Muddy Playground, Bangladesh by Jan Kostal, Czech Republic.
Canon have announced the grand prize winner of the Canon Fan Foto online competition is amateur photographer Jan Kostal of the Czech Republic. His image entitled Muddy Playground, Bangladesh (above) was chosen by a panel of experts from Canon and Getty Images, the world’s leading creator and distributor of still imagery, footage and multi media products, for its perspective, action and overall composition.
Canon Fan Foto is an online photo gallery and competition hosted on the Official Website of the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament, as part of Canon’s official sponsorship of the event. The site was designed to capture the emotions of football from the perspective of the football fan. Any football related photo could be uploaded, and visitors to the site could rate their favourites using a simple thumbs up or thumbs down system.
As the grand prize winner, Jan Kostal has enjoyed a truly unforgettable pitch-side sports photography experience with UEFA at the Austria v Germany Group A match in Vienna. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was the only way a member of the public could join the world’s best professional sports photographers on the touchline at UEFA EURO 2008. Jan Kostal also received a Canon EOS 450D digital SLR camera to photograph the action.
Steve Rose, Director of Photography, Sport, Getty Images said: “The quality of imagery submitted to Fan Foto was very high and showed a good awareness of the entrants’ photographic skills, with many of the stronger entries managing to capture emotion, thoughtfulness and the spirit of the game. Jan Kostal’s winning image shows an excellent use of light and composition and is one which stood out from the crowd and, more importantly, highlights football is truly a global sport that can be played and enjoyed anywhere.”
“As both a keen football fan and photographer – this prize is truly the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only did I get a pitchside view of the Austria v Germany match, I also received the opportunity to sharpen my photography skills with my brand-new digital Canon camera and coaching from a world-leading, professional sports photographer. Thank you Canon and UEFA, this prize is a dream come true for me,” said Jan Kostal.
Jan Kostal was one of 11 finalists selected by the expert panel, all of whom received a VIP trip to a UEFA EURO 2008 game and a Canon EOS 450D digital SLR camera. The images from the top 11 finalists were taken on a variety of cameras including a Canon PowerShot A520, a Canon EOS 20D and a Canon EOS 400D.
Since its launch in February this year, more than 40,000 football fans have visited the Canon Fan Foto site to view the gallery of more than 6,000 unique, inspiring football images which were uploaded to the site by aspiring amateur photographers.
James Leipnik, Chief of Communication and Corporate Relations, Canon Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “Canon Fan Foto has inspired the imagination and creativity of thousands of football fans from across the continent, and enabled them to capture and showcase the emotions of football using the power of image. Football is a visual sport that stirs powerful emotions and we’re proud to be associated with this fine collection of football imagery.”
In addition to the Best 11 finalists, football fans from across Europe have uploaded their football images and won fantastic Canon prizes. Winners of the most popular image of the week, as voted by the Fan Foto community across Europe, have each won a Powershot SX100 IS camera. During the actual tournament, the prize giving continues for the Show me your Ticket phase of the competition, where one lucky fan who uploads the most unusual or creative image of themselves proudly displaying their ticket for any UEFA EURO 2008 game, will win a PowerShot SX100 IS camera.
Every time a visitor uploads a new image to the Fan Foto gallery, Canon is also making a donation of one Euro to its official humanitarian partner, the Red Cross. In addition, when visitors to the site vote for their favourite image, Canon makes a fifty cent donation to the Red Cross. The current donation amount from Canon to the Red Cross is now over 40,000 euros.
For more information please visit the website.