Here are the 10 winning photos of The Independent Photographer’s Black and White Photography Contest 2023.

“Regardless of genre, we wanted to celebrate the beauty and wealth of black & white photography. Be it in the street, fashion, portrait, landscape, documentary, or any other form of photography: we want to be moved and inspired.” Here are the 10 Winners and Finalists who have been selected by award-winning photographer Nick Brandt.

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#1 Martina Holmberg -  1st place. Prize: $1000

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“Emma” from the series “Outside the inside”

“In this project, I examine the exterior of the body, its shell; defects, wrinkles, aging, and changes as symbols of life, that we have lived. The project also involves people who have suffered from diseases that have changed their bodies both on the inside and the outside. Emma lost her twin sister to cancer a few years ago. Now, Emma, herself lives with a chronic brain tumor and breast cancer.”

#2 Florian Kriechbaumer  -  2nd place. Prize: $600

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“The Confrontation” – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“A journey of patience led me to this image, as it took many scouting trips to identify this spot, and even more visits to the location to finally find clear skies adorned by clouds, while a pair of oryx were engaging in their territorial rivalry. The resulting photograph is meant to represent both the confrontation of the animals, but also the contrast of the harsh urban shapes of Dubai, with the natural soft outlines of the dunes of the UAE desert.”

#3 Melissa Cormican – 3rd place. Prize: $400

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“Canada Goose” – Brevard, North Carolina, USA

“The Canada goose is a large wild goose with a black head and neck, white cheeks, white under its chin, and a brown body. It is native to the arctic and temperate regions of North America, and it is occasionally found during migration across the Atlantic in northern Europe.”

#4 Finalist: Ahmad Badr

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“Raindrops” – Southwark, London, UK

#5 Finalist: Alain Schroeder

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“Wonja Kang, 83 years old” from series “Haenyeo – The Grandma Divers”

“Jeju island, known for its characteristic basalt volcanic rock, sits off South Korea. It is the home of the renowned Haenyeo or women of the sea who free dive off the black shores of Jeju harvesting delicacies from the sea. Wearing thin rubber suits and old-fashioned goggles, this aging group of women are celebrated as a national treasure and inscribed on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, but the tradition is slowly fading as fewer women choose this extremely hazardous profession.

Today, the majority of Haenyeo are over the age of 50 and many are well over 70. In a society obsessed with education, the future of this physically arduous activity would appear bleak, and yet… Efforts by the government and local communities to preserve and promote this ecological and sustainable lifestyle have brought renewed interest from young people disillusioned with urban life and eager to return to their roots. It is perhaps a renaissance.”

#6 Finalist: Alessandra Manzotti

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“Unbreakable bond” – Western Mongolia

“A Kazakh eagle hunter of Western Mongolia poses with his beloved eagle during a winter migration through the Altai Mountains.”

#7 Finalist: Arun R Hegden

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“Kambala Buffalo Race” – Karnataka State, Southwest India

“Kambala is an annual buffalo race held in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi of Karnataka, and Kasaragod of Kerala, a region collectively known as Tulu Nadu. The Kambala racetrack is a slushy paddy field, and the buffaloes are driven by a whip-lashing farmer.”

#8 Finalist: Charlotte Ladefoged

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“Balanced” – – Lago di Carezza – Italy

“Lake Carezza is a small alpine lake in the Dolomites in South Tyrol, Italy. It is known for its wonderful colors and its view of the Latemar mountain range.”

#9 Finalist: Fenqiang Liu

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“Paradise” – Winter Park, Florida, USA

“After countless trips to Kraft Azalea Garden in Central Florida, I captured this beautiful moment in late February of 2022. During the post-process of converting the color picture to a black-and-white image, I darken the originally blue sky in Lightroom. After transferring the file to Photoshop, I also made specific areas of the image darker by using a digital airbrush before adding lights to the background to create a mysterious and dreamy world that could exist only in imagination.”

#10 Finalist: Roberta Vagliani

Independent Photographer Black And White Photography

“The right to know” – Zanzibar

“Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.’ This image was taken in a school in Zanzibar, where there are no desks, chairs, or school supplies. All these little girls own is a notebook and their own memory. Knowledge is passed on to them by a single master. In every person, there is the possibility to transform the world.”

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