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Leica invites entries for its Oskar Barnack Award 2013

By dpreview staff on Dec 10, 2012 at 11:21 GMT
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Leica has announced the Oskar Barnack Award 2013 international photo competition will open for entries from January 15th, with a first prize worth €15,000 (~ $19,400). The 2013 winner will receive a Leica M digital rangefinder and lens in addition to a €5000 (~ $6500) cash prize. To enter, participants need to submit a portfolio of up to twelve images expressing 'the interaction between man and the environment.' In addition, the Newcomer award, open to photographers under 25 years of age, offers a Leica rangefinder camera and lens as the prize. Submissions are open until 1st March 2013.

INVITATION TO SUBMIT ENTRIES FOR THE 2013 LEICA OSKAR BARNACK AWARD

An image from US photographer Frank Hallam Day's Oskar Barnack prize-winning portfolio 'Alumascapes'

12/05/2012: Leica Camera once again invites professional photographers to submit entries to their international photography competition, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. Photographers wishing to take part may submit their photographic projects online between 15 January and 1 March 2013. The terms and conditions of entry can be downloaded fromwww.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com shortly before the start of the competition.

The winner of the 2013 Leica Oskar Barnack Award will receive a Leica M camera with lens worth approximately €10,000 in addition to a cash prize of €5,000. A second honour in the course of the competition will be awarded in the category ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award', for (prospective) professional photographers aged 25 and under. The winner of the first prize in this section will also be awarded a Leica rangefinder camera complete with lens. The awards will be presented in the course of the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie photography festival to be held in Arles, France from 1 to 7 July 2013.

Competition entry conditions: An international jury awards the Leica Oskar Barnack Award/Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award to photographers whose unerring powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and their environment in graphic form in a portfolio of up to 12 images. Submissions must be a self-contained series of images in which the photographer perceives and documents the interaction between man and their environment with acute vision and contemporary visual style - creative, unobtrusive and groundbreaking.

With this competition, Leica Camera AG remembers Oskar Barnack (1879-1936), the inventor of the Leica. From 1914 on, he increasingly used the prototype camera he developed, the so-called Ur-Leica, for photography. The history of photojournalism is closely tied to his invention, as, beginning in 1925, the compact and easily carried Leica cameras were instrumental in enabling entirely new and expressive forms of photography.

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Comments

Total comments: 34
FluentLight
By FluentLight (Feb 13, 2013)

Any intelligent types out there willing to help me clarify this paragraph?

"Entry submissions must be a self-contained series of images in which the photographer perceives and documents the interaction between man and the environment..."

I'm not totally sure what is meant by the "self-contained series" part!

Any thoughts?

0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (Jan 21, 2013)

THey seem to have deleted last years entries, and those of previous years-not a good sign, as you cannot see now how they made their selections at all, but it is a fgreat competition: I enter to be able to use a Leica again-too expensive otherwise.
It is free to enter as ALL competitions should be. I am frankly anmazed at people who dare to charge you to possess for free your output! It should be the other way around.

0 upvotes
birket
By birket (Jan 3, 2013)

Photography is an important part of my business (architectural visualisation). Am I therefore qualified to enter? In other words, am I a professional?

0 upvotes
Braud Michel
By Braud Michel (Dec 13, 2012)

What is the use to publish here info of a contest which concern only PROFESSIONNALS , I guess they have all the details they need much earlier and for us it's of no use.

0 upvotes
laquila65i
By laquila65i (Dec 13, 2012)

From all the pictures that I've seen on their site, I conclude that it's a lottery, pure and simple. I mean, for as long as your photographs are not total crap and there's an original idea in them, you can (and should) enter for a chance to win. I think I'll enter. Hey, you never know :)

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Tvance
By Tvance (Dec 12, 2012)

Well, I have been a Leica shooter for about 35 years, and did my entire documentary portfolio with a Leica M6 (film), using 21 and 35mm lenses.

Last year, there were many GREAT photos entered in the Barnack contest, including several international press award winners.

