Blurb, which allows anyone to design, publish, market, and sell professional-quality books, celebrates self-published photography books and the photographers behind them with these awards.
Judith Stenneken, a professional photographer from Berlin, Germany, scooped the $25,000 Grand Prize, worth over £16,000, for her photography book, 'Last Call.'
Stenneken’s work was chosen by an esteemed panel of judges who reviewed more than 2,300 books from 40 countries to select the most creative, most innovative and finest self-published photography books entered into the competition.
'Last Call' features photographs captured at the historic Tempelhof Airport in Berlin between February and October 2008. The airport, which was an important lifeline for residents of West Berlin during the Cold War, shut its doors for the last time on 31 October, 2008.
"I am honoured that 'Last Call' was selected by the judges to receive this prestigious award," said Stenneken.
"Although the Tempelhof Airport was still operating in 2008, it felt as if the building was deserted, and the only people who were there acted like extras in a movie. It seemed as if time had lost its meaning. ‘Last Call’ is focused on the transitory condition of this place, where desertion had been taking place for a long time."
"Ms. Stenneken’s work stood apart as this year’s Grand Prize winner," said Darius Himes, lead judge, for the Photography Book Now.
"Her photographs combine a rigorous, large-format camera aesthetic with a quieter sensibility. She edited and sequenced the work intelligently, creating an intimate view of a grand space within the pages of her book. She then brilliantly took a ‘readymade’ trim size offered by print-on-demand and made some crucial alterations to the pre-existing format: added endpapers that complimented the feel of the book, a gold-debossed detail on the cover of the book, and a hand-made fold-out midway through the sequence of the book all enhanced the experience of the book as an object. The end result is both elegant and compelling."
The top prize winners of the third annual Photography Book Now competition include:
- Grand Prize: Judith Stenneken, “Last Call” (Germany)
- Category Winner, Fine Art: Arthur Tress, “Barcelona Unfolds” (United States)
- Category Winner, Editorial: Anton Kusters, “893 Magazine - The Yakuza in Tokyo” (Belgium)
- Category Winner, Portfolio: Wassink Lundgren, “Portfolio” (Netherlands)
- First Runner-up, Fine Art: Justin Schmitz, “MOSH” (United States)
- First Runner-up, Editorial: Alexey Vanushkin, “Merry-Go-Round” (Russia)
- First Runner-up, Portfolio: Emily Shur, “The Woods” (United States)
- Second Runner-up, Fine Art: Elizabeth Tonnard, “In This Dark Wood” (United States)
- Second Runner-up, Editorial: Carl Bower, “CHICA BARBIE” (United States)
- Second Runner-up, Portfolio: Lauren Orchowski, “ROCKET SCIENCE” (United States)
- People’s Choice, Fine Art: David Beach, “FETZER’S TALE” (United States)
- People’s Choice, Editorial: Matt Eich, “Carry Me Ohio” (United States)
- People’s Choice, Portfolio: Barry Homes, “Entertain” (United States)
According to Blurb, the books created by the top prize winners will become part of the permanent collections at the International Centre for Photography, the Annenberg Space for Photography and the George Eastman House.
The winning books, including 30 titles that received an Honourable Mention, will be acknowledged later today on the Photography Book Now website and in the Photography Book Now bookstore. Most of the books submitted into the competition are available for purchase in the bookstore.
Photography Book Now is hosting gatherings around the world for the photographic community to celebrate the winning books and mingle with the judges, sponsors, gallery owners, publishers and peers.
Meet-ups will be held in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Brighton, London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Breda, Sydney and Toronto. For more information on the meet-ups, and to RSVP, visit http://photographybooknow.blurb.com/events.
"Hosting the Photography Book Now competition is one of the most rewarding and fun things we get to do each year. More than any other single event, this competition speaks to the heart of Blurb: inviting artists from around the world to submit their finest work," said Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO, Blurb.
"In particular, we were thrilled to see so many international submissions - nearly half came from countries outside of the United States. Congratulations to Ms. Stenneken, who herself hails from Germany, and all the other winners and honourable mentions. Their books are an inspiration and we look forward to celebrating their fine achievements at our PBN meet-up parties all over the world."