Photography was not considered art in the 20th century. Instead, it was considered mechanical because it didn't "elevate the imagination" like fine art does.
Photographer and art promoter Alfred Stieglitz was instrumental in pushing for the medium to be brought into the art world. The camera, like a pencil or a paintbrush, is a tool and can be used to create images as well as capturing them.
Today, art photography has expanded to include other processes, including documentary.
For the first time, LensCulture has given 38 photographers awards for submitting works that covered "different approaches and photographic techniques" that challenge what art photography is. The winning images were thought-provoking, intimate, conceptual, and inspiring.
Awards were given for single images and for series of photos. Cash prizes will be given to the first place winners of the Series and Single Image awards as well as the winners of the Juror's Picks. All winners, finalists, and jurors' picks will be included in a digital exhibition hosted by LensCulture as well as presented at the Aperture Gallery in 2019. The selected work will also be screened at photo festivals worldwide throughout the year.
The gallery shows the winning photos and finalists.