Then, we have the photos that were chosen last year as contest winners.........

I'm no longer interested in entering the Oscar Barnack competition based on the direction it seems to be going.

tv

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (Dec 12, 2012)

what was your issue with the winners ? and what direction do you mean ?

1 upvote
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (Dec 11, 2012)

Addendum:
Who is a professional?

From the Leica website re.: the Barnack Awards competition:

"...The “Leica Oskar Barnack Award” competition is open to all professional photographers. To take part, participants must send in a series of photographs taken in 2011 or 2012 or long-term projects containing at least one photo from 2011 or 2012. Only one entry per photographer is accepted.

The “Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award” competition is open to any (prospective) professional photographer aged 25 or under at the time of entering. To take part, participants must send in a series of photographs taken in 2011 or 2012 or long-term projects containing at least one photo from 2011 or 2012. Only one entry per photographer is accepted...."

Since it their competition, they set the rules and definitions.

So, that settles that.

0 upvotes
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (Dec 11, 2012)

Re.: Who is a professional?

A few years ago, one of my images was on display, having garnered high honors in our local camera club competition. I got a call from some woman who loved it and wondered if it was for sale. I quoted an insane price of $250 because I didn't want to be bothered. She said it was a deal.
I was so surprised, I told her that rather than give her that print, I would custom print one for her on exhibition paper. It is the only print I ever sold since most of my work I do for myself and my own satisfaction and/or club(s) competition. I don't recall if I took it with my Leica or Nikon.

A professional is anybody who's work product is for sale. So, I guess I qualify...sort of. Chuckle.

0 upvotes
skimble
By skimble (Dec 11, 2012)

I qualify as well lol I sold once a print for 250.- bucks and that was shot with a Oly Muj 300 hehe now I'm a professional :-)
If they want to get professionals to buy their products they better try to lower their price, right now the market is full with damn good compact cameras and for a 3000 bucks you in with a D800

0 upvotes
Karl Summers
By Karl Summers (Dec 10, 2012)

If this is only open for true 'professionals', shouldn't the entrants be paid for their submissions?

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Dec 10, 2012)

The professional condition is their polite way of saying please, not everyone.

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (Dec 11, 2012)

Does that include Wedding Photographers? ;-)

0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (Dec 10, 2012)

Just like all artistic competitions, totally subjective. The lighting in winning entry posted above is comlpetely staged as you can see by the shadows of the leaves on the trailer, and yet the intent of Barnack's rangefinders was to enable compact photo journalistic style cameras. what a contradiction of intent.

"The history of photojournalism is closely tied to his invention, as, beginning in 1925, the compact and easily carried Leica cameras were instrumental in enabling entirely new and expressive forms of photography."

0 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 10, 2012)

Vitruvius - Looks to me to just be a sodium vapour street lamp or similar that provided the 'lighting'. I do night photography all the time and make use of existing light sources...this doesn't look much different.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 10, 2012)

Must have been the "hip factor" of retro Airstream trailer but I'm not sure why they chose this image from all other entrants. Of course I haven't seen the rest of this portfolio, so perhaps I'm way off.

1 upvote
Professor999
By Professor999 (Dec 10, 2012)

Except for the under 25 category applicants must be a professional photographer.
What constitutes a professional photographer?
As it isn''t made clear, is it open to interpretation?

2 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Dec 10, 2012)

A professional is someone who makes their main income through photography.

Of course it's open to interpretation, it's art.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 10, 2012)

Don't most pros earn their bread with pictures of widgets, real estate, graduations, weddings, reunions, promotions, anniversaries, crashes, fires, floods, candidates, employees, or suspects?

Or perhaps a "pro" is one who foregoes income or any material comforts for the sake of answering the call of strange muses, without any hope of sales or fame, so long as the spouse, pension, or trust account can cover rent?

In either case, perhaps the newbie under 25 with neither type of credentials has an advantage--or at least a lower opportunity cost.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 10, 2012)

Years ago (ironically when I worked for Leitz), Fred Maroon, a very successful photographer told me the defintion of a professional. "A professional photographer is someone who can afford a full-time bill collector".

