GFX Challenge Grant Program 2021
The GFX Challenge Grant Program, sponsored by FUJIFILM, is a grant program that awards 5 Global Grant Award and 10 Regional Grant Award to help aspiring creatives bring their imaging projects to life. Since the start in November last year, there were roughly 3,000 applications from all around the world. The number of applications as well as the creative quality of the projects exceeded our expectations. The submisssions gave us assurance that so many people are intereted in the GFX system and the project. We want to say a big thank you to all applicants.
The selection was extremely difficult, but we were encouraged each time we read the project proposal, and were excited each time we saw the presentation.
In March 2022, the 15 award recipients were announced, and after 5 months of production, the 15 works were finally completed in August 2022. Now we will present you the works of the 15 Grant Award recipients. We hope you will enjoy these original photographic and video works from around the world.
He has exposed in (selection): Museum d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma, Italy; Museum of Fine Arts “Emilio Pettoruti”, Argentina; CCK, National Salon of Visual Art Award; Museum of Cultural History in Osnabrück, Germany; PhotoDays Festival, Croacia; Pilar Riberaygua Galery, Andorra; Festival Promenades of Vendome, France; Tatent Latent, International Festival of Tarragona, Spain; Contemporary Art Museum of Mar del Plata, Arg; Museo Provincial of Fine Arts “Timoteo Navarro”, Tucumán, Arg.; Museum of Fine Arts "Quinquela", Arg.
Awards (selection): 1st Prize, Best Portfolio, Transversalidades Award, 2021; Honorable mention, Salón Nacional of Visual Art Award, 2021; 2d Prize, Xposure International Photography Awards, Arab Emirates, 2021; 1st Prize Felix Schoeller Photo Award, 2017; Finalista Leica, Oskar Barnack, 2015; Grand Prix, PhotoDays Festival, Rovinj, Croacia, 2015; 1st Prize, Portraiture, PoyLatam, México, 2015; Shortlist, portraiture, professional, Sony World Photography Awards, 2015; 1st Prize Mark Grosset, Promenades Festival of Vendome, France, 2014; Audience Award, Festival Promenades, 2014; 1st Prize IILA, Rome; Grant Macro - IILA, Rome, 2014; 1st Prize Photography, University of Belgrano Awards for Artistic Creation, Arg, 2014.
Works in collection: Museum of Arts and Crafts, Zagreb; National University of Villa Maria, Cordoba; Private Collections London; Private Collections Madrid, Spain; Andorra Private Collections. About "The Cathedrals of Nostalgia" As cities grow they also leave behind- in the midst of desolation- pieces of their selves. That forgetfulness, that neglect is also part of their history. In spite of this side effects as society we keep on turning our backs on this situation. In Argentina, a single decision ended up with entire towns being thrown into oblivion. This decision had to do with the lack of financing and the subsequent closure of some train lines that connected the cities with the surrounding towns. The remains of this measure are entire towns in which their few remaining inhabitants fight for their memory, for their history as they embrace to an impossible hope. Each one of these inhabitants are like cathedrals of nostalgia that are erected in the middle of loneliness. They are immersed in the silence of their own fragments. Inhabiting incomplete, suppressed stories. But they are still there.
In 2020, András Dobi was a finalist for the Siena Creative Photo award. He is the recipient of international photo awards such as Fine Art Photography Awards, International Photo Awards, ND Awards, among others. In 2021, within an artistic collaboration, he was a co- author of the performance book titled Variation on the represented. About "Photoreographia" This art project, titled Photoreographia, is the realization of a photographic concept that is based on the act of resolving the contradiction: dance being a movement through time and photography being the imprint of a moment.
To make this possible, fine art photographer András Dobi asked several professional choreographers around Germany to choreograph pieces of dance dedicated to this particular occasion. The two most significant differences between choreographing in the traditional stage- orientated method and the way that Photoreographia is done are linearity in time and orientation in space. Since the main aspect of this art project is to depict an entire choreography in one single image, the end result is a visual imprint of the choreographer’s decision of where and how the dancer was going to move. In this case, linearity in time as one of the most important factors in choreography loses its importance. When a viewer looks at the final result of Photoreographia, it is clear that the usual starting and ending of choreography in terms of time are not significant anymore. This gives the images a singular nature. Viewers can decide their own way of experience and understanding of the images, and through them, the choreographic work as well.
