The 2008 African Photo Entrepreneur of Year Awards
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: November 12, 2008
A Johannesburg photographer and Kenyan photographer based in Johannesburg took top honours in the first African Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Awards which were presented by Africa Media Online at a gala dinner at the Ascot Conference Centre in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday November 12. Twenty-seven professional photographers stood to win prizes in six categories, with women photographers taking four of the six awards.
The 27 photographers were all participants in Africa Media Online’s Global Competitiveness Masterclass, the final stage of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme aimed at ensuring that African photographers are globally competitive ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Close to 150 photographers applied to the programme in June this year and 40 were selected to attend Africa Media Online’s Digital Campus in August where they were trained in working with digital images at the standard required by global markets. At the end of that week the professional photographers were given an assignment to “capture the essence of the proud, stylish and technologically-savvy African of today.” Of the 40, 27 photographers completed the assignment to the required standard and were invited to attend the Global Competitiveness Masterclass in Pietermaritzburg being run this week from November 9 to 13. Africa Media Online’s African Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is the culmination of the whole process.
A prestigious panel of award winning photographers and photo editors was gathered to judge the awards. These included Pulitzer Prize winning photographers Greg Marinovich from South Africa and Rick Gershon from the US. Gershon is a multimedia specialist at Getty Images in New York. Marinovich’s wife, Leonie an acclaimed photographer in her own right, was also joined by former picture editor at the Associated Press, Katherine van Acker, and professional commercial photographer and Microsoft Icons of Imaging member, Peter Krogh. The judges gave scores to each image from the assignments of each photographer. The scores from the top 17 images in each assignment were calculated to give the results in each category. There were four class awards and two regional awards. No one photographer could win more than one class award.
Johannesburg photographer Karen Agenbag was the winner of the top award, the “Tudor Sigma African Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” awarded for the best overall assignment. Tudor Photographic (Pty) Ltd., South African agents for Sigma, presented the top-of-the-range Sigma SD14 professional digital SLR camera and Sigma 24-135 f2.8-4.5 lens. The 14 Megapixel camera uses a unique Foveon x3 sensor which, unlike most digital cameras, captures red, green and blue light on different layers of sensors, somewhat like film used to do.
The “Adobe Best Picture of the Year”, awarded for the image that the judges consider is the best image of the year, went to Kenyan-born photographer Antony Kaminju, who received Adobe’s latest version of the award winning professional imaging programme Adobe Photoshop CS4.
The “FotoFinder Award” was given for the best assignment from a photographer outside South Africa. Kenyan photographer Felix Masi received airtickets to fly to South Africa, courtesy of FotoFinder GmbH, an image portal in Germany (http://www.fotofinder.com).
Johannesburg-based Toni Jade Efune won the “Microsoft Woman Photo Entrepreneur Award”, presented by Microsoft’s Professional Photography division. As part of this award, Africa Media Online will be digitising the top 300 images from this photographer including scanning on a prepress scanner, retouching the images so that they are market ready, and associating keywords with them so that they can be found on an online search. Microsoft presented a Crumpler laptop bag, Microsoft Vista Ultimate, Microsoft Office 2007 and their professional imaging software Capture One 4 not only to the winner of this award, but also to all the other award winners.
The “Tudor Sigma Documentary Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Award” is given for the best assignment from a photographer who took a documentary approach. This could include environmental portraits. This went to Cape Town based South African photographer Nikki Rixon. Tudor Photography (Pty) Ltd. presented her with the Sigma DP1 14 Megapixel compact camera. This camera has all the power of a digital SLR in an unobtrusive package ideal for documentary work.
The “Africa Media Online KZN Photographer of the Year Award” honours the top photograper from KwaZulu Natal province where Africa Media Online is based. Africa Media Online will also be digitising the top 300 images from the collection of winner Anwen Evans.
Find out more about the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme
This project is supported by the European Union