Category "Awards"

Fat Wolves

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I remember my first encounter with a fat wolf. I was researching stock images of wolves for a story we were running in Outside Magazine and I could find nothing I liked. All the wolves from the specific location in the story looked like mangy old flea-bitten dogs. It wasn’t until I widened my search to include any wolf photo available as stock did I discover healthy, strong, wolf looking wolves. Upon further inspection I learned that these were captive wolves (who apparently are well fed).

If you haven’t heard the recent uproar about Spanish wildlife photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez being awarded first place (here) in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest run by the British Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine then being stripped of the award (here) after people called into question the authenticity of the wolf in his winning image (here).

I quickly lost all interest in the controversy when I read this (here):

“José Luis started by placing meat in the corral.”

Great wildlife photography for me is equal parts photography and sport. If baiting the animals is acceptable to the judges who cares if it was captive or wild?

I like what photographer Bob Keefer  has to say (here) about the whole kerfuffle:

But the weirdest thing is, the winning photograph is awful. Whether “real” or staged, it’s utterly cheesy, the kind of demented nature porn that has come to dominate the nature photography market around the world. Who cares if it’s a picture of Ossian? It’s boring, overwrought and melodramatic. The judges knew this when they picked it, referring to its “fairy tale” qualities.

The judges should be fired, both for choosing the photograph in the first place and then for their handling of the complaints about it.

Someone online obviously felt the same way. Why stop with one jumping wolf when you can have 3 and a full moon to boot (UPDATE: obviously an homage to the three wolf moon t-shirt phenomenon that went completely over my head – ape):
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Prix Pictet Award Goes To Nadav Kander

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UPDATE: Jeanette Ward the Publicist from theresasimon.com just called me on the phone to bitch at me for breaking their news embargo on the winner of this prize. I was told all the photographers were very upset that I made the announcement. I think it’s insane that you would email blast bloggers the winner of a prize you haven’t handed out yet. PR at its worst.

Kofi Annan awards £60,000 (CHF100,000) Prix Pictet photography prize for environmental sustainability to Nadav Kander

Nadav Kander (Israel, 1961)
Nominated for Yangtze, The Long River Series, 2006-07
Kandar has documented the rapidly changing landscape and communities of China’s Yangtze River, from its mouth to source. More people live on the river’s 6500km of banks than in America. However, China’s current programme of development is also destroying the country’s heritage and displacing many of its people. Kander is a regular contributor to many international publications, including The New York Times Magazine, for whom he recently documented ‘Obama’s People’. His many international awards and nominations include most recently the Silver Photographer of the Year Award at the Lianzhou International Photo Festival 08 in China.

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Lucie Award Winners

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Picture Editor of the year – Steve Fine – Sports Illustrated

Photo Magazine of the Year – www.burnmagazine.org

Fashion Layout of the Year – Harper’s Bazaar – Thriller Fashion by Terry Richardson

Book Publisher of the Year – Verso Limited Editions Bruce Davidson – Central Park

Print Advertising Campaign of the Year – FFL France Wrangler We Are Animals Ryan McGinley

Photography Curator of the Year – Sarah Greenough Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans

International Photographer of the Year – Nadav Kander

Discovery of the Year Award – Elliot Wilcox

International Photographer of the Year, Deeper Perspective Award – Rachel Papo

The Spotlight Award – The W.Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, accepted by Marcel Saba, the fund’s current President.

Bradley Peters – CPC 2009 Winner

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Joerg Colberg had a contest this summer and Bradley Peters was one of the winners. The prize was an interview and it’s really a great read:

Jörg Colberg: In your “Home Theater” statement, you’re describing your work as “allowing a ‘staged’ photograph to break down and [...] then [to] spiral into the spontaneous.” I just have to ask – especially given your Yale background: What’s wrong with staged photography? Why have it break down?

