Istanbul Photo Awards 2022 applications open

Anadolu Agency’s international news photography contest to be held for 8th time this year

Applications for the Istanbul Photo Awards 2022, Anadolu Agency’s international news photography contest, are now open.

Now in its eighth year, the Istanbul Photo Awards aim to honor and support press photographers for their professional dedication.

The competition is recognized as one of the world’s top photography contests.

Along with many staff photographers, a sizeable number of freelance journalists also enter the contest.

Only professional photographers can enter the contest, using photos of events that made headlines worldwide in 2021.

Entries are being accepted in seven categories: Single News, Story News, Single Sports, Story Sports, Single Nature and Environment, Canon Story Daily Life, and Story Portrait.

This year, three awards will be given in the Single Nature and Environment category, featuring works in the field of the environment, one of the world’s most pressing issues.

Applications will be open to all published and unpublished works from all over the world.

The contest jury, featuring star-studded figures from the photography world, will award the best photos in March.

Terms and conditions for applications can be found at the contest website. Entries will be evaluated based on multiple factors such as technique, perspective, movement, and feeling.

The Photo of the Year award will be given to the photograph that is first in the Single News category, and the photographer will be awarded $6,000.

The first place winners in each category will be awarded $3,000, the second place winners $1,500, and the third place winners $1,000. The Story Daily Life and Story Portrait categories will have first place winners exclusively.

Besides cash prizes, first prize winners this year will win a Canon camera, Canon EOS R3 to single news and story sports and in other categories Canon EOS R5.

The contest, which attracts thousands of applications every year, is supported by Canon, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), and Turkish Airlines.

Applications are available at through Feb. 15.

Award-winning sports photographer speaks in Istanbul

Seasoned Getty Images photojournalist Adam Pretty talks about his work behind camera at show of selections from Istanbul Photo Awards

An award-winning sports photographer from Australia on Friday spoke about his secrets for capturing eye-catching images, as well as his experience taking pictures at the Olympic games.

Adam Pretty, a photojournalist with Getty Images, spoke at a special Istanbul exhibition of selections from the Istanbul Photo Awards, an international photography contest held by Anadolu Agency.

The talk, held at the Energy Museum at Bilgi University’s santralistanbul complex, was moderated by Atilgan Ozdil, a chief photographer at Anadolu Agency.

Ozdil asked Pretty, who has so far won honors in four Istanbul Photo Awards, including third place in this year's Single Sports category, what his "secret" is for winning contests.

"I've always sort of tried to be part of the Istanbul Photo Awards," he explained. "I think it's important to support photo awards wherever they are in the world."

He said it was "obviously important" to him that Istanbul Photo Awards includes sports coverage, adding: "Also, it's just a different opportunity to reach another market, as well as a bunch of people who still want to look at photography."

Shooting the Olympics

The seasoned photojournalist told the audience that he still got nervous before covering big events like the Olympics.

"If you're at a big event, you know, you only get one chance with that picture. And you’re competing against a lot of other photographers from around the world."

For some assignments, Pretty said, he would start preparing even a year or six months in advance. "Other times, I like to go to a venue totally blind and just go in and see what I see."

He said that his best work often emerges with a degree of spontaneity, when he is able to act “on instinct” rather than thinking too much.

Pretty said that when he starts putting too much thought into his work, it tends to be "a little bit more static or lacks a bit of life."

"So, I think it's a bit of a mixture," he explained, adding that to cover the Olympics, "you need to plan," as there are strict rules and accreditation regulations for photographers.

He also recalled his experience during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were only held in 2021 under strict coronavirus measures, and how he used the runup to the competition.

"I spend a few days or a week before, without all my decisions (made) about what to do,” he said, adding that this gave him “the chance to shoot something different.”

Pretty told how while attending a session of the Tokyo Games, he was able to ask a supervisor if he could go under the water to take photos.

When the actual race starts, he said "it's much more strict. You know you're stuck in a position."

