Category Archives: Awards & Prizes

“Equivalents” Competition Exhibition at Photo Center NW

Scratched Print Skylight Hallway © Mary Ellen Bartley

While working on a series of cloud photographs in 1925, Alfred Stieglitz coined the title ”Equivalents” for his work, with the idea that the photographs could correspond to both the reality in front of the camera’s lens and the internal being of whoever was looking at them. Photographs could be representational and abstract, so even a photograph of a mundane subject could provoke a strong emotional response.

W. M. Hunt, the juror of the 17th Annual Photo Competition at Photo Center NW, chose this idea as the open theme for this year’s contest. So, the winning images are eclectic, but all meet Hunt’s criterion for what makes great photographs: their ability “to evoke a sensation that resonates through my being,” regardless of subject matter or technical process. See if the work resonates through your being too at Photo Center NW’s Seattle gallery, or check them out online. And for more of Hunt’s curatorial vision, check out The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious, 35% off as part of Aperture’s summer sale, which ends this Friday, August 10.

Sara VanDerBeek Nominated for Smithsonian’s Contemporary Artist Award


2012 © Sara VanDerBeek

Established in 2001, the Smithsonian American Art Museum created the Contemporary Artist Award to enhance the museum’s commitment to living artists and to honor their achievements. Artists nominated have to be younger than 50, have produced a significant body of work, and consistently demonstrate exceptional creativity.

The 15 nominees for the 2012 Contemporary Artist Award, whose work spans a diverse range of media, are Matthew Buckingham, Kathy Butterly, Christina Fernandez, Amy Franceschini, Rachel Harrison, Oliver Herring, Glenn Kaino, Sowon Kwon, Ruben Ortiz-Torres, Jaime Permuth, Will Ryman, Ryan Trecartin, Mark Tribe, Mary Simpson and Sara VanDerBeek.

Artists are nominated by a panel of jurors from across the country, each with a wide knowledge of contemporary art. The artist receives $25,000 with the intent to encourage the future development and experimentation of the artist’s work. Winners will be announced in October.

VanDerBeek appeared in Aperture issue 202.

apertureWEEK: Photography Reading Shortlist

© International Center of Photography, 2012. Photograph by John Berens.

›› Throw out your SLR? App-maker Hipstamatic announced its plans to launch the Hipstamatic Foundation for Photojournalism to educate and support ”the next generation of photographic storytellers using smartphones with Hipstamatic.” Photojournalist Brad Mangin posted “How I Made Instagram Images That Were Good Enough for Sports Illustrated,” an essay about how he got a portfolio of iPhone Instagrams published, and how you can too. Traditional photojournalists everywhere are groaning, but check out Benjamin Lowy’s blog featuring his reports from Libya via Instagram (supported in part by a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund grant) and judge for yourself.

›› The Associated Press has announced that it will be using robotic cameras (in addition to its team of photographers) to photograph the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. These cameras, which have been mounted on ceilings and the bottom of pools, will provide an otherwise impossible perspective on the games. On the heels of the highly controversial Olympics Portraits that made the rounds on the web earlier this month, LightBox tells the story of The Best Magazine Assignment Ever, photographer’s Neil Leifer’s 1984 “Olympic Odyssey Around the World” during which he traveled to 13 different countries to create a collection of images that would appear in TIME’s preview of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

›› The New York Times Lens Blog published a collection of color slides taken by groundbreaking American photographer, musician, writer and film director Gordon Parks in 1956, images from his “Segregation Series” that had been thought lost until they were found at the bottom of a box this spring. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture opened Gordon Parks: 100 Moments, a retrospective focusing on the photographer’s work in Harlem and Washington D.C. in the 1940s. The International Center of Photography opened an exhibition of Parks’ photographs in May, and they’ll be on view until January 2013. Parks, who died in 2006, would have been 100 this year.

