A 25-year-old photojournalism student beat a host of professionals to Zeiss's €15,000 top prize in its first Zeiss Photography Awards. Tamina-Florentine Zuch's project about train travel in India took her six weeks to shoot, and explores how the nation behaves on the world’s most extensive railway network. Zuch wins Zeiss lenses to the value of €15,000, and will receive her prize during the Sony World Photography Award ceremony in London this month.

Zeiss says its inaugural competition, with the theme 'Meaningful Places', attracted 22,000 images from 3139 photographers across 116 countries and was successful enough that the company will repeat the exercise next year.

Runners up in the competition included Melanie Hübner (Germany), Francisco Salgueiro (Portugal), Patricia Ackerman (Argentina), Helen Mountaniol (Ukraine), Jorge Lopez Munoz (Spain), Erez Beatus (Australia), Lasse Lecklin (Finland) and each of them will have their work shown at the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition.

For more information on the awards, and to see the entries of all of those shortlisted, visit the Zeiss Photography Award website.

Press release:

ZEISS award for new perspectives

The winner of the first-ever ZEISS Photography Award has been chosen. The prize goes to Tamina-Florentine Zuch from Hannover with her photo series documenting a train journey through India.

“Meaningful Places” was the theme of the first-ever ZEISS Photography Award “Seeing Beyond,” which invited professional photographers and ambitious amateurs to showcase for the first time their talent to a renowned jury and to the broader public. The contest attracted 3,139 photographers from 116 countries – from Albania to Zimbabwe. A total of 22,000 images were submitted. “The results are superb – we were really excited by the breadth and quality of the applications,” praised Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation, which organizes the ZEISS Photography Award.

In Tamina-Florentine Zuch, 25, the ZEISS Photography Award has found a worthy winner. Zuch, a student of photojournalism and documentary photography in Hannover, traveled through India by train last year for a period of six weeks. Her pictures show children sleeping in hammocks in stuffy train carriages, men risking their lives as they ‘surf’ railway cars, and exotic landscapes as they pass by. Her “Indian Train Journey” brings this journey to life. Some of the images, which are very intimate, demonstrate Zuch’s photographic mastery at such a young age, her patience, and her sensitivity and tact in dealing with subjects from a completely different culture. “Tamina Zuch has an incredible eye for composition, light and a feel for the right moment. She combines these characteristics again and again in her pictures,” said Steve Bloom, one of the three jurors, enthusiastically. “‘Indian Train Journey’ is a very personal and poetic journey that is told by a fresh, young voice,” added Hans-Peter Junker, juror and editor-in-chief of the reportage magazine View.

As the winner, Zuch will receive ZEISS lenses of her choice for a total value of EUR 15,000, as well as an offer to cooperate further with ZEISS. Seven other photographers – Melanie Hübner (Germany), Francisco Salgueiro (Portugal), Patricia Ackerman (Argentina), Helen Mountaniol (Ukraine), Jorge Lopez Munoz (Spain), Erez Beatus (Australia), Lasse Lecklin (Finland) – made it to the shortlist, which gives them the opportunity to present their work at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House in London from April 22 to May 8, 2016.

In 2017 the ZEISS Photography Award will enter a new round, with a different theme. “We want to create a platform for photographers to show their art and their idea of creation to an interested public, and to pay tribute to that,” said Dr. Winfried Scherle, Executive Vice President Consumer Optics Business Group of Carl Zeiss AG. And Scott Gray praises: “The ZEISS Photography Award provides photographers with an exciting opportunity to expand their creative boundaries. We look forward to working with ZEISS on more contests in the coming years.”