Black+White Photographer of the Year 2012 Winners Announced

November 14, 2012 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions | Comment |

The winners of this year’s Black+White Photographer of the Year competition have just been announced. The overall winner is Clayton Bastiani, a fine art photographer specialising in providing imagery for the book cover industry. His prize is a Leica M Monochrom complete with a Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 lens. Antal Bánhegyesy from Transylvania and Tori Khambhaita from London have scooped the title of Young Photographer of the Year. Category winners include Adrian Bowd (The Human Spirit), Rinzing Kelsang (This is Life) and Gary Groucutt (The Living World). The winners will be announced formally at an exclusive event at the Leica studio in Mayfair, London on 15th November.

Black+White Photography Magazine Press Release


The search for the Black+White Photographer of the Year 2012 is complete! And this year Black+White Photography magazine teamed up with Leica to offer the overall winner a fabulous prize – the world’s first digital camera with a black & white only sensor – with lens, worth over £8,000. In its seventh year, the Black+White Photographer of the Year has become a hugely successful international competition. This year a record number of 6,000 images were entered in total (including some disqualified colour images!), with strong competition coming from UK and Polish photographers.

Black+White Photographer of the Year (overall winner)
1st place: Clayton Bastiani (Isle of Wight,
Runner up: Colin Summers (Essex,

Clayton Bastiani describes his journey in to a career of photography and how he composed his winning images.

Can you tell us about yourself and how you got in to photography?
Clayton Bastiani: I am a fine art photographer specializing in providing imagery for the book cover industry. My photographs have been used on the covers of almost 400 books in 23 countries. I decided to quit my job as a bookseller in my local bookstore after receiving positive comments through an earlier competition hosted by Black+White Photography magazine. I am very much enjoying the journey so far.

How did you come to enter the competition?
CB: I wasn’t sure that I would be able to enter the competition this year as my father died suddenly at the end of March and this had a huge impact on my creativity and output. I managed to set aside some time close to the competition deadline to see what I could come up with. I knew I wanted to work with photograms - a technique from photographic history made famous by the likes of Man Ray, a major photographic influence to me. I’ve been making contemporary photograms for a few years, but only recently started to manipulate them afterwards using photo editing software to steer them away from a clinical and precise result to one that is more creative.

How did you compose your winning images?
CB: I looked through my numerous boxes of stuff (bits of plastic, glass, paper, insects, etc…) and took some scissors to the garden. Nothing seemed to work at first. Then the images just came together, as if they were waiting to be discovered. My dad was a carpenter and always spoke of understanding the grain in a piece of wood. That is the closest I can get to explain these images. They wanted to happen, but I first had to understand what they wanted from me. They will mean different things to different people depending on their own set of experiences, but I loosely felt that they hinted at: life, death, courtship and the damselfly became a symbol of change. I thought the glove image was finished until I added an x-ray of my dad’s hand. It seemed a fitting tribute and I’m sure he’ll be pleased.

Where do you find your inspiration?
CB: My work is nearly always personal and is often about trying to express the inner world. I believe it is not the pictures I take, but the pictures I make that I am most pleased with. I find it incredibly hard to leave a picture as it is. I love experimenting and the challenge of pushing the medium and my skills ever forward. I often look to the past for ideas to take with me into the future and I am aware that not everything works first time, but I have come to understand that to be a necessary part of the experimental process.

The Human Spirit: 1st place: Adrian Bowd (East Sussex)
Runner up: Przemyslaw Kruk (Poland,

This is Life: 1st place: Rinzing Kelsang (Nottingham,
Runner up: Sheila Rock (London,

The Living World: 1st place: Gary Groucutt (Wombourne,
Runner up: Richard Garvey-Williams (Newton Abbot,

Young Black+White Photographer of the Year (under 25s):
Joint 1st place: Tori Khambhaita (London)
Joint 1st place: Antal Bánhegyesy (Romania)

The winners will be announced formally at an exclusive event at the Leica studio in Mayfair, London on 15th November. The images will then be on display at an exhibition at theprintspace on Kingsland Road, London throughout December.

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