Still life with banana

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The Independent Culture
It's that time of year again. That open competition time - when photographers, both amateur and professional, eagerly respond to the chance of achieving greater fame and fortune. The South Bank Photo Show, which opened in June at the Royal Festival Hall, boasts a wide spectrum of winning styles and genres by London-based snappers, while the John Kobal Portrait Award-winners (in memory of the celebrated movie-still archivist) are set to go on show at the National Portrait Gallery in October.

Meanwhile, it just wouldn't be right if London's best-known specialist photography space didn't make a point of encouraging new talent. And it doesn't disappoint: now in its third year, The Photographers' Gallery's own Annual Open Exhibition was set up with the aim of "offering less established photographers and artists the chance to exhibit alongside well-known names in a major public space".

Accordingly, in the company of "Small World" - Martin Parr's stylish observations of tourism - and "The People, Yes" - the all-American, poetic realism of Jerome Liebling - is a diverse array of work, selected from 500 hopefuls responding to the brief "Enlightenment". Among the best are Portuguese artist Gabriela Ribeiro's banana montages (above), and Sue Murphy's series of images which reveals an overall impression of a girl swinging in the park. But the first prize belongs to Lynn Silverman whose ethereal black-and-white study of falling light continues her theme of "evoking an imaginary space in the shadow world between the site of the photograph and the location of the spectator". So now you know.

'Enlightenment', sponsored by Transitions Optical in association with the Times, Photographers' Gallery, London WC2 (0171-831 1772) 2-26 Aug