›› What does the future hold for photography publishing? The British Journal of Photography reported on the growing body of work being printed on newsprint, profiling publications by Jason Larkin, Guy Martin, Alec Soth, and Rob Hornstra, who are enthusiastic about the medium’s affordability and impermanence. Joerg Colberg discussed how serious photography might best use the internet as a means of dissemination.

›› The Guardian’s Geoff Dyer profiles StreetViewer photographer Michael Wolf, as well as Doug Rickard whose forthcoming monograph A New American Picture sparked lively debate on our Facebook page last week, some condemning his practice as lazy appropriation, and others praising its conceptual ingenuity. In discussing Rickard, Dyer links “this new way of working” to the candid photography traditions of Paul Strand, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans: “The shifting spirit of Robert Frank seems also to be lurking, as if the Google vehicle were an updated incarnation of the car in which he made his famous mid-50s road trip to produce his photographic series, The Americans.” In other virtual reality news, StreetView now includes images from the Antarctic huts of explorers Shackleton and Scott, providing yet more digital space for such artists to explore.

Call For Entries | The Paris Photo – Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards

Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation have joined forces to launch two new photobook awards in 2012, celebrating the book’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography. Entries will be accepted from July 15 through September 10, 2012. A pre-selected shortlist of thirty titles will be profiled in The PhotoBook Review; exhibited at Paris Photo at the Grand Palais and at Aperture Gallery in New York; and tour to other venues, to be determined. Winners will be revealed on November 14, 2012, Paris Photo opening day.


First PhotoBook
A $10,000 prize will be awarded to the photographer/artist whose first photobook is deemed by an independent jury to be best of the year.

PhotoBook of the Year
PhotoBook of the Year will be awarded to the photographer/artist, and publisher responsible, whose book is deemed by an independent jury to be the best of the year.


The awards will be judged in two stages. An initial jury will meet in New York to select the shortlisted entries in both categories. Jurors will include Phillip BlockJulien FrydmanChris BootLesley A. Martin, and James Wellford. The final winners will be decided by a separate jury that will meet in Paris before Paris Photo begins, including Els BarentsRoxana MarcociEdward Robinson, and Thomas Seelig.

The preselection of thirty books will be announced mid-September and showcased on both the Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation websites.


The top award-winners in each category will be selected in Paris by a jury at the beginning of the fair. The winners will be announced during the opening day, on November 14, 2012. The winning photographer for the First PhotoBook category will receive a $10,000 prize.


The third issue of The PhotoBook Review, published by Aperture, will be launched at Paris Photo, and will present the thirty preselected books.


The thirty shortlisted books will be displayed during Paris Photo at the Grand Palais in the publishers’ dedicated space. After Paris Photo, the exhibition will travel to Aperture Gallery in New York, and to other venues to be determined.


The Latin American Photobook, Jonathan Torgovnik’s Intended Consequences Win Les Rencontres d’Arles Awards

The Latin American Photobook, edited by Horacio Fernández and published by Aperture, has been awarded the historical book award at the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival. The volume, a blend of bibliography, facsimile, and encyclopedia, offers a critical study of the most important photography books to come out of Latin America, from the 1920s to today. Along with Aperture’s The Dutch Photobook: A Thematic Selection from 1945 Onwards and Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s, The Latin American Photobook is part of a growing body of scholarship on the photobook and its place in photographic history.

Jonathan Torgovnik won the Rencontres d’Arles Discovery prize for Intended Consequences—his portraits of women and their children who were born of rape in the Rwandan genocide—which was published by Aperture in 2009. Watch an excerpt of a panel discussion with Torgovnik, and read an interview with the photographer on FLYP. Intended Consequences and limited-edition prints of Torgovnik’s work are available for up to 35% off as part of Aperture’s summer sale, until midnight EST, August 10, 2012.

Check out The Guardian for more coverage of the Rencontres d’Arles festival prizes.

