Winners of Krappy Kamera Contest Unveiled in SoHo

How good can bad photography get? Come see.

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2015 first place winner Kristin Karch submitted Judith in my Apartment Photo: Courtesy SohoPhotoGallery, New York
Ellen Davis won second prize for Foliation Photo: Courtesy SohoPhotoGallery, New York
Third place winner James Rohan's Round the Bend Photo: Courtesy SohoPhotoGallery, New York
Gregg Kemp received an honorable mention for Last Days of Winter Photo: Courtesy SohoPhotoGallery, New York
Alexa Frangos won honorable mention for Through the Gate Photo: Courtesy SohoPhotoGallery, New York
Marky Kauffman won honorable mention for Starburst Photo: Courtesy SohoPhotoGallery, New York
Craig Barber After The Rains Came Solitude Photo: Courtesy SohoPhotoGallery, New York

Move over Catherine Opie and Andreas Gursky! Calling all amateur photographers! And preferably those with the most low-tech cameras available—we’re talking toy and plastic ones.

The winners and dozens of other runners-up of the 17th annual “Krappy Kamera” juried competition go on view at SohoPhotoGallery from February 4–28 (opening reception is on February 3 from 6–8 PM). According to the call for submissions (or the “Kall for Krap” as it has been deemed): “In the hands of an artist, great photographs can be made with basic equipment. To explore this talent, we are searching for extraordinary photographs made with lousy lenses.”

The concept of the show originated with the SoHo Photo Gallery.  What began 22 years ago as a members’ show grew into an international competition, says Krappy Kamera co-chair Myra Hafetz. The competition is juried by someone outside of the gallery and is not open to members. This year’s juror is photojournalist and photographer Miriam Leuchter, editor in chief of Popular Photography as well as editor in chief of American Photo Magazine.

There are 43 winners this year from various  states, including Alaska, Mississippi, and Indiana as well as from Italy, Russia, and Great Britain. First place went to Kristin Karch from Cumming, Georgia; second place went to Ellen Davis from Anchorage, Alaska; and third place went to James Rohan, of Wakefield, Massachusetts.

What do the lucky winners get? Why, Krappy Kameras of course! (They also get gift certificates from sponsors Fujifilm, Lomography, and Freestyle).

As always, the competition was open to any image taken with toy or plastic cameras. “Dianas,” “Holgas,” and  Pinholes are among the most popular examples. As the organizers remind potential contestants: “Remember: it’s the Krappy Kamera Competition—not the Krappy Print Competition.”

In the gallery as part of the show, there are separate exhibits by gallery members. The guest photographer this year is Craig Barber, who is showing work taken in Vietnam. Barber served as a marine there during the Vietnam War. He went back 28 years later and took these photographs with a handmade pinhole camera.


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