Leica has released details of the twelve finalists for this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Award, one of who will take the €35,000 (approx. $41,000) top prize. Organizers say that 2500 photographers submitted work to the competition this year, and that 110 countries are represented in the contest that looked for portfolios of 10-12 images demonstrating ‘the relationship between man and the environment in the most graphic form’.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Berlin in October, with the best portfolio earning the photographer a €25,000 cash prize as well as €10,000 of Leica M equipment. The best new photographer will win an M camera and lens kit of the same value along with €10,000, and the ten runner-ups will receive €2500.

Above you'll see a single image from each of the portfolios, but to see all the images and to get a better sense of the issues and stories they cover, visit the Leica Oskar Barnack Awards website.

Press release

Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2018: The twelve finalists have been chosen

During European Month of Photography (EMOP, Berlin), the finalists’ project portfolios will be presented in a major exhibition in the ‘Neuen Schule für Fotografie Berlin’ from 10th to 31st October 2018

The twelve finalists of this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) have been chosen. The complete portfolios from the categories ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award’ and ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer’ can now be viewed at www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com

This year, around 2,500 photographers from a total of 110 different countries submitted entries to the LOBA competition.

This year, the jury was again impressed by the large number of entrants and the high quality of the portfolios entered in the competition. “With every new year of the competition, it is remarkable to see how intensely and creatively the entrants fulfil the thematic requirements of the LOBA. We have consciously maintained the theme of ‘the relationship between people and their environment’ since the first request for entries to the LOBA competition in 1979. Today, this theme remains as valid as it was in the past – in fact, we could even say that it is now more important than ever before”, says Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director & Chief Representative Leica Galleries International.

In addition to Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, the members of this year’s LOBA jury were:

  • Mark Lubell, Executive Director ICP - International Center of Photography (USA)
  • Markus Hartmann, Hartmann Projects (Germany)
  • Terje Abusdal, Photographer & LOBA winner 2017 (Norway)
  • Christian Wiesner, Artistic Director, Paris Photo (France)

The winners and finalists of the LOBA will be honoured in the course of a formal ceremony in Berlin on 10th October. The portfolios of all twelve finalists will then be on view from 10th to 31st October 2018 at a major exhibition in the ‘Neuen Schule für Fotografie’, Brunnenstrasse 188-190, 10119 Berlin. The LOBA Catalogue 2018, presenting the winners and finalists in detail with comprehensive portfolios and interview, will be published to accompany the exhibition.

With prizes amounting to a total cash value of around 80,000 euros, the LOBA is one of the industry’s most prestigious photographic competitions. The winner in the main category will be honoured with a cash prize of 25,000 euros and Leica M-System equipment (a camera and lens) valued at an additional 10,000 euros. The winner of the Newcomer Award will be honoured with a cash prize of 10,000 euros and will also be presented with a Leica rangefinder camera and lens. In addition to the two main categories, ten further submissions to the competition will each be honoured with prizes of 2,500 euros.