Announcing The Winners Of The 2021 Paper Arts Collective International Competition & Exhibition

Black & White 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Place Winners

By Les Picker

Dutch Bagley 3rd Place Black & White

Dutch is a self-taught photographer whose first love is B&W abstract and architecture images which he sometimes combines into one image. "I do like to push the envelope of 'rules' for creating a final art piece," Dutch proudly says. His post-processing is primarily done in Lightroom, with limited adjustments. 

"The Whole Knows" was captured outdoors, Dutch reports. "It stood on its own with soft light and composition and later, after I learned new processing techniques, I changed its character into a second iteration. Finally, after more research/discovery, you see here the third and final iteration, showing full tonal ranges from pure black to white".

The judges appreciated the abstract nature of this daring image, its wide tonality, and the eye-catching motion. The print itself was well done on a matte paper. 

Michelle Bratsafolis 2nd Place Black & White

Early on Michelle found that photography opened her eyes to new and deeper ways of seeing, offering her a meditative way to document beauty and dignity. "It affords a respite from the visual barrage of commercial and political messaging that has come to define our culture", she explains. "When taking a photograph, I often ask myself whether the viewer will see what I saw, or feel what I felt when I saw it"

“’North Fork Main Highway’ reminds us that unlikely beauty can be found even in a ghosted urban landscape, where nature often dominates the built environment”, Michelle points out. While driving she noticed that a utility pole and the wires extending from it had become engulfed in ivy. "I felt that transformed the pole into what I thought looked like an omnipotent scarecrow guarding the road, land and fields all around it. It was incidental, oblivious to passersby. It reminds us that even after destructive forces take their toll, a natural and unadorned world can rebalance and reinvigorate us". 

The judges found the simplicity of the image compelling, yet complex enough to tell the intended story. The choice of a semi-gloss paper accentuated the details and brought out just enough of the sky without it being distracting. 

Elizabeth Brooke 1st Place Black & White

Elizabeth's curiosity and love of nature propel her photography, where what is here, right now, in the moment is critical to her.
Her goal, driven by creative intuition, has always been to produce images to be shared. A world traveler, Elizabeth is also owner of Gabriel’s, a Provincetown, Massachusetts hotel.

Elizabeth’s philosophy for her photography is this: "Stop, look, listen, pay attention, be astonished, tell about it".

"David and Annie" is more than a photo, Elizabeth tells us. "They have been friends and neighbors of mine for over forty years. Their house, has been in Annie’s family for three generations. They were world travelers for most of that time aboard their live-aboard catamaran. Their view across the bay from North Truro is my home". 

The judges felt that this naturalistic portrait jumped out and captured a sweet slice of Americana. The tonality is spot on and the choice of a matte paper (Moab Entrada Rag Natural) was perfect. And the cat's eyes in David's arm nails it!

Please join us in congratulating top 3 artists this year in the Black & White category.

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