Time to dust your lens cap off and focus

Whether experienced through news media, art, advertising or social media, photography very much surrounds us in both public and private space. As a way of expression, it’s increasingly influencing our way of life with more and more people taking on the role as keen amateur photographers and picture sharers. People are snapping and sharing away, using applications such as mobile photo app Instagram and online pinboard Pinterest to illustrate whatever is on their minds through the medium of photography.

As taking and sharing aesthetically pleasing photos becomes something anyone can do, it seems relevant to put this everyday use of the medium into perspective through a festival that is centred around professional photography.

Now in its third year, the Copenhagen Photo Festival presents professional photography throughout the city. Founded in 2010, the festival serves as a platform to promote photo-related activities throughout Copenhagen, many of which are happening at the Photo City at the Carlsberg premises.

Last year, the festival had 25,000 official visitors and its organisers are expecting an increased number this year as it has gained popularity overseas. Compared to last year, the number of applicants has more than doubled. This year, the festival has received 250 applications from photographers in 24 countries.

“It’s amazing to receive applications all the way from countries as diverse as Russia, Brazil and Japan. In only three years, we have succeeded in gaining international recognition and this is something we are very proud of,” says Julie Klitbo, the head and co-founder of the festival, who along with the selection board has evaluated around 4,000 submitted pieces.

A major feature of the festival is to introduce photography to the people and bring it down to street level, so to speak. This means that not only galleries and museums are exhibiting, but also streets and city squares. In addition to this, all exhibitions are free of charge.

“From the beginning, an important part of our vision behind the festival has been to present photography of a high standard without expecting visitors to pay for the experience,” says the festival’s other co-founder Rasmus Ranum. “Due to the sponsors, volunteers, the strong commitment of the city’s museums and galleries and, of course, the exhibiting photographers, we have the chance to maintain a high artistic level of ambition and at the same time offer free admission. This is something we are very thankful for.”

This year’s festival programme differs from last year’s programme as it has more artist talks, workshops and events. To top that off, 2012 is the centenary of the Danish press photographers’ union (the oldest of its kind in the world), and the festival is marking this by putting on several exhibitions of the press photographers’ work throughout Copenhagen. Some of you may already have seen their exhibition at Kongens Nytorv.

The festival goes on for ten days, and anyone making their way through Copenhagen between June 7 and 17 stands a good chance at bumping into some world-class photography, either randomly on a city street or at one of the many galleries involved in the event.

Copenhagen Photo Festival
Various locations throughout Copenhagen; starts Thu (June 7), ends June 17;  free adm; www.copenhagenphotofestival.com