2020 Critical Mass Top 50!

Take a look!

Critical Mass

The Critical Mass 2021 Finalists have been announced, check our blog to see the list!

Critical Mass is an annual online program that makes connections within the photography community. Photographers at any level, from anywhere in the world, submit a portfolio of 10 images. Through a pre-screening process, the field is narrowed to a group of 200 finalists who go on to have their work viewed and voted on by over 200 esteemed international photography professionals (please check out the "success stories" page for connections made in Critical Mass). From the Finalist group, the TOP 50 are named and a series of awards are given. This year we are pleased to offer:

Michael Reichmann Project Development Grant - five Finalists will be awarded $1000 cash to go towards the development of a current or future project.

Blue Sky Gallery Solo Show Award – a Finalist will be awarded a solo exhibition at Blue Sky in Portland, Oregon.

Group show award - a number of participants from the Finalist group will be part of a curated exhibition in a very cool place - stay tuned for details! (pending)

Fraction Feature Award – ten Finalists will be selected to be featured on Fraction Magazine in a dedicated Critical Mass Issue, selected by Bree Lamb.

Humble Highlight Award – five finalists will receive individual deep dive interviews on Humble Arts Foundation's blog, selected by Humble's Jon Feinstein and Roula Seikaly

Print Collecting Initiative Award – each of the 200 Finalists will receive a limited edition signed print ("Selah, 2020" - from the series 'Because the Sun Hath Looked Upon Me') by Granville Carroll. This award is generously sponsored by Hahnemühle.

Gifted Book Award - 25 Critical Mass Finalists will received a copy of 'Running, Falling, Flying, Floating, Crawling' (Saint Lucy Books, 2021), edited by Mark Alice Durant.

Merit-Based Scholarships - selected photographers (with a focus on students) will have the entry fee to Critical Mass waived and the finalist fee waived if juried into the Top 200, as well as guidance from Photolucida. Nominations are now closed and selected photographers have been notified!

* The Critical Mass 2019 Top 50 Exhibition has been rescheduled to open at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California! (exhibition dates are August 7 - September 12, 2021) *
Mila Teshaieva

Critical Mass Books

Over the years, Photolucida has offered book awards as part of our Critical Mass programming. Photolucida publishes and distributes these titles, and gives copies of the books to all participating photographers and jurors on the years the award is given.


Past titles have been collaborative efforts with publishers such as Daylight Books and Kehrer Verlag. Check out our library of current publications as well as our backlist!