Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Vancouver, Canada  (February 29, 2012)  The worldwide search for the greatest photographers of our generation has officially begun. It is comprised of two major components: the online SOLO (single-image) competition and the pinnacle LIVE event in Vancouver, Canada.

The 2012 World Open of Photography™(THE OPEN) is a $50,000 global search to discover the undiscovered, rediscover the established and bring the very best real-life photographers in the world to the forefront.

“There is a new generation of photographers who are changing the game,” says event creator Doug Perry of media production firm W1. “In this age of rising individual creativity we’re seeing incredible photographers who are out there pushing the boundaries of visual art every day. THE OPEN was created to seek out and discover these artists and connect them to a global audience.”

Today, social media plays a major role in bringing talented photographers into the spotlight. THE OPEN leverages the power of multiple social platforms to seek out and elevate the profiles of its participating photographers. The public curates the online SOLO competition gallery through voting and sharing, the most-loved artists continually moving to the forefront. 
Half of the 200 finalists are chosen by the public, and half are chosen by a panel of the sharpest eyes in the business to ensure the very best images are captured.

Following the global online SOLO competition, attention turns to the pinnacle LIVE event on September 28, 2012 in Vancouver, Canada. Six of the world’s best photographers will be flown to Vancouver, Canada to unleash 7-minute choreographed shows of the best work of their careers. The shows are produced on a massive digital screen with concert-level audio. One photographer will be awarded Best of Show. $50,000US is shared between the winners of the SOLO and LIVE competitions.

THE OPEN is developed by award-winning media production firm W1 of Vancouver, Canada. W1 is renowned for creating bold, original events that discover artists and athletes. W1-produced events have awarded over $1,000,000 in prize money to artists and athletes and drawn a collective live audience of more than 2,000,000 people. Its television specials are distributed to 122 countries.

W1 developed the THE OPEN as the evolution of the renowned Pro Photographer Showdown, a major annual live photography competition in the action-sport industry. W1 developed the Showdown (1998-2006) into a ten-screen digital mega-production that Transworld Media dubbed “The Sundance Festival of Photography.” The Showdown has sold out every year in its 14-year history. THE OPEN expands its reach beyond its foundation of action-sport by also including the genres of street, people and nature. It reaches out to artists in over 100 countries.

“We decided the time was right to blow the doors wide open and launch a truly global search for the greatest photographers of our time. We are as inspired to show the work of the most-published legends as we are with completely undiscovered artists whose careers haven’t yet taken flight.” says Perry.

The live event format is unique and very powerful. The artists spend months preparing their shows, taking the time to choreograph career-defining productions. The shows are typically comprised of 120-160 images designed to take the audience on epic journeys. As 2-time Pro Photographer Showdown winner Blake Jorgensen describes: “These shows are cool because normally your photography is diced up, and then goes to different places – it’s chosen by photo editors and art directors. The photographer himself has very little choice in how the photography is represented, so having a show where you get to creatively display your whole life’s work is pretty much the best thing you can ever do as a photographer.”  (source: Pique Newsmagazine)

THE OPEN is designed to create career-building opportunities for photographers. The online SOLO competition connects with 50,000 creative industry professionals including a broad range of photo editors and creative directors from around the world. The site also enables any photographer to sell gallery-quality prints of their images to be shipped anywhere in the world.

The online SOLO competition runs through August 1, 2012. The World Open of Photography LIVE event is scheduled for September 28, 2012 in Vancouver.


Established in 1993, W1 is an award-winning media production firm located in Vancouver, Canada. It is best known for creating the World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC. W1 has produced over 250 events and 400 concerts. Its productions are credited with driving over $100 million in economic activity (Canadian Sport-Tourism Alliance).


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