The photograph have no doubt a good image quality thanks to the high but not aggressive sharpness and well calibrated colour balance and saturation. But many people wonder what special this photograph have for award winning?
Many comments I have read about this work is that it is both nice or awkward because of its simpleness. Nothing much special technically. "It's a snap shot", "it's like Polaroid from early 70s" or "it may be how the photographer introduced the work".
I actually like the argument that the work introduction, or concept, may have influenced the award. It is how it works for everything today: Introduction and concept. And maybe this is why so many people are "uncomfortable" about it. Without any caption this photograph doesn't tell much, seems incomplete.
But I read somebody's comment saying this photograph is art because it is True: "Very few photographs represent authentic beauty without impostura (acting, make up, clothes, photoshop...). This is much more difficult than a pic technicaly perfect but lifeless".
I agree that true work or art, specially photographs, are not very common specially now a days, and I don't know if it is rare enough to make this photograph from Laura Pannack a award winner. But I like this approach of evaluating what is a good work and specially on what is art.