Faculty Information

Modern & Medieval Languages

MML Photography Competition 2012

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

This year fifty students submitted a total of 257 entries to the Modern and Medieval Languages photography competition. This was the first year of running the competition, and the Faculty hopes to make this an annual event. The judges were impressed both by the high quality of the work overall and by the breadth of photographic subjects and genres employed, particularly in the ‘abroad’ category. The prizes were awarded as follows:

Prizes awarded in the 'Cambridge' category:

First prize

‘The Clare College Bike’ by Lena Borise, Linguistics Part IIB
This image beautifully captures the warm late afternoon light that is so unique to Cambridge, conveying a real sense of place – and of the historic collegiate environment in particular - without recourse to the standard picture postcard view. The non-central composition enhances this sense of place and allows the eyes to be guided by the rich curves and shadows outside the frame to what lies beyond.

First runner up

‘(Parker’s) Pieces of Eight’ by Rosie Bainbridge, PhD Slavonic Studies
What particularly stood out about this Warholesque montage were the subtle variations in colour and shades within each individual frame, and the washed out overall look. To get these elements of composition and processing allow a simple set of images to give a different take on one particularly iconographic face of student experience in Cambridge.

Second runner up

‘7.45 am January 12th’ by Matt Cullen, Linguistics Part IIA
This strikingly simple image gives a very clear image of the everyday aspects of Cambridge student life – the cup of tea, the pile of books, the table lamp burning as darkness grows outside... It is technically accomplished and well balanced in its composition.

Prizes awarded in the 'Abroad' category:

First prize

'Independence Day in Oaxaca’ by Antonia Eklund, MML Part II
This piece of street photography is shot and composed in such a way that gives it a striking dynamism. Its off-centre composition permits a narrative to emerge as it draws our attention to the subtle interplay between the boys running in the foreground and the bemused onlookers in the recesses of the shot. The slow shutter speed used lends dynamism and warmth to the scene. These elements, coupled with the image’s wide range of warm colours, shed a uniquely personal light on this important public festivity in Mexico.

First runner up

‘The boys of Ipanema’ by Lydia Green, MML/AMES Part II
This lovely image transforms an iconic picture postcard backdrop into a playful scene of contact among a number of children. The backlighting works well to layer the composition, with the solid figures almost in silhouette in the foreground giving way to subtle gradations of light and shade as the eye is drawn to the mountain and to the city, which is partly shrouded in the glare of the evening sun and the mist blown in off the sea.

Second runner up

‘Lac Ouareau’ by Marianne Styger, MML Tripos, Year Abroad
This is an outstanding piece of photographic composition and lighting, with its bold bi-partite structure and rich, striking colours. The rich colours are wonderfully reflected by in the clear, almost still waters of the lake, and the line of the pier or pontoon creates a wonderful lead-in for the eye.

Highly Commended

Given the quality and volume of entries, the judges also felt that special mention should be given to two other images. Hence highly commended were also:

‘Sibling’ by Susie Cronin, MML Part II
This striking image employs a perfect two-thirds composition, and invites us to reflect on what lies this side of the camera as we follow the gaze of the schoolteacher (or student) over her right shoulder. We like the way in which the light is reflected off the subject’s face, and the interruption of the girl’s gaze by the line on the blackboard behind her.

‘Snow in the driest desert on earth’ by Tim Durrant, MML/AMES Part II
This is a striking image. It is composed in such a way as to give a real sense of scale to the mountains the other side of the lake, with the minuscule figures in the foreground – along with the bright colours of the gear – working to bring out a strong sense of contrasts in this wild environment.