Fujifilm Professional has announced the winners of the 2008 Fujifilm Distinctions Awards. The overall winner is David Brunetti who collects a cash prize of £1,000. Michael Bodiam is runner-up and picks up £500, while Sarah Turton was given third place and £250.
The Awards are almost unique now in that entries must have been shot on film. Fujifilm's Student Awards are also dedicated to non-digital photographers.
David, a native of Rome, is now based in London and studied photography at the Kent Institute of Art & Design. His winning image, 'Mother', is part of a series of portraits of the Rroma community in Romania that David took when he visited the Transylvania region recently.
David takes up the story: "I was taking pictures of other residents of this tiny Rroma village, so small it didn't even have a name. After a while a woman approached me and without saying a word she took my hand, just as a mother would do with her own child, and she walked to her small house, she sat down on the bed, and folded her hands as if she was praying. That was it. I set the camera as quickly as I could, everything looked so perfect, the light, the environment, everything looked so picturesque, like a Flemish painting."
"I was so concerned about losing that moment that I didn't even bother with the light reading, I set the speed at 1 second and the aperture at F5.6 and that was it. Very often I double shoot everything, just to make sure, but not this time, there was no time, it was only a single shot. And as the shutter was counting the time, the scene I was looking at just felt so right."
Like the other 3,000 submissions to Distinctions 2008, David's image was taken on Fujifilm professional film, he explained why he shoots film: "What I like most about film photography is the fact that it's tangible. The pictures have some sort of soul but not only that, there is also the factor of uncertainty, the surprise and excitement of going through contact prints. I also think that when I look at a final print, everything looks so much 'punchier'."
David plans to use his £1,000 prize to fund his next photographic project, a trip to Georgia to investigate the refugee problem of the latest war. For further information on David, visit, David Brunetti
From the initial entries, submitted via www.fujifilmdistinctions.co.uk, the judges chose 30 Merit Awards, each Merit winner was asked to submit a print for final judging. The Awards were judged by Gloria Chalmers, from Portfolio Magazine, Perry Curties and Rob Crane from 125 Magazine and Jerry Deeney from Fujifilm Professional. Gloria made this comment on the winning image: "David's entry has an engaging central character, it's technically excellent with great lighting. It really is a superb, classical portrait."
An exhibition of all 30 merit winning images are currently on display at Bayeux, 78 Newman Street, London, W1T 3EP until 20 March 2009. All images were printed on Fujicolor Crystal Archive Pearl Paper.
Since its launch in September 2002 nearly 30,000 images have been submitted to Distinctions, making it one of the most prestigious professional photographic awards in the UK. Entry to Distinctions is free and is open to all UK based professional photographers.
Entries to the 2009 Distinctions Awards can be submitted from 1 April 2009.