Saturday, December 29, 2012

World Open of Photography - 2012

As readers will be aware, I have been working my way through a review of the Pulitzer Press Photograph of the Year (started in 1942) and the World Press Photograph of the Year (started in 1955). Just before Christmas I posted the Pulitzer for 1954, which means that there have not yet been any WP reviews. 

It is fascinating to look at the winners and the stories behind those photographs. They are reflections of time, events and history, as well as of human interest. 

This post is also about photographic awards, but not the Pulitzer or WP awards. 

Last week I became aware of a photographic competition with annual awards, The World Open of Photography

According to its website: 
The Open is a worldwide search for the greatest photographers of our generation. It features both online and live events and delivers one of the largest prize purses in the photo industry: $50,000US. It is an exposure powerhouse that connects photographers with a global audience. ... (It) is a worldwide photo competition to search and recognize the most inspirational photographers of our generation. The competition is for pros and aspiring pros from any country in the world. The categories of competition are: action, street, nature, people and ‘open.’  
The reason that I became aware of it was that The Open had announced its 2012 winners. Those winning photographs follow, with comments by the photographers where available. 

Photographer of the Year: 

Lorenz Holder 

Lorenz Holder

Holder also won the Action category. Comments about Lorenz Holder and the Photographer of the Year award appear below in the Action category. 

People’s Choice Award: 

Photographer: Scott Bauer 

Bauer’s photograph, Cloud 9 Philippines, won the People’s Choice Award. He has been taking photographs professionally for 14 years, his work reflecting his interest in free diving, surfing and photography. He hails from North Western Australian 


Photographer: Javier Arcenillas 

“One of the most popular and respected professions in Latin America is that of the Sicarios. Although revenues are variable (for killing someone can be charged from 15 € up to tens of thousands), the killings in Guatemala, Salvador and Mexico is recruiting many young people, including minors, who are seduced by the ease of earn money to offer respect and fear. 

In their training, young people begin killing dogs and pets to lose all your nerves. In the professional hit men indoctrinated in school most destitute areas, have to kill a person with the condition that the situation involves risk. The satire in the sicarios is shown in another of his evidence. Once a goal killed the murderer has to attend the funeral of the victim to make sure no one looked committing the crime. Satisfied that the subject becomes a professional assassin. In the Picture, The 31 year old Karina Marlene was gunned down with 6 shots from a taxi in zone 10 of Guatemala city.” 

- Javier Arcenillas 


Photographer: Jody MacDonald 

“This is Rajan. He is a 60yr old Asian elephant who was brought to the Andaman Islands for logging in the 1970's. He along wiht a small group of 10 elephants were brutally forced to learn how to swim in the ocean so that they could bring the logged trees to nearby boats and then eventually swim onto the next island. When logging became banned in 2002, Rajan was out of a job. He has been living out his days on one of the Islands where I caught up with him and his Mahout(caretaker) named Nazroo who have been together for 30 yrs. and have a truly amazing bond. Rajan is truly the last of his kind. When he dies we will probably never see an ocean swimming elephant again.”

- Jody MacDonald 


Photographer:  Lee Jeffries 

Thomas, a homeless man in Manchester, UK. 


Photographer: Lorenz Holder 

“I found this pretty unique spot in the summer and I really wanted to shot a snowboard picture there. I told Xaver Hoffmann about the spot and he was fascinated as well. My idea to shoot this in heavy snowfall wasn't too easy, because it was only snowing once at the spot last season. I'm pretty happy that we made it there on that day.” 

“I grew up in Munich, close to the Bavarian mountains, and it is those mountains that have always played a major role in my life. I was a semi-professional snowboarder back in the day, until I injured myself badly and I pretty much had to quit snowboarding for a whole season in 2003. In that time I discovered the pleasure of photography for myself. I was fascinated by photos that could describe a whole scene, a whole story or even a whole day, in just one small moment caught on film. This fascination was one of the biggest motivations for me to start my career as a professional photographer. Right now I work as senior photographer for Pleasure Snowboard Magazine and as a staff photographer for Nitro Snowboards. I travel pretty much the whole winter, always on the search for the best snow conditions and creative locations. I love shooting snowboarding in fresh, uncommon locations. In my photos I like to show the viewers a different angle, something they normally wouldn’t notice, even if they were there at the scene.” 

- Lorenz Holder 


Photographer:  Rich Lam 

Riot police walk in the street as a couple kiss on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver broke out in riots after their hockey team the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. The male, Australian Scott Jones, was trying to calm his girlfriend of 6 months, Alex Thomas, by hugging her and kissing her after they were caught in the middle of the riot and knocked down by police. 

Some others that I liked that didn’t win first prize: 

3rd place, Open category, Mihail Kopychko. Repairing a car in Belarus. 

3rd place Nature category, Peter Lik 

2nd place, Open category, Chris Burkard (note the surfer in the wave, bottom right) 

“The shore break was so big, and the offshores’ plumes so high, that I was missing most of the best waves, but finally a set came through. The light, the wind, and the swell were perfect. It was as if everything in nature fell into perfect harmony for this single moment. As Peter Mendia eased into this wave, the backwash hit, sending a golden shower of water ten feet above his head, and sending him down the line of another 20-second barrel.” 

- Chris Burkard 

3rd place, Action category, Marcel Lammerhirt (Red Bull cliff diving competition, held at 3 different locations) 

Jeremy Wilmotte, photograph of Sarah Wilmotte swimming under a wave in Fiji

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