Small File Photo Festival

11:00am - 08:00pm, Sat 28 Jan 2023

A mini festival encouraging and celebrating small size photography!! 

A clamp holding box that contains a photograph of landscape. "Small File Photo Festival"

Small File Photo Festival

11:00am, Sat 28 Jan 2023

A mini festival encouraging and celebrating small size photography!! 

This event is part of our Past Programme

After three inspiring years of celebrating the Small File Media Festival, The Photographers' Gallery digital programme brings the Small File Photo Festival! 🎉🗜❤️

The first image on the web appeared 30 years ago. It was approximately 12 kilobytes. Today, the average size of an image on the internet is 2100 kilobytes (2.1 MB), while 80% of web traffic consists of visual material. Networks, data centres, and all the devices connecting to them add up to a whopping 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. A recent research study conducted with UK adults shows that unwanted pictures alone, lingering in the cloud, release about 355,000 tonnes of CO2 every year — the equivalent to 112,500 flights from London to Perth, Australia and back.

Camera manufacturers, IT companies and streaming platforms endlessly push for higher resolutions to market their latest products. Meanwhile smaller images offer wider accessibility and circulation, as well as an exciting and diverse range of aesthetic possibilities to explore.

We are demanding—unleash creative r/evolution! We are demanding—destroy the large-file clichés of thinking that prevent us from imaging a world otherwise!

- Small File Media Festival 

The Small File Photo Festival advocates for alternatives to high tech photorealistic aesthetics traditionally linked to notions of truth and objectivity. It aims to encourage experimentation with more efficient digital image formats and their specific visual qualities. This is in connection to the research of Marloes de ValkPhD researcher in a collaborative programme by The Photographers’ Gallery and the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image, on the environmental impact of the networked image. 

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The festival


28 January, 11.00–13.00, £15

Did you ever wondered what the inside of your mobile phone looks like? Want to find out more about the lifecycle of your phone and why we should use our phones for longer? This workshop in collaboration with Restart Project will look at the resources and materials used to create a smartphone, the impact this has on the environment and how repair rather than replacing is more sustainable. Find out more.


28 January, 14.00–16.00, Pay what you can

Artists, developers and researchers Laura Marks, Kyveli Mavrokordopoulou & Giacomo Mercuriali and Øyvind Kolås will give short presentations on their work looking into the environmental impact of networked images. Find out more


28 January, 16.30, Free. Meet outside the Gallery

Join on a retro digital camera photowalk in the streets of central London. Find out more.

Award Ceremony

28 January, 18.30–20.00 (doors open at 18.15)

RSVP essential

Following an Open Call for Small File Photo's from over 400 entries, the jury – Antonio Roberts, Roel Roscam Abbing, Clare Strand and Marloes de Valk – shortlisted 38 submissions for an online exhibition.

This evening we host an award ceremony and launch of the Small File Photo Exhibition. Join us for a drink and the announcement of the winning entries, and get your portrait taken on a Game Boy camera by Antonio Roberts. Find out more.

The Shortlist

Ágota Krnács, Anusha Alamgir, Apostolos Zerdevas, Berta Ibáñez, Christopher Graves, Dina Kelberman, David-Olivier Lartigaud, Devika Pararasasinghe, Dook, Enrico Modena, Eva Roth, Geraint Edwards, Jeanyoon Choi, Jocelyn Allen, John MacLean, Josh Spindler, Jérémie Nuel, Kaye Axon, Lauren Mason, Lian Chan, Maxim Zmeyev, Mateus Domingos, Nasrah Omar, Niamh McBratney, Nika Sandler, Philippa Bloomfield, Polocho, Rachel Hiu Yin, Renaat Nijs, Sabrina Tirvengadum, Sasha Silberman-Hanks, Sergio Ximenez, Sophie Sherwood, Sofia Lee, Steffi Drerup, Tanya Boyarkina, Willa Bury, William J. Brooks.