Portland’s ‘Avenue of Roses’ wins LensCulture Street Photography Awards

A series showing the “rampant urban growth” of Portland, in the US state of Oregon, has won the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2020.

Image copyright
Kevin Fletcher

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

A group of youths and adults congregate in a residential streetImage copyright
Toby Binder

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

A view onto a street pavement showing a man lying on the groundImage copyright
Michael McIlvaney

“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

People celebrating at night with bonfiresImage copyright
Gabi Ben Avraham

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Lag b’Omer celebrations, a festive day in the Jewish calendar

Second-place single: Anonymous, by Stuart Paton, from Italy

A view through a window into a cafeImage copyright
Stuart Paton

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Photographer Stuart Paton’s “vain quest for an elusive dolce vita”


A group of Jewish people gather next to a buildingImage copyright
Barry Talis

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Spread Eagle, by Barry Talis, from Israel

A sacred cow in a street in IndiaImage copyright
Elizabeth Brooks

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The Cow and the Tailor Shop, Rajasthan, by Elizabeth Brooks, from the US

Crowds gather in Paris as the Notre Dame cathedral burns in the backgroundImage copyright
Cyrus Cornut

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Notre Dame de Paris, 15th of April 2019, by Cyrus Cornut, from France

Two women are seen out shopping in the streetImage copyright
Hugo de Melo

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Untitled 01, Coney Island, by Hugo de Melo, from the US

Two men in the street next to a subway stationImage copyright
Hugo de Melo

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Untitled 02, Penn Station, Manhattan, 2019, by Hugo de Melo, from the US

A young woman with dyed hair looks at her mobile phoneImage copyright
Dougie Wallace

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East Ended, by Dougie Wallace, from the UK

A group of people are seen in a street in LondonImage copyright
Dougie Wallace

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East Ended, by Dougie Wallace, from the UK

A family watch a plane land at an airportImage copyright
Laird Kay

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Planespotter Portraits No. 13, by Laird Kay, from Canada

People perform acrobatics on the beachImage copyright
Moises Levy

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Giant, by Moises Levy, from Mexico

The window of a wedding dress shop lit at nightImage copyright
Sebastian Steveniers

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Sumadija, by Sebastian Steveniers, from Belgium

All photographs courtesy LensCulture