Winners Photography Day 2021

Juried exhibition 2021 (foto: Ana Gonçalves/Preus museum)

This year, the juried exhibition went international, and we received an incredible 605 entries from photographers who all had something to say about their experiences during the past year. We received stories about drama and crisis and quiet stories about intimacy, longing, hope, and new perspectives. The 48 photographers selected to exhibit at The Day of Photography this year were chosen because they convey something about the experiences of a worldwide pandemic.


The jury was tasked with selecting three award winners and four photographers who would receive honourable mentions. The selected projects are all quite different, but they share one unifying quality, as well as being photographically strong: they somehow instil hope and positivity, something we currently may need in plenty.


1st place

Rebecca Bowring, Switzerland

Knowing thunder gives away what lightning tries to hide.

The jury was impressed by how Rebecca Bowring conveys such a strong story indirectly. The series has a visual language that stirs. She manages to capture emotion through her photographs. We understand that the emotions are strong, but it has been quietly conveyed. She speaks about being in a violent relationship and how photography became a way for her to breathe and escape her partner’s control.

We know that through the pandemic, there has been an abrupt increase in domestic violence. Lockdown and isolation have made the home situation unbearable for many. Rebecca Bowring highlights an important and painful topic in a careful and vulnerable way that makes a mark.

Rebecca Bowring's acceptance speech:


2nd place

Sofia Lopez Mañan, Argentina.

An Elephant’s Journey

The jury had to discuss this contribution carefully because it is slightly off-topic and not directly related to covid-19. However, the story of the African elephant Mara’s journey from a zoo in Argentina to the open landscape in Brazil was deeply touching. The trip was planned for many years, but it was made difficult due to the pandemic. Photographer Sofia Lopez Mañan came along for the entire journey with the elephant. This makes the project much more powerful. The series is beautifully photographed, with a shift of focus away from the people. It is a strong documentary project showing the journey from captivity to freedom. It might also serve as a metaphor for the captivity many people have experienced under the limitations caused by the pandemic.

Sofia Lopez Mañan's acceptance speech:



3. place

Farzam Saleh, Iran.


A captivating, classic documentary with a clear and great visual language. The project shows the freedom that exists at the top of the roof, a form of positive rebellion against the rules that forced the gyms to close due to the pandemic. Highly professional.



Honourable mention

Paolo Quadrini, Italy
Coronavirus Therapy

A very humorous and accomplished series, an active man’s desperation in isolation shines through the pictures. We can see what kind of creative expressions downtime can result in for a creative and active person. An incredible self-portrait that shows how important and necessary activity is. As he said himself: A surrealistic silent cry.


Jorun Larsen, Norway

Breakfast bags/Breakfast poses

An enjoyable project with an artistic approach to a problematic situation, executed using an ‘out of the box’ method. It is very creative, in addition to the self-drawn portraits on the breakfast bags. It is reminiscent of Meatyard and Death Masks.


Charlotte Skomsøy, Norge

 A Year Without Days

A subtle and lovely story about young people and their pandemic experiences: Skomsøy worked with loneliness in young adults using a friendly, non-literal, youthful visual language. Within this project, she focuses on an important topic; young people were among the most affected by the pandemic and lived with the accusations of being the most contagious. The pictures have become a dream about the reality they would much rather be in. Everything is subtle, fragile and fleeting.



Marta Anna Løvberg, Norway

The Social Ill Prevalent

The photographer delivered a stylised series that reflects how one can make the best out of a situation at the brink of desperation. What can you do when you are in isolation? How can you defeat not only a virus but also fear, uncertainty, loneliness and boredom? Within her photographs, Løvberg is using elements that we all connect with the Corona pandemic: disposable gloves, toilet rolls and masks. The aesthetics within the sterile amplify the experience of the pandemic.


You can see the award ceremony here, some of it in English: 

© Rebecca Bowring, Knowing thunder gives away what lightning tries to hide, 2020

© Sofia Lopez Mañan, Argentina, An Elephant’s Journey, 2020

© Farzam Saleh, Iran, Rooftop, 2020

© Paolo Quadrini, Italy, Coronavirus Therapy, 2020

© Jorun Larsen, Frokost-poses, 2020

© Charlotte Skomsøy, A Year Without Days, 2020

© Marta Anna Løvberg, The Social Ill Prevalent 2020