Photoreographia is an art project that allows two art forms to observe, experience, and implement each other’s innovations, and make a new conclusion of how dance and photography can be merged into one.
He once pursued postgraduate in UK, living in the moment where he can fully immersed himself with what called 'photography for science'. It has introduced him into the realm unable to perceive with human normal eyes. For him, it was such a delicate and fascinate scene of nature. Since then, he decided to explore this path for a while. With a high hope, they may give the answer he was looking for.
With his craving for expanding boundary of visuals, Krittanun currently carry on the creative path as commercial, documentary and scientific photographer and videographer to keep on sharpening skills and perspectives. He is in search for new photographic possibilities to explore new boundary of the visuals. About "The Great Little Life" Boundary beyond human's eyes is elusive yet fascinating. In the nature, there are countless beauties we unfortunately cannot afford to perceive. I started getting captivated by the concept of super-detailed macro photography since I pursued postgrad course in Biological Photography and Imaging.
Insects are representatives of nature herself hidden charms. Glory and scars of innumerable years evolution have been inscribed on their unique structures. The project wish to capture all the delicate details of tiny lifeforms and reflect the concept of 'the great little life’ and depict the beauty of evolution via insects’ structural builds to the audiences.
Naturalistic 3D model is another dream we are ambitious to pursue. In the thought of science, it would virtually conserve naturally aging specimens forever. With the less possible risks of harming the invaluable real, we can study the virtual. In the touch of art, it's simply feel really good to rebuild the beauty and complexity of nature.
The project's greatest wish is to see the unseen beauty of nature.
From 2004 to 2014: He worked as a delivery person at a bento box shop for the elderly while taking the photos of the elders.
He traveled from Hokkaido to Okinawa twice on foot in 2009 and 2010.
From 2018 to 2021, he became a farmer and documented the intensity of the summer farming.
Grand Prix at KYOTOGRAPHIE Satellite Category KG+, 2019
2004 "SCOPE" Shinjuku Nikon Salon
2008 "Taking Food" Shinjuku Nikon Salon
2013 "A Taste of Bento" KOBE819 Gallery
2018 "Journey to Plant a Tree" KOBE819 Gallery
2020 "Bento is Ready" KYOTOGRAPHIE2020 Tasuku Ito Machiya, Kyoto
2021 "I Deliver Bento Boxes to the House of Old People Living Alone" IG Photo Gallery
2021 "I Deliver Bento Boxes to the House of Old People Living Alone" About "ZIPANGU -Exploring for Native Humanity" This project is a five-month journey on foot across Japan from Okinawa to Hokkaido, photographing the way of life of the people I meet.
It is never easy to survive no matter what era or place one lives in.
Covid, natural disasters, economic downturns, wars, and other dark news have enveloped the Japanese archipelago for years now, and we live in a suffocating situation where we cannot imagine the future and try our best to suppress our feelings of anxiety.
However, we still work, study, brush our teeth, eat, and breathe.
I would like to reiterate to all of Japan that this in itself is actually a very powerful thing.
I believe that the gold in today's chaotic world is "the power of the human instinct to survive.
I will move forward step by step while carrying a heay backpack and sleeping beneath the open sky for many nights.
This activity is the exact opposite of today's world, which is increasingly subeded and efficient, but that is why I can see the world, and that is why I will document the powerful and beautiful radiance of the people I meet, with photographs and send them throughout Japan.
Today Jessica gets most of her miles in the foothills of Boise, Idaho. Jess loves to be in service of others and volunteers at numerous races across the country. Jess is passionate about traveling and exploring new places and actively seeks the struggle and the lessons learned when you reach far beyond your comfort zone.
Nettie has completed several 100 mile or longer events, including HURT 100, Bear 100, Badwater 135, and Potawatomi 200. Growing up, Nettie never showed any significant athletic talent and was often one of the last kids to be picked for a team in gym class. She often says that her talent is that she just doesn't quit. Nettie is a chapter leader for the Dayton Trail Sisters group and is very passionate about encouraging other women to run trails, especially the 100 mile distances. She truly believes that the growth of female participation in the sport will come from seeing other women with work and family obligations finding a way to fit some training miles in between various commitments.
