Peter Svoboda

33 Top Fine Art Photographers from PX3

Many photographers want to receive validation and recognition for their hard work, dedication, and skills. This is why a lot of them regularly join photography competitions organized by some of the world’s most prestigious organizations.

One such contest is the PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris or the Paris Photo Prize. Created in 2007, PX3 aims to discover potential and rising talents, introduce photographers from different parts of the world to Paris’ artistic community, and encourage greater appreciation for photography. Since its beginning 13 years ago, it has become one of the most respected and recognized photography competitions in Europe, boasting a stellar Jury panel of industry luminaries including gallery owners, editors, artistic directors, curators and more.

Over the years, PX3 has focused the spotlight on some of the world’s best photographers across a wide variety of genres. In this 3-part series of articles, we are highlighting 33 of the top Fine Art photographers whose work has been distinguished in the Paris Photo Prize.

1. SANDRA HERBER

Herber won gold in the Fine Art/Architecture category and 1st place in the Fine Art category for her work Ice Fishing Huts. This librarian from Canada likes to go around and take photos of her hometown and of different places around the world. She likes taking photos that tell beautiful stories of the past. Herber enjoys taking photos of the Mayan ruins, wooden grain elevators, and the prairies in Canada. She even wrote about Mexico and the Prairies in the 2017 article Thoughts About Photographing Place, which appeared on Slices of Silence: Conversations about Photography, a blog by Nathan Writh.

Ice Fishing Huts also won for Herber the Best New Talent award.

Stedman likes details and loves to explore. These are seen in his photos. This Western Australia-based fine art landscape photographer won the gold in Fine Art/Landscape category, silver in Nature/Earth category, and 1st place in Fine Art for his aerial landscapes collection called Ordered Abstraction. The collection shows images that highlight the effect of aquaculture, extraction, and mining have on the environment. Aerial photos were taken when he was aboard different aircraft.

Born in South Africa, Stedman discovered the beauty and mystery of the natural world at an early age. He likes to explore a lot and has great interest in the sciences.

Gold of Africa won for Shulman the 2nd place in the Fine Art category and gold in Fine Art/Nudes. His collection is a poetic representation of the gold of Africa – its land and its people. The images show nude Africans with their bodies covered in cracked gold-like desert earth.

Shulman’s main themes are focused on his cultural inspirations: diversity, immersion, and acceptance.  He uses his digital camera for shoots but his specialty is really film cameras (manual medium format) and a 35mm.

Silhouette won for DASHA ART the gold in PX3’ Fine Art/Nudes category. This fashion and fine art photographer specializes in fine art, concept art, emotional creativity, and fashion. Her PX3 winning photo uses the human body (particularly the female) in depicting pure art and beauty. She kept details to the minimum so the focus is only on the body’s lines and forms. For her, nothing can be as pure as this.

This Belarus-based photographer likes to collaborate on taking photos and decorating magazines. She’s also quite respected in the advertising industry as she uses her photos to help businesses develop their brands and attract consumers.

The Photographic Collages of Jorg Karg won gold on PX3’s Fine Art/Collage category. Karg, a Germany-based visual artist, specializes in digital collages. He describes his works as using “present-day visual language and techniques” that are integrated with basic and essential drawing and painting ideas. Before becoming an award-winning and well-respected photographer, Karg was into painting and drawing, something that’s very evident in his photographic masterpieces.

Enshroud won for Media Dugger the Silver Award in PX3’s Fine Art/Collage category. The primary inspiration and central focus in this collage is the veil – its colors, patterns, forms, and how these help women identify and express themselves and their style. Based in Nigeria, this California-born artist likes highlighting style, fashion, tradition, identity, and imagination of Nigeria – and Africa in general. She refuses to dwell on the bleak and would rather focus on the positive, particularly when it comes to otherness, color, and race.

Lozano’s Borders series was awarded PX3’s Silver in Fine Art/Other category. This collection is a representation of what immigrants go through in their journey to a new life – what they leave behind and what they believe will be waiting for them.

Born in Texas, this Mexican-American photographer knows what she is talking about because she was raised across the border of the United States and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. She holds a Master’s Degree in Photography. and spends her time off-photography by teaching students how art and photography can be used to rise above and beyond borders.

The PX3 Silver in Fine Art/Other award was given to Peter Svoboda in recognition of his work Out of the mainstream. The series of photos shows skiers in the Swiss Alps enjoying their powder snow adventure. This, according to the Svoboda, is what going “out of the mainstream” is all about.

