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Mark Peters : July 8th 2007 - 23:10 CET
Nikon prestigious photo contest winners announced

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NikonNikon prestigious photo contest winners announced : Nikon Corporation (President: Michio Kariya) is pleased to announce the winners of the prestigious Nikon Photo Contest International 2006 2007 - one of the world’s largest and most prestigious photo contests. The Nikon Photo Contest is held since 1969 and currently staged once every other year, the contest provides an opportunity for photographers around the world to communicate and to enrich photographic culture for professionals and amateurs alike. For the 31st staging of the contest, the Nikon Photo Contest International 2006-2007 ran with the theme “At the heart of the image,” which is also the new brand statement of Nikon Imaging Company.
Nikon prestigious photo contest winners announcedNikon Photo Contest International
Attracting more than 47,000 photographs from 135 countries and regions, or 1.5 times the number of entries than the previous contest, the Nikon Photo Contest International 2006-2007 generated interest from more countries and regions than ever before. A total of 53 prize winners were selected from among the large number of entries, with Mr. Tung Khanh Le from Vietnam selected as the winner of the Grand Prize for his work entitled “crossing waves.”

Nikon photographic culture
In commenting on the contest, the 10 photographers who formed the international judging panel stated how impressed they were by the overwhelming number of entries from people of completely different backgrounds and cultures around the world, and by the diversity of expression and approach demonstrated through their works. This year marks Nikon’s 90th anniversary. In keeping, the contest aims to attract an even greater number of participants, the end goal being to further develop a venue that allows people from around the world to share their vision, and to thereby actively contribute to the world’s photographic culture. In addition, an exhibition of the prize winning photographs is scheduled for October at Nikon Salons in Tokyo and Osaka. The prize winners along with their works can be seen on the Nikon Photo Contest International web site beginning July 1, 2007.

Overview of the Nikon Photo Contest International 2006-2007
The theme for the 31st contest was “At the heart of the image” - a theme which is both the brand statement of Nikon Imaging Company and an invitation for photographers to freely express their emotions. Entries based on this theme were requested in two different categories, “Free subject” and “Smile, Smile, Smile!” They were accepted from September 1 to November 30, 2006 and were received from all over the world by conventional post and via the Internet. The “Free subject” category welcomed all entries that expressed the photographer’s emotions in any manner the entrant pleased without restriction. The “Smile, Smile, Smile!” category called for lively photographs that capture heartwarming smiles found in daily life, or that conjure up memories or events that bring a smile to the face.

Summary of Entries for the prestigious photo contest
More than 16,000 entrants submitted in excess of 47,000 photographs, with works coming from a total of 135 countries and regions - the largest number of countries and regions from which the contest has attracted entries to date. Viewed by region, the largest number of entrants lives in Europe at 38% of the total, followed by Asia (29%) and North America (21%). The greatest in number of entries from individual countries came from the United States of America, Italy and China. Beginning with the 29th contest (2002-2003), Internet entries were accepted in addition to those made via conventional post. And with each of the two subsequent contests, the number of entries made via the Internet has increased exponentially. The growth of the Internet contributes strongly to the large increase in the number of entries noted for the Nikon Photo Contest International 2006-2007, as well as to the contest becoming a truly global event inviting an ever-greater number of participants from every corner of the world.

Judging, Awards and Prizes
A team of ten acclaimed photographers representing different fields was appointed as judges. The judges from Japan were: Mr. Yoshitaka Nakatani, Mr. Kazuo Unno, Mr. Takashi Yamaguchi, Ms. Mineko Orisaku, Mr. Ikuo Nakamura, Mr. Kazuyoshi Miyoshi, and Ms. Masako Imaoka. The judges from overseas were: Ms. Rosanne Pennella from U.S.A., Mr. Holger Maass from Germany, Mr. Souheil Semaan from UAE. The judges selected a total of 33 winners: one Grand Prize winner in addition to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prize winners for each category. In addition to the 33 prizes above, four winners and 16 runners-up were selected to receive the Emerging Talent Award for outstanding entries from photographers under the age of 30 that exhibit a fresh perspective and convey the energy of youth. This award was created for the 30th contest to encourage young photographers to create and to participate. All in all, a total of 53 winners were selected: Grand Prize (1), 1st, 2nd, 3rd prizes for the Free Subject and Smile, Smile, Smile! categories (16 + 16), plus the Emerging Talent Award (4) and runners-up (16).

Crossing Waves

Winning works of the Nikon Photo Contest International 2006-2007
The Grand Prize : This prize is awarded to the photograph chosen as the most outstanding among all the entries submitted, regardless of category. The Grand Prize was awarded to Mr. Tung Khanh Le of Vietnam for his work entitled “crossing waves.” A powerful image capturing a dynamic subject with a photojournalistic touch, this entry drew the praise of the judges as a work that, “creates images of something dramatic about to occur”, and, “instills the impression of something foreboding.” The photograph stimulates the imagination of the viewer, and creates a work that speaks straight to the heart. After winning the Grand Prize, the photographer shared the following comment. “The scene captures two fishermen hurrying to rescue a capsized boat in distress. My heart was pounding so hard in the midst of the drama that it was a challenge to snap the shutter.”

Breaking the Silence

1st Prize: Free Subject category
This prize is awarded to the most outstanding entry submitted in the Free Subject category. Entries were judged by how well they expressed the photographer’s emotions, in any manner and on any subject the entrant pleased. 1st Prize was awarded to Mr. Joao Quaresma of Portugal for his work entitled “ Breaking the silence.” A dynamic scene capturing a rare moment, this work earned the prize as it brings the viewer a sense of wonderment and freshness, while also serving as a powerful reminder of how precious nature and our oceans are to mankind.

Nothing to Laugh

1st Prize: Smile, Smile, Smile! category
This prize is awarded to the most outstanding entry submitted in the Smile, Smile, Smile! category. Entries were judged by how well they captured heartwarming smiles found in daily life, or serve to conjure up memories or events that bring a smile to the face. 1st Prize was awarded to Ms. Hanne-Lena Malat of Germany for her work entitled “ Nothing to Laugh.” Approaching the Smile, Smile, Smile! concept from a unique perspective that adds an interesting sense of satire and black humor to the scene earned this photograph the prize as a work that strongly and successfully expresses the photographer’s intent.

Emerging Talent Awards
Independent of the Grand, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Prizes, this award is presented to four photographers under the age of 30 whose photographs show a fresh perspective, demonstrate high-level expressive power and convey the energy of youth. Selected to receive the award were Ms. Laurence Soulez of France for her work entitled “Destruction”, Ms. Suchitra Vijayan of India for “Mounted in a glass case”, Mr. Aaron Nelson of the U.S.A. for “1,000 words”, and Mr. Kengo Kureishi of Japan for “Bouzu”. These four works were chosen as those showing power, freshness and a young perspective that indicates great future potential as a photographer.

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