The coronavirus pandemic — and the restrictions that have come with it — has changed the way people work in many fields, and photography is no exception. For some photographers, the time in isolation has led to some creative solutions for doing their work safely and from a distance.
The PHmuseum Open Call for Mobile Photography has yielded some true gems that reflect on isolation, connection, nature, and technology. Full disclosure, I was a judge for this open call, and I can honestly say that the other judges and I had a tough time picking finalists. We ended up with a short list of 55 images and managed to narrow it down to 12 finalists, which were announced on July 28. The first-prize image by Alessandro Gaja depicts a family having a meal, taken through a long lens that distorts the perspective. "The edge of the circle created a small world within the image, a world of their own, somehow distanced from the larger world. Just like that, the image of one family becomes a universal image," Sarker Protick, one of the judges, observed.
The images were all taken using a mobile phone, and while the photo did not have to be taken during the pandemic, we did want to reflect the spirit of the time: the boredom, the surreality, and the intimacy of suddenly being in close quarters. Here are some of the final selects, and a few favorites just for fun.