Catching Waves + Drinking Coffee: Photography 2021 Winners

How you set up a photograph is everything; it’s a combination of the equipment, models, what makes up the set, and so much more. But when all the elements are just right, you get award-winning work.

John Madere‘s “Tidal Anatomy” (above) is a Gold-winning photo series that explores the connection between surfers and their boards where the ocean meets the land. As Madere describes it, “A life of surfing has a profound influence on the faces and forms of those who are passionate about riding waves in much the same way that the sea sculpts the shore.” To depict this, Madere scouted New York and Long Island beach locations and recruited the most interesting-looking surfers he could find. Each shoot was carefully planned, and for each of the subjects, Madere balanced his camera on a 20ft high boom looking directly down on the surfers and their boards. Using a wireless connection to his laptop, he was able to direct and control the composition and all technical aspects from the ground. The collection of photos came together as a thoughtful tribute to his fellow surfer’s “beauty, dignity, and mystery,” depicting subjects of different ages on their personal boards, positioned against the backdrops of different beaches. The photos were soon published in the large format photo book Tidal Anatomy and were displayed in successful exhibitions hosted by New York City’s Site 109 Gallery and at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club.

When it comes to representing your business through photography, it’s important to choose a photographer who can shoot a well-crafted, eye-catching image that conveys the aesthetic and identity of your brand. Canadian photographer Adam Blasberg does just that with “Caffe La Tana” (above), which was taken for the Candian-based restaurant of the same name, located in Vancouver’s Little Italy neighborhood. Captured with a Nikon D850, Blasberg’s photograph perfectly captures the cafe’s blend of old-world Italian charm and stylish sophistication through the tactical use of framing, color value, and refined lighting. The photo’s main subjects make effective use of space, and there is an interesting mix of colors throughout, such as the cafe’s sage green walls, gold rustic decor, and timeless black-and-white tile flooring. There is just enough light coming from above to create some mystery without being overwhelming or distracting from the subject matter. The result is an image that was not only loved by the client but also by Graphis, who gave it a Gold award. 

To see more Photography 2021 winners, click here, and don’t forget to enter your work in our Photography 2023 Annual Awards competition!

Author: Graphis