimes they want to attack Socks”. The black and white photo shows a well-balanced composition and succeeds in suspending the act of flying in a very elegant form, not an easy task as Katerina admit “I’ve tried to capture the crows hanging out several times without success but that time I did!”

© Ge Zeng

Ge Zeng is a college teacher in Guangzhou, China. He was on a leisure journey to Hong Kong when he shot the photo. “I was on a trip to Hong Kong with some friends. At some point during the drive, I got fascinated by the winding way forming all those S-shaped curves. That image gave me the feeling the road was moving, so I asked my friend to squat down and embrace the wind from the sea, then I took this picture”. A pretty interesting shot where the square frame seems somehow animated by the elements composing the scene.

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This content is part of a series of articles that looks back at our first Mobile Photography Prize and what it meant for the photographers involved. To join the conversation and become an active part of our 5-year research project on the phenomenon, learn more and apply to the second edition at phmuseum.com/m20

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