Monday, February 22, 2010

Meet the Hasselblad 2009 Masters

22/02/2010 Hasselblad recently announced its 10 Masters photographers for 2009, as selected by an international jury and the public. Celebrating the best established photographers and promising newcomers, Hasselblad Masters Awards recognize photographers' creativity, composition, conceptual strength, and technical skill.

The winners of the Hasselblad 2009 Masters awards, by photo specialty, are:

ARCHITECTURE. Stuttgart, Germany-based Stephan Zirwes,, is best known for his aerial shots, and his ability to find poetic forms in both mundane and exciting environments. While revealing the patterns, connections, borders, uniformities, and contrasts of buildings and structures, his images also touch upon current political and socio-critical themes.

EDITORIAL. New York City-based Nina Berman,, whose primary focus is the U.S. political and social landscape, has been published in Time, Newsweek, The Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Colors, German Geo, Harpers, National Geographic, Fortune, and Marie Claire. With awards in art and journalism from the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Open Society Institute Documentary Fund, the World Press Photo Foundation, she is recognized worldwide for her portraits of wounded American military. Her image "Marine Wedding" is considered one of the most iconic images of the human cost of war.

FASHION /BEAUTY. London, UK-based Dirk Rees,, spent 10 years in the production industry, on film, advertising, and documentary projects. The transition from moving images to stills and the ability to capture narratives has inspired his love of experimentation, innovative lighting, and other creative techniques. A strong sense of storytelling and narrative flow characterize his commercial and personal work.

FINE ART. Born in Beijing, China, Quentin Shi (Shi Xiaofan),, began his career photographing local underground musicians and artists. Splitting his time between Beijing and New York, he has worked recently with commercial and fashion photography, including projects for Adidas, Microsoft, Sony, Siemens, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Esquire. More recently, he has returned to fine art photography. He has won numerous international advertising and photography awards.

GENERAL. Toronto, Canada’s Mark Zibert,, a prize-winning commercial and documentary photographer, won his first national campaign, Nike, at age 23. Recent projects include the Adidas Olympic advertising campaign for the 2008 Games in Beijing, for which China won its first Cannes Gold Lion and which helped him win Photography Campaign of the Year at the Lucie Awards. Outside the commercial realm, Zibert has traveled to Africa (Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania) to shoot documentary work for Non-Governmental Organizations that work to improve the lives of refugees, former child combatants, young people with, or orphaned by, HIV/AIDS.

LANDSCAPES/NATURE. Hong Kong photographer Bang Peng, who focuses on landscapes with a strong compositional element, feels that the act of seeing and capturing images has changed his basic understanding of life. Photographic works, he believes, should not just be understood intellectually; they should have a direct effect on the heart and soul. Masterpieces cannot exist without a soul.

UPCOMING. New York photographer-filmmaker Lyle Owerko,, has a diverse clientele including the Sundance Channel, Time, MTV, and a number of corporations, entertainers, and celebrities. His images have appeared in films, including Henry Singer's The Falling Man and The Omen, as well as books such as Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. His work is included in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

PORTRAIT. Slitting his time between Miami, Florida, and Caracas, Venezuela, Claudio Napolitano,, focuses on social commentary. With a clientele that includes corporations, small firms, and individuals, he has worked independently for advertising agencies for some 19 years. Claudio has earned recognition from the Cannes Lions National Diploma, London Festival, ANDA (Venezuela’s Advertising Standard), FIAP, Festival del Caribe and Photographer of the Year for two consecutive years.

PRODUCTS. San Francisco-based Mark Holthusen,, is best known for creating images that push the boundaries of traditional photography. Mark’s award-winning work, which merges digital ingenuity with boundless imagination, has drawn recognition from Communication Arts, Graphis, American Photography, and PDN. Primarily known for creating bold advertising for clients such as Honda, Napster, Microsoft, Kohler, Quest, Target and HBO, Mark creates editorial images that speak to his love for unusual Americana, eccentric people, and nontraditional subjects.

WEDDING/SOCIAL. Working out of Lisbon and New York, Portuguese photographer Joao Carlos,, approaches his shoots as a painter, conveying emotions through storytelling and rich settings, primarily in natural light. Joao envisions his photography as an opportunity to create inspiring artwork that goes beyond the conventionality and impermanence of fashion and commercial photography. His work has been published in Numero, J’adore Magazine, Six Degrees, Umbigo Magazine, and Nstyle. Clients include Nike, Avon, and Pfizer.

The 2010 Masters competition will award Hasselblad Masters designations in 10 categories - Fine Art, Nature/Landscape, Social/Wedding, Portrait, Fashion, Editorial, Product, Architecture, General Photography, and Up and Coming - plus a new 11th category: Wildlife. The competition is open to all professional photographers using large- and medium-format cameras, regardless of brand, and to new photographers in the Up and Coming category, open to all professional photographers, regardless of camera used. Winners receive use of an H4D digital camera system to create images for the Masters program and a Masters Commemorative book.

HP, Broncolor, Hahnemuhle, and SanDisk are program sponsors.

The closing date for submissions is December 31, 2010. For your chance to win the coveted Hasselblad Masters 2010 title, click here.

Text by Alice B. Miller

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