Photo Prize Round-Up — 05.31.12

PhoozL (With Joel Meyerowitz) (deadline: June 4, 2012, 11:59 pm EST)

History> The inauguration of a recurring “super-judged” photo contest run by the photography education and entertainment site PhoozL, which features assignments, critiques, competitions and more, created by Harald Johnson.

Concept> Legendary photographer Joel Meyerowitz, author of the monograph Legacy, will judge images pertaining to the theme “Seeing the Light.” In this video, he explains that he’s looking for “something surprising, something unexpected, some ordinary event that becomes extraordinary because the light changes it in just such a way.”

Details> No processing/editing or capture date restrictions. Grand Prize Winner receives a priceless one-on-one review of their photography by Joel Meyerowitz himself. Second-Place Prize is a Course Technology PRT Free Book Certificate or voucher redeemable here. Third-Place Prize is a one-year gift subscription to Aperture magazine. 

How To Apply> Entry is FREE to members (18+) registered with the website. Submit up to five (5) photos relating to the theme online by June 4, 2012, 12:59 pm EST.

Brighton Photo Fringe OPEN 2012 (deadline: June 4, 2012, 5:00 pm BST)

History> Every two years, Brighton Photo Fringe co-ordinates a city-wide festival of exhibitions and events in partnership with Brighton Photo Biennial, supporting photographers and lens-based artists and showcasing the best of current photographic practice.

Concept> Emerging-to-midcareer artists, currently living or working in the UK are invited to submit any lens-based work that has not yet been exhibited anywhere in the UK for a solo exhibition opportunity at Brighton Photo Fringe.

Details> Clare Grafik, Adam Broomberg, Oliver Chanarin, and Susanna Brown are judging the work. In addition to a high profile solo exhibition, winners receive a £500 artist’s fee, a production budget and travel expenses within the UK. 

How To Apply> Entry fee is £15 per submission. Email a link to up to 20 images in JPEG format at 72 dpi, along with details of the production of submitted work, a statement of up to 500 words about the work, a statement of up to  250 words about how the work will be presented, and an artist’s CV by June 4, 2012, 5:00 pm BST.

Photo Levallois 2012 (deadline: June 9, 2012, 11:59 pm GMT +2)

History> As part of the Photo Levallois Festival, which will take place in October and November 2012, the city of Levallois will be awarding a photography prize to support young international contemporary creation, and discover and promote new talents.

Concept> Photographers under 35 years of age are invited to submit new work of any contemporary photographic process which has not been previously exhibited or published.

Details> The panel of judges consisting of five personalities from the art world including one representative of the city of Levallois, meet in June 2012 and announce the winner the same day. First prize winners are awarded a sum of €10,000 and the opportunity to exhibit their work during the Photo Levallois Festival at L’Escale Gallery.

How To Apply> To submit, download the full rules and regulations, and mail in at least 15 photographs consistent in content and form of presentation, along with a supporting letter up to 1000 words, a letter of recommendation, and a signed copy of the regulations by June 9, 2012, 12:59 pm GMT +2.

Center Forward: International Call For Entries (deadline: June 20, 2012, 11:59 pm MDT)

History> Founded in 2004, The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, CO is a nonprofit organization supported by donations, grants, and memberships. With offices, classrooms, and two galleries, the Center provides ongoing juried exhibitions of fine art photography by artists from around the world.

Concept> Photography’s “ability to capture our cultural changes, the environments we inhabit, and the thoughts we keep play[s] a vital role in giving us greater insights into our world and ourselves. In the 2012 Center Forward exhibit we are interested in exploring this unique quality of photography, therefore the theme is open and all subject matter is welcome.”

Details> Fine art photography gallery Directors Ann M. Jastrab and Hamidah Glasgow select work to be exhibited in the Center’s Main Gallery exhibition, Online Gallery exhibition, and Print Catalog. Two artists selected by the jurors will also receive $425 each along with a LiveBooks Website award valued at $399.

