The Award Goes To

8 photos1st Tatiana Antonuk (Russia)

It is amazing how similar we are to those who brought us up, and not just outwardly. We express our ideas with their words. We use their gestures. We have the same habits, inclinations and drawbacks. We often do everything in our power to dissociate ourselves from this likeness, but in such moments it shows up even stronger.
I have the same situation. I have been brought up by my mother, father and grandmother. These people are my nearest and dearest. They have done their utmost to make me grow up a good person. But I was not always very happy with their world outlook and lifestyle. I often said both to them and to myself that I was different and my life would be different from theirs. However, with the years I notice more and more often how everything they put into my personality shows up stronger and brighter. I try to get rid of some habits and inclinations that they inculcated in me, but every time I get them back again. I do not want to think and talk as they taught me, but nevertheless I continue doing that. I try to struggle against them, but in doing so I struggle against myself and always lose, because the struggle against nature is doomed to failure.
I think I am not the only one. I know many people who quarrel, argue and contradict those who put heart and soul into their upbringing – their parents and grandparents. I consciously search for such people who wrestle with themselves in the person of their kin.

5 photos2nd Markku Pajunen (Finland)

Markku Pajunen is a Finnish amateur photographer who lives in Espoo, southern Finland. He started his hobby as a teenager with a film camera, but when photography changed to digital, his interest lifted to a new level. Over the last few years he has photographed more seriously, developed his skills and participated in international contests and exhibitions.

- My trademark is humour - although this set of images takes it to an extreme. I always do my hobby with a small smile on my face. I also very much enjoy digital image adjusting and manipulation. It makes everything possible!
This compilation of images was born out of my thoughts about a situation of my own life. Our older child was finding it difficult to accept the newborn baby, and she sometimes even treated her little brother quite roughly. In the images I have visualized the big sister's thoughts, but exaggerated them hugely. Children at this age cannot concentrate on anything for a long time, and guiding them precisely is almost impossible. However the big sister is used to posing for the camera, indeed she loves it. I managed to make her to do what I had in mind by making it feel like she was playing a game. I also greatly appreciate my wife's help as a shooting assistant.

I used 1 to 3 compact flashes with a softbox on the main light. The camera was a Sony Alpha 99 with a Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM lens.

8 photos3rd Bertil van Beek (The Netherlands)

Out of the blue came the phone call by my friend and fellow photographer Hans: "It's not going to end well for Roxanne..." His grandchild, a child everyone was looking forward to so very much, was born after just 24 weeks. The Neonatal Department of the hospital did everything they could, but within less than a month it became clear that Roxanne wasn't going to make it. Roxanne's parents Charlotte and Sebastiaan asked me to document the final hours of her all-too-short life. As I felt honoured by this request, I didn't hesitate for a single moment.

At the Department I asked everyone present to ignore me as much as possible. "Don't think, just keep looking and taking pictures", I told myself. And I did, during the hours that followed. It resulted in a series of 50 black-and-white pictures, which I look upon afterwards as my masterpiece in photojournalism: brutal and heart-rending, and enormously intimate, tender and affectionate all at once. When my pictures were shown on a large screen a few days later during Roxanne's funeral, I couldn't hold back my tears – and I wasn't the only one. It is at moments like these that you realise how great the impact of your pictures can be. What enabled me to take this stirring series of photographs was first of all the trust the young parents put in me, as a photographer and as a human being. And I am extremely grateful for that! On the 24th of April Charlotte and Sebastiaan welcomed their second daughter, Alexis.

Photo Contest

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.