Today was the first day of the annual show of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery. I thought it was a much better show than this time last year which was rather disappointing.
Katherine Tyrrell has already written a very good review of the exhibition, which you can find here. And you will also find in here review a link to an interesting article by one of the judges who was co-opted on to the judging panel after being critical of last year.
The photograph above is by Wendy Carrig, whose blog is here (WordPress, of course!), and has been chosen as the image of the exhibition. It is very good, but is not actually the winner. The winning photograph is a nervous and self-conscious image of a Mennonite girl in Bolivia. It is a striking image but I felt that you needed really needed to understand the context to appreciate the photograph, whilst the best photographs surely ought to stand tall without context.
For me, the most striking in the exhibition was a picture of men working at night to repair streets in Delhi, taken by Jeremy Rata. The image he submitted is a very powerful tableau putting the high worker in an elevated position, illuminated and centre stage almost like an image of religious adoration. As I sit to write this a few hours later, it is by far the strongest image in my mind. Unfortunately I cannot find a copy to include here but I can link you to Jeremy Rata’s website where you will find it is the first picture in his India portfolio. There’s lot of other great work there too.