World Photography Organisation (WPO) ZEISS Photography Award 2020

Launched in 2016 by the World Photography Organisation and ZEISS, the ZEISS Photography Award rewards the world’s most distinctive image-makers creating outstanding series showing their individual way of seeing the world. 

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Photographers are challenged to submit bodies of work responding to a particular theme. The 2020 brief is “Seeing Beyond – Discoveries” and the submissions will be judged by three experts in the photography industry. The ZEISS Photography Award seeks out to celebrate those photographers pushing the creative boundaries of the medium while demonstrating a strong visual narrative.   

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Since 1890, ZEISS lenses have been writing history: they are not only used by the most sophisticated photo and film artists, they also documented pioneer achievements of mankind, such as the first moon landing in 1969.

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2020 Brief : Seeing Beyond – Discoveries

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For the 2020 ZEISS Photography Award photographers are asked to respond to the theme Seeing Beyond – Discoveries.

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Throughout time the human race has been driven to make discoveries. This might be a personal revelation, a scientific and technological breakthrough or an idea that has led to social change – a new way of thinking that’s revolutionised our everyday lives. Since photography’s inception, many great individuals have seen the camera as a tool to explore and question the world, and used the power of the image to shed light on something new. 

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Epiphanies, inventions and transformations from the known to the unknown, we want to see something new. Submissions exploring the landscape, humans, science, political or economic changes, or even something more conceptual, are all welcome.  

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While all creative responses are encouraged, submissions must actively explore the topic of the brief. The series should be between five to ten images, have a clear narrative that aligns with the brief (Seeing Beyond – Discoveries) and visual consistency. 

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Prizes

Rewarding the world’s leading image-makers

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Winner of the ZEISS Photography Award receives:

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  • A range of ZEISS camera lenses of their choice worth a total of €12,000
  • €3,000 to cover travel costs for a photo project
  • Flights and accommodation to attend the Sony World Photography Awards night and the exhibition opening in London in April 2020
  • ZEISS will also invite the winner to their headquarters in Germany to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the factory and the chance to test out a variety of ZEISS lenses
  • The winner will also have the chance to collaborate directly with ZEISS and the World Photography Organisation for future projects

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A selection of shortlisted series will also be on show at London’s Somerset House during the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition. Dates of the exhibition to be announced in early 2020. 

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Timeline

4 February 2020, 2pm CET: Competition closed for submissions

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31 March 2020: Shortlist published and Winner announced

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16 April 2020: Award ceremony and gala dinner London

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17 April to 4 May 2020: The winning photo series and selected photos from the shortlist exhibited at Somerset House in London

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