Portland's 'Avenue of Roses' wins LensCulture Street Photography Awards

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A series showing the "rampant urban growth" of Portland, in the US state of Oregon, has won the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2020.

A view of a misty street at night with neon motel signImage source, Kevin Fletcher

Kevin Fletcher's photos were taken along a single street known as the Avenue of Roses, less than a mile from where he lives.

"I am drawn to the sublime beauty and stories that exist in places like this, places so normal, so daily, and so banal that we tend to overlook them," Fletcher said.

"The Avenue of Roses used to be the rural outer edge of the city.

"However, consistent urban growth has tsunamied right up to and over it, creating a taught rope of pavement compressed on both sides by gentrification and increased housing prices.

"It has also become a socio-political line that divides the inner portions of the city, epitomised by 'green' modernisation and increasing wealth, from the perimeter neighbourhoods that don't benefit in the same way."

Other winning images show the liveliness of society before lockdowns began in many parts of the world.

Jim Casper, editor-in-chief of LensCulture, an online publication dedicated to contemporary photography, said: "Great photographs and series from 'normal life', just a few months ago now, seem charged with new poignancy as they reflect the liveliness and excitement of human interactions before street life stopped for a while."

Here is a selection of pictures from the 39 other winning photographers, chosen from hundreds of entries from 19 countries.

Second-place series: Wee Muckers - Youth of Belfast, by Toby Rinder, from Germany

Image source, Toby Binder

Toby Binder has been documenting the daily life of teenagers in British working-class communities for more than a decade.

After the Brexit referendum, he focused his work on Belfast.

Third-place series: Subordinate, by Michael McIlvaney from the UK

Image source, Michael McIlvaney

"These images aim to demonstrate, whether actually or conceptually, the daily collisions between one's inner private self and the everyday reality of urban city living," photographer Michael McIlvaney said.

"They form part of a project intended to explore the metaphors associated with this tension: vulnerability, alienation, subordination, fear, threat, isolation, infringement and intrusion."

First-place single: Untitled, by Gabi Ben Avraham, from Israel

Image source, Gabi Ben Avraham
Image caption,
Lag b'Omer celebrations, a festive day in the Jewish calendar

Second-place single: Anonymous, by Stuart Paton, from Italy

Image source, Stuart Paton
Image caption,
Photographer Stuart Paton's "vain quest for an elusive dolce vita"

Finalists

Image source, Barry Talis
Image caption,
Spread Eagle, by Barry Talis, from Israel
Image source, Elizabeth Brooks
Image caption,
The Cow and the Tailor Shop, Rajasthan, by Elizabeth Brooks, from the US
Image source, Cyrus Cornut
Image caption,
Notre Dame de Paris, 15th of April 2019, by Cyrus Cornut, from France
Image source, Hugo de Melo
Image caption,
Untitled 01, Coney Island, by Hugo de Melo, from the US
Image source, Hugo de Melo
Image caption,
Untitled 02, Penn Station, Manhattan, 2019, by Hugo de Melo, from the US
Image source, Dougie Wallace
Image caption,
East Ended, by Dougie Wallace, from the UK
Image source, Dougie Wallace
Image caption,
East Ended, by Dougie Wallace, from the UK
Image source, Laird Kay
Image caption,
Planespotter Portraits No. 13, by Laird Kay, from Canada
Image source, Moises Levy
Image caption,
Giant, by Moises Levy, from Mexico
Image source, Sebastian Steveniers
Image caption,
Sumadija, by Sebastian Steveniers, from Belgium

All photographs courtesy LensCulture