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The Poetic Winning Images of AAP Magazine 30 Shadows

Posted on May 02, 2023 - By Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
The Poetic Winning Images of AAP Magazine 30 Shadows
The Poetic Winning Images of AAP Magazine 30 Shadows
We're delighted to reveal the names of the 25 talented photographers who won AAP Magazine #30: Shadows. They come from 12 different countries and 5 continents!

Scott Bourne wrote: “Where light and shadow fall on your subject - that is the essence of expression and art through photography.

Mysterious, magical, intense, timeless, sometimes nostalgic... mastering the shadows in photography is an art in itself. It is a story in its own right, a unique form of expression.

For this 30th edition of AAP Magazine, we were looking for the poetry as well as the power of shadows and the twenty-five winning photographers did just that!

The winning portfolios are diverse and imaginative in their approach to the theme. Each image has a story to tell and reflects a unique form of expression.

Selecting the winners was certainly not an easy task, but in the end we hope you will all enjoy this collection of stated or implied, literal or metaphorical shadows.

The Winner of AAP Magazine 30 Shadows is Anna Biret (Poland/France)

Anna Biret

The Veil of Dream from the series''The Shadows of the Imagination'' © Anna Biret

Light and shadow dominate our everyday life, often creating images saturated with mystery. We often seek refuge in the shadows that surround us. Sometimes a figure comes out of the shadows unexpectedly.. sometimes the sun together with the shadow and color create unimaginably beautiful scenes filled with mystery, like theater scenes in which each of us is an anonymous actor in the depths of imagination, beauty, creativity, light and shadow for me is an element that can change the mood and emotions conveyed in the photo. I love this atmosphere, I love capturing these moments that make every moment beautiful in ordinary everyday life.
All about Anna Biret

The Second Place Winner is Gianluca Mortarotti (Italy/UK)

Gianluca Mortarotti

Sense of Self from the series''Distorsions'' © Gianluca Mortarotti

As a street photographer, I have always been fascinated by the ways in which the world around us shapes our sense of self. While exploring the streets, I couldn't help but notice how collective expectations not only influence the physical appearance but also people’s behavior. This sparked an idea for a new project, which I have titled Distortions. The series depicts distorted figures that almost don't look human anymore. This is done intentionally to suggest the idea that appearances can be deceiving and may hide a different reality. By distorting the human figures, I wanted to visually represent the idea that social expectations can cause us to become something different than what we truly are and that our outward appearance may not reflect our inner reality. The aim is to prompt viewers to reflect on their experiences with conformity and question what are the forces that shape us and look beyond the surface-level appearance of individuals. Through this project, I hope to encourage a deeper contemplation of the value of embracing our true selves in a world that often demands conformity.
All about Gianluca Mortarotti

The Third Place Winner is Souhayl A (Morocco)

Souhayl A

The Eiffel Tower reflection from the series Walking Paris with Love © Souhayl A

Souhayl A is an influential artist-photographer living and working the main part of the year in Paris, France. His specialty is Storytelling by Art-documentary and Streetphotography. His work has been rewarded and been exhibited internationally in many countries around the world. He regularly delivers workshops in Paris, France, teaching the art of street photography. He is the Founder of BnW Photo Awards and Paris Street Photography Awards, a world-famous photo contest that promotes every year new emerging talents in the discipline of Street Photography. He is also co-founder of the festival « Selma Photo Nights » in the US and the Art Director of Les Nuits Photo de Pierrevert, one of the most important Photo Festivals in France. Souhayl collaborates often with magazines dedicated to photography by shooting covers and publishing articles and he regularly appears on prestigious jury lists of many photographic events.

