PRESS RELEASE: American photographer David Zimmerman wins L'Iris D'Or Award, 2009 Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year
“a unique vision of the beauty, poetry, and power possible in great landscape photography” (Mary Ellen Mark, 2009 Judging Committee)
David Zimmerman has been announced as the winner of the coveted L'Iris D'Or Award, the 2009 Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year. Zimmerman received the award at this year's Sony World Photography Awards Gala ceremony in Cannes, France on Thursday 16 April.
The American photographer's entry in the Landscape category beat off stiff competition from some of the world's finest photographers to win the esteemed title, accompanied by a $25, 000 cash prize along with Sony camera equipment. His winning landscape series "Desert" hauntingly depicts the American southwest desert environment as a fragile ecosystem.
Zimmerman said: “My documentation of these remarkable deserts throughout Arizona, New Mexico, California and Nevada continues in an effort to influence preservation through public awareness, opinion and action.” On the announcement of his award, Zimmerman said: “I am thrilled beyond belief, and I want to thank you for this award. There was some wonderful work from some wonderful photographers… I hope this work continues, to make us feel, think and laugh, and I share this award with all the photographers doing terrific work out there.”
The Honorary Judging Committee comprised 12 specially selected World Photography Awards Academy members.
"Desert," winner, L'Iris D'Or award
© David Zimmerman, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
On behalf of the Honorary Judging Committee, Bruce Davidson said: “We live in an era of environmental awareness. It is also an era of the image. Both can coexist to give us a sharper picture of the use and abuse of our deep oceans and beloved terra firma, which is far more at risk than we admit or know. Both image and meaning coincide in the imagery of photographer David Zimmerman. In his sensuous sharp focus, we become more aware of where we are as humans in the drifting sands of time.”
Fellow Judge, Zelda Cheatle, added: “I am very happy that these desert landscapes won overall as they represent skill in photography, an awareness of the environment and reach beyond mere pictures of land and sky.”
Zimmerman received his award from Fujio Nishida, President of Sony Europe at the glittering awards ceremony in Palais des Festivals in front of an audience of VIPs and industry leaders. The eleven other professional category 2009 winners also collected their awards at the ceremony. Vincent Foong, from Singapore, was announced as the Sony World Photography Awards Amateur Photographer of the Year for his image in the Natural History category. Neal Kartik and Pranab Kumar Aich, from India, was awarded the 2009 Student Award.
"Cry of the Big Cat," winner, Student Focus Competition
© Neal Kartik & Pranab Kumar Aich, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
Another major announcement on the night was the winner of the new Prince’s Rainforest Project (PRP) Award. Spanish professional photographer Daniel Beltrá received the prize which includes a fully-funded project to document the rainforests of the world. In a video message at the awards night, HRH The Prince of Wales, said: “Photographic imagery can tell a compelling story about the truth of the situation and, the truth is, if we lose the fight against tropical deforestation, then we lose the fight against climate change.”
The final presentation of the evening went to the acclaimed French photographer and former President of Magnum Photos, Marc Riboud, winner of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award. Riboud was presented his award by acclaimed photographer Elliott Erwitt and received a standing ovation from the audience of over 600 guests.
Astrid Merget, Event Director of Sony World Photography Awards, said: “We are exceptionally proud of the quality of this year's winners who all demonstrate photography's enduring power as a relevant and vital medium. The Sony World Photography Awards continues to grow and has become much more than an awards programme. Schemes such as the Student Focus initiative, the Global Tour and our week-long festival in Cannes, offer a celebration of photography and give an important platform for the international photographic community to come together to share their experiences and skills.”
“We are truly honoured to be part of this impressive showcase of photographic talent,” commented Yoshiyuki Nogami, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Europe. “We would like to congratulate all the deserved winners and look forward to offering our continued support to this inspiring event.”
"The Midas Touch," winner, Student Focus Competition
© Neal Kartik & Pranab Kumar Aich, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
Notes to Editors:
David Zimmerman, based in New York City and Taos, New Mexico, is an honours graduate of Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California (BFA, 1981). His current work includes photographic projects in the deserts of the southwest U.S., the Salton Sea in southern California and documentary work along the Ganges River in northern India. Zimmerman has also produced commissioned work for Pepsi, Nike, American Express, Unilever, Sony and others. He has participated in both group and solo exhibitions, and been recognised in international publications
The 2009 Honorary Judging Committee comprised 12 specially selected World Photography Awards Academy members including: Sue Steward, photography critic (UK); Jurgen Schadeberg, photographer (Germany); Adrian Evans, Director, Panos Pictures (UK); Bruce Davidson, photographer (USA); Mark George, photographic agent (UK); Arnaud Adida, Founder Acte 2 Agence and Acte 2 Gallery (France); Gered Mankowitz, photographer (UK); Grazia Neri, Founder and President of Grazia Neri Photo Agency (Italy); Zelda Cheatle, portfolio manager and curator (UK); Mary-Ellen Mark, photographer (USA); Sarah Moon, photographer (France), and Philippe Garner International Head of Photographs at Christie's (UK)
The twelve professional category 2009 winners are:
Current Affairs – Wojciech Grzedzinski (Poland)
Sport – Julian Abram Wainwright (Canada)
Contemporary Issues - Giulio Di Sturco (Italy)
Arts and Entertainment - Amit Madheshiya (India)
Advertising – Dustin Humphrey (USA)
Fashion - Piotr Fajfer (Poland)
Music - Amiran White (UK)
Portraiture - Roderik Henderson (Netherlands)
Conceptual and Constructed - Tamany Baker (UK)
Natural History - Lisa Maree Williams (Australia)
Landscape - David Zimmerman (USA)
Architecture - Michael van den Bogaard (Germany)
The eight amateur category 2009 winners are:
Architecture – David Watts (UK)
Conceptual & Constructed – Vladimir Melnik (Russia)
Fashion – Christo Stankulov (France)
Landscape – Giuseppe Parisi (Italy)
Music – Kushal Gangopadhyay (India)
Natural History – Vincent Foong (Singapore)
Portraiture – Claire Martin (Australian)
Sport – Lorenz Holder (Germany)
The Sony World Photography Awards (WPA), launched in 2007, lend a global platform for the photographic industry and community. Through a variety of international programmes including the week-long Festival @ Sony World Photography Awards, the launch of an online magazine and a gallery, an international student programme and a touring exhibition, the WPA will continue to discover new talent and create avenues through which to reward photographers with the support and expertise of industry professionals
Winner, Prince's Rainforest Project
© Daniel Beltrá, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
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In Europe, the Sony Group recorded consolidated annual sales of EUR 12.73 billion (yen 2,328 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008. Sony Europe, headquartered at the Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, is responsible for the company's European electronics business and registered consolidated sales of EUR 9.55 billion for the same period.
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(First posted on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 14:34 EDT)