Pixathlon Athens 2014

Experience your city from a different perspective. Let the themes inspire you to discover hidden places. Explore alleys which you haven’t seen before, go to places where you haven’t been for a long time – chase the perfect motive.

Yesterday I took part in a photography competition, more like a photography city run, called Pixathlon. The idea is very simple: You are given 3 subjects and you are free to roam the city, shoot photos and create your own story.

The subjects were relatively easy and open, considering this is a competition that you have limited time and resources and they were mostly 'Street photography' based.

Participants had to submit 4 photos in each category that must have been shot between 10am (start of the competition) and 10pm (end). A jury of creative people comprised by photographers and visual artists will review all the photos and assign the winning ones. At the end of May there will also be an exhibition featuring some of the best photos.

Back to the subjects they were the following 3:

  1. Limits and contrast in the city
  2. Characters (including a self-portrait)
  3. Curves

As they also mention in the short guidelines the provided to us, the subjects are just there to guide us, we had to use our imagination and personal style to choose how we will compose and present our work.

A great thing about these 'Street' competitions is that you are not allowed to do any editing before you submit your work. This ensures that the competition is based on the subject and composition and photographer's skills, rather than gear and Photoshop knowledge.

My camera of choice for this type of photography is the Leica D-Lux 6 (or any small, pocketable camera that I have in hand). Compared to DSLR's or even Rangefinders and ILC's it has so many benefits for quick street photography.

  • First of all it is small, really small and that's a plus when you are out walking for 10 hours. and
  • It creates the best black & white and color jpg's out of the camera using the Dynamic B&W and Dynamic Color film simulations. In these competition you cannot shoot raw so the quality of the jpg file really matters. I like deep blacks and contrast for b&w and vivid colors for color work.
  • You look like a tourist so hardly anybody spots you when you take a photo and if they do they will most probably just ignore you.
  • It's much easier to frame and take that crazy shot using one hand

In the end I had lot's of fun taking part in the event. Plus I got a fun T-shirt with a big rangefinder stamped in the front.

Pixathlon is a relatively new competition, created by young people with passion in photography. I hope they will continue with the event in the years to come with even greater participation.

For more information visit their website: Pixathlon Athens and their Facebook page. I hope to see you there next year!