Technology and photography

According to Pretty, technology helps photographers a great deal. "It's also made the competition get much better."

"When I started, sort of 20-25 years ago, the best sports photographers were the ones who put the men in focus the best. And then autofocus came in and almost anyone could do that," he recalled.

But he still sees the person behind the lens as key, saying: “I still believe the camera doesn't take a picture by itself. Image has that vision. So, I think if you want to stay on top of the game, you need to have something else than just technology."

Istanbul Photo Awards exhibition kicks off in Turkish metropolis

In opening speech, Anadolu Agency's deputy director general says event is more impactful every year

The third exhibition of Istanbul Photo Awards, an international photography contest held by Anadolu Agency to support photojournalism, opened to visitors on Thursday, Dec. 2.

The award-winning photos of the contest will be presented at the Bilgi University santralistanbul Campus Energy Museum until Dec. 10.

Delivering the opening remarks of the event, Anadolu Agency's Deputy Director General Oguz Enis Peru started with this year's photo of the year, taken by Bangladeshi photographer Mohammed Shajahan during the coronavirus pandemic.

The image Shajahan captured, Peru said, "summarizes the fight against the coronavirus since 2019 with this single frame, making us feel the story that thousands of words try to tell."

He added that Istanbul Photo Awards was an annual project "meant to recognize the efforts of distinguished photographers, efforts that we have witnessed most closely."

Noting that Istanbul Photo Awards 2021 marked the event's seventh edition, Peru said the contest's worldwide impact becomes greater with each passing year.

Photographers from 96 different nationalities participated in the contest this year with around 15,000 photos submitted, he added.

3rd prize winner: Adam Pretty

Adam Pretty, a photojournalist with Getty Images and winner of third prize in this year's Single Sports category, was also present at the opening ceremony, saying it was a "great honor and privilege" to come to Istanbul for the first time in 17 years.

"I think Istanbul (Photo) Awards are fantastic photographic awards," he told Anadolu Agency. "If you can spread the word about photojournalism across the world, in different countries, cultures, I think it's a really positive thing."

He underlined that the event was "one of the awards that's really prestigious and highly looked upon." "The exhibition, the book they publish, it all helps and it's done in a really good way," he added.

Being awarded for his work and having his photographs exhibited around the world is a "positive thing," said Pretty. "I think as a storyteller, that's kind of what I want to do. It's the driving goal behind what I'm trying to do."

On the importance of sports journalism during the pandemic, he said: "Especially in the last couple of years with the whole COVID pandemic, sports played a really big part in helping people through it."

"Hopefully, that's the story behind my picture as well," he said, speaking of the award-winning photograph he took, titled "Log Pile Bouldering," of an athlete in Germany.

The image, he said, is the story of one person as well as how they survived COVID pandemic by keeping on with their training and their physical exercise.

A special selection of photos featuring events that marked the last year, from lachrymose scenes of the COVID-19 pandemic to the explosion in Beirut and the Superbike World Championship, are expecting visitors.

Istanbul Photo Awards exhibition kicks off in New York

Photographs covering major events around the world over past year being exhibited at UN headquarters until Oct. 29

An exhibition featuring a selection of photographs from the international news photography competition, the Istanbul Photo Awards 2021, kicked off in New York on Monday. 

An opening ceremony was held at the newly-inaugurated Turkevi Center, or Turkish House, in New York City.

Anadolu Agency board member Ismail Caglar, and Oguz Enis Peru, the agency's deputy director-general, also attended the ceremony.

As many as 40 photographs covering major events around the world over the past year are being exhibited at the UN headquarters until Oct. 29.

Feridun Sinirlioglu, Turkey's permanent representative to the UN, said the exhibition is the first cultural event at the Turkevi Center.

He said they are pleased to know that interest in the photography contest, annually organized by Anadolu Agency, has increased over the years.

Stressing that the exhibition includes photographs reflecting the devastating effects of COVID-19 from different perspectives, as well as creativity, self-sacrifice, and determination, he said that some photos reveal the suffering of those who lost their loved ones in wars and disasters, and the effects of climate change.

