Past Masters have included both renowned artists of international standing as well as promising up and coming photographers in a wide range of fields and disciplines. For 2009, winners will be chosen from submissions in each of the following ten categories: architecture, editorial, fashion/beauty, fine art, general photography, nature/landscape, portrait, product, up and coming, and wedding/social. The up and coming photographer is a special category, open to all professional photographers, regardless of length of time in the business or camera format used. Submissions for all categories will be accepted from any established professional photographer, using any large and medium format camera.
As part of its commitment to the Masters Awards and its extended format, Hasselblad has appointed Christian Nørgaard as Photographer Relations Manager. Christian, who became a professional photographer over 20 years ago, has served as Editor for the Scandinavian travel magazine Vagabond for the last ten years. In this role he gained a wealth of experience in choosing images for publication, which will be a huge benefit to the Masters Award selection process.
“The high level of entries for 2008 demonstrates the excellent reputation these coveted awards have developed over the years for celebrating the best in both established and rising photographic talent,” says Christian. “To accommodate our anticipated level of entries for 2009, we are increasing the judging panel to twice the size of last year’s.”
The adjudication process will take place in two stages: an internal jury will perform the first round and the panel of independent, external judges will make the final selections. The external jury will be composed of an elite selection of industry professionals, including leading Art Directors and Editors, as well as renowned photographers including Anton Corbijn (Netherlands), Tim Flach (UK), and Steve McCurry (USA).
The ten winners will each receive the free use of Hasselblad’s flagship camera system, the H3DII DSLR, have their work and Masters’ project marketed and profiled via Hasselblad’s websites and marketing materials, and receive an exclusive framed diploma certifying their Masters status. In addition to being able to use the camera equipment for their own projects, the winners will also use it to capture images to be included in the production of a unique, commemorative collection, photographic book, to be published later in the year. The book, printed using top quality materials and production techniques, will feature pictorials wherein each winning photographer freely interprets a given theme. The 2008 Masters, picked from over 1,700 entries, were given the theme ‘passion’ and have already produced some breathtaking shots.
Christian Nørgaard adds “The aim of this project is to challenge and reward exceptional photographers by enabling them to interpret a given theme using what are widely accepted as the best cameras in the world. Being able to produce a high quality book, featuring their own creative work, fulfils a dream that almost every photographer has.”
Each winner will receive 50 copies of the Hasselblad Masters book, which will be available worldwide. A further 90 finalists and 400 runners-up will receive Masters Award diplomas.
Andrej Kopack, winner of the Masters Award 2008 fashion/beauty category says “It is a deeply felt honour to receive this recognition, as the list of previous winners includes some of my commercial heros.”
Winner of the portrait category, Morfi Jiménez Mercado, also stresses how valuable the Hasselblad recognition is: “There are just a few prizes that can really change your life due to their importance and significance. To have been chosen as Hasselblad Portrait Master gives me the distinction of joining a list of Masters I’ve always admired and who have had a strong influence on my work. It is highly satisfying that the most prestigious company in my field, and the most demanding jury, has recognised my work.”
The closing date for submissions is 1st January 2009.