Kebab seller image wins international food photo contest

Image source, Debdatta Chakraborty

A photo of a street food vendor working at a smoke-covered oven has won a major food photography award.

Debdatta Chakraborty was named as the overall winner of Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2022 for an image titled Kebabiyana, which was taken in Srinagar, in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The Indian photographer took the picture on a busy street at night, as vendors fired up charcoal ovens to prepare wazwan kebabs and other street food.

“In today’s world, more than ever, we feel the need for comfort, for love,” says awards founder and director Caroline Kenyon.

“There is so much to reassure us here – the beautifully captured billowing embrace of the smoke, the golden light, the subject’s expression as he prepares the food for sharing.

“Sparks fly from the skewers, whose roasting we can almost smell. We imagine the warm, delicious aroma.

“This image, gentle but powerful, nourishes our soul.”

Thousands of entries were submitted from more than 60 countries across the world, and the winners were announced online via a livestreamed event.

Here are some of the competition category winners, with descriptions by the photographers.

Champagne Taittinger Food for Celebration: Traditional Skill, by Chen Ying, China

Image source, Chen Ying
Image caption,

“Taken in a small farmhouse in Qianlian Village, Xiangyou County, Putian City, Fujian Province. A family gathers around to make rice or mung bean-filled dumplings. They use a wooden seal to stamp the words ‘fortune’ or ‘happiness’ into the red dough, and steam the dumplings in a large steamer. This tradition means that the New Year will be welcomed with reunion and the coming year will be prosperous.”

Food at the Table: Putting On The Ritz, by John Carey, UK

Image source, John Carey
Image caption,

“The Arts de la Table tableside theatre is a big part of The Ritz restaurant experience.”

Fujifilm Award for Innovation: Central Park, by Yuliy Vasilev, Bulgaria

Image source, Yuliy Vasilev
Image caption,

“The image is part of my ongoing project called Foodtopia – a miniature world created with food items.”

The Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers: At The Table, by Marguerite Oelofse, South Africa

Image source, Marguerite Oelofse
Image caption,

“Celebrating African heritage, fused with a touch of inspiration from French Post-Impressionist artist, Henri Matisse. The painter-like aesthetic in my photography creates a three-dimensional feeling by using bold colours, form and textures. These elements are native to our diverse South African culture. At the Table is a celebration of the fruits of our freedom.”

On the Phone: Drying Stockfish, by Kasia Ciesielska-Faber, UK

Image source, Kasia Ciesielska-Faber
Image caption,

“In the Lofoten archipelago, Norway, stockfish racks have become part of the landscape. The cod is preserved by drying on large racks with no salt or smoke required, as the temperatures are just below freezing. The climate is perfect for outdoor stockfish production.”

Politics of Food: Where Dreams Fly Away, by K M Asad, Bangladesh

Image source, K M Asad
Image caption,

“A little girl collects water with her older sister in the Chad Uddan slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh in September 2021. In the urban slum areas, people have access to fresh water only twice a day – in the morning and evening.”

Food Stylist Award: Summer Veg Tart, by Carolin Strothe, Germany

Image source, Carolin Strothe
Image caption,

“Celebrating summer with this spectacular veg tart – topped with buffalo mozzarella, feta, heirloom tomatoes, pea pods, spring onions and corn flowers.”

Young (10 and under): Processing Fish, by Rupkotha Roy Barai, Bangladesh

Image source, Rupkotha Roy Barai
Image caption,

“Village woman are processing the raw fish which are collected locally.”

Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year – Overall Winner: Gathering Prunings on Corton Hill, by Jon Wyand, UK

Image source, Jon Wyand
Image caption,

“Winter prunings gathered in the vineyards of Corton Hill in Burgundy.”

One Vision Imaging Cream of the Crop: Carrot Field Forever, by Paolo Grinza and Silvia Vaulà, Italy

Image source, Paolo Grinza and Silvia Vaulà
Image caption,

“This image is part of a photographic series based on the concept of ‘hands at work’. Developed for the restaurant Etiko Bistrot (Turin, Italy) on behalf of Plastikwombat – Photography Art and Concept.”

Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year (South East Asia): Anchovy Catching, by Thien Nguyen Ngoc, Vietnam

Image source, Thien Nguyen Ngoc
Image caption,

“The soft light of a new day illuminates the smoke from the fishing boat engine and the shape of green nets moving underneath the water surface when local fishermen pull in their nets. Many local fishing families along the coastline of Phu Yen province will follow the near-shore currents to catch anchovy during peak season. Salted anchovy is the most important raw ingredient used to create traditional fish sauce – the spirit of Vietnamese cuisine.”

All photographs courtesy Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2022. An exhibition of the finalists will be be held at The Royal Photographic Society, in Bristol, from 20 November – 12 December 2022.

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