Last call for World Photo entries

The deadline for one of the world’s biggest photography contests is fast approaching and so the organiser has sent out one final call before the New Year.

The 2012 Sony World Photography Awards, run concurrently with the World Photo festival in London, are free to enter and open to photographers of all levels across the world.

Photographers interested in entering either the Professional or Open categories, with top awards of US$25,000 and US$5000, respectively, will need to have the submissions in to the organisation no later than 11.59pm (GMT), January 4, 2012.

A respected industry panel, including curator and writer Susan Bright and Jon Jones, Director of Photography for the Sunday Times Magazine, will judge the entries.

All shortlisted and finalist images will be exhibited at the World Photo event in at Somerset House and the winners will go on to be shown around the globe.

The competition has been a significant launch pad for many past winners, including this year’s L’Iris d’Or winner, Argentinean Alejandro Chaskielberg.

“The Sony World Photography Awards has had an important effect on my career, and since winning the award my work has been published worldwide,” says Chaskielberg.

New Zealand is no stranger to the competition, below are some examples of kiwi images submitted for the 2012 event – for more info on submitting check the competition website.

© Agata Michalczyk, Open Competition Entry, People, Sony World Photography Awards 2012

© Aroha Awarau, Open Competition Entry, Low Light, Sony World Photography Awards 2012

© Sophia Cooper, Open Competition Entry, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards 2012

International Street Photography Award opens

As part of London’s 2012 Street Photography Festival organisers have put out a global call for submissions towards the International Street Photography Award.

Open to any and all photographers, the competition gives street photographers the opportunity to win a trip to and solo exhibition in London, £2000 cash and a pile of photography gear, including an Olympus Pen and Crumpler bag.

There is a £30 entry fee for registration but in return all photographers receive a £28.95 voucher for the self-publishing service, Blurb, and the first 500 entrants go in the draw to win a signed print, Pen camera, Crumpler bag and photo books.

Judges will be looking for a unique style and depth of work in the genre straddling portraiture, documentary and art.

Each photographer may submit between five and eight images taken any time in the past 10 years, one of which will be displayed in a large screen during the awards and profiled online.

For an additional £15 applicants can also request written feedback on their entry from one of the award judges.

Entries close on January 5, 2012 with winners announced on February 20 – head to the website for more information.

Image: © Jesse Marlow, Skip divers, 2011 International Street Photography Awards winner

Photographers attacked in London riots

As violent unrest continue to spread through London reports are coming through of photojournalists attempting to cover the story being attacked and robbed by rioters.

Since the riots broke out on Sunday, following a peaceful demonstration against a police killing, several photographers through the city have been assaulted and had their gear stolen or damaged, London’s Guardian newspaper reports.

In Tottenham, the epicentre of the violence, two photographers from the Matrix agency had £8000 (about NZ$16,000) worth of gear destroyed by rioters and one of them was knocked to the ground and kicked repeatedly, an eyewitness reports.

Yesterday another photojournalist was attacked by four young assailants in a housing project in Hackney, East London, says another source.

Alex Hudson, a junior journalist at the BBC, said in a blog post he was targeted by rioters for taking photos.

“’Delete it right now or we’ll kill you’. There are 10 now. Most of the road-full of protesters are taking notice.

“‘Put the phone down and run,’ says a bystander trying to be helpful.

“I’m grabbed, punched and kicked and my phone is stolen. There is a pause, and I am grabbed by a woman of West Indian descent and rushed towards a block of flats.

“‘They will kill you, there is no law here. What the fuck do you think you’re doing? Run’.”

As the unrest continues the International News Safety Institute has released a guide to help those covering the violence stay safe, including help with planning and gear suggestions.

Image: Pointnshoot

World Photo to honour Bruce Davidson

Esteemed American photographer Bruce Davidson will this year be presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at this year’s Sony World Photography Awards.

A founding member of the World Photographic Academy and long-time Magnum Photos member, Davidson is one of the foremost photographers living today.

Joining the influential photo agency in 1958, the photographer has had a prolific career documenting US cultural identity throughout the decades.

In his early days at Magnum Davidson quickly established himself as a dedicated and remarkable artist, going to such lengths as joining a circus to capture his renowned 1958 series, The Dwarf, and following the torrid exploits of a youth gang for 1959’s Brooklyn Gang.

©Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards

During the cultural upheaval of the 60s Davidson produced some of his most celebrated work documenting the civil rights movement in America.

Travelling to Alabama in 1961 to shoot images of the activists known as Freedom Riders, Davidson began a five-year entanglement with the movement that would shape its nation’s future.

The work would eventually be shown in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

©Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards

Following his civil rights work Davidson went on to shoot another legendary series in East 100th Street, a two-year documentary look at a block in impoverished East Harlem.

This collection too would end up displayed at MoMA.

At the age of 77 Davidson continues to work today, recently returning to East 100th Street to shoot a follow-up, and also lectures and teaches workshops around the world.

He will be honoured at the annual gala award ceremony at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on April 27.

Two retrospective exhibitions of his work will be featured as part of the World Photography Festival in London, one in London’s Somerset House April 26 to May 22 and another at Chris Beetles Fine Art Photographs to May 4 to 28.

London Police warn photographers

london police

Following ongoing controversy over the use of anti-terrorism laws to stop and search both hobbyist and professional photographers in the UK, London’s Metropolitan police issued an ‘advisory’ document for photographers warning they may be detained and searched, while their images can be viewed, seized or deleted.


While last month the Mark Goldstein, editor of the popular photographyBLOG, was stopped and searched for taking pictures of London tourist attractions, amateur photographer Alex Turner was recently arrested by Kent police after photographing a fish bar called ‘Mick’s Plaice.’ Turner was approached and questioned by two plain clothes officers who demanded to see his photographs. The photographer describes the event in detail on his blog

“I believe the way I was treated was unjustified and wholly disproportionate. I assert that officer xxxxx [officer’s name redacted] misused her powers of arrest and demonstrated a poor understanding of the law in relation to arrest, the use of force, the use of detention, photography in public places, obstruction and the…Terrorism Act 2000.”

The arrest follows a growing outcry surrounding the police’s powers over photographers, which the Metropolitan Police describes in its advisory as an ‘ongoing debate.’ The text begins by reminding photographers no permit or license is required to take pictures in a public place, but goes on to state that nothing can stop officers from asking questions. It goes on to explain that police have the right to view any photographs taken, and under anti-terrorism legislation, are able to seize, retain or delete images.

However, after being consulted by the British Journal of Photography, media lawyer Rupert Gray believed the advisory was both ‘flawed’ and ‘selective.’

˜There is no reference to the fact that the media have a duty to report demonstrations, and major events,” he told the BJP. “Failure to recognize that photographers and journalists perform a vital role — just as vital as the police — as the eyes and ears of the public is at the heart of the current problems. The Met Guidelines emphasize this duty and so should this Advice.’

On the powers to seize or delete images, Gray continued: ˜Nowhere is it stated that officers do not have power to delete images or confiscate data cards without a court order. It is not enough just to say that they have the power to seize and retain articles on the basis of reasonable suspicion.’

Further controversy also arose after it was revealed that the Metropolitan Police hadn’t consulted the Home Office over its advisory.


Image courtesy of adotjdotsmith licensed under Creative Commons

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