Bradley Peters: It’s not an issue of something being “wrong” but rather my interest in something that no one seems to speak of much these days… luck. I’m not interested in coming up with a really well defined idea and then making a picture that illustrates that concept. My photographic foundation was built in small camera, black & white street photography, I mean that’s basically the only way I shot for nearly ten years, and I’m still really interested in letting the world reveal itself in ways that I can’t imagine by myself. Without the breakdown there is very little surprise, which is important to me. I need to feel as though I learned something from the image and if the picture turns out exactly the way I wanted, I probably didn’t learn anything that I didn’t already know. In a way, I probably didn’t even need to make the picture in the first place. There was a really good interview in LA Weekly a couple years ago with John Szarkowski that I think speaks to this point:

“Some photographers think the idea is enough. I told a good story in my Getty talk, a beautiful story, to the point: Ducasse says to his friend Mallarmé — I think this is a true story — he says, ‘You know, I’ve got a lot of good ideas for poems, but the poems are never very good.” Mallarmé says, “Of course, you don’t make poems out of ideas, you make poems out of words.’ Really good, huh? Really true. So, photographers who aren’t so good think that you make photographs out of ideas. And they generally get only about halfway to the photograph and think that they’re done.”

Read more on Conscientious.

I’m a huge fan of luck and unexpected results in photography, but I think many younger photographers don’t like pictures that they didn’t intend to happen, because it feels like you have no control over the outcome. I’ve also heard the argument that because amateurs get lucky once in awhile it somehow invalidates pictures that you didn’t expect. I can tell you that photographers who take these kinds of pictures have portfolios filled with lucky shots and that’s no accident. I can also tell you that shooting this way can be extremely nerve-racking and of course from the client side of the equation you have to sell everyone on a picture that wasn’t planned for. It’s just as difficult to use luck as it is to nail everything down from beginning to end.

The Aftermath Project – War Is Only Half The Story

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The Aftermath Project was the winner of the humanitarian award at last year’s Lucie Awards (here). I was there that night live blogging the event for fun and Sara Terry’s speech was certainly one of the highlights for me. Not only because of the gravitas of the Aftermath Project but also how well she conveyed the importance of photography and projects like this.

“I was a writer but had a personal crisis and words failed me for the first time in my life so I picked up a camera to communicate…”

“… the stories we hold up define who we are as a society.”

The book from last year’s project is out now (here):
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In addition to that they are now accepting applications for their fourth year of granting (2010); and will be giving out two grants, for $20,000 each. The application deadline is Nov 2nd (here).

2009 Best Magazine Cover of the Year Award

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I guess ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors) can’t wait for 2009 to end because they’ve got the Best Magazine Cover of the Year award going already and this year the voting is open to the public on Amazon (here).

This is going to be a cool experiment to see what kind of cover the amazon buying public likes. There are quite a few covers missing the coverlines which I presume are the subscriber copies and just looking at those makes you realize how coverlines ruin a good cover. Then there are the illustrated covers which I’d be willing to bet will lose out to the photographs in any category where there’s a strong picture. The best part is that they have all the photographers properly credited so you can click on a cover and see who shot it. That brings up an interesting cover competition in the food category:

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Nigel Cox vs. Kenji Toma vs. Roland Bello

Also in the Obama Cover section it’s Peter Yang vs. Nadav vs. Chessum vs. Joe Raedle/Getty

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I thought this Stephen Wilkes cover in the Science, Technology and Nature Category was cool:

Picture 3

Conscientious Portfolio Competition

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Joerg is running a free portfolio competition over on Conscientious aimed at discovering some emerging talent:

The winner of the competition will have her or his work featured here on this blog, in the form of an extended conversation/interview (which, of course, also showcases the photography). Details below.

First of all, the Conscientious Portfolio Competition (CPC) is free. It’s no pay-to-play scheme. There are no costs involved for you, other than whatever time it takes to send me your stuff.

Second, CPC is aimed at emerging photographers. Of course, the term “emerging” is not extremely well defined; what it means that photographers not represented by a gallery will get preferential treatment over those that already are (but of course, the quality of the work also plays an important role).

Read about it (Here)
It will be interesting to see what he turns up. Whenever I’ve done something similar in the past I’ve discovered excellent photographers I knew nothing about.

Stephen Mayes – On Photojournalism Today

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Lens Culture has published audio interviews with 38 photographers (here) that I discovered via Gallery Hopper.

I remember a few months back some very provocative quotes coming from a speech Stephen Mayes gave but I’m not sure if the full audio ever made it out. Len’s Culture has it (here) along with those wonderful quotes:

“I wonder if World Press Photo is peeling away from reflecting the media as it is, and is rather reflecting the media the way we wish it were. Of the 376 images awarded prizes this year, I would be curious to know how many have been published in a paid-for context. Maybe all of them. Maybe. But the overall impression that I’m left with from the 470,214 images that I have seen entered into the contest in the current decade, is that they reflect a form of photojournalism that is now more romantic than functional.”

