On Thursday, September 26, the winners of the world’s largest photo contest for 2019 were recognized at the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, Austria. The photo from the winner, Ina Schieferdecker, was chosen from 448,152 photo submissions. Schieferdecker accepted the CEWE Photo Award as part of a festive gala.
What kinds of photos draw attention? What kinds of photos are seen by practically everyone around the world? It’s usually the photos that expose dire situations or make the observer aware of critical situations. By presenting the CEWE Photo Award, the photo service provider CEWE wants to serve as a balancer and show the pleasant side of the world with the theme “Our world is beautiful.” This year’s competition and its theme inspired more submissions than ever before. At 448,152 submissions, the CEWE Photo Award has become the world’s largest photo contest. In addition to the high quantity of photos, the judges were especially impressed by the exceptional quality of the images. “Amateur and professional photographers alike have demonstrated their tremendous technical abilities, while also proving that they have an eye for capturing the special moments,” states Dr. Christian Friege, Chairman of the Board of CEWE and one of the seven judges of the contest.
Gala evening for the winners
Steven Gätjen was the master of ceremonies for the gala evening, which took place at the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, Austria and recognised the winners of the ten categories. Approximately 170 excited guests were there to observe the award ceremony. Guests included the winners and judges as well as industry representatives, journalists and partners from all of Europe. German photographer Ina Schieferdecker submitted a spectacular photo featuring a ground squirrel, which earned her the top spot in the Animals category as well as the top prize of the entire competition. Her winnings are not limited to the official CEWE Photo Award. Schieferdecker has also won a trip, new photography equipment as well as CEWE photo products worth a total value of 25,000 euros.
“I’m very happy to have been able to depict this endangered species in the right light. I find it so inspiring that this photo adventure has given me the chance to show others the elegance of the ground squirrel,” says the amateur photographer about her photo subject. The president of the jury and world-renowned photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand presented the award to Schieferdecker. The other judges included British photographer Christie Goodwin, drone photographer Tobias Hägg (@airpixels), Markus Schreiber (Associated Press), Joachim Herrmann (Reuters), Dr. Wilfried Vyslozil, Chairman of the Board of SOS Children’s Villages International, and Dr. Christian Friege, Chairman of the Board at CEWE. Arthus-Bertrand summed up the collective opinion of the panel of judges with the following statement: “This image is the perfect combination of everything that makes a photo great: idea, design and technique. With a dab of humour thrown in. A real winner with symmetry, pastel colours and excellent technique.”
Donation cheque for SOS Children’s Villages International
For every CEWE Photo Award submission, CEWE donated 10 cents to SOS Children’s Villages International. The Chairman of the Board of this organisation, Dr. Wilfried Vyslozil, accepted a donation cheque in the amount of €44,815.20 from CEWE Board Member Thomas Mehls. “It has been a pleasure for us at SOS Children’s Villages International to be able to partake in the world’s largest photo contest,” said Vyslozil when receiving the cheque. “For me, it has been a true honour to be a member of the panel of judges and to be able to play a role in selecting the winning photos.” The donated sum will be used to benefit an education project in India. “SOS Children’s Villages International supports more than 51,500 children, adolescents and adults in India who are in need. The donation from the CEWE Photo Award will be put toward the new “YouthCan!” funding project. The idea behind this project is to give adolescents from needy families a real chance to establish themselves on the local job market,” explains Mehls.