Merit Gallery
Leonor Benito de la lastra (Spain)

Leonor Benito de la lastra

From the series Sombras y siluetas © Leonor Benito de la lastra

This work belongs to a bigger project of visual discursive exploration through analog Black and White photography using noble processes and under the attempt of using what it is crucial in photography: lack of light. I imagine from a background of absence, something comes out of the darkness, the abandonment, the void, the night, of the loneliness and we call it imagen. After the astonishment there is the missing imagen and after that there is something else: The Night. These are shapes lacking of every space reference, without time and place. Visual uncertainty. It is like trying to provide real form to something ineffable and intangible into a baroque game, trying to foreshadow our deeply hidden wishes, obsessions and desires. Close view of what Freud calls the “sinister”. This current work is a selection of 12 images. It was started in 2011 and nowadays it is not finished. I have tried to expose the drafting processes of my work, although it is possible to see it other way. My intention is essentially photographic. I run away of formal images, there is no will to give it a category. Black and White analog photography it is the field I work on because I conceive it with more capacity to trespass what it is being represented showing meanings that color make disappear. I use a Medium Format camera which makes me manipulate the image in a slow and reflexive way. My operation is mostly at the laboratory; alchemical and heterodox. Experimentation consists in manipulation: veiling, light burn, overlays, meddling … A tainted work made to create visual disquiet. The travel to unknown occurs there where the illumination, the revelation or lost happens. We have to ask ourselves about photographic language and its lectures. To read an imagen you have to capture the exterior noise. As it was said by Susan Sontag: ''Still, there is something predatory in the act of taking a picture. To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed.''

Christina Carson (USA)

Christina Carson

Bear And Sand, from the series Time Dilation © Christina Carson

Bear And Sand, from the series Time Dilation, is a composite of two 35mm negatives. An image from my life presently and one from a decade ago to create one image. The process of working with negatives in the darkroom is like extending my reach into the past. One last moment with a loved one. A physical interaction that cannot occur digitally in the same way. Reigniting the presence of people, objects, and landscapes. This body of work is about the passage of time, loss, grief, healing, and growth.

Jonathan Banks (UK)

Jonathan Banks

The People behind the Red Cross, from the series Linked By Shadows © Jonathan Banks

The photograph is of a young Peer Educator behind a Red Cross flag captured during a training weekend. Peer Educators are trained to support their local communities (and beyond) in a number of ways, including teaching first aid and delivering humanitarian education. I am the longest serving British Red Cross photographer covering everything from major crisis to celebrity ambassadors, and the incredible work that they do with vulnerable people throughout the UK. The photo is one of a series of photographs showcasing the amazing people behind the Red Cross.
All about Jonathan Banks

Sonia Melnikova-Raich (USA)

Sonia Melnikova-Raich

Composition With Two Crosses, from the series Light+Shadows © Sonia Melnikova-Raich

The subject matter of the Light+Shadows Portfolio revolves around the mystery of perspective and geometry created by light and darkness in the architectural image. It was inspired by the words of a famous American architect Louis Kahn, who said: ''The sun never knew how great it was until it hit the side of a building. Even a room which must be dark needs at least a crack of light to know how dark it is.''
All about Sonia Melnikova-Raich

Omar Ghrayeb (USA)

Omar Ghrayeb

Snow Surfing Like a Butterfly © Omar Ghrayeb

Snow surfing on a frozen lake on a sunny day. Shadows vary in shape and size depending on the time of the day. In this photo the scale of the shadow plotted on the ice completes the shape of a butterfly.

Luca Bernardini (Italy)

Luca Bernardini

Double-Crossing, Tirana, Albania 2023 from the series A few steps into the shadows © Luca Bernardini

Through shadows we gain depth, our gestures are mirrored on surfaces, and feelings resonate on the grooves of our faces. The world is assailed by a myriad of shapes performing a sudden and frenzied dance. Shadow and light, an eternal dualism to be enraptured by the lens, a bond to be imprinted on the canvas of a paintng, a thin line of demarcaton, union and division at the same tme, to be sought by touching the pages of a poem. As a great writer wrote: 'all the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.' By my way, I will only try to take a few steps into the shadows.
All about Luca Bernardini

Nicola Fioravanti (Italy/France)