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Dec 11, 2012)

For recognition as a professional, how about photography is the "only form of income"?

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Dec 10, 2012)

This blurb from the entry rules caught my attention:

"The images must also be stored with 72dpi in JPG format".

Good god, can Leica hire someone who actually has a clue? This is embarrassing.

8 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Dec 10, 2012)

This is a pretty standard rule in photo competitions. They only want 72dpi because that's the resolution of most LCD monitor. Anything higher will just be a waste of disk space. They'll receive thousands of entries, they only want to pre-filter the entries first. If they like your photo, they'll ask for something with higher resolution and possibly a print. Most entries even ask you to downsize your photos to less than 3 megapixel. At least Leica didn't ask you to down resolution your photos.

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Dec 10, 2012)

@citizenlouie: "They only want 72dpi because that's the resolution of most LCD monitor."

JPEGs do not have resolution measured in dpi. They have sizes measured in pixels. They already specify elsewhere maximum vertical size of 1200 pixels. Specifying dpi for JPEG submissions makes no sense.

5 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Dec 10, 2012)

DPI is dot per inch. It's a resolution measurement, but not a dimension resolution measurement. Higher the DPI gives your photos better detail by increasing the pixel density packed per inch. You can set DPI setting in-camera. It does not affect pixel count, only density of it. DPI setting only affects JPEG, not RAW.

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Dec 11, 2012)

@citizenlouie: It affects nothing in the file. Not JPEG, not RAW. You can use that for output, like printing, but it makes no difference to the screen display. You cannot change the "density" of pixels in a JPEG file.

2 upvotes
imbsysop
By imbsysop (Dec 11, 2012)

@citizenlouie: You'd better follow the hints given by "onlooker" about the DPI/PPI myth. You are miles off-track with your concepts. Wish that camera makers would remove this stupid number from the meta-data in the picture. It would solve a lot of problems and avoid a lot of useless discussions. Not saying anything about fueling the wrong concepts, over & over. ;-)

Truly embarassing for Leica this 72DPI stunt. !!!

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Dec 11, 2012)

I will not argue further though I do wish you two look out for more competitions that have such DPI requirement, look for your LCD monitors' DPI setting and see if you can change DPI also in your camera and play with Photoshop a bit to see the relationship between print output and DPI and megapixel counts. How that affects file size and print detail while keep the same megapixel counts.

0 upvotes
laquila65i
By laquila65i (Dec 13, 2012)

This silly "DPI" requirement caught my attention as well.

LCD monitors don't have no stinking DPI settings. You can calculate the number of "dots per inch" a monitor will display at the given screen size and display resolution if you wish, but it has nothing to do with the issue discussed here.

When it comes to computer screens, the confusion comes from the fact that there's a display setting called "DPI setting" in an operating system that you can actually change, but it only applies to text fonts, not the images. The image size in pixels is all that matters. The DPI value in an image file is a stupid anachronism that has no effect on anything whatsoever. When an image file data is read into the video buffer (or when an image is printed), only the actual pixel values and the color palette are read and nothing else. In other words, the DPI value in the EXIF is a dummy setting. You can set it to anything you like, but it will not affect how the image is displayed or printed.

0 upvotes
maboule123
By maboule123 (Dec 10, 2012)

I wonder what "Newcomer" under 25 will be able to buy a Leica before Xmas, get to the assignment, proof, and edit before the due date.
What about sixty plus with a great pension plan newcomers?

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Dec 10, 2012)

Photographs can be taken with any camera, not just Leica.

9 upvotes
disasterpiece
By disasterpiece (Dec 10, 2012)

Actually nothing in the rules states that you must have used a Leica...

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 10, 2012)

The contest will accept photos taken with any device, including pin-hole film cameras or daguerrotype plates. Content is king. Quality is queen. Brand is the knave.

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Dec 10, 2012)

If you can't even read simple instructions I doubt you'd be in with a chance here.

1 upvote
Total comments: 34