Winners announced for the LINHOF YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER AWARD '09

©2008-2009 Harlan Erskine. From the series "Imaginary Wars," The Phantom Brigade 20 x 37 inches.

I am happy to announce that my School of Visual Arts thesis project has been awarded 3rd place in the Linhof Young Photographer Award '09. The above image is a sample of what will be shown at the June thesis show for the at the School of Visual Arts Gallery on 26th Street in New York. I will be posting more images in the next few weeks and I'll post the upcoming School of Visual Arts thesis website so you can browse the rest of the class of 2009. Take a look at the Linhof Award's Press Release below.


On April 24, 2009 the jury met in in the headquarters of Linhof Präzisions-Systemtechnik / Munich for selecting the winners. 468 participants from 39 countries had sent more than 3.500 images. The ratio of female to male photographers was almost exactly 1 : 2.

The Linhof company and the jury were surprized by the big number of international participants of the competiton despite of tough restrictions relating to the age and the theme. The theme was "HUMAN CITYSCAPES" and the photographic realization should comprise the urban environment "City" showing contrasts or unity of citizens and architecture.

The jury had a hard job. Quite often excellent images were submitted but missing the conceptional work. Some photographers submitted individual images but did not follow the concept for their whole series whereas the judging always referred to the total entry.

The entries from 39 countries also revealed rational preferences for contents and aesthetics. Most of the entries originated from Germany. These 169 participants often referred to the theme fairly strictly combined with conceptional architectural photography - at high quality standard. Entries from China (81) can be described as more formal experimental. Many-sided but also individually were the works of the English (31) and American (21) participants.

The jury has evaluated the image series for a position reflecting the changing impression of human beings in relation to his environment.

Members of the jury were:

Thomas Weski (Associate Director, Haus der Kunst Munich, Curator of photography)

Professor Peter Bialobrzeski (High School for Arts/Bremen, Photographer)

Brigitte Nusser (Collectioner of photographs)

Anna Wondrak (Historian for Arts)

Barbara Wolff (Photographer). All three living in Munich.

The first prize, a Linhof Camera equipment to the value of 10.000 Euro goes to the 28 years old Russian photographer Alexander Gronsky (link 1, link 2) living in Talin/Estonia. His series "The Edges" is about exploring the boundaries of Moscow city. In almost surrealistic scenes he shows people and animals disintegrated from the city and put in the abstract plane of the snow.

The second prize, a Linhof Camera equipment to the value of 3000 Euro goes to the team Philipp Diettrich and Matthias Keller (High School for Design/Karlsruhe and High School for Arts/Bremen) for their work "Kolonia Megawatt" dealing with the Polish border city Bogatynia. The series shows the transformation of the town and the people. Destruction, re-building and the strongly dominant power plant create a peculiar cosmos visible in the series of images.

The third prize, Linhof Camera accessories to the value of 1000 Euro goes to Harlan Erskine, New York (School of Visual Arts/New York). His series "Imaginary Wars" show games of his childhood in New York with imaginary foes lurking around the corners. Children play games in which they imagine themselves in adult roles that they may not fully grasp. In the images the photographer stretches his memories into an apocalyptic world.

The Linhof Prazisions Systemtechnik being the organizer of this competition says many thanks again to all participants. The company plans to issue such a contest bi-annually with new topics thus establishing this competition as an important international photographer award.

The winning images will be posted soon on Linhof's web site. For further information see:


note: If you know of any better links for the first and second place artists please send them to me and I will update this post.