“The overwhelming impression from the vast volume of images is that photojournalism (as a format for interpreting the world) is trying to be relevant by copying itself rather than by observing the world.”

“As one juror said this year, ‘90% of the pictures are about 10% of the world.'”

Stephen is the Managing Director of VII Photo Agency and served as Jury Secretary for the World Press Photo Awards from 2004-2009.

UPDATE: It was originally published with the audio on Notes from Nowhere (here).

burn’s Emerging Photographer Grant Recipient is Alejandro Chaskielberg

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At first glance burn Magazine seemed to be a collective of hard line photojournalists and documentarians but the selection of Alejandro (website (here) entry (here)) who photographs fictional scenarios signals that maybe the people who work in that field (see the judges list below) are ready for some changes. Good for them for pushing the boundaries. The grant is given by the Magnum Foundation but the rules state that purely artistic endeavors are welcome.

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The Judges:
Maggie Steber – Photographer
James Nachtwey – Photographer VII
Carol Naggar & Fred Ritchen – Historians-Authors-Analysts
Eugene Richards – Photographer
John Gossage – Curator
Scott Thode – Deputy Picture Editor Fortune Magazine
Gilles Peress – Photographer Magnum
David Griffin – Director of Photography National Geographic Magazine
Martin Parr – Photographer Magnum

PDN Photography Annual 2009

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PDN has the images from this years photography annual up online (here).

The Marty Forscher Fellowship went to Matthieu Paley and the student award went to Michael Mullady. Nikon Storyteller Award went to Ambroise Tézenas. The Arnold Newman prize went to Jeff Riedel and the Student Award went to Carl Kiilsgaard of Western Kentucky University. Cheers.

There’s some great photography in the winners gallery. I always liked looking through the advertising section so I could match a photographer with a campaign. On the editorial side I saw very few images/photographers that I wasn’t already familiar with, but I think that’s fine. It’s still good to celebrate the great work that was done last year. Corporate is another category I like seeing and discovering photographers, because I don’t follow that side of the business.

In the personal section there’s an incredible surfing image by Ed Freeman that I was bummed to discover is a composite. Ed labels the photography as Fine Art on his website (here) and explains that they’re retouched but I wouldn’t have been able to publish them editorially (back when I used to look in the personal section for images to publish).

surfing

Also in the stock category there’s an image that produced a little bit of controversy.

nicole

Over on You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice they’re calling it a rip off (here).

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The similarities between what’s being dropped, subjects and framing make it too close to ignore but a commenter on YTWWN shows (as we all know) that nothing is new, everything has been done before (here).

Then finally there’s student work. It’s always nice to see students who can already take great pictures.

American Photography 25 Winners

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The American Photography 25 winners have been announced and this year there’s a slideshow to see everyone’s work (here). It’s really worth the time to sit down and look at all of it, there’s some fantastic images in there. I think judges did a great job of including all the “magazine” style photography that was shot in 2008. I have a pretty big collection of these books and it really is a snapshot of that year in photography.

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The Griffin Museum of Photography 2009 Focus Awards

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To say that my jaw hit the floor when I received an email from Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director of the Griffin Museum of Photography announcing that I would be getting an award is an understatement but the level of shock I felt then could only be called mild compared to the near catatonic state I was in as I stood on stage at the 4th annual Focus awards after they had just honored industry titans Modern Postcard and handed out thick glass award trophies to Russell Hart, Executive Editor of American Photo Magazine a man who might have ended this sentence long ago and then Rosalind Smith a local writer who received a standing ovation. I had just spotted DOP Kathy Ryan in the Second row who was here along with Director and Founder of Visa Pour l’Image Jean-François Leroy to honor the next recipient, Eliane Laffont, editorial director Hachette Filapacchi Magazines and founder of Sygma Photo New Agency, with a lifetime achievement award.

Eliane, by the way, gave a moving acceptance speech on the power of photography and photojournalism in particular where she recounted a poignant moment in her career and really it probably relates to a turning point in the business of photography when Corbis bought Sygma and the new contracts came back and they had changed “photography” to “content” and “photographers” to “content providers.” She concluded by saying although things are looking bad now there is so much great work being made in the world and as long as photojournalists believe, photojournalism will exist.

