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Label: competition

Friday 19th February 2016World Press Photo Winners

Another February is upon us, and aside from a dreary lack of sunlight and terrible weather, that also means that another edition of the annual World Press Photo Contest is upon us. In case you haven't heard of it before, the WPPC is an annual juried competition for photographers that has been running since the mid 1950s, highlighting the best photography that the world has to offer. As the name implies, it's largely focused on photojournalism, but when you consider the fact that every photography has its own story, the line between art and journalism begins to blur in a most enjoyable way.

This year's winner of the World Press Photo of the Year is Warren Richardson, for his eerily haunting photograph of refugees crossing under razorwire fence at the Hungary-Serbia border near Roszke, Hungary. The refugees were struggling to cross the border before the more complete and secure border fence construction was completed, making it a frantic struggle for hope and freedom. Regardless of how you feel about the refugee crisis facing Europe, the image is incredibly powerful.

Richardson, who is based in Budapest, Hungary, explains how he managed to capture the winning image, and why it isn't as crisply in focus as one might normally expect from a winner of such a prestigious competition.

"I camped with the refugees for five days on the border. A group of about 200 people arrived, and they moved under the trees along the fence line. They sent women and children, then fathers and elderly men first. I must have been with this crew for about five hours and we played cat and mouse with the police the whole night. I was exhausted by the time I took the picture. It was around three o’clock in the morning and you can’t use a flash while the police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away. So I had to use the moonlight alone."

The unnamed photo also won first prize in the Spot News category it was originally entered in, earning Richardson a 10,000 euro prize as well as a new top of the line Canon DSLR camera.

The jury who selected the winners was comprised of a number of notable figures from the world of press photography, including Francis Kohn of Agence France-Presse, who chaired the jury, as well as Huang Wen, director of new media development at Xinhua News Agency, Vaughn Wallace, deputy photo editor at Al Jazeera America, as well as several others.

Posted on February 19th 2016 on 02:42pm
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Wednesday 13th August 2014Do You Compete?

Competition isn't usually one of the first ones a person thinks of when they're thinking about art. It's generally high-flying ideological pursuits, pretty pictures, and maybe the whole starving artist thing. But there is a whole world of art competitions for those who are ready to start taking their work out of the studio and putting it in front of the world. Many artists have no desire to do so, and that's a perfectly acceptable choice - but for those that do, we're going to take a look at some of benefits and pitfalls of the art award, whether it's having your work up in a local library or something a bit more prestigious like a juried competition.

First of all, it's important to point out that many artists go their whole careers without winning awards - even the world-famous masters that have many works in galleries around the world often went unappreciated by the artistic sensibilities of their peers. If you have no desire to join an art competition, don't feel bad! Art is fulfilling on many levels, and adulation is not a prerequisite. Even if you do enter but don't win, don't let that discourage you - try to use it to motivate you to work even harder on your next piece.

The juried show is probably the most prestigious type of competition that is run in the art world today. Typically, a number of accomplished members of the art community - gallery owners, museum directors, and even a couple of more well-known artists - will make the final decisions about the winning entries. Even if you don't win, it's often a great way to start building exposure for yourself as an artist, and if you do win, then you'll obviously get a great exposure boost, and probably a nice little award in the bargain.

That being said, don't hesitate to get your art out into the world any way you know how, whether it's on a crowd-sourced platform online that lets the viewers vote or some other channel for getting exposure. The only route to exposure that's a bad door to open is to do commissioned works for free on the simple promise of "getting exposure" - that tends to be code for "someone is trying to take advantage of you because they don't think they should have to pay for your work". Steer clear of that, and stick to methods that give you and your work the respect deserved.

Posted on August 13th 2014 on 10:04pm
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