A series showing the “rampant urban growth” of Portland, in the US state of Oregon, has won the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2020.
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
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
“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
Second-place single: Anonymous, by Stuart Paton, from Italy
All photographs courtesy LensCulture