Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Damon Winter wins Leica-sponsored i-shot-it.com photo contest


posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM EST


It hardly seems fair but Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times photographer Damon Winter beat out nearly 2000 entries from amateur and professional photographers alike to win the Leica-sponsored 2013 i-shot-it.com black-and-white photo competition. The 38-year-old Winter, who is based in Brooklyn, wins the US $20,090 cash prize (the amount increases with the number of entries), along with a Leica M Monochrom rangefinder camera, valued at $8,000.

Winter's winning black-and-white image (see a larger version below) is from September 2010 and features a group of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan huddled around an injured comrade amidst a dust storm caused by a helicopter's rotor wash.

"I’m so glad they chose that photo. It was one of my toughest days as a photographer and it must be one of my favorite photos that I have ever taken,” Winter said in a press release from Leica.

The i-shot-it.com online competition, which was created in 2011, allows amateurs and pros to enter in 17 different categories for a fee. An independent jury of internationally known photographers then picks the winners. In this case, photographers Birgit Krippner and Thorsten Overgaard chose Winter's image as the winner of the black-and-white contest, calling it a "symphony for the eye." (Interestingly, the winning photo appears to have originally been shot in color and converted later to black and white.)

Winter won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 2009 for his coverage of Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

To see all the winners in i-shot-it.com's black-and-white competition, click here.

US Soldiers on September 17, 2010, in Kunduz, Afghanistan, shielding an injured soldier from rotor wash of landing helicopter. (Photo by Damon Winter)