/ 2020 / Special / Street Photography

Shadows of Light

  • Prize
    Gold in Special/Street Photography
  • Photographer
    Merja Varkemaa

Light is the essence of everything, yet its strength and beauty are conditioned by the accompanying shadows and its shine is defined by the contrast of the darkness. The most beautiful light has its grounding in the dark undertones, similar to joy, which is rendered stronger with slightly melancholic memories. In the darkest of shadows and sorrow, the light can always be accessed via the recollection of a past luminous memory. Each happiness contains a small disillusion, whereas each sorrow has hope built in.

Merja Varkemaa is originally from Finland but has been living in Paris for over 20 years. She has a Master of Arts degree in Translation studies in English, French and Swedish. Her interest in photography started during her travels and after many years of relocation in Paris, grew into a passion for street photography. Merja's fine art street photography is based on her pursuit of light and shadows, using both their contrast and complementarity to enhance the beauty of passing moments. She also enjoys capturing the simplicity of a spontaneous instant in her environmental portraits.

Awards AWARDS

2019
VOICE 2019 - Finalist in the category “Weather”

2018
PX3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris 2018 - Mention Gold in “Advertising/Architecture” category (amateur)
VOICE 2018 - Finalist in the category “Beautiful Light”
VOICE 2018 - Finalist in the category “Womanhood”

2017
Monochrome Awards 2017, International Black & White Photography Contest, honorable mention in “People” category (amateur)

VOICE 2017 - Finalist in the category “Culture & Travel”

2016
VOICE 2016 - Best in the category “Street”
VOICE 2016 - Finalist in the category “Color”
VOICE 2016 - Finalist in the category “Night & Low Light”

2015
VOICE 2015 - Best in the category “Street”

JURIED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020
Monochrome Exhibition, Blank Wall Gallery, Athens, Greece

2019
Women Street Photographers Annual Exhibition, New York
Brussels Street Photography Festival : Women Street Photographers Photo Exhibition
CIP Festival, Chania Greece
Monochrome Exhibition, Blank Wall Gallery, Athens, Greece

2018
CIP Festival, Chania Greece
Monochrome Exhibition, Blank Wall Gallery, Athens, Greece
Fine Art Exhibition, Blank Wall Gallery, Athens, Greece
Street Photography Exhibition, Blank Wall Gallery, Athens, Greece
Rendez Vous Image, Strasbourg, France

2017
Festival Street Photography, Saint Raphaël, France

PUBLICATIONS

2019
Click Magazine - May/June 2019 Issue : Article “Light and Shadow - A Love Story with Drama & Subtlety”
Shots Magazine - The Quarterly Journal of Black and White Photography - No. 143 - Spring 2019 : ORDINARY MAGIC