By founding six years ago the EISA Photo Maestro the European Imaging and Sound Association wanted to encourage both amateur and semi-professional photographers creating series of pictures who are connected to each other. This means that photographers are challenged to think in a documentary way but is of course on an as free as possible mode, to give its own interpretation to the theme of the year.
With themes like ‘Water’, ‘Transport’ and ‘My Country’ the EISA Maestro became already soon after the first start quite popular. And of course that the attraction of the international winners is definitely enhanced by the prize money, the trophy and the trip to Berlin to attend the Maestro Award Ceremony, and above all by receiving the prestigious title of Photo Maestro of the Year.
Also, they do get not only a large national coverage with the publication of the winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize series in the EISA Photography magazine of the photographer’s country, but finally an overall publication of the international 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winner in all 17 EISA photography magazines in Europe, reaching the best audience a photographer can get!
And this year, the first time, the visitors of the Facebook page of EISA will have a chance to vote and make their personal choice of the EISA Maestro Photographer since all the results of the national winners will be online on this page.
click on a picture to view all photosWinners Maestro Photo Contest 2013-2014
1st place: Krzysztof Winnik (Poland)
Krzysztof’s favourite models are insects and flowers from his garden. He usually takes photographs early in the morning, using the interesting low-angled light while the dew is still on the ground. The second stage of his creations is editing his pictures. Apart from the basic processing, which includes improving contrast, sharpening and cropping, he sometimes also works with the colours of the image. ‘I use software plug-ins to produce the unreal, fairytale characteristics in my work. To make my subjects more mysterious and intriguing for the viewer I try to create a fantasy world for them.’
40 years old Krzysztof works in the chemical industry, and has been shooting macro for seven years. ‘I love taking pictures using old lenses’ he says, ‘because they allow more creative possibilities.’
2nd place: Ulrich Hopp (Germany)
Ulrich Hopp first started thinking about these images 17 years ago. At that time, he was a student of biology (specializing on limnology) at the Bavarian city of Neu-Ulm, Germany, and had been working on his final university theses: studying planktonic copepods. Infected by the photographic enthusiasm of his colleagues, he began experimenting with his own film camera – but got only poor results. He continued to invest a lot of time and energy in his macro photography, but was always unhappy with the depth of field of his final images. A radical change came about when he learnt that he could combine a sequence of images with slightly different focus points into a single image, using the focus stacking program CombineZP. He used his Canon EOS 7D with the MP-E 65mm F2.8 1-5x macro lens, and a pair of remote flashes, to photograph these 1-4mm copepods, shooting between 15 and 35 images shifting the focus between each shot. Now he gets the sort of pictures he always dreamed of.
3rd place: Tony Cooper (UK)
Tony became interested in photography in 1970, as a geology student taking pictures of rocks. When he was tasked with photographing fossils, he discovered a love of macro that has remained with him ever since. Tony’s favourite photographic macro subjects are insects – he loves how viewing them close up reveals a world unseen by human eyes. ‘Creeping up on insects and getting a sharp picture before they fly off is always a challenge!’ he says. Tony and his wife are trying to create a record of all the flora and fauna in their garden.
Tony’s photo essay was taken in his back garden. He and his wife noticed these sawfly larvae on a birch tree, voraciously demolishing the leaves. ‘When they are even slightly disturbed they spring out in a surprise defensive mode, making the group look much bigger, but each larva having an interesting sigmoidal shape,’ he says. ‘I tried to photograph them to show how they were eating the tree and also their details to allow identification. Photographing them over a few days naturally made a picture story’