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Graduate Photography Online 2013
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Special Guest Selector - Dagmar Seeland

Special Guest Selection by:

Dagmar Seeland

UK Picture Editor at Stern

Overview: It has been an enjoyable and enriching experience to be given a glimpse of the near future of photography as expressed in this year's graduate works. I noted several tendencies: The decline in the use of found photography continues, whilst the use of and experimentation with traditional methods such as film and printing techniques appears to be as popular as ever. A large number of students are drawn to a personal and emotive style of storytelling which goes hand in hand with a similar tendency in publishing. I was also pleased to see so many works in the documentary/photojournalism category, much of which straddled two or more genres. This may be evidence of a greater flexibility in preparation for life as a photographer in a still very challenging professional environment. My choices are of course greatly influenced by my work as a photo editor: In any category I look for a clear concept or narrative and a confident, well thought-out execution that lets the work speak for itself. Where both are present, the written concept and the photography generally tend to be in tune.

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Billie Cawte

University of Portsmouth - BA (Hons) Photography

Billie Cawte - University of PortsmouthBillie Cawte - University of PortsmouthBillie Cawte - University of PortsmouthBillie Cawte - University of Portsmouth

Selector's Comment: The idea behind 'Scenic Tourist' is a very strong and creative one. This is the point where I have to confess to a problematic relationship with the phrase 'exploring the relationship'. All too often it becomes a get-out clause for a lack of a clear concept since it is easy to construe a relationship between any two or more things. In the case of The Scenic Tourist, the word juxtaposition would have been a more appropriate term for the holiday images from a distant past superimposed onto a lifeless present-day urban landscape. The execution could have been more self-explanatory throughout, such as in the style of the tea house, but the concept convinces.

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James Devine

University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Coleg Sir Gar - BA (Hons) Photography

James Devine - University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Coleg Sir GarJames Devine - University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Coleg Sir GarJames Devine - University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Coleg Sir GarJames Devine - University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Coleg Sir GarJames Devine - University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Coleg Sir Gar

Selector's Comment: Nature is undoubtedly the world's most underrated artist, as these incredible images of the structure of bluestone show. Devine is clearly in tune with the natural world around him and, like a David Maisel in reverse, opens our eyes to something as small, ubiquituous and overlooked as it is exquisite.

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Laurence Harding

University of Westminster - BA (Hons) Photography

Laurence Harding - University of WestminsterLaurence Harding - University of WestminsterLaurence Harding - University of WestminsterLaurence Harding - University of WestminsterLaurence Harding - University of Westminster

Selector's Comment: The environmental portrait sits somewhere between portraiture and documentary. It is a great vehicle for human interest features, which is why magazines such as ours like it. Laurence Harding's project 'House of Cards' convicingly juxtaposes the dreams and aspirations of today's graduates with the stark realities of mass youth unemployment and an uncertain, insecure future, an issue which is much talked about but rarely visualised in such a striking manner.

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Mark Hilton

University of Portsmouth - BA (Hons) Photography

Mark Hilton - University of PortsmouthMark Hilton - University of PortsmouthMark Hilton - University of PortsmouthMark Hilton - University of PortsmouthMark Hilton - University of Portsmouth

Selector's Comment: Anyone building his own camera deserves recognition. But that is not why I chose Mark Hilton's series of portraits. I did so rather because of their unique aesthetic which is impossible to achieve with all the modern technology at our disposal. Clearly still at an experimental stage, Hilton's pictures transport us back some 150 years, to somewhere well before the era of the stars of silent movies. This technique, once perfected, could become a fascinating narrative tool.

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Briony Oates

University of Wales, Newport - BA (Hons) Documentary Photography

Briony Oates - University of Wales, NewportBriony Oates - University of Wales, NewportBriony Oates - University of Wales, NewportBriony Oates - University of Wales, NewportBriony Oates - University of Wales, Newport

Selector's Comment: Oates's excellently observed images of self-absorbed and isolated participants in 'social' networking elicit a response of painful recognition: aren't we all doing that at times? What does it do to us as a society? And are we really better connected? The series involves, provokes and challenges the viewer and opens up an important debate. Street photography at its best.

