Zeiss has announced its 2019 photography contest is open for entries, and that the top prize will include €12,000/$13,615USD of its lenses along with a €3000/$3403USD grant to pay for a photographic project.

The contest, run alongside the Sony World Photography Awards, is aimed at photographers shooting stories with multiple images rather than single frames. The theme, as always, is ‘Seeing Beyond – The Unexpected.’ The judges will be looking for collections of 5-10 photographs and descriptions on a theme with a ‘strong and clear narrative’. The brief is purposely pretty open and can be interpreted in a wide range of ways.

15 photographers will be shortlisted and will exhibit at the Sony World Photography Awards show, and the winner announced on April 9th at the awards ceremony in London.

Submitted photographs will be judged by three international panelists: Simon Frederick, Dagmar Seeland and Shoair Mavlian. According to Zeiss, 'The jury will evaluate both the photographic quality as well as the creativity of the works. The jury is particularly looking for a powerful story that is clearly recognizable in the images.'

The contest closes on February 8th, 2019. For more information visit the Zeiss Photography Award pages on the SWPA website.

Press release:

ZEISS Photography Award 2019 "Seeing Beyond – The Unexpected "
Pushing the limits of creativity

The ZEISS Photography Award is now in its fourth year – and is calling on ambitious photographers from across the globe to present their work around the theme “Seeing Beyond – The Unexpected” to the international jury of experts. The ZEISS Photography Award is jointly organized by ZEISS and the World Photography Organisation. Last year, 12,000 photographers from 140 countries submitted nearly 90,000 photos.

The 2019 brief
Photographers are asked for a creative response to the brief "The Unexpected" that is driven by a strong and clear narrative. To be understood in its broadest sense, "The Unexpected" challenges photographers to submit a series of 5-10 images that look past the everyday and address something unforeseen or surprising – whether this is through the landscape and the physical environment, through human expression, emotion and interaction, through political or social causes or something more conceptual. The 'unexpected' element could be of global or very personal concern and may either showcase the familiar in a new way or shed light on something entirely different. All types of photography are welcomed by judges

Participants are required to submit a series of five to ten photographs, including a description of the images, online. Submissions open 22 November, 2018 and close 8 February, 2019.

A shortlist with up to 15 photo series will be released on 26 March 2019. The winner will be announced on 9 April 2019. The winning and selected shortlisted works will be exhibited at Somerset House.

The winner will receive:

  • ZEISS camera lenses of their choice worth a total of 12,000 euros, and 3,000 euros to cover travels costs for a photo project.
  • Flights and accommodation to attend the exhibition's opening at Somerset House London in April 2019.
  • ZEISS will also invite the winner to their headquarters in Germany to see behind the scenes and test out ZEISS lenses for themselves.

The winner will also have the chance to collaborate directly with ZEISS and the World Photography Organisation.