Africa Geographic has just disqualified Björn Persson, its 2019 Photographer of the Year. His photo of an elephant named Tim won this year’s contest. However, the judges later discovered that the image doesn’t accurately reflect Tim’s look. It turned out that Persson overdid it with photo manipulation, so he’s been stripped of his award and a new contest winner has been announced.
Eye-rolls, shrugs, and barbs greeted the $120,000 Grand Prize winner of Dubai’s HIPA Photography Prize. Malaysian photographer Edwin Ong’s photo of a partially blind Vietnamese woman carrying her baby was derided for representing yet another “poverty porn” contest winner before it was suggested that the image was staged by photographer Ab Rashid.
In recent years I’ve been privileged to be on the jury for a whole range of photography competitions. These include single image competitions such as WPS International Excellence Awards, Masters of Wedding Photography and the Irish wedding photography awards (In association with Learning to Fly). And with a different focus, I’ve judged a couple of competitions which require a series of images to be submitted forming a documentary narrative. Thes were MyWed Nikon Wedding Photographer of the Year and This is Reportage Awards. I’ll create a separate blog post with my thoughts about judging these competitions and what I learned along the way. This post is really about competitions in general and why photographers should be entering them. And no, they aren’t fixed. They are just subjective (IMHO, please don’t shoot me!).
Winners of the 2018 Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest have just been announced. This is the tenth year of the competition, and just like before, the winning images didn’t disappoint. The judges had a difficult task of selecting 31 out of 4,200 images from 91 countries. But the selected best of the best will take your breath away.
Junebug Weddings, one of the world’s most popular online wedding planning resources, has recently finished their 10th annual contest. Out of nearly 9,000 images, they selected the top 50 wedding photos from around the world. We have selected some of them, and it’s a gallery of strong emotions and wonderful moments captured on camera.
In August this year, we presented you with beautiful shortlisted images of Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 contest. The winners of nine categories are officially announced today, along with the overall winner. There were over 3800 entries taken from over 90 countries across the globe. We bring you the best images according to the contest judges.
National Geographic has announced the winners of their annual Travel Photographer of the Year photo contest. From over 15,000 entries from photographers in more than 30 countries, the grand prize went into hands of Sergio Tapiro Velasco from Mexico.
The winning photo displays a magnificent sight of an erupting volcano hit by a bolt of lightning. And even though this is the winning image, the rest of them aren’t anything less stunning. Take a look at the gallery of the winning images of the NatGeo’s prestigious photography competition.
Sydney artist Justine Varga recently won the $20,000 Olive Cotton Award for a portrait photo of her grandmother. Only, her work is not really a portrait, nor it’s a photo (at least not in conventional terms).
In Justine’s work titled Maternal Line, the grandmother doesn’t appear in the image at all. Instead, there are only her pen scribbles and traces of her saliva on a piece of film. And as expected, the fact that this work was rewarded the main prize sparked an outcry within the photographic community, leading even to some hate emails for one of the judges.
I was sitting in my dorm room at Arizona State University. To my left I had my Xbox on (as it was pretty much 24/7) with some racing game on pause. In front of me I had my future, for I was entering a photography competitionthat I believed would make me famous and rich beyond my wildest dreams. To this day, I can’t remember if I won any prize in that specific competition, but I remember that was the genesis of the idea that photo competitions were how you become successful in this career.
As I grew in my career, I paid less attention to trying to win competitions and focused more on learning my craft and developing a style that would serve my clients well. In the same way that I worried schooling for photography would train my eye to be generic, I worried that results (be it good or bad) in a photography competition would jade the direction of my style. So for that, and many other reasons, I decided to save the money that I would spend entering them and put it towards camera gear.