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Ken Geiger Interview HIPA Winner 2014-2015

Ken Geiger won the 2nd place entry in the Black and White (Faces) competition in HIPA 2014-2015.

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Ken Geiger Interview HIPA Winner 2014-2015: Ken Geiger HIPA Winner 2015Ken Geiger,, is from the United States, and won 2nd Place in the Black and White (Faces) category in the HIPA 2014-2015 awards. We talked to him in Dubai, UAE after he won the award. 

Ken doesn't enter many competitions, but was asked to be a judge at HIPA, and unable to do this, was reminded to enter the competition. 

He shoots for National Geographic and got to shoot Stonehenge all to himself, and shot with a Phase One P45 digital back, using light painting, using 15-minute exposures. He used one of these images to enter the Night Photography category for HIPA, but unfortunately wasn't placed. 

Ken Geiger has been a professional photographer since 1980, shooting sports, including the Olympics and American sports, as well as shooting war in Burma, and Bosnia. In 1992 he was awarded the Pulitzer prize for coverage of the Barcelona Olympics. When working for Dallas Morning News during the 80s and 90s his photography included plane crashes and other national disasters, where he became the Director of Photography.

His photo of a Burmese 'Mon' army woman, shown below, won 2nd place in this years Black and White (Faces) category, in the HIPA awards 2014-2015.

HIPA had this to say about the photo "This photograph is a reflection of innocence, beauty, helplessness and revolt. In 1989, the ethnic Burmese ‘Mon’ army was made up of 3000 soldiers, including 100 women fighters. This photo was captured at one of the Mon checkpoints at the end of a winding dirt road, featuring this serious staring 20-year-old Ma Ngua, her cheeks covered with powder to protect her beauty while an M-16 rifle is beside her to protect her post."

Ken Geiger Interview HIPA Winner 2014-2015: Ken Geiger 2nd Place Black and White Faces

Ken Geiger

Ken has been working as Deputy Director of Photography, and Photo editor at the National Geographic for 10 years since 2004, after 24 years of photo journalism. At the National Geographic he was in charge of designing the digital workflow system, when they transitioned from film to digital. They have a digital workshop where they can build and customise any camera system, using 3D printers. 

He works with a number of photographers including Eugene Richards, Alex Webb, Lynsey Addario, and says he is inspired by seeing their work, he gets to see the way they see. The quality and depth to the photos inspires him to get out and shoot more. 

Ken Geiger Interview HIPA Winner 2014-2015: Ken Geiger Stonehenge National Geographic

Stonehenge, Ken Geiger / National Geographic Magazine

To shoot images with impact Ken says that images need a strong entry point, combined with a captured moment, and strong composition. These things combined make a compelling image. If the image can keep your attention for as long as possible then it will be a more successful image. 

On equipment, he said that the more you practise and learn your tools, to make a photograph, the better you will be, whether shooting Leica, Olympus, or any other camera. The mind and your vision is also a tool, and whether you shoot film or digital to get a look, you simply use the required tool needed to do the job. 

On competitions, he said there are a number of specific awards out there, that are looking for a specific type of photograph, such as the British Wildlife Photography Awards, or World Press Photo Of The Year. He went on to say that HIPA is special in the way that it serves aspiring photographers, and has the biggest prize value out of all photographic competitions. 

Ken Geiger can be found at his website: or followed on Instagram: kengeiger.

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