Award Insights

Information about the award, interviews with the winners and much more.

Award Ceremony 2020

Award Ceremony 2020

In this 40th jubilee year of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, Leica Camera AG is honouring Luca Locatelli and Gonçalo Fonseca as the 2020 winners.

read more

Interview with Gen Sadakane, Co-Founder and Creative Director of EyeEm

Interview with Gen Sadakane, Co-Founder and Creative Director of EyeEm

Things are getting exciting: the jury has now received all the nominations for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2020. In its 40th year, LOBA winners are, for the first time, to be chosen from among nominations submitted by 65 renowned photography experts from all over the world. Based upon these submissions, the jury is in the process of putting together a short list that will soon be presented on the LOBA website. The LOBA 2020 main and newcomer award recipients will be announced this October. Gen Sadakane is among the nominators. He is Co-Founder and Creative Director of the global photo community EyeEm. Established as a start-up in Berlin, EyeEm has developed in recent years to become an innovative digital photography platform for discovering, sharing and purchasing pictures.

read more

Interview with Mark Lubell, Executive Director of the International Center of Photography, New York City

Interview with Mark Lubell, Executive Director of the International Center of Photography, New York City

This year the Leica Oskar Barnack Award will be presented for the fortieth time. The selection process was fundamentally changed in the anniversary year, as the previous application procedure was replaced by proposals from 65 internationally renowned photography experts. Each member of the nomination committee selected up to three photographers for the main category and one newcomer, on the basis of their personal assessment and evaluation of the photographic works. This year’s jury will soon discuss this preselection and make its decision on the LOBA Winners 2020. Over the past months we have already presented some of the nominators. Here is an interview with Mark Lubell, Executive Director of the ICP.

read more

Interview with Wendy Watriss, who in 1982 was the first female photojournalist to win the Leica Oskar Barnack Award

Interview with Wendy Watriss, who in 1982 was the first female photojournalist to win the Leica Oskar Barnack Award

Without a doubt, Wendy Watriss is one of the most renowned representatives of engaged photojournalism in the USA. At the same time, her name is indivisibly linked to the FotoFest International festival, that she co-founded back in 1983 in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Fred Baldwin, and the German art historian, Petra Benteler. During its 37 years of history, FotoFest has established itself as one of the world’s important of photo events. In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it had to be closed after just one week. Watriss and Baldwin are considered a “power couple” within the US photo community. Because of their numerous responsibilities and commitments, they neglected their own photographic work frequently along the way. As a photographer, Watriss has been professionally linked to Leica for a long time. We spoke with her about her experiences and “The Implications of Agent Orange”, the series with which she won the 1982 Leica Oskar Barnack Award.

read more

Interview with Krzysztof Candrowicz, independent curator and founder of the International Festival of Photography in Lodz

Interview with Krzysztof Candrowicz, independent curator and founder of the International Festival of Photography in Lodz

The first phase of LOBA’s new selection procedure has been completed. Around 70 internationally renowned experts have each submitted three favoured series. In the next step, a shortlist will be put together from these suggestions, from which this year’s LOBA jury will then select the final winners. Finally, this year’s LOBA winner and the LOBA newcomer will be announced in September. Over the past months we have made numerous interviews with LOBA nominators. Today, we will conclude our series by introducing another nominator: Krzysztof Candrowicz, freelance curator and founder of the International Festival of Photography in Lodz

read more

Interview with Caroline Hunter, picture editor of The Guardian Weekend magazine

Interview with Caroline Hunter, picture editor of The Guardian Weekend magazine

There are still a few months left until September, but the preparations for the 40 year LOBA jubilee are already in full swing. The selection process this year is new: around 70 experts from around the world have been invited to submit their proposals. The diversity of these nominators will no doubt ensure that the pictures series submitted will cover a broad range. As part of our series interviewing individual nominators, we would like today to introduce Caroline Hunter, picture editor of The Guardian Weekend magazine.

read more

Interview with Magdalena Herrera, Director of Photography, Geo (France)

Interview with Magdalena Herrera, Director of Photography, Geo (France)

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) is breaking new ground in its fortieth year. This time the procedure is based on the recommendations of around 70 internationally renowned experts from the photography community. Their suggestions have all been received now, and so we can move on to the next phase of the competition. Today we are introducing another nominator: Magdalena Herrera is Director of Photography at Geo (France), and has many years of experience involved in photography competitions.