This Slovakia-based landscape photographer likes to capture man’s most precious moments and adventures with nature. More specifically, he likes to photograph “human presence in nature”. For him, this is the perfect representation of how humans express their gratitude and respect to nature.

The Silver in Fine Art/Architecture was awarded to Blondeau for his work titled Présence obscure. It shows urban surroundings – situations, places, objects – at night. The images are devoid of visible human presence and instead gives off the impression that there are shadows, albeit very faint, present in every barren scene. This, according to Blondeau, is another dimension he wants viewers to see – that one cannot exist without the other.

Blondeau works full-time as a researcher-lecturer. He uses his photography to share his innermost thoughts. His trips to different barren lands gave rise to the concept and idea for most of his images.

Sunday Best at Weekend Studio won for Collis Silver in the 2019 Fine Art/People category, Bronze in Portraiture/Other category, and Bronze in Portraiture/Culture category. Sunday Best at Weekend Studio represents the beautiful clothes that people usually wear on Sundays, particularly when going to church. In Collis’ photograph, this is represented by Kenyans, who love dressing up on Sundays. The Kenyans she photographs are from Kibera, one of the largest slum areas in the country.

Based in Nairobi, Collis was also involved in two popular film productions: Born to Be Wild in 2011 and Madagascar 3D in 2014. She was the production manager for both films.

Giba’s Winter on Earth (2) won Silver in Fine Art/Architecture at the 2019 PX3. The photo shows the photographer’s hometown in Rybnik, Poland covered in snow. It specifically illustrates the graduation tower and the usual forms seen when taken from an aerial vantage point. When photograph on the ground, at eye level, these forms are overlooked.

A graduate of the Institute of Creative Photography at the University of Silesia in Czech Opava, Giba has a Master’s Degree in Photography. He is acknowledged for organizing one of his country’s oldest photography festivals. He also has a background in advertising photography and caters to marketing clients. His specialty and passion, however, is taking Sky Pictures using his drone.

Zanon won bronze in the Fine Art/Collage category for her works in What Women Do Not Say collection. This Italy-based photojournalist and wedding & portrait photographer focused on global issues like violence, pain, and trauma in her photos. The subjects on her collection represent the women of her family – whose smiles and silence hide painful stories.

The photos of smiling women are juxtaposed with what looks to be texts from pages of a book.

Zanon also won a PX3 gold medal for her photos in the Portraiture Children category.

Photographer and visual artist Clemens Ascher’s A Modernist Lunchbreak was awarded the bronze prize in the Fine Art/Other category. The collection showcases photos of businessmen on-the-go who are eating their lunch. Ascher’s works touch on the socio-cultural implications of food and other basic needs. The images suggest that people’s freedom is limited by generated desires and acceptable opinions.

This Austrian photographer uses repetitive demonstration and colors in his photos. His subjects are marionette-like, allowing the figures to appear surreal. Looking at the photos is like watching a theatrical presentation.

Ascher describes his A Modernist Lunchbreak as “abstract spatial compositions”.

Slovakian photographer Martin Krystynek’s Romana shows images of women in their natural beauty. The portraits won for him the bronze award in the Fine Art/People category. In the photos, the women appear as natural as they are, sans makeup and accessories. They’re powerful and beautiful images that evoke a lot of emotions.

All images in the collection are close ups.

Krystynek is a Master Qualified European Photographer or MQEP. He has been doing professional photography since 2010 and is a recipient of over 350 awards.

Manuel’s Symbiosis, which shows an image of a fisherman in Vietnam, won for him the bronze award in the Fine Art/Landscape category. The photo was taken in Halong Bay, far away from the bustling city and busy crowd. Set in black and white, it depicts the symbiosis or interaction of man and nature. Its fine lines and shadows add a lot of depth and meaning to the photo.

Symbiosis is like most of Manuel’s works – rooted in his personal observations and realizations while traveling. His photos almost always show nature in its purest form. His subjects are in constant motion. He likes silhouettes, too, as is evident in Symbiosis.

Manuel was going around Sao Paulo, Brazil with his disposable camera in 2000 when he realized photography was the love of his life. Symbiosis also won for him the silver award in the Nature/Other category.

Surprise Inside #8 is Plotnick’s PX3 2019 masterpiece that gave him bronze in the Fine Art/Collage category. He describes his work as a combination of digital process and wet photography. The collage shows a photo of two men and a woman showing off their acrobatic skills. The black and white photo is set inside a dismantled carton or cardboard package. 

The Philadelphia-based Plotnick, who teaches at the Penn State University/Abington’s Fine Arts Department, actually has a Surprise Inside photography series in his portfolio of works.

