The Hasselblad Masters Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the industry, has developed a reputation over the years for celebrating the best in both established and rising photographic talent. Given in recognition of a photographer’s contribution to the art of photography, the Masters Award is judged on overall photographic ability, encompassing creativity, composition, conceptual strength and technical skill. Until this year, the only photographers eligible for the awards have been Hasselblad users. No other photography was considered. For the Hasselblad Masters Awards 2008, however, Hasselblad has decided to extend entry to the awards to all established professional photographers using large and medium format cameras, regardless of the brand they use.
“The Hasselblad Masters Awards are supposed to be about photography, about celebrating the art form and the accomplishments of photographers around the world,” says Andreas Brakonier, Corporate Brand Manager of Hasselblad. “By opening the contest to all medium and large format photographers, we want to encourage all professional photographers to have a shot at this coveted title. We hope to see an even wider range of photography and to come in contact with an even wider range of photographers.”
Changing Masters for changing times
Previously Hasselblad has also awarded 12 separate Masters Awards each year and has featured the work of each of the 12 winners in a Hasselblad Masters calendar. Past Masters have included both renowned artists of international standing as well as promising newcomers in a wide range of fields and disciplines. For 2008, however, the format of the Awards will also change - instead of selecting 12 winners based on overall photographic ability, a winner will now be chosen from submissions in each of the following categories: Fine Art, Nature/Landscape, Social/Wedding, Portrait, Fashion, Editorial, Product, Architecture, and General Photography.
Submissions for the above award categories will be accepted from all established professional photographers using large and medium format cameras. In addition, the 2008 contest will also feature a special category for up and coming photographers that is open to all professional photographers, regardless of length of time in the business or camera format used. In all, ten Hasselblad Masters will be announced for 2008. The adjudication will be a two-part process: an internal jury will perform the first round and a panel of independent, external judges will make the final selections in November of this year.
As a further motivation to potential entrants, winners will receive the free use of a superb Hasselblad H3D DSLR camera system for four months. During that time, the winners will be able to use the equipment as they wish, although they will also use it to capture images to be included in the production of a unique photographic book, to be published in the fall of 2008. The book, a special Masters commemorative collection of photographs will feature pictorials showing the results of each winning photographer freely interpreting a given theme.
“One of the dreams that almost every photographer has is to be able to produce a high quality book featuring their own creative work,” continues Andreas Brakonier. “By enabling these Masters Award winners to go out and interpret a theme in a style of their own choice using the best cameras in the world, and then publishing the results of this project, we can help both challenge and reward these exceptional photographers. With this new format of the Hasselblad Masters Awards, we celebrate the range and versatility of both Hasselblad cameras and Hasselblad photographers.”