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Competition success for Canon Ambassadors and Explorer

Competition success for Canon Ambassadors and Explorer

© Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos

March 2013

Three Canon Ambassadors and a Canon Explorer have won major awards in the 70th annual Pictures of the Year International Awards (POYi).

Canon Ambassadors Paolo Pellegrin (Magnum Photos), Gary Knight (VII) and Brent Stirton (Reportage by Getty Images) along with Canon Explorer Magnus Wennman (Aftonbladet) have walked off with a clutch of awards from one of the world’s oldest photographic competitions.

Paolo Pellegrin won first place in the Photographer of the Year category for a portfolio of hard-hitting reportage photographs including his controversial image (seen above) of a former member of the US Marine Corps with his weapon.

Gary Knight was recognised along with fellow photographers Philip Blenkinsop and Daniel Schwartz for their project ‘Burma 2012: A Reportage’, which chronicled the country’s re-emergence onto the democratic stage after years of repression.

Brent Stirton scooped top honours in the Environmental Awareness Award for his haunting series of images entitled ‘God’s Ivory’. Stirton is a passionate campaigner for the protection of elephants and rhinos and his images have been used globally to highlight the illegal ivory trade.

Canon Explorer Magnus Wennman won an Award of Excellence and second place in the Portrait category for a sensitive portrait of a small child, Jonathan, reflecting on the loss of his mother.

Each year, more than 48,000 entered works are submitted to the contest by photojournalists from 71 nations who document news events, social issues, and cultural trends. During three weeks of judging in February, a panel of 12 prestigious visual journalists serve as jury members during a review at the University of Missouri, USA. At the conclusion, 240 winners are selected as the very best. Category topics range from General News, to Sports, to Portrait, and to Issue Reporting in more than 40 categories. Premier categories honour Photographer of the Year portfolios and in-depth documentary projects. As an educational model, POYi conducts the contest in a transparent, open-judging format – the three-week review is set in a public forum, with live webcasting, that encourages discussion of the entries and the opportunity to hear both praise and criticism by the jury panel.

List of Canon winners:


First Place: Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Photos


Winner: Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images


Judge's Special Recognition: ‘Bosnia: 1992-1995’ edited by Jon Jones


Award of Excellence: Magnus Wennman, Aftonbladet


Second Place: Magnus Wennman, Aftonbladet


Third Place: Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images


Second Place: Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Photos
Third Place: Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images


Award of Excellence: Ken Geiger, Paolo Pellegrin, David Whitmore, National Geographic Magazine for the ‘Gaza Tunnels’ story.
Award of Excellence: Ken Geiger, Paolo Pellegrin, David Whitmore, National Geographic Magazine for the ‘New Cuba’ story.


Award of Excellence: Gary Knight, Philip Blenkinsop, Daniel Schwartz, DU Kulturmedien AG, for the story (published in DU) on Burma’s re-emergence into democratic society.


Winner (App): Reuters, The Wider Image (developed with help from Canon Europe).

About POYi

POYi began as an annual competition for photojournalism in 1944, and is now an international professional development programme for visual journalism. A non-profit organisation, POYi’s mission is to honour and promote the work of documentary photographers, magazines, newspapers and freelance photojournalists. According to the POYi mission statement, the organisation ‘works to extend the reach of photojournalists and engage citizens worldwide with their images, and demonstrates the role of visual journalists in a free press.’


Shane Keller, a former Marine Corps member, with his weapon. Rochester, New York, USA. 2012.
Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with an EF35mm f/1.4L USM lens; the exposure was 1/60sec at f/3.5, ISO 500.