How To Apply> Entry is $20 for the first three images for members, $35 for non-members. Each additional image (unlimited) may be submitted for $10 a piece.  Download the upload guidelines and submit online by June 20, 2012, 11:59 pm MDT.

“Touch of Evil” Takes an Ellie

“Vogue was honored for overall excellence in magazine photography, although its spooky Steven Klein-lensed “Lady Be Good” portfolio, singled out as a finalist for best feature photography, was bested by those “Vamps, Crooks, and Killers” at The New York Times Magazine.”

— via mediabistro

Photo Prize Round-Up — 04.26.12

Aperture offers a round-up of the latest, greatest, and most rapidly-approaching deadlines in the ever-expanding world of photo prizes.

Moving Walls Exhibition (deadline: April 30, 2012, 5PM EST)

History When the New York headquarters of the Open Society Foundations moved to their 400 West 59th Street location in 1997, a photography exhibition was not part of the plan, but the many large, empty walls of the space presented an opportunity to feature imagery that would amplify the foundation’s missions.

Concept Supporting documentary photographers whose work addresses social justice and human rights issues that coincide with the OSF‘s mission of promoting and expanding open society. Priority is given to work whose subject has not been recently addressed in Moving Walls, and special consideration is given to long-term work produced over years of commitment to an issue or community.

This Year Celebrating its 20th exhibition cycle, Moving Walls 20 will be the inaugural exhibition in the Open Society Foundations’ new headquarters on West 57th Street in New York.

How To ApplyAll entries must be submitted online by 5PM EST on Monday, April 30, 2012

Santa Fe Photographic Workshops (deadline: April 30, 2012, 11:59pm MST)

HistoryAfter many, many requests from Santa Fe Photographic Workshop participants and students, the organization offered its first-ever photography competition during the summer of 2010.

Concept Since conception, the Santa Fe Photographic Workshop‘s semi-annual competitions have focused on broad conceptual themes (Family, Light, Summer). The current cycle is a call for participants’ best examples of The Portrait: “Environmental, studio, candid, or posed. Self or pet, color, black-and-white, alternative process or iPhone.”

This YearSpring 2012′s esteemed panel of judges includes: Kathy Ryan, Director of Photography, The New York Times Magazine; Scott Thode, Editor-in-Chief, VII magazine; Katherine Ware, Curator of Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art; Sean Kernan, Photographer; and Reid Callanan, Director, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops

The winning images will be featured on Aline Smithson’s Lenscratch blogzine, and Grand Prize alone is worth over $5,000.

How To Apply Submit electronically through the competition website by 11:59PM MST on April 30, 2012

Image12 – ASMP New York (deadline: May 1, 2012)

History› Now in its twelfth iteration, Image is a nationwide photo contest run by the New York chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers, the leading trade association for professional photographers, promoting rights, education, better business practices and ethics.

Concept› Without thematic constraints, all of the eligible ASMP Image entries will be judged on the concept, creativity and technical execution of individual submissions. Entries are channeled into Student and Professional judging pools, each with their own respective first, second and third place winners. All images submitted to Image12 must have been created on or before January 1, 2011.

This Year› Image12’s judging panel includes: Elizabeth Avedon, Independent Curator and Writer, La Lettre; Holly Stuart Hughes, Editor, PDN; Jody Quon, Photography Director, New York Magazine; Marc Sobier, Global Director, Y&R NY; Hosanna Marshall, Art Buyer/Creative Producer, Saatchi & Saatchi NY

First Place prizes include publication of the winning Image in a full-page ad in Photo District News, and an exhibition of the winning Image in a New York gallery.

How To Apply› All entries must be received via web by May 1, 2012

Japan’s Young Portfolio (deadline: May 15, 2012): View further details here.

AI-PA Latin American Fotografia (deadline: June 30, 2012): View further details here.

Missing something? Send us links and recommendations via direct message on twitter, @aperturefnd