Meet the 500px International Images Awards High-quality Artwork Class Winner

The 2022 500px International Images Awards serves creatives working with pictures and supplies them an opportunity to showcase their talent and be rewarded for it. The second version of the competitors consisted of six classes: Technical, Storytelling, Business Content material, Documentary, High-quality Artwork, and Panorama. Immediately on the weblog we’re speaking with the winner of the Fine Art class, Elena Paraskeva, as she tells us extra concerning the picture.

Hello Elena, please introduce your self.

Consider it or not, my masters was in finance, and my profession within the US was first as a Director of Analytics after which as a Advertising and marketing Govt for Nestle Waters.

I’m utterly self-taught, by no means attended a single workshop, and fast-forward a decade later, my work is at present on exhibition on the European Parliament in Brussels.

I’m a devoted Adobe Teacher, instructing 1000’s on my course of, and I’m a decide for a number of the world’s most esteemed pictures competitions together with for the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.

Keeping The Distance by Elena Paraskeva Studio on

The profitable picture: “Holding the Distance”

What made you gravitate to this fashion of pictures—pushing the boundaries of illustration and creating work extra conceptual in nature?
I take into account myself to be a fancy individual, and as such, I would like my interplay with the viewer to happen in a extra complicated, contextual house the place the which means and intention isn’t immediately obtainable to know. A extra concerned dialog of the minds must occur for the unraveling of the unique concept to be attained.


Are you able to inform us the way you deliberate and executed the shoot for the “Holding the Distance” picture?
The actual picture is a part of an 8-image sequence that has been featured extensively in magazines around the globe. The venture was really created proper after our lockdowns ended. It was a surreal time if you concentrate on it, the concern, and the necessity to distance ourselves was so intense, all of us went by a never-before-seen degree of social deprivation. The venture explores society’s awkward makes an attempt at re-integration, utilizing humor and coloration.


There are such a lot of components inside this picture. Was it a problem working with so many components of coloration, props, and fashions?
I’ve a course of once I create a sequence, and all of it begins with me writing down the storyline and the message. I then scout for areas and take footage of every body inside this location. As soon as I’ve honed in on the particular frames, I elaborate on the composition, writing down the poses, the props, the clothes, and, after all, the particular lighting for use. All the things is predetermined manner earlier than the day of the shoot, nothing is left to probability. In that sense, it’s straightforward on the day of the shoot, I do know precisely what I’m going for.


Do you may have a favourite picture in your 500px Profile and why?
I’m all the time extra emotionally linked to a sequence quite than particular person photos, due to the intrinsic message behind them and the time funding. However If I had to decide on a picture or two, I’d say the “Cubist” (I & II) as a result of they’re so consultant of my conceptual fashion and sensibility.


All photographers have their most well-liked gear. What’s yours, and what instruments did you utilize to create “Keeping the Distance”?
I’m a Nikon photographer, so all my gear (digicam and lenses) is Nikon. I don’t have a favourite lens to be trustworthy, as a result of I discover that every lens has its personal worth relying on the kind of shoot concerned. If I’m doing a wonderful artwork portrait, I take advantage of an extended lens, but when I’m doing a vogue shoot, I take advantage of a wide-angle one, and I really love the distortion.

This specific sequence was environmentally based mostly and all the weather within the body wanted to be in focus, so I used a wide-angle lens mounted on my tripod. Lighting was the identical for each picture within the sequence, as I wish to have light-cohesiveness, and because it was a harsh and really vivid day, the purpose was to make use of the solar as the primary supply, and the strobes because the secondary supply that removed the tough shadows. For that reason, I used massive octaboxes for even protection.


Framing and taking the shot is simply a sliver of what it takes to make a powerful picture. The opposite equally vital half is enhancing, how did you utilize enhancing instruments to raise your picture?
That is very true, enhancing performs a major function in my work. For this specific sequence, I used Photoshop to merge all of the completely different exposures I created for every scene since I used to be working with a single mannequin. I additionally performed with coloration to be sure that the color-blocking I envisioned could be the identical for every picture. Shade grading for me is the final step of the method and it’s what separates a very good picture from a fantastic picture!


When submitting your work to the awards, how did you choose out of your numerous portfolio and determine on one of the best photos? Curation is usually a battle for creatives so do you may have any tips about be selective and intentional with regards to submitting your work to competitions?
All of it comes right down to which competitors you’re submitting to. Analysis previous winners to see what the competitors gravitates in direction of. Is it realism, rawness, documentary-style pictures, or very stylized, pop, colourful, or surreal imagery?

For instance, the Lensculture and Sony competitions require very completely different imagery from say the ICA, Chromatica Awards, IPA, FAPA and so on. The primary competitions love and respect extra documentary fashion pictures and present issue-based imagery, whereas the latter award the sudden and the extra technically based mostly.

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