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Leica Oskar Barnack Award

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Category: Competitions

Leica award now open for entries - Invitation to submit entries for the 2010 Leica Oskar Barnack Award competition.

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The 2010 Leica Oskar Barnack Award is now open for entries for professional photograhers through the Leica Oskar Barnack Award website. The closing date for the competition is March 15th 2010 with a prize of 5000 euros up for grabs!

Press Release:

Leica Camera AG is inviting entries to its international photography competition for professional photographers, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. Applications are now being accepted online on the Leica Oskar Barnack Award website, and the closing date is 15 March 2010. The competition also includes a Newcomer Award, which addresses all prospective professional photographers aged 25 and under.

An international judging panel awards the Leica Oskar Barnack Award and Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award to photographers whose powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and the environment in the most graphic form in a sequence of ten to twelve images. Entry submissions must be a self-contained series of images in which the photographer perceives and documents the interaction between man and the environment with acute vision and contemporary visual style – creative, groundbreaking and unintrusive.

All photo series submitted will be displayed in a dedicated online gallery on Leica’s web site. The winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award prize receives 5,000 Euro or Leica camera equipment to the same value. The winner of the Newcomer Award receives 2,500 Euro. The prizes will be presented during the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie photographic festival held in Arles, France. Further information, terms and conditions for entering and specific requirements for submissions are available on the Leica Oskar Barnack Award website.

Oskar Barnack (1879–1936), inventor of the Leica camera, increasingly used the prototype he developed in 1914 (today known as the Ur-Leica) for photography. He captured various events as a series of photographs and became one of the earliest photographers to document the relationship between man and the environment. For instance, his photography of the floods in Wetzlar in 1920 is now considered to be the first ever reportage series shot with a 35mm still film camera.

The competition named after this photographic pioneer was first awarded in 1979, on the 100th anniversary of Oskar Barnack’s birth.

Previous winners of the competition are:
  • 1980 Floris Bergkamp, Alkmaar (NL)
  • 1981 Björn Larsson, Stockholm (S)
  • 1982 Wendy Watriss, Houston (USA)
  • 1983 Neil McGahee, St. Paul (USA)
  • 1984 Stormi Greener, Minneapolis (USA)
  • 1985 Sebastiao Salgado, Aimores (BR)
  • 1986 David C. Turnley, Detroit (USA)
  • 1987 Jeff Share, Sherman Oakes (USA)
  • 1988 Chris Steele-Perkins, London (GB)
  • 1989 Charles Mason, Fairbanks (USA)
  • 1990 Raphael Gaillarde, Paris (F)
  • 1991 Barry Lewis, London (GB)
  • 1992 Sebastiao Salgado, Aimores (BR)
  • 1993/94 Eugene Richards, New York (USA)
  • 1995 Gianni Berengo-Gardin, Milano (I)
  • 1996 Larry Towell, Bothwell (C)
  • 1997 Jane Evelyn Atwood, New York (USA)
  • 1998 Fabio Ponzio, Roma (I)
  • 1999 Claudine Doury, Pantin (F)
  • 2000 Luc Delahaye, Paris (F)
  • 2001 Bertrand Meunier, Paris (F)
  • 2002 Narelle Autio, Sydney (AUS)
  • 2003 Andrea Hoyer, New York (USA)
  • 2004 Peter Granser, Stuttgart (D)
  • 2005 Guy Tillim, Johannesburg (RSA)
  • 2006 Tomas Munita, Santiago de Chile (RCH)
  • 2007 Julio Bittencourt, Sao Paulo (BR)
  • 2008 Lucia Nimcova, Humenne (SK)
  • 2009 Mikhael Subotzky, Cape Town (ZA)


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