Istanbul Photo Awards jury selects winners

Experts meet in Cappadocia to select award-winning news and sports photographs; winners will be announced Monday

A jury of international experts has completed its deliberations to select the winners of Anadolu Agency’s third Istanbul Photo Awards 2017.

The jury members had spent three days in Turkey’s iconic Cappadocia region to select top three images in eight categories.

The winners will be announced on Monday.

This international news photo contest has been sponsored by Turkish Airlines and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

This year’s jurists include Paris Match Digital Broadcasting Director Marion Mertens, Noor Agency's veteran photographer Yuri Kozyrev and Getty Images award-winning sports photojournalist Cameron Spencer.

Other jurists include Liza Faktor, a famous curator of multimedia works, AFP Photo Deployment and Business Development Director Michel Scotto, Shanghai Photo Center Director and Pulitzer award-winning photojournalist Liu Heung Shing; and photo correspondent and visual media consultant Georges De Keerle.

Marion Mertens told Anadolu Agency this year’s photos were of high quality and they hoped more images would be sent to the awards next year.

Yuri Kozyrev said: "The Istanbul Photo Awards is a very well-organized competition and there are many photographers who want to apply for this competition to show their photographs.”

He praised Anadolu Agency’s Istanbul Photo Awards. "It is very well-organized. A lot of photographers are interested to apply to show their stories… This gives photographers chance to show what they have done, their stories.

"This is a very respected contest.”

He added he was proud of the selection of stories.

About the photos this year, Marion Mertens praised the high-quality entries. “They are of high quality, covering all kinds of fields. Both arty and journalistic and creative so we are very happy from what we saw,because they are pretty good,” he added.

Mertens also praised the jury's expertise. “There are a lot of people from different countries gathered [in Turkey]. Photographers, editors from Russia, France, Turkey, Australia… So it has been really interesting views on photography.”

De Keerle added: “I think what we chose is very important for community, for journalists to understand what is important.

It is indeed my third time and my first time in Cappadocia. I find this place absolutely amazing, all you have to do is just turn around. The Grand Canyon is actually in Turkey, amazing landscape."

He also said: “It is a great honor, great privilege. It is amazing to be able to contribute to the Istanbul Photo Awards; it is going from strength to strength, so many entries from all over the world, incredible.”

Award-winning sports photojournalist of Getty Images, Cameron Spencer said it was his first time in Turkey and he was proud to part of the jury.

"The best photographers in the world are participating in this award, which shows the expertise of the competition which started a few years ago," Spencer said.

In addition to news and sports categories, the jury picked winners in the newly-added portraiture and nature/environment categories.

For the first time, a photojournalist under the age of 28 will receive a special Young Photo Reporter award.

A total of $133,000 will be awarded across eight different categories and the Young Photo Correspondent section.

The award-winning images will be exhibited at Istanbul’s Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Centre on April 2.

After the jury’s deliberations this week, a workshop and talks will also be organized in Istanbul.

The Istanbul Photo Awards workshop will be held from Friday to Sunday with the support of Mimar Sinan University. Noor Agency photojournalists Yuri Kozyrev and Stanley Greene will share their experiences with participants at the event.

Kozyrev and Greene will also meet participants in the Istanbul Photo Awards talks on Saturday at 2 p.m. (GMT1100) at Mimar Sinan University.

Last year, photographers Abd Doumany, whose image of an injured Syrian boy was chosen as the Photo of the Year by an international jury, and Sergey Ponomarev, who caught images of refugees arriving the Greek island of Lesbos for The New York Times, won the Single News category and later a Pulitzer Prize.

In 2015, Daniel Berehulak was the winner of the competition's Photo of the Year with his coverage of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia and later his work won the Pulitzer Prize.

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