I wanted to say how cool and original it is that they built an award around the idea that they “honor the work of those who are not photographers but who have been instrumental in building greater awareness of the photographic arts in the general public.” The museum itself is very cozy and from what I understand they have excellent programming. If this award is any indication of the type of out of the box thinking they’re going to continue with in the future then they will become, if they haven’t already a strong voice in the photography world. Actually, the fact that Jean-François would fly in from Europe and Kathy would come up from New York for this one night is a pretty good indicator that they are already a strong voice.

From what I understand Lou Jones our MC for the evening came up with the idea for the award and I’m told by other photographers in the community he really works hard to educate himself and those around him about the future of photography. I was also told there was intense debate around my nomination (and others as well) but nearly everyone I met said they don’t read blogs so I’m guessing there’s handful of young photographers who work with the museum who nominated me and I want to say thanks.

I’m not so much an advocate for blogging as I am for simply doing things online where I strongly believe a great portion of the business of photography will end up. I think blogs are a great way to strengthen the community, to debate new ideas, to stomp out old bad ideas and to find a new path for photography but it’s more important that people working with photography are putting work online and trying new things out to help us all figure out what’s next. I did manage to say in my speech that I believe in the future of photography and that I would like to convince those that have the power to make decisions over the use of photography that there is no greater medium for communication online and once they finally realize this there will be a big bright future awaiting all of us.

APhotoEditor Is Picking Up An Award Today

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The Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston has their Focus Awards tonight and they’re giving APE the Rising Star award. I’m incredibly honored that they would recognize this blog and just want to say thanks to all the readers, especially the people who take the time to leave a thoughtful comment on a post. It’s been an education for me and it’s really what makes this blog great. Thanks.

National Magazine Award Winners – Dora Somosi, Brent Stirton and Platon

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PHOTOGRAPHY
This category recognizes excellence in magazine photography. It honors the effectiveness of photography, photojournalism and photo illustration in enhancing a magazine’s unique mission and personality.

Winner: GQ: Jim Nelson, editor-in-chief; Fred Woodward, design director; Jim Moore, creative director; Anton Ioukhnovets, art director; Dora Somosi, director of photography, for August, November, December issues.

PHOTOJOURNALISM
This category recognizes the informative photographic documentation of an event or subject in real-time. Photo essays accompanied by text are judged primarily on the strength of the photographs.

Winner: National Geographic: Chris Johns, editor-in-chief; David Griffin, director of photography; Kurt F. Mutchler and Susan A. Smith, deputy directors, photography, for Who Murdered the Virunga Gorillas?, by Mark Jenkins, photographs by Brent Stirton, July.

PHOTO PORTFOLIO
This category honors creative photography and photo illustration.

Winner: The New Yorker: David Remnick, editor; Elisabeth Biondi, visuals editor, for Service, portfolio by Platon, September 29.

Also the awesome upsets were: Backpacker beats The New Yorker and Harper’s in the Essay category, Field and Stream beats Vogue, The New Yorker, Bon Appetite and Pop Sci in the 1-2 mill General Excellence category and Reader’s Digest wins the over 2 million circ General Excellence award (I think the Photography Director should get a leg or two off the ellie for this win).

Looks like they’ve managed to avoid the embarrassing handing out of an award to a magazine that doesn’t exist anymore.

Full report (here).

Pulitzer Prize Winners In Photography

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It must be so sweet to win a Pulitzer Prize (here). Here are the 2009 winners in photography:

13. BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY
For a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Patrick Farrell of The Miami Herald for his provocative, impeccably composed images of despair after Hurricane Ike and other lethal storms caused a humanitarian disaster in Haiti.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: the Associated Press Staff for its haunting chronicle of death, destruction, heartbreak and renewal when an earthquake devastated Sichuan, China, and Carolyn Cole of the Los Angeles Times for her valorous on-the-spot coverage of political violence in Kenya, capturing the terror as rebellion and reprisals jolted the nation.

14. FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY
For a distinguished example of feature photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Damon Winter of The New York Times for his memorable array of pictures deftly capturing multiple facets of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Carol Guzy of The Washington Post for her powerfully intimate coverage of the perils and sorrow of childbirth in Sierra Leone, where women face the world’s highest rate of maternal mortality, and Sonya Hebert of The Dallas Morning News for her empathetic portrait of palliative care in a Texas medical center as terminally ill patients cope with the end of their lives.

Found it on Robert Bensons Blog.