Slovak Press Photo Rewards Best Photos for 2016

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Michal Svitok of the News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR) with an award in the sport category for a series of eight photos called 'Going for Gold' (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 20 (TASR) – The Primatial Palace in Bratislava on Wednesday was the venue for the 5th annual Slovak Press Photo awards, whose aim is to provide an independent and authentic visual testimony of life through the lens of photographers.

President Andrej Kiska, Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko and Bratislava mayor Ivo Nesrovnal were in attendance as well.

The main Grand Prix award was bestowed upon Ivan Holub for a photograph called ‘Supper’. The Grant of the City of Bratislava was given to Matej Hakar for a series of photos titled the ‘Danube Rocks’.

Michal Svitok of the News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR) received an award in the sport category for a series of eight photos called ‘Going for Gold’ depicting race walker Matej Toth’s journey for a gold medal in the men’s 50-kilometre race walk at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Matej Kalina won first place in the same category for a single photo labelled ‘Down Mall’.

The ‘State Pollution’ (a word play on Slovak words policia/polucia – police/pollution, referring to a nocturnal emission, a wet dream) by Erik Adamson placed first in the news category. Peter Korcek was awarded in the same category for a single photo called ‘Terror in Paris’.

First prize in the daily life category went to Ivan Holub for ‘Supper’ (single) and to Dorota Holubova for ‘Balifornia’ (series), who also won first place for a photo labelled ‘Khate’ in the portrait category. In the reportage category the prizes went to Eduard Genserek for a photo called ‘Up to the Sky’ as well as for a series of photos titled ‘Celebration of the 72nd Anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising’.

The world of art category saw Tomas Benedikovic receiving the prize for ‘Slovak Dances’, while Marek Pupak was awarded first place in the students and young photographers up to 25 years old category for a series of photos called ‘Be Slovak in Slovakia’.

Lubor Kotlar was awarded the prize for the young talent category for a series of photos called ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank’. The video category saw Tomas Rafa taking the award for a video of ‘Refugees on the Serbian-Croatian Border’. Oldrich Malata with ‘Behind the Mountain Wall’ was first in the Central European Category.

“A famous photographer once said that a real photo doesn’t need to be explained or described with words,” said Kiska. “I must admit that I’m sometimes jealous of photographers. I’m jealous because they go places I’d like to go as well. Sometimes I get sad with photographers, when I see photos of children and the suffering that photographs can depict. At other times I become a philosopher and I ponder over what I see, what the photographer felt and how I feel. A photograph can awaken emotions, can make us better, more compassionate and sometimes rightfully angry. I’d like to thank the organisers and congratulate the winners,” he added.

“I remember my first experience with a professional journalist; when I was waiting for him started taking pictures, and this good journalist waited for the right moment to take a photograph he was content with. Taking a proper picture is a great art. A photograph can be a decisive moment for us politicians that can lift us up or bring us down. In any case, I pay my respects to all the organisers for offering a chance to young people, to this talent and to people with a heart. I’ve seen photographs that have soul, value; photographs one can look at for a long time; photographs that smell of energy, love and value,” said Danko in his speech.

The competition saw a total of 191 photographers and 1,522 photographs, of which 226 are displayed as part of the Slovak Press Photo exhibition.

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