Nettie thinks that dry shampoo is the greatest invention of all time, and she can often be found running in circles around the pool complex during her daughter's swim practices. Besides running, she loves reading, eating authentic Polish bread, and learning foreign languages. Nettie speaks Polish, English, Russian, and far from perfect French. About "The Twenty Percent" The Twenty Percent will be a short documentary film aimed at celebrating women in the ultrarunning community and inspiring more to join. An ultra-running event is any footrace longer than the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles); some common ultra-distances include the 50k, 100k, and 100mi race. Women are grossly underrepresented in the ultra-running and trail running community. The backdrop of this film will be a day in the life of ultra-runner Aneta Zeppettella (Centerville, OH). Aneta began running ultras in her early-forties; she is a mother, immigrant, and entrepreneur. Aneta is now set to compete in the 2022 Western States Endurance Run, which is essentially the Super Bowl of American ultra-running. This film is not meant to glorify incredible athletic feats; it is meant to inspire women of all backgrounds, body types, and identities to pursue the personal growth, comradery, and joy of running. Our team is set to partner with Trail Sisters—an organization dedicated to increasing women's opportunity in trail-running through inspiration, education and empowerment—for the making of this film. Aneta is an ambassador and guide for Trail Sisters community runs in Ohio.
Giulio Di Sturco
Di Sturco began his career as a photojournalist before dedicating himself to long-term projects which explore the society of the future in the face of environmental and technological changes. Experimenting with visual storytelling, new and old media, his practice expands traditions of documentary photography conjuring a poetics of the future where the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred.
His awards include three World Press Photo prizes, the Sony Photography Awards, the British Journal of Photography International Awards, and two Getty Grants. In 2019, his project Aerotropolis was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Prize and nominated for the Prix Pictet.
He is a regular contributor to many international publications including The Financial Times, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Wired and The New York Times. His work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions and festivals worldwide at York Art Gallery, Photaumnales Festival, Photo London, Getxophoto Festival, and Cortona On The Move Festival, among others.
He has recently published his first monograph, Ganga Ma (GOST, 2019) with essays by environmental activist Vandana Shiva and curator Eimear Martin.
Maria's first monograph, Some Kind of Heavenly Fire was published in February 2020 by Setanta Books and is currently on its second print run. It was chosen as one of the photobooks of the year by Photobookstore and was one of the 5 finalists for the Finnish Photobook of the Year 2020.
Maria’s work has been exhibited all over the world, including in solo shows in France, Italy and Indonesia in 2021. She was selected as one of the ‘Best New Talent of Photo London 2020’ by the Guardian and was the recipient of the Finnish Art Promotion Centre’s One Year Grant for 2021.
In addition to his personal photographic client work and personal projects Rob works for the Australian Racing Drivers Club at Sydney Motorsport Park photographing their regular motorsport events held at their Sydney complex. His work also encompasses corporate and other sporting events, including major festivals. Rob has also created commercial image portfolios for some of Australia’s premier tourism providers. As a regular media accredited photographer, Rob has worked on many premier events including the 100th Anniversary Naval Fleet Review, Australian International Air Show’s, V8 SuperCars, World Time Attack Challenge (International), and Top Gear Festivals (Australia).
Over the past 10 years Rob’s passion for nature has seen him create strong visual imagery that can best be described as “life in motion”. Rob says about his passion….” if it moves, I want to photograph it.” This has led to his strong interest in wildlife photography. This obsession has taken Rob across the world photographing large game including Grizzly and Black bears, Moose, Elk and Bighorn sheep and trekking through North America’s vast forests photographing everything from Bald Eagles to Alligators. When not travelling overseas Rob regularly spends his spare time roaming through Australia’s Outback documenting the vast landscape and wildlife opportunities which has resulted in three books and a public gallery exhibition.
Rob has won awards at prominent Australian photographic competitions including the Australian Centre for Photography artists exhibition winning the 2019 Seven Wentworth Selborne prize for Best Image and was a Finalist at the prestigious Sydney Art & About Competition.
The images I create will be finally presented in a book with photographs captured from within four of Australia’s eight major ecoregions, those covering the entire east coast of the continent. These ecoregions range from the alpine region of the High County in North-eastern Victoria in the south all the way up as far north as Cape Tribulation in Far North Queensland. The distance that I propose to travel and photograph in, over the period from March to the end of July 2022, in order to acquire this diverse range of images, will be in excess of 10,000 kilometres.
Joseph Mathew Daniel
It will explore the delicate and pure relationship Iqbal shares with nature and how nature has, in a very magical