Istanbul Photo Awards turning into week-long event

Anadolu Agency's 3rd international photo contest offers expanded award categories for 2017

In its third year, the addition of the Istanbul Photo Awards Workshop and Istanbul Photo Awards Talks has turned Anadolu Agency's Istanbul Photo Awards into a week-long event.

This year’s competition also sees twice as many categories open, from four to eight.

The four new categories include nature and environment-single, nature and environment-story, portrait-single, and portrait-multiple.

In the contest, a $3,000 Young Photographer award will also be given for the first time to a winner under age 28.

A separate $10,000 award will be given to the winner of the Photo of the Year. Winners in other categories will be given $8,000 for first prize, $5,000 for second, and $3,000 for third.

Anadolu Agency’s Visual News Editor-in-Chief Ahmet Sel said that even though the contest is only in its third year, the Istanbul Photo Awards has become one of the world’s best-known news photography contests.

Sel said, “One of the most important functions of the Istanbul Photo Awards is to highlight photojournalism, which is one of the media's most challenging fields of work, and to support photojournalists, who practice this profession in tough conditions, and to make photointerviews more visible.

 “We can’t give enough support to photojournalists around the world who are dealing with wars, natural disasters, social conflicts, social contradictions, photographs showing us the flow of life, and the ones who often endanger their lives in order for us to better understand the world. Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s most established media institution, is trying to fulfill its duty in this area by holding the Istanbul Photo Awards."

Sel added, “The 2017 Istanbul Photo Awards got around 22,000 applications from photojournalists worldwide.”

“As a well-deserved response to this great attention, we want to create more opportunities for photojournalists to connect and share their experiences. Starting this year, the Istanbul Photo Awards Workshop and Istanbul Photo Awards Talks will host award-wining photographers from every corner of the globe as contributors,” he added.

Bigger and better

Sel said for the last two years the winning photos have been excellent and that their aim is to do their best to enhance the quality every year.

“This year, with the addition of new categories, we have gotten more images than in previous years. However, I am glad to see an increase in both quantity and quality.”

Stating that Yuri Kozyrev, a member of the Istanbul Photo Awards 2017 international jury, and Stanly Greene, a highly experienced photojournalist, are contributing to the event, Sel said, “During the two-and-a-half-day workshop, the educators will share key learning points from their careers besides sharing their portfolios. Following the workshop, they will share their valuable experience with the target audience in the afternoon at the Istanbul Photo Awards Talks.

“Our 2017 jury brings together the world's most important news photo actors and managers. Russian photojournalist Yuri Kozyrev from Noor Agency, famous French newsmagazine Paris-Match's Editor-in-Chief Marion Mertens, and sports photography star Cameron Spencer from Australia are new members of this year's jury.” 

He added, “The contest book and planned exhibits, which will go into print immediately after the contest, and all of 2017’s catchy events will reach out to everyone with the most striking photographs."

Anadolu Agency Corporate Communications Director Esra Kirecci said that from now on the Istanbul Photo Awards Workshop and Istanbul Photo Awards Talks will take place every year.

“Istanbul Photo Awards jurists Stanley Greene and Yuri Kozyrev will share their experiences in the events supported by Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.”

Kirecci added that the first exhibit of the award-winning photos will open on April 2 in Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Center at the University.

Turkish Airlines sponsors the contest, along with support from the Turkish Prime Ministry’s Promotion Fund and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

Among this year's jury members are Cameron Spencer, a Getty Images sport correspondent who has been doing professional sport and portrait photography since 2004, along with Shanghai Center of Photography Director Liu Heung Shing, Getty Images executive Georges De Keerle, AFP Photo Business Development Director Michel Scotto, Paris Match Magazine Senior Digital Editor Marion Mertens, curator Liza Faktor, famous for her multimedia work, as well as Anadolu Agency’s Ahmet Sel and Photo Editor Firat Yurdakul. 

The results of the contest will be announced by the end of March 2017.

Last year, photographers Abd Doumany, whose image of an injured Syrian boy was chosen as Photo of the Year by an international jury, and Sergey Ponomarev, who captured images of refugees arriving at a Greek island, won the single news category and later a Pulitzer Prize.

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