Nicola Fioravanti

Three. Cagliari, Italy. 2012 from the series Spectators © Nicola Fioravanti

According to the World Health Organization, nearly one billion people suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, isolation, dementia, drug and alcohol use, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Every forty seconds, one person commits suicide due to mental health issues. The shadows and silhouettes in this project are non-men in non-places. Have we become mere spectators of this world, shadows in constant search of the other?
All about Nicola Fioravanti

Randall Romano (Canada)

Randall Romano

Financial Shuffle from the series Transitory Inhabitants © Randall Romano

Toronto’s financial district is characterized by a large transitory workforce that moves into and out of the city core during workdays. Although the pandemic has changed the intensity of these temporary inhabitants, the commute still exists and is returning slowly to its pre pandemic numbers. In 2016 I began a project to document this movement of people and the characteristics of the people who did this commute, as well as what the financial district looked like during this time period.
All about Randall Romano

Vincenzo Barone (Italy)

Vincenzo Barone

A Quiet Life from the series Shells © Vincenzo Barone

This photo was taken in Metz, France. It is part of a project called “Shells” which explores the dichotomy between the human being and the urban context. I was captured by this calm scene one day at noon. The curtains that can be glimpsed from the window, the dazzling sun, this scene brought me back for a moment to my summer childhood: calm and peaceful days. While I was working on this scene a man walked by, out of nowhere. He, too, seemed to enjoy the beautiful, calm day.
All about Vincenzo Barone

Ryan Bakerink (USA)

Ryan Bakerink

Shadow Studies 1 from the series Always darker, emptier, and simpler © Ryan Bakerink

This project explores the interplay between light and darkness, capturing everyday life, but the subject matter is not captured in the image, and instead the emotions and narratives are created by shadow, and the interplay between light and darkness and the shows itself, although darker, emptier, and simpler, are a powerful element in the own right. At the heart of this project is a fascination with the way in which shadows can be used to convey emotion and meaning. I am to capture subjects through the beauty and mystery of shadows, and to explore their role in shaping our perceptions of the world around us. Each photograph in the series is meant to draw attention to the intricate patterns and textures that can be found in even the simples of shadows. Ultimately, my hope is that this project will encourage viewers to see the world in a new light – to appreciate the beauty of darkness, as well as light, and to explore the emotions and narratives that can be created through the use of shadow.
All about Ryan Bakerink

Joydeep Deb (India)

Joydeep Deb

Life in Life from the series Life in Geometry © Joydeep Deb

My eyes through the rounded lens seek life among the defined shapes patterns and geometry of modern world. The moment of magic happens when the silhouette of life and shadow breaks these patterns against light.

Wendy Symons (Netherlands)

Wendy Symons

Siblings from the series Art Mama © Wendy Symons

Art Mama Two worlds merged into one; life of an artist and motherhood “artist mama” Art breaks barriers. Through these images, I am challenging the taboo that loneliness and motherhood can’t be in the same frame. Letting my feelings and emotions speak for themselves. This has one of my most a vulnerable and intimate projects. It has been a healing experience for me in so many ways. It depicts a journey in an artistic way through a mother's gaze.Wendy Symons is an Almere (The Netherlands) based autodidact photographer, who has travelled across Europe capturing unfiltered, and often times vulnerable, moments in time.

Stig Marlon Weston (Canada)

Stig Marlon Weston

Kindergarten gate from the series Playground/District 12 © Stig Marlon Weston

This is a photograph of the shadow cast by the gate to kindergarten I attended as a child in the suburbs of my home town of Oslo. Propping my large sheet of b&w film up against the gate I have made a photographic imprint of the shadow directly onto the film, so I can print and recreate the actual light and darkness created by a place of memory.