read more

Interview with Azu Nwagbogu, founder and Director of the LagosPhoto Festival and the African Artists’ Foundation

Interview with Azu Nwagbogu, founder and Director of the LagosPhoto Festival and the African Artists’ Foundation

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award has reinvented itself once again in the year of its 40th anniversary: the new procedure is now based on the nominations of around 70 internationally renowned photography experts. A jury will select the finalists and the winners from among the proposals. One of the nominators is Azu Nwagbogu, founder and Director of the LagosPhoto Festival and the African Artists’ Foundation. We asked him about LOBA and his motivation and wishes for the future of photography.

read more

Interview with Steven V-L Lee, photographer and founder director of Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards (KLPA)

Interview with Steven V-L Lee, photographer and founder director of Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards (KLPA)

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the distinguished Leica Oskar Barnack Award, Leica Camera AG has launched a new, nomination-based submission process. Seventy world-renowned photographic experts will be part of the nomination process. A select jury will then consider all the nominees and choose the winners from among them. In the following interview, Steven Lee, photographer and founder director of the Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards (KLPA) and one of the nominators, answers our questions.

read more

Interview with Alessia Glaviano, Brand Visual Director Vogue Italia

Interview with Alessia Glaviano, Brand Visual Director Vogue Italia

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the distinguished Leica Oskar Barnack Award, Leica Camera AG have launched a new, nomination-based submission process. Seventy world-renowned photographic experts will be part of the nomination process. A select jury will then consider all the nominees and choose the winners from among them. In the coming months we will introduce some of the expert nominators and ask them about their ideas and commitment: we start by interviewing Alessia Glaviano, Brand Visual Director of Vogue Italia, who is among them.

read more

Interview with Steve McCurry – “Curiosity, Strength and Endurance”

Interview with Steve McCurry – “Curiosity, Strength and Endurance”

Mustafah Abdulaziz and Nanna Heitmann are the winners of LOBA 2019 – their outstanding reportages were more than enough to convince the jury. The photographer Steve McCurry was one of the jurors involved. We spoke with him about the challenges and significance of contemporary reportage photography.

read more

Award Ceremony 2019

Award Ceremony 2019

Leica Camera AG honours this year’s LOBA winners Mustafah Abdulaziz and Nanna Heitmann in the course of a formal gala event in Berlin.

read more

What is Guy Tillim up to these days?

What is Guy Tillim up to these days?

Photographers had up until April 1 to submit their projects for the 2019 Leica Oskar Barnack Award – an award that proved extremely helpful to the photographer Guy Tillem, when he won it in 2005 for his Johannesburg Story series. It was a reportage dealing with the transformation of a city, from an urban enclave for the white minority, to an ‘African city’, as he likes to say. In his most recent series, Tillim once again focusses his attention on urban landscapes. His work is on display a the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson until June 2, 2019.

read more

What is Mikhael Subotzky actually up to...

What is Mikhael Subotzky actually up to...

In 2009, South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award for his series Beaufort West. This body of work explores many facets of life in the small town of Beaufort West, population of 37,000, which is cut through by the main arterial road connecting Johannesburg and Cape Town. We spoke about his most important projects over the last ten years, and his tips for newcomer photographers.

read more

Book presentation, Max Pinckers – Red Ink

Book presentation, Max Pinckers – Red Ink

This year the Belgian photographer received the 2018 Leica Oskar Barnack Award for his Red Ink series. Just a few weeks after the award ceremony, the book dedicated to the series was launched. We met up with Pinckers in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Paris Photo photography fair with its countless book presentations and autograph signings. He was at the Polycopies stand where his book was being introduced. The floor was swaying, as the small side fair for special photo books was located, like in previous years, at a dock on the Seine river. Polycopies was the perfect setting for the initial introduction of the small but fine photo book, “Red Ink”.

read more

Award Ceremony 2018

Award Ceremony 2018

Leica Camera AG honours this year’s LOBA winners Max Pinckers and Mary Gelman in the course of a formal gala event in Berlin on 10 October 2018.

read more

Patrick Willocq – Songs Of The Walés

Patrick Willocq – Songs Of The Walés

Patrick Willocq and his You cannot pick a stone with one finger series, was one of the most striking finalists for the 2017 Leica Oskar Barnack Award; yet the French photographer had already been a LOBA finalist in 2014 with an equally unusual series, which can now be rediscovered in the form of a book.

