Two strangers captured in a tender embrace after a Western Bulldogs football game has won the Picturing Footscray Photography Prize, selected by judge Jesse Marlow from 170 entries.

    Winning photographer Nathan Stolz froze this moment on film, in low-light conditions, in the iconic Footscray Hotel. He was particularly enamoured by the contrast of the patrons with the rowdy heritage of the local pub. The judge, Jesse Marlow, recognised and appreciated the difficulties of the situation and said that the photograph jumped out at him straight away when he saw the entries.

    “I can only imagine it was challenging to take both technically and for having the courage to bring the camera to the eye in a situation many photographers might shy away from.”

    Advance, 2018, by Pier Carthew

    Described as a quiet and understated photo that captured the ‘Old and New’ theme of the competition, Advance by Pier Carther took home the $1,000 second prize, and Shannon McDonald’s stunning portrait of her son Caleb with the backdrop of the Bunbury Bridge won $500 for third prize. Footscray Suburban Auto by Suzanne Phoenix was highly commended.

    Caleb by the Bunbury Street Bridge, 2016, by Shannon McDonald

    Picturing Footscray is an open-entry photography prize that focuses on Melbourne’s unique inner-west suburb Footscray. In its third year, the Prize invited photographers of all capabilities to explore the streets. Capturing a range of scenes including markets, the bustling Footscray train station, street art and local personalities, the exhibition presents incredibly diverse interpretations of the people and places of Footscray.

    All entries are currently on display at VU at MetroWest until Friday 8 June.

    The $500 People’s Choice Award is now open for entries.

    View the entries and vote online at link).

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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