Alexandre Weber

Above: Alexandre Weber's photo which won one of The Guardian's iPhone Photography Awards, 2018. Credit: Alexandre Weber.

The Lamentable Dross Award

The Guardian's iPhone Photography Award 2018 is ludicrous nonsense and here's why. First, the Awards have been given to submitted photos which back-up the canonical conventions of modernist photo-image-making that have been in place throughout the twentieth century: every photo given an award here is a cliche of photography. And what a missed opportunity: every day around a billion new jpeg images are created on iPhones and many of these are uploaded to Instagram. Innumerable of those (often casually snapped) photos are astonishing, often not least because of the privileged access that the photographer has to some specific environment or human subject. How sad it is to see that the judges of The Guardian's award want to fight a pitiful rearguard action (a defensive stand when losing an argument) defending the photo-style of Cartier-Bresson that was popularized and familiar in the 1940s already. Once again, as with The Guardian's Ten Best Photos of the Day feature, the photos featured should be viewed--definitely; force yourself to do it--but they should be reviewed as a catalogue of cliches that must be avoided always.

(21 July 2018)