read more

Gianni Berengo Gardin

Gianni Berengo Gardin

On November 15, 2017, in Rome, Leica Camera AG honoured the Italian photographer, Gianni Berengo Gardin, with the Leica Hall of Fame Award for his life’s work. This is second great recognition that connects him to Leica, as he was already the recipient of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award in 1995. Twenty-two years span the two events, and during that period the world of photography has been totally transformed: as a medium, structurally and also aesthetically. In this regard, Berengo Gardin’s oeuvre appears all the more classic today, yet it has lost none of its quality.

read more

Interview with Douglas So

Interview with Douglas So

The die is cast – Terje Abusdal and Sergey Melnitchenko are the winners of the 37th Leica Oskar Barnack Awards. Abusdal’s poetic, Slash & Burn series won the main Award; Melnitchenko’s intense reportage Behind the Scenes won the Newcomer Award. LFi spoke about LOBA 2017 with jury member Douglas So.

read more

Interview Jens Olof Lasthein

Interview Jens Olof Lasthein

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award carrying the name of the inventor of the 35mm camera has been granted since 1980 – in 2010 it was the Swedish photographer Jens Olof Lasthein who won. His award-winning series was titled Waiting for the Future - Pictures from Abkhazia and tells about the people in the Republic of Abkhazia in southern Caucasus. We spoke to him about his newly-published book and the centrepiece of his picture series.

read more

Interview Jane Evelyn Atwood

Interview Jane Evelyn Atwood

What significance can the Leica Oskar Barnack Award have? Money, prestige, but, above all, recognition. A conversation with Jane Evelyn Atwood.

read more

What does Julio Bittencourt actually do?

What does Julio Bittencourt actually do?

The São Paulo-based, Brazilian photographer was the recipient of the 2007 Leica Oskar Barnack Award for his series In a window of Prestes Maia 911 building. Just 26 years old at the time, this honour represented an important step in Bittencourt’s career, pushing him to establish himself as an independent photographer. He found numerous socio-political and multi-cultural themes in his home-town, which he developed into pictures series that had little to do with classic photo reportage; rather, his great sense for colour and form, as well as conceptual severity, transformed them into impressive stories. The award-winning series, for example, revolved around a decaying high-rise complex in the middle of down-town São Paulo, that had been occupied by around 2000 people and turned into their living space. After ten years we wanted to find out what Julio Bittencourt is doing today, and what significance the LOBA 2007 has had for him. While right in the middle of working on his current project, Plethora, focussing on over-population and life in the big cities, the photographer still found time for an interview.

read more

Interview Claudine Doury

Interview Claudine Doury

Unknown worlds in remote Russia: In 1999, French photographer Claudine Doury received the Leica Oskar Barnack Award for her black and white Peuples de Sibérie series. Since then, young people in between child and adulthood have become the emphasis of her work. This also applies to her Artek series, which appears in the latest issue of the M Magazine. Speaking in an interview, Doury talks about the meaning of photo awards, the influence of Edward Curtis and her shift to colour photography.

read more

Interview Dominic Nahr

Interview Dominic Nahr

Dominic Nahr learned all about travelling from a young age: born in Switzerland in 1983, he spent his youth in Hong Kong and studied in Toronto. As a photographer he is also used to jetting around the world, but 2016 was quite an exceptional year. He explains in an interview how winning the 2009 Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award boosted his career, why 2016 was so special and what he is planning for 2017.

read more

Piotr Zbierski – Push the Sky Away

Piotr Zbierski – Push the Sky Away

The Leica 6 x 7 Gallery in Warsaw is presenting a comprehensive exhibition of works by Piotr Zbierski, winner of the 2012 Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award. The Push the Sky Away project combines three of the young photographer’s series. A book published under the same title will be presented for the first time during the vernissage.

read more

Book review Chris Steele-Perkins „The Teds“

Book review Chris Steele-Perkins „The Teds“

The Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award in 1988. Back then, his photo book, The Teds, was already a big hit: now a new edition of this classic of

read more

Award Ceremony 2016

Award Ceremony 2016

The international photographic competition, held every year since 1979, returned to Germany in 2016. This move deliberately brought the award back to the roots of the man who lent it his name – close to the birthplace of Oskar Barnack in Lynow, Nuthe-Urstromtal.

