Innovative photo winners of the PHM grant

On Wednesday the winners of the PHmuseum 2017 Women Photographers Grant were announced.

Looking through the grantees, there were some very unique ideas about how to think outside the box for a typical photo essay. Here are a few we wanted to highlight.

The Island of the Colorblind by Sanne de Wilde

This project is about a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, Pingelep. After a storm devastated the island in the 18th century, the king, who was one of the survivors, had arare achromatopsia-gene that causes complete colorblindness”. He had several children and many of the islanders today are his descendants. As a result, a large number of people on the island suffer from this disorder which essentially means they see the world in black and white.

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Sanne’s project looks at the idea of color from the perspective of someone who doesn’t see it – and what does that mean for them. She created the project using ‘normal’ digital images converted to black and white with Photoshop (shot with Nikon D810) and infrared images (shot with Nikon D700, to IR converted body) shot in Pohnpei & Pingelap in November 2015. The third series within the project are the achromatic picture-paintings.

You can see more of the work on her website or on the PHmuseum page.

Variation of White by Miia Autio

This project deals with the issue of albinism from a unique perspective. The photographer, Miia Autio took portraits of women who suffered from this congenital disorder in Tanzania, a country where people are persecuted for being albino.

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The portraits are negative images of the originals, and a red dot is placed in the middle of the frame. Only by staring at the dot for thirty seconds and then looking at a white wall can a viewer see the original portrait. As Miia explains about her project “The truth is revealed only after closer examination, but the original image is also viewable through an optical illusion. The illusion, a negative after image, is created when the brain is too slow to interpret the information provided by the eye. Equally, time and closer examination can change our personal prejudices. Variation of White strives to get the viewers to question the way they construct their own reality.”

She also created a video about an albino beauty contest in Tanzania to accompany the project:

Miss Albino from Miia Autio

There are several other interesting projects that won this year. It’s worth your time to take a deep dive into these photo essays and see the unique perspectives these women photographers created.

By Tara Todras-Whitehill

Tara worked as a staff photographer for the Associated Press for four years in the Middle East, covering the uprisings, revolutions and numerous elections in the Arab world. Her photography has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic and Washington Post, among many others. She also works on personal projects focused on women's issues. Her passion is trying to portray strong women changing their lives and the world around them.

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