Hsuan Chung (USA)

Hsuan Chung

Edge-North Atlantic Ocean #02 from the series Edge © Hsuan Chung

Since ancient times, human beings have continuously given life to the land and civilization. We constantly create stories and memories in each land which has its own temperature and culture. Everything on the land experiences a cycle of weathering, squeezing, and accumulating, then they disintegrate, and reconstruct to irregular solids.
The project is based on my thoughts about the boundary between sea and land. The gravel in the soil is cracked by hitting each other under the lap of the waves, thus forming a new state. The minerals and gravel are brought back to the sea by the waves and become nutrients for microorganisms. The boundary between the sea and the land, that surges at all times but exists forever, is the birthplace of land and life. For me, that is also the end of human civilization.

MK (France)

Michel Kharoubi

Darkcity1 from the series Dark city © MK

A photographic series on the dramaturgy of the city from the banality of everyday life. A stimulating mosaic that invites us to jump from one moment to another, from one place to another, to embark on pictorial fictions as ephemeral as they are mysterious, to feel the vibrant pulse of the urban world.

George Mayer (Russia)

George Mayer

Dr Cat, portrait #14 from the series Dr Cat © George Mayer

The series of photographs was commissioned by a famous surgeon and Hollywood TV show star dr Cat. The objectives of the series included creating female silhouettes with a special light pattern that should produce an effect of clothing, while visually enhancing the body contours. To create the desired effect, special optical light-shaping devices with gobo masks were used. A unique gobo mask was developed for each shot as the shooting progressed..
All about George Mayer

Holger Goehler (Germany)

Holger Goehler

Ventilator from the series Homelights © Holger Goehler

Homelights tells about the power of light and its virtuosity. Whether you're in your own four walls, in the office, on the road or in a hotel - the work focuses on the seemingly trivial things that we meet and which surround us in everyday life. I invite you to take a walk with the sun and follow its angle of incidence - in search of stagings.
Only when playing with its counterpart does light become a quick-change artist. Without light there is no shadow, without shadow there is less light. Everything belongs together and is interdependent. In the chiaroscuro, light is perceived better and unfolds its three-dimensional effect in the shadow. Bright areas in the foreground appear close, dark ones give the impression of depth. The grey tones in between are diffuse.
Light polarises and makes things appear in a different context. It redesigns and recomposes the world. That this happens by itself makes its special charm.

Miguel Ángel Cruz Sanchez (Spain)

Miguel Ángel Cruz Sanchez

Tora from the series Las Toras, Winter masquerade © Miguel Ángel Cruz Sanchez

Las Toras photo was taken in the Winter Masquerades, a festivity celebrated since immemorial time in El Fresno, a small village in Ávila (Spain), appointed to remember the initiation ceremonies that marked the passage from childhood to adulthood far back in history. This photo corresponds to the project Winter Masquerades, a very present past

Patricia Beary (USA)

Patricia Beary

Destination from the series Journeys © Patricia Beary

Encouraging the viewer to interject their own journey and narrative, these images are deliberately shot defocused to apply a universality to the setting and figures. The softness creates an ethereal atmosphere in a delicate balance between dream and reality. Light plays an integral role in each, defining the gesture and the perceived destination. There is ambiguity in what lies ahead or what came before.

Mario Baptista (Brazil)

Mario Baptista

His own path © Mario Baptista

Perception of ephemeral architecture that is formed from the play of light and shadow that sometimes create a kaleidoscopic bias and suggest playful forms. It refers to constructivist and surrealist thought. The silent observation of how a subtle light that infiltrates labyrinthinely between volumes, redesigns the landscape and architecture, creating an involving and enigmatic atmosphere, guiding the viewer of the image to a more detailed, unhurried look. Image that slows down the whirlwind of information in the contemporary world. It's like listening to the blues sipping small sips of brandy...

Joanne Rojcewicz (USA)

Joanne Rojcewicz

Oliver's Room from the series 'My Two Sons' © Joanne Rojcewicz

This photo is from April 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic when we were spending all our time at home. This image is my youngest son Oliver, who was 9 at the time, hanging out in his room on a Saturday morning.

Frankie Perez (Canada)

Frankie Perez

Form Study © Frankie Perez

In this image, the ghosts of flowers cast shadows that dance and play across the soft torso of a woman: her body in a back-bend.
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