read more

Interview Enrico Stefanelli

Interview Enrico Stefanelli

Eleven years ago, Enrico Stefanelli founded the Lucca Photo Fest as a yearly event. After it came to an end in 2011, he revived it in 2013 as the Photolux Festival and turned it into a Biennale for top class photography. So as to be able to continue offering exclusive photography to the general public in Lucca every year, he began to organise exhibitions in the alternate years. From November 19 to December 11, 2016, he is also presenting the two winners and ten finalists of the 2016 Leica Oskar Barnack Awards.

read more

Interview JH Engström

Interview JH Engström

JH Engström’s photography gives visual form to existential states. Without focussing on one specific style, JH Engström, winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2015 with his project titled „Tout Va Bien“, collects various impressions in rural and urban scenes – impressions that correspond to his emotions. In doing so, he explores what existence is really all about.

read more

Interview Wiktoria Wojciechowska

Interview Wiktoria Wojciechowska

Wiktoria Wojciechowska has received the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award 2015 for her Short Flashes series. For her project, the Polish photographer captured fleeting moments of everyday life in China. Over a number of months, Wojciechowska photographed cyclists in the rain – people making their way through the confusion of the Chinese cities of Beijing and Hangzhou. In an interview with lfi, the 23 year-old explains about the truth she discovered in these uncontrived, fleeting moments, and about how she often had to stand ankledeep in the water to complete the series.

read more

Interview Christian Caujolle

Interview Christian Caujolle

Reportages from crisis areas, personal photo essays, artistic projects – submissions to the 2015 Leica Oskar Barnack Award were as diverse as photography itself. As part of the jury, French curator Christian Caujolle examined each of the works submitted. LFI spoke with him.

read more

Interview Martin Kollar

Interview Martin Kollar

Martin Kollar has won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2014 with his Field Trip series from Israel. It includes unsettling pictures that are hard to place. They are cleverly composed, everyday images full of suggestive strength that seem far from reality, and yet are very close. LFI spoke with the Slovak photographer about deliberate provocation, how captions can inhibit the imagination, and how filmmaking influences his work.

read more

Interview Ingo Taubhorn

Interview Ingo Taubhorn

The 33rd edition of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award competition was, once again, an exciting challenge for the jury who had to select the most convincing series from many top quality submissions. LFI spoke with jury member Ingo Taubhorn.

read more

Interview Evgenia Arbugaeva

Interview Evgenia Arbugaeva

Tiksi – a Siberian fairy tale told through pictures. This year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Award goes to an evocative set of images – part documentary, part fiction – taken by Evgenia Arbugaeva and set in the town of her childhood. Located in the independent Sakha Republic, Tiksi lies on the shores of the Laptev Sea, on Russia’s Arctic coast. Although the town is shrinking, around 5,000 people still live in the settlement, dealing with harsh climatic conditions on a daily basis. LFI spoke with Evgenia Arbugaeva about her award-winning series.

read more

Interview Peter Turnley and Markus Schaden

Interview Peter Turnley and Markus Schaden

This year, submissions focussed on current issues, as well as enduring social and political themes. The jury chose from a number of top quality photo series. LFI spoke with jurors Peter Turnley and Markus Schaden.

read more

Interview Frank Hallam Day

Interview Frank Hallam Day

Frank Hallam Day’s work focuses on people and nature, and the dysfunctional relationship between the two. The Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2012 winning series ‘Alumascapes’, shows how people use their RVs to escape civilization. One destination is Florida’s tropical forests; yet, the contrast between jungle and RV is extreme. The photographer questions the apparent longing for nature, which only seems possible while retaining the comforts of civilization. With intense lighting and specific colours, the contradiction becomes even more evident. In a setting somewhere between reality and fantasy, the RVs almost look like steel insects, with bright eyes illuminating the night sky. LFI asked the photographer about his series.

read more

Interview Bruce Gilden and Karin Rehn-Kaufmann

Interview Bruce Gilden and Karin Rehn-Kaufmann

For 2012, the jury agreed on the finalists and the winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award faster than ever. Even so, there was much to discuss. LFI spoke with jury members Bruce Gilden and Karin Rehn-Kaufmann about good photography and weak submissions.

read more

Interview Jan Grarup

Interview Jan Grarup

When the earth shook in Haiti in 2010, Jan Grarup was in Denmark. Familiar with the country from previous journeys, he travelled there on assignment for a number of international magazines. LFI spoke with the photojournalist.

read more