War Stories I Never Heard gave Todd Bradley the bronze prize in PX3 2019’s Fine Art/Other category. The photos are a recollection of World War II military stories told through the images of his grandfather, Raymond Bradley, who served in the U.S. Army in 1943 and fought the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler. In his words, the collection is all about “discovering a loved one’s World War II military stories after their death”.

Bradley likes turning ordinary objects into something extraordinary by giving them new perspectives. He favors geometry in nature and clean lines. He also uses a lot of negative space. Aside from telling stories through his contemporary work on urban decay and nature, Bradley is also into diorama toy photography. He likes to digitally alter his photographs, too.

Zanni received the gold award in the Fine Art/Architecture category for his photographic masterpiece New Art Noveau. The collection shows images of some of Brussels’ art noveau buildings that are sprinkled with newer elements, specifically those that belong to the social-modernist type. The images are set in black & white and feature grand architecture that’s rich in details. Viewers will see all the lines and curves of the structures, as well as feel the buildings rising to its full form.

Italy-born Zanni has lived in the Balkans for most of his life. His works in fine art photography have been recognized by different international photography awards. His photos have also been published in magazines and books.

The Awakening is Chatmon’s masterpiece. It epitomizes fatherhood, motherhood, and the celebration of childhood and family bonds. The photographs are loosely inspired by the works of Austrian painter Marianne Stokes, one of Victorian England’s finest artists who focused on painting portraits of fine detailed garments.

For The Awakening, Chatmon started with a portrait sitting and then incorporated other elements. She likes putting in more details like digital collage and digital/hand drawn illustration, antique art, paint and gold leaf, among others. 

Chatmon’s background in theatrical arts is evident in how she creates photographs that showcase new compositional expressions.

The Awakening won her gold in the Fine Art/Digitally Enhanced category as well as a 2nd place win in the Fine Art category. It also won for her gold in Portraiture/Family and 2nd place in Portraiture category.

Fine art photographer Martin Stranka received the gold in the Fine Art/Other category for his photographic collection Dreamers and Warriors. The images feature animals that are used to symbolize a person’s journey to achieving his goals in life. The animals are warriors that fight for the fulfillment of their dreams.

Stranka is a Czech Republic native who describes himself as a “self-taught professional photographer”. He calls his photographic masterpieces – images that exists in that short window of time between dreaming and awakening.

The Dreamers and Warriors collection, like most of his work, gives off the feeling that you are viewing still images that were taken from a film. They somehow depict the perfect mix of fantasy and reality.

Dekotora gave Todd Antony the silver award in the Fine Art/People category. The collection features images of trucks that are intricately and extravagantly decorated. Dekotora is actually the abbreviated form of decoration truck, which is quite popular in Japan. The truck was inspired by the 1975 film series called Truck Guys (Torakku Yaro in Japanese), which put the spotlight on a truck with lavish decorations. The trucker drives around Japan, following (chasing, actually) women and getting into all sorts of adventures.

Antony’s colorful and detailed photos prove just how the trucks are garishly and extravagantly decorated. It is said that Japanese truckers allot more than a million yen for these decorations.

Multi-award winner Antony has been in professional photography for 16 years. He has received several citations from different photography award-giving bodies.

The Blue Journey is the recipient of gold in the Fine Art/Digitally Enhanced category. Swedish Fine Art photographer Gabriel Isak’s masterpiece collection features photos set mostly in blues, blacks, and similar hues. The images likewise show solitary figures seemingly embraced in a surreal state, in a dream world. This, according to the photographer, is a representation of solitude and one’s unconscious state.

Isak’s photography relies a lot on melancholic images in helping deliver the message or theme to viewers. The photos are aesthetically rich but quite minimalist. They draw attention and almost always invite interaction.

Simion’s Not From Here is a visual storytelling of her experiences as a stranger in Deauville. The images show a human subject in costume, one that covers the body from head to toe. It is also a representation of her confused feelings, of her encounters with the people who interacted with her and even those who just took a look at her and went on doing their thing. Simion realized that even if she was visible to the public and people actually talked to her, she appeared invisible because nobody could really see what was beneath the striking costume she was wearing.

Her photos perfectly capture her interest in  visual anthropology and storytelling. This freelance photographer and visual artist focuses on themes related to identity, the body, the dynamics of tradition, and the family for her photographic subjects.

Dequick, a French photographer who has a degree in Architecture, started his adventure in photography when he was 12 years old. He specializes in landscapes, interior spaces, architecture, and urban spaces. He uses  superimposition and juxtaposition in creating the images he wants his viewers to understand and react to.

