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Nikon Photo Contest International 2008-2009 Announcement of Winners

August 6, 2009

Nikon Corporation (President: Michio Kariya) is pleased to announce the winners of the Nikon Photo Contest International 2008-2009 – one of the world's largest and most prestigious photo contests.

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 32nd staging of the contest, the Nikon Photo Contest International 2008-2009 ran with the theme "At the heart of the image," which is also the brand statement of Nikon Imaging Company. Attracting more than 51,000 photographs from 153 countries and regions, or 1.1 times the number of entries than the previous contest, the Nikon Photo Contest International 2008-2009 generated interest from the largest number of countries and regions in recent years.

Grand Prize winner "Cave Of Hope"
Maung Maung Gyi (Myanmar)

A total of 54 prize winners were selected from among the large number of entries, with Mr. Maung Maung Gyi from Myanmar selected as the winner of the Grand Prize for his work entitled "Cave Of Hope."

In commenting on the contest, the 10 international photography professionals who formed the international judging panel stated that there were a large number of unique entries with strong, individual views, reflecting the entrants' passion for photography. The judges learned new ways to view photography by experiencing firsthand how other judges in the panels interpreted the works.

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.

The winners along with their works can be seen on the Nikon Photo Contest International website beginning August 6, 2009 (http://www.nikon-npci.com/).

Overview of the Nikon Photo Contest International 2008-2009

The theme for the 32nd 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 "My Planet." They were accepted from September 1 to November 30, 2008 and were received from all over the world by conventional mail 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 "My Planet" category called for works that expressed the photographer's feelings about their world, whether that involved the environment, scenes from their daily life, or people and other subjects that stirred their passions.

Summary of Entries

More than 18,000 entrants submitted in excess of 51,000 photographs, with works coming from a total of 153 countries and regions - the largest number of countries and regions from which the contest has attracted entries in recent years.
Beginning with the 29th contest (2002-2003), Internet entries were accepted in addition to those made via conventional mail. The growth of the Internet contributes strongly to the large increase in the number of entries noted for the Nikon Photo Contest International 2008-2009, as well as to the contest becoming a truly global event inviting an ever-greater number of participants from every corner of the world. At the same time, many of the judges expressed concerns regarding the addition of digital effects to photos, seen in a large number of Internet entries. This will undoubtedly become an issue to be examined in the future.

Judging, Awards and Prizes

A team of 10 acclaimed professionals working internationally in various photographic fields was appointed as judges. The judges from Japan were: Mr. Yoshitaka Nakatani, Mr. Kazuyoshi Nomachi, Mr. Kazuyoshi Miyoshi, Ms. Masako Imaoka, Mr. Manabu Miyazaki, Mr. Takashi Yamaguchi, and Ms. Sayaka Ikemoto. The judges from overseas were: Ms. Ami Vitale from the U.S.A., Mr. Alptekin Baloglu from Turkey, and Ms. Claudia Hinterseer from the Netherlands. The judges selected a total of 34 winners: one Grand Prize winner and one NIKKOR 75th Anniversary Award winner, in addition to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prize winners for each category.
Added to the 34 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 54 winners were selected: Grand Prize (1), NIKKOR 75th Anniversary Award (1), 1st, 2nd, 3rd prizes for the "Free subject" and " My Planet" categories (16 + 16), plus the Emerging Talent Award (4) and runners-up (16).

Winning works of the Nikon Photo Contest International 2008-2009

The Grand Prize

"Cave Of Hope"
Maung Maung Gyi (Myanmar)

The Grand Prize was awarded to Mr. Maung Maung Gyi of Myanmar for his work entitled "Cave Of Hope." The photo is a deeply impressive, dramatic entry that is reminiscent of a religious painting. Judges' comments include "there is a depth in this photo that never gets old. If one looks at this photo many years from now, they will still be moved by its quiet yet powerful nature," and "one will be overcome with pious thoughts just by looking at this photo.

NIKKOR 75th Anniversary Award

"At the heart of the Kaszuby forest"
Kacper Kowalski (Poland)
  • *This prize was established to commemorate this year's 75th anniversary of the NIKKOR brand lenses, and is awarded to the outstanding work that places second after the Grand Prize winner.

The NIKKOR 75th Anniversary Award was presented to Mr. Kacper Kowalski of Poland for his work entitled "At the heart of the kaszuby forest." This image is awe-inspiring thanks to its unique angle and its subject, a never-before-seen landscape.

1st Prize : Free subject category

Zsolt Kudich (Hungary)

1st Prize was awarded to Mr. Zsolt Kudich of Hungary for his work entitled " Quarrel." This shot captures the split-second expressions of two birds in a tensely set composition. The precise framing beautifully depicting the strength in life, and the strong impact this photo has are testaments to the solid techniques of the photographer.

1st Prize : "My Planet" category

Peter Allinson (U.S.A.)

1st Prize was awarded to Mr. Peter Allinson of the U.S.A. for his work entitled "Friends." The superb angling of the shot makes the whale look as if it is smiling. This photo raises environmental awareness not by elaborate explanations but with its unstaged portrayal of nature. It shows the photography's power to convey important messages regardless of generation.

Emerging Talent Awards

Selected to receive the award were Ms. Elena Chernyshova of Russia for her work entitled "Flow of Life", Mr. Aydin Berk Bilgin of Turkey for "AMEN2", Mr. Danny Ghitis of the U.S.A. for "Ganges Bather", and Mr. Yuuta Kawai of Japan for "Let's think all." These four works were chosen as those showing power, freshness and a young perspective that indicates great future potential as a photographer.

Flow of Life
Elena Chernyshova (Russia)
Aydin Berk Bilgin (Turkey)
Ganges Bathe
Danny Ghitis (U.S.A.)
Let's think all
Yuuta Kawai (Japan)

Introductions of all the prize winners and their works can be viewed on the Nikon Photo Contest International website (http://www.nikon-npci.com/). Plans include posting a mini gallery that displays other works by about 20 entrants, including the Grand Prize winner and Emerging Talent Award winners and runners-up.

For further details, please access the official Nikon Photo Contest International Web site at: http://www.nikon-npci.com/

The copyright of award winning photographs of Nikon Photo Contest International 2008-2009 belongs to photographers and is protected by law.
The images can be viewed on your monitor for non-commercial and personal purpose, and should not be used otherwise.
The images are not allowed to be modified, used for commercial purpose, nor should they be publicly displayed.

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.