Popular Photography, one of the world's largest imaging magazines, has announced its shortlist of the top ten photographers who will vie for the 'Photographer of the Year 2005' title. Chennai-based lensman and CEO, 1pointsize, Sharad Haksar, is the lone Indian to have made it to this top ten list.
The award has been instituted for the first time by the magazine and the ten short-listed entries are on the magazine's site. Till May 31, 2005, photo enthusiasts will poll to choose the top three. The three will then be flown to New York City in July for an assignment specified by the organizers to decide the best among them. Along with the award, the winner will also be richer by US$5000.
Commenting on the criteria for judging the entire before arriving at the top ten, Mason Resnick, Managing Editor, Popular Photography, said, "There were many portfolios that we really wanted to make into the top 10 on the basis of one or two amazing shots, but our judging guidelines were to judge based on consistency overall 4 photos; when we saw that the other shots were too pedestrian, we had to regretfully eliminate the portfolios."
Haksar was elated when exchange4media spoke to him. "In all photography contests, you win for work that you send, work that you have done. In this contest, you're not judged on work that you have done, but on hands on assignments under a defined set of factors that are common to all three finalists. I am looking forward to it," he said.
According to the site, the top-ten list was announced on April 18 from among hundreds of entries from nearly 30 countries. The selection procedure is said to have been rigorous, with each photographer submitting four pictures representative of their work - a people shot, a product shot, an action shot and any one portfolio shot. The editors of the magazine chose the top ten after sifting through the entries.
Haksar is currently at No. 3 on the list (as of April 20, 2005, 4 p.m.), trailing the number two by a slender margin. The organizers have hidden the identity of the photographers to avoid favoritism, and the votes have to be cast by entry number. exchange4media identified Sharad's work that included a picture featured in a client campaign. The Indian contender was also the first Indian to get a nomination for photography in the British D&AD (Design & Art Direction) awards, in 2002, and won 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronzes and 21 Nominations at the IPA Awards last year.