The UK Picture Editors Guild Award winners at Museum of London
A picture editor, will over the course of a twenty-four hour period, see thousands of different photographs. The world of a photographer in the field is one of stiff rivalry and intense competition to make sure their images lead the charge and make it into our media outlets.
Every year the UK Picture Editors Guild Award recognises the vast wealth of talent displayed throughout British press photography, culminating in an awards ceremony that provides a worthy source of recognition for the evenings snap-happy victors.
In a first for the Guild, a selection of 2012s winning photographs are being presented as 55 large-scale prints wrapped around the iconic exterior rotunda wall of the Museum of London and are available for the public to view until 5th May.
But what of the photographs themselves?
Well, 2012 was a very dynamic year for press photography, be it the palpable sense of excitement and drama that swelled around the Olympic games, all the pomp and circumstance of the Queen’s diamond jubilee (unfortunately lacking in photos of the Queen looking drowned during the rain-soaked Thames flotilla I’m afraid), the ever quirky and intriguing from local level news outlets or the sometimes harrowing, sometimes heart wrenching, always eye opening struggles of our troops abroad.
Indeed, it’s the conflict photography of overall winner Jason Howe that strikes the most resonant chord. It’s not difficult to see why the freelancer scoped the SABMiller Photographer of the Year award thanks to his unflinchingly honest lens when it came to the realities of taking part in a war zone. Images of camo-clad troops clambering to get a recently injured soldier into a helicopter or stark shots of hospitalised, limbless men with extremely placid and dead eyes hold sway in the mind for some time.
There’s also a sense of fun permeating through many of the images, some of the playful celebrity portraits produced by Jon Enoch (Darren Brown with a bird on his head for example) or the vast display of vivid Olympics moments. The most arresting image was produced by Jason Alden for Bloomsberg News. A solitary banker casts a long, almost film noir-esque shadow just in front of The Bank of England as he checks his phone; with the golden hindsight of the banking scandal, it looks almost like the moment the walls came tumbling down. One can only speculate over what message was on that phone but that’s part of their power, they conjure up entire narratives immediately, simply within a single frame.
Photo: Courtesy of Musem of London
The exhibition is at the Museum of London until 5th May 2013. For further information or to book visit the gallery’s website here.