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Leica Oskar Barnack Award Honour Street Photographer

Leica Oskar Barnack Award Honour Street Photographer - Street photographer Michael Goldberg has been honoured by the Leica Oskar Barnack Award.

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Michael Goldberg
One of Michael Goldberg's street photography images.
A street photographer has been honoured by the Leica Oskar Barnarak Award.

Michael Goldberg, an Australian street photographer, was named among the 'Best of Ten' finalists in this year's awards, which saw a record 2,800 entries from professional photographers in 101 countries. The award is now in its 33rd year, and is named in honour of Oskar Barnack, the German engineer who invented the 35mm camera.

Goldberg walked the streets of Madrid, New York, Bangkok and Sydney for his winning series, which presents a psychological kaleidoscope of characters caught in his flash the way spotlights isolate actors onstage. Blending a documentary approach with the lighting techniques of staged photography, the portraits have a baroque gravity which moves the viewer to ponder whether a scene has been found or posed.

Goldberg said: "I wanted to blur the line between fact and fiction by playing candid street photography off against the more artificial look of theatrically-staged photography. The photos are unposed, but the strobe light creates a sense of heightened drama associated with the fictional world of cinema and advertising."

Goldberg photographed hundreds of passers-by over three years, eventually editing the final series down to ten portraits. Goldberg said: "It's like casting pedestrians as characters in an imaginary movie."

Based in Los Angeles, Michael Goldberg works as a photographer on both commercial and personal projects. His winning series, along with the other ten best entries, will be exhibited in Arles at the photo festival Rencontres d'Arles (until 23 September, 2012).

See his complete series: Michael Goldberg

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