My fantastic win - photographer of the year
By Richard Seah
12 Jun 2009
I had been wanting to share this fantastic news for the past two weeks and had hinted at something coming up when I posted my image of the Sakuhachi master. But I felt I should wait till it has been officially announced. Finally, the wait is over...
I just won FIRST PRIZE in the First Ngee Ann Photography Competition and Exhibition, organised by the Ngee Ann Cultural Centre in Singapore.
Ngee Ann is a long-established -- and very wealthy -- clan association of the Chinese Teochew dialect group and they set up a Cultural Foundation in 1998 to promote art and cultural activities. It had been organising an annual photo exhibition for the past five years, but this year decided to develop it into a competition, with a generous cash prize and the title, Photographer of the Year for the winner.
This is not the usual sort of photo competition where the "best" image wins. Instead, participants are judged on a set of four images that showcase four different genres of photography, choosing from the following six categories: Architecture / Nature and underwater / Macro and close up / People / Sports / Night photography.
It is a test of versatility. At the same time, the four images should form a coherent set.
I chose the themes People / Nature / Close Up / Night photography. One of my four winning images is, in fact, published in JPG Magazine in Issue #19, December 2008 :-)
Only one other photo competition in Singapore follows the same format -- the SAFRA Photographer of the Year competition, which is held every two years, the last one being in 2008. (SAFRA, incidentally, is the Singapore Armed Forces Reservist Association and they have an active photographic society).
This is the first time I ever won the top prize in a photographic competition. So needless to say, I am extremely happy, excited, satisfied...
Before this, the closest I ever got to winning was a Second Prize in a 2006 competition on the theme, Something Old, Something New, organised to mark the re-opening of the Singapore National Museum that was closed for years of renovations.
And before that... Nothing :-(
I remember in 2007, there was one photo contest that had about 250 consolation prizes and I told my photo buddy: If we don't win at least a consolation, we better give up photography! Well, we didn't win at least a consolation. But good thing I did not take myself seriously, LOL!
I have waited 30 years for this. As a friend over a RedBubble pointed out, this is not just a win but a validation! I am sure this will lead to more opportunities ahead.
It's my great pleasure to share this fantastic joy -- and my winning entries -- with everyone here at JPG :-)))
And, I might add, I am happy to see JPG up and running again, after being down for the past half a year or longer. Whatever happened, I am glad it has been solved.