The ever-increasing worldwide popularity of the Hasselblad Masters Awards has been demonstrated by entry levels surging from 2500 for the 2012 event up to nearly four thousand for the latest competition, and it's a statistic that has delighted Hasselblad's Global Photographer Relations Manager Paul Waterworth.
"For the first time we allowed entries from photographers who have been active professionals for more than three years and who use cameras of 16MP and above, regardless of brand or format," he says. "We're delighted by how many people have responded to this: winning a section in the Hasselblad Masters Awards is clearly now recognised as a major accolade by professionals based in all corners of the world."
Following an initial call for entries last May, professional photographers had until the end of August to send in their best images to compete in a total of 12 categories: Fine Art, Landscapes/Nature, Wedding/Social, Portrait, Fashion/Beauty, Editorial, Products, Architectural, General, Wildlife, Project//21 and Underwater, the final two being newly added. An internal jury at Hasselblad then had the massive task of honing down the thousands of entries to a shortlist of just 120 - ten images in each category - and these have just been posted online.
An open invitation has now been extended to the public to head to the Hasselblad website
to view the shortlisted pictures and to vote for their favourite images, this online poll counting as one vote in each category. A distinguished panel of industry experts casts the remaining votes, and just one photographer in each category ultimately emerges as a winner and is crowned a Hasselblad Master. It's the third time the public has had the chance to get involved, and it reflects Hasselblad's determination to give everyone a voice.
The twelve Master photographers will have the opportunity to borrow Hasselblad equipment to create a new set of images for the fourth special Masters Commemorative Book. They will also receive a trophy at photokina 2014, and all winning images will be published on the Hasselblad global website and then presented at exhibitions around the world.