World Press winner courts controversy

01_John Stanmeyer


John Stanmeyer, VII Photo

Update: See the end of this article for a video in which jury chair Gary Knight explains why Stanmeyer’s image was chosen this year’s World Press Photo winner.

This year’s winner of the world’s largest press photography competition has been revealed and, once again, the decision has been met with a storm of debate, this time around the area of favouritism.

American photographer John Stanmeyer has picked up the top spot at the 2014 Wold Press Photo competition with a stunning image of silhouetted African migrants on the shores of Djibouti, raising their mobile phones to the night sky in an attempt to pick up the less expensive signal across the water in Somalia.

The image itself is not the cause of the controversy, it has been met with much approval – instead it is the photographer’s shared history with this year’s jury chair, Gary Knight, that has given rise to worries over bias in the selection process.

Both Stanmeyer and Knight are founding members and shareholders in the prestigious photo agency VII Photo; a conflict of interest that ...full story

Young nature lovers’ chance to win a dream trip

ContikiIf you, or someone you know, happens to be a young photographer with a passion for nature and a thirst for adventure,  youth travel company Contiki Holidays is currently running a competition that is worth a look.

Up for grabs is the chance to travel on a six-day Costa Rica Unplugged trip accompanied by renowned documentary film maker, adventurer and storyteller, Céline Cousteau (granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau), during Earth Month this April.

Open to young people (here meaning those aged between 18 and 35) around the world, the competition seeks creative  photographic, video or written submissions answering the question, ‘Where do you feel closest to nature?’

Submissions should be made to the competition’s Tumblr page by February 28 (check out the full terms and conditions here) and three winners will be selected by a judging panel, including Cousteau, and announced on March 6.

Co-sponsored by the Matador Network media company, winners will also receive a scholarship to the MatadorU online journalism program, learning skills they can test while exploring the unique conservation environment of Costa ...full story

Unique, contemporary style key to travel success

Submissions for this year’s Travel Media Awards close on March 28, and to get you in the mood we bring you  Kelly Lynch’s look at the 2013 winners, originally published in The Photographer’s Mail.

At the conclusion of a long drum roll, photographer Babiche Martens was named the Travel Photographer of the Year at the 2013 awards night for the country’s top travel communicators, the Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards. Despite not winning any of the five photography categories on the docket (she was runner-up in Best Travel Image Taken Outside New Zealand), Martens’ 10-image portfolio was strong enough to take out the top honour and a luxury trip to Hong Kong.

In deciding last year’s travel photography champions, the judging panel, consisting of Tony Bridge, Aaron K, and Bela Trussell-Cullen, said they were looking for consistency and technically superb images.

“We chose the winner because we found her work very contemporary. It is unique. In a medium that can attract clichés, Babiche’s eye was refreshing.”

Babiche Martens 104fyyy

Babiche Martens

Martens, a staff photographer ...full story

The state of us: Simon Devitt

Highly regarded architectural photographer Simon Devitt next month launches a new collaborative book looking at state housing in New Zealand, from both a historical and modern perspective.  He chats with D-Photo‘s Point-Shoot blog about the project and previews some of its luscious visuals.

Digital process : PixSolution

Can you briefly tell us a little about yourself and your work?

I am a photographer born in Hamilton, and based in Auckland, with a  focus on architecture.

As part of my photography practice I travel extensively throughout Australasia and further afield. My work is published in numerous national and international magazines including Elle Decor (Italia), Architectural Digest (Germany), Dwell (USA), Habitus, InDesign (Australia), Architecture NZ, Urbis, and Interior (NZ).

In 2011 I collaborated on a book with Andrea Stevens, and published by Penguin, Summer Houses, and in 2013 I launched my first self-published book on the Athfield residence in Wellington, Portrait of a House.

I also lecture in photography of architecture at the University of Auckland. I have exhibited in both group and solo shows and am currently represented in New Zealand by McNamara Gallery, Whanganui.

...full story

Pressures of the press

With the results of two important photojournalism awards soon to be announced — the Canon Media Awards, celebrating excellence in local press photography, and World Press Photo, an international search for the world’s best photojournalism — D-Photo presents a feature from sister publication The Photographer’s Mail, discussing the 2013 champions of both events.  

Last year’s winning photo in the world’s most prestigious photojournalism competition caused a flurry of controversy in the media, after digital imaging experts accused the image of being a heavily-manipulated fake. Around the same time that quarrel broke out New Zealand was celebrating the pinnacle of local photojournalism achievements in the Canon Media Awards. The Photographer’s Mail speaks with some of the 2013 winners to discover where digital manipulation ranks among the challenges facing Kiwi photojournalism today.

Swedish photographer Paul Hansen’s image of a burial procession in Gaza city picked up the Photo of the Year nod at the 2013 World Press Photo competition, a decision that has seen the organisers come under fire due to the image’s significant digital treatment. Many are now questioning the degree to which a news photo can legitimately be manipulated after the taking, before ...full story

Ocean beat: Chris Sisarich

Celebrated commercial photographer Chris Sisarich talks to D-Photo’s Point-Shot blog about his latest project paying tribute to the 10-year partnership between logistics company DHL and Surf Life Saving New Zealand. The resultant exhibition is on display at Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter this coming weekend.

Bethells Beach_Auckland # 1

D-Photo: Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

Chris Sisarich: I’m married with two girls and live in Auckland. I’ve been photographing now for 18 years!

My days are taken up hanging with my family, photographing, playing in the sea, or thinking about some of life’s issues.

To make a living, I shoot commercial work for advertising agencies here and in Australia, and when I’m lucky I get to shoot for agencies in the United Kingdom, Asia, or the United States. I specialize in shooting cars, landscapes, and lifestyle images. Clients can range from a brand like Lexus, to a wine brand, to a pharmaceutical brand.

I also do some directing of TV commercials. This is new for me really. It’s something I love being involved in and would love to keep ...full story

Last week for Kids Photo Comp entries

S cavalierThe latest edition of D-Photo’s illustrious Kids Photo Comp closes in a week’s time, so be sure to get your entries sorted soon for a shot at fortune and glory.

Last issue’s champion was Stacey Cavalier, who wowed our guest judge (and not for the first time) with her conceptually effervescent and technically immaculate portraiture style.

Our esteemed guest judge this time was Rachel Callander, award-winning wedding photographer and the force behind the Super Power Baby Project, who was drawn to the grave facial expression of the child being drawn on.

“He is being transformed from a small boy to a big business executive who isn’t going to take any crap!

“The black and white treatment works really well and we are drawn straight into the action and story of the image.”

Congratulations also go out to our runners-up, who submitted the extremely strong images displayed below.

For your chance to have your favourite kids portrait critiqued by a pro, see your mage published in D-Photo and possibly win an elegant Moleskine Photo Book Plus, get your entries in for ...full story