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Amy Simpson

UCA Rochester - BA (Hons) Photography (Contemporary Practice)

Amy Simpson - UCA RochesterAmy Simpson - UCA RochesterAmy Simpson - UCA RochesterAmy Simpson - UCA RochesterAmy Simpson - UCA Rochester

Selector's Comment: The personal experience of ageing, mortality and loss of someone close features in many works. The competition was strong, but my favourite here is Amy Simpson's project 'To Sheila'. In five evocative stills Simpson documents how the person she knew and loved quite literally 'fades away' until there is only a memory left. A personal story which anyone who has experienced dementia at first hand can relate to is narrated in a way that words almost cannot express.

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Gary Woods

University of Central Lancashire - BA (Hons) Photography

Gary Woods - University of Central LancashireGary Woods - University of Central LancashireGary Woods - University of Central LancashireGary Woods - University of Central LancashireGary Woods - University of Central Lancashire

Selector's Comment: Gender issues were the subject of a number of works. Some projects were executed with great sensitivity and clear personal involvement, but none managed to inject humour into the debate as well as 'The Little Merman' by Gary Woods did. This reinterpretation of Anderson's tale is told in dreamlike images with a nod to Tim Walker. A story for our time, convincingly narrated and tapping directly into topical social issues still capable of raising eyebrows, such as gay marriage.

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Spacer About the Selector: Spacer Other Selections: Spacer
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Dagmar Seeland has been the UK photo editor for the German weekly Stern magazine for 14 years. She has contributed to other titles, such as the youth magazine Yuno, View and the monthly travel magazine Geo Saison, as well as the bi-annual Stern Photography Portfolios.

Matt Packer »
Curator of Exhibitions and Projects,
Glucksman Gallery, Cork.

Sue Steward »
Photography Critic for the London Evening Standard
and BBC Radio 2 Claudia Winkelman Show.

John Duncan »
Editor, Source Photographic Review.

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Spacer Courses: Spacer Categories: Spacer
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Barking and Dagenham College
BA (Hons) Photography

Bath Spa University
BA (Hons) Photography and Digital Media

Blackpool and the Fylde College
BA (Hons) Photography

Arts University Bournemouth
BA (Hons) Photography

Cambridge School of Art
BA (Hons) Fine Art Photography

Mid Cheshire College
FDA Contemporary Photography

University of Chester
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Cumbria
BA (Hons) Photography

Dublin Institute of Technology
BA (Hons) Photography

IADT Dun Laoghaire
BA (Hons) Photography

Edinburgh College of Art
BA (Hons) Photography

Edinburgh Napier University
BA (Hons) Photography and Film

Falmouth University
BA (Hons) Photography

Falmouth University
BA (Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography

Falmouth University
BA (Hons) Press and Editorial Photography

University for the Creative Arts Farnham
BA (Hons) Photography

Glasgow School of Art
BA (Hons) Fine Art Photography

University of Gloucestershire
BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

University of Gloucestershire
BA (Hons) Fine Art Photography

Griffith College Dublin
BA Photographic Media

Hereford College of Arts
BA (Hons) Photography

Hereford College of Arts
FDA Commercial Photography

Kingston University
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Central Lancashire
BA (Hons) Photography

Leeds College of Art
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Lincoln
BA (Hons) Contemporary Lens Media

London College of Communication
BA (Hons) Photography

Manchester School of Art
BA (Hons) Photography

The National College of Art & Design
Certificate in Photography and Digital Imaging

University of Wales, Newport
BA (Hons) Documentary Photography

Northumbria University
BA (Hons) Contemporary Photographic Practice

Norwich University of the Arts
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Plymouth
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Portsmouth
BA (Hons) Photography

UCA Rochester
BA (Hons) Photography (Contemporary Practice)

Sheffield Hallam University
BA (Hons) Photography

Southampton Solent University
BA (Hons) Photography

Stockport College
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Ulster
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Wales, Trinity Saint David
BA (Hons) Photography

University of Westminster
BA (Hons) Photographic Arts / BA (Hons) Photography

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Documentary/Photojournalism

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Commercial/Fashion

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Landscape

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Portraiture

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Staged/Constructed

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Urban/Suburban Landscape

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