“I hope the exhibition strengthens our collective will to resolve a multitude of issues fairly, inclusively and quickly,” he added.

In his speech, Peru said last year's most important event was undoubtedly the coronavirus pandemic that affected the entire world.

Bangladeshi Mohammed Shajahan's photo titled "Mom Love" won the Photo of the Year Award.

Explaining that award-winning photographers have revealed developments in different parts of the world with their works in war, conflict and disaster regions, including Azerbaijan, Syria, and Lebanon, Peru said: "We believe that photography has the power to reach all borders, and as Anadolu Agency, we attach great importance to photography."

The Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations helped open the exhibition that is sponsored by Turkish Airlines and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

The seventh edition of the awards and the exhibition are both organized by Anadolu Agency.

The international jury of nine, including photojournalists and a visual storyteller, decide the winners every year.

Alain Schroeder won the first prize in the sports story category with his “Dead Goat Polo” entry depicting the Kyrgyz national sport Kok Boru. 

The Belgian photographer told Anadolu Agency that he visited Kyrygyztan in 2020.

“I was only going to stay for three weeks, but when the COVID-19 pandemic started, I had to stay for six months,” he said.

“… I traveled to mountainous, beautiful areas again. I took some photos. In winter, I went there again in November and December and took these photos,” he added.

Schroeder said that he was extremely happy to have won an award with the photographs he took while he was locked in Kyrgyzstan during the pandemic.

James Wellford, who was among the jury members of the Istanbul Photo Awards 2016 and is currently the senior editor of National Geographic, said: "Thank you for your invitation to the exhibition. I am pleased to come here and see the exhibition. It is extraordinary that you have so many categories,” he added.

The opening ceremony was attended by Turkey's Consul General in New York, Reyhan Ozgur, as well as foreign mission representatives and foreign journalists.

Hakan Copur, Washington Bureau Chief for Anadolu Agency, showed the guests around the exhibition.

More information about the awards and the winning photos can be found on the event’s website,

Istanbul Photo Awards exhibition kicks off in Ankara

Selection of 74 photographs covering major world events over past year on display at CerModern Arts Center

An annual international photography exhibition, the Istanbul Photo Awards 2021, kicked off in Turkey’s capital Ankara on Monday.

Anadolu Agency Chairman of the Board and Director-General Serdar Karagoz began his speech with a sound of intensive care unit to mark the story of the winning photo from Bangladesh.

“Mahmuda, 44, who is in quarantine, is trying to smell the birthday flowers left by his daughter from the other side of the door,” Karagoz said.

He said the coronavirus pandemic, which affected everyone's lives, broke up many families and caused social isolation -- also affected many participants' perspectives.

Karagoz emphasized the significance of photojournalism by saying: “A hundred years from now, the photograph will make people feel the same things.”

On the fact that photographers won awards for their work in war, conflict, and disaster zones such as Azerbaijan, Syria, and Lebanon, he said photography has no borders.

Next week, the exhibition will take place in New York, he said, and hoped that it would also be organized in Japan and the other parts of the world if the pandemic conditions allow.

Exhibition featuring best shots of 2020

A selection of 74 photographs covering major events around the world over the past year is on display at the CerModern Arts Center until Oct. 24.

They include entries and winners of the news photography category of the awards, ranging from snapshots of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on human life to disasters such as the August 2020 Beirut port blast.

The seventh edition of the awards and the exhibition are both organized by Anadolu Agency.

National flag carrier Turkish Airlines and state-run aid group Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) were the official partners for the awards, which saw some 15,000 entries and 14 eventual winners from 12 countries.

Bangladeshi Mohammed Shajahan's photo titled "Mom Love" won the Photo of the Year Award.

The international jury of nine, including photojournalists and a visual storyteller, decide the winners every year.

More information about the awards and the winning photos can be found on the event’s website,