His Serenita Veneziana, a series of photographs that were inspired by the 18th century painting Vedute, won for him the silver award in the Fine Art/Architecture category. The collection shows Venetian palaces that are devoid of the tourist crowd; their beauty and greatness overpowering the scene.

Dequick follows the mantra “What I see, What I feel”.

Ghost Sits in the Memory is Matsumoto’s award-winning entry to the 2019 Paris Photo Prize. It gave him the bronze award in the Fine Art/Other category. The ghost in the title refers to his childhood memories with friends and fragments of memories of the good old days.

For the Ghost series, he used the wet plate collodion method, which helped give the images rawness that Matsumoto wanted. Additionally, he created the photos using a 8”x10” camera. The photos have a kind of uniqueness about them and each image tells fragments of stories.

Japan-based Matsumoto studied at the San Francisco Art Institute under the supervision of  photographer Linda Conner.

Watanabe’s Small World won for him the silver award in the Fine Art/Collage category of the 2019 Paris Photo Prize. The collection features photos that prove how humans can co-exist with nature. Watanabe shows the images in small or miniature sizes, taken from an aerial viewpoint. One of the most striking photos in the collection is that of birds flying and hovering over humans walking in different directions. It is a visual interpretation of what Watanabe firmly believes in – the world is small but humans and nature can live together harmoniously.

Watanabe is a Japanese fine art photographer who has five books published under his name. All of these books feature portraits and images he took. Aside from fine art, he also dabbles in CGI solutions and photography for the advertising industry.

Luca Izzo’s Desformes was awarded Gold in Fine Art/Nudes and 1st place in the Fine Art category. The Italy-born artist created an art installation that showcases the human body in sculpture-like forms. The nude bodies are intertwined with some objects, which somehow give them a touch of classical nude sculpture art. He captures these artistic images with his digital camera.

Izzo’s works is a representative of his interest in various arts forms. His masterpieces depict influences that combine photography with painting and cinema.

Brooke Shaden’s Fourth Wall won for her the PX3 Gold in Fine Art/Nudes and 1st place in the Fine Art category. The Fourth Wall’s subjects were enclosed in four walls that had no doors or windows. According to Shaden, the images were all constructed manually, by hand. She mounted a camera on the ceiling, which glided towards the center of the room through a slider. One of its strongest themes is loneliness.

Shaden focuses a lot on the light and dark sides of people. She’s a passionate storyteller and this shows in her photographic masterpieces.

Silence in Synesthesia was awarded 3rd place in the Fine Art category. It also won for Wen Hang Lin Gold in Fine Art/Abstract in 2019. To create the effect of images overlapping each other, Lin exposed the film and rewound it. The images present two different realities.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Lin currently resides in the United States. He uses his daily experiences as inspiration for his photography. His photos also reflect aspects of his explorations and are, more often than not, expressions of his curiosities.

Nori is a collection of five images that won for Japanese photographer Hironori Nakamura two PX3 awards: Gold in Fine Art/Abstract and Gold in Nature/Water. The images show scenes of Japan’s Bay Area and highlights seaweed farms. His works – including the winning collection – are often minimalist and simplistic, which are trademarks of Japanese aesthetics.

Nakamura’s background in architecture is also evident in his photographic works – with all its clean lines and structures. His major focus is on landscapes.

Porcelain won Silver in Fine Art/Nudes at the 2019 Paris Photo Prize. Kampert’s series features the human body in various new sculptural forms. The images are clear, clean, and simple but very elegant. They also capture one of Kampert’s photographic interests – beauty. He, however, emphasizes that his focus is not on the usual definition of beauty – but the body and mind, and the emotions that make a person whole.

Kampert is a self-taught photographer whose main focus is people photography. He lives in Duesseldorf, Germany.

South Korean photographer Hanjong Yoon was awarded Gold in Fine Art/Still Life in 2019 for his Essential Beings series. He created the images using an industrial camera and applying illumination. Yoon also used an image processing board.   

Michel Leroy’s Alchemy won for him the PX3 Bronze in Fine Art/Nudes. The series is a collaborative effort of the photographer and some professional athletes. It features different body types depicted in a variety of sculptural forms. Leroy’s goal is to highlight the importance of diversity and encourage awareness, particularly in terms of gender, age, and race.  The images are explicit and vulnerable without being sexual.

Leroy is an advertising and entertainment photographer who often features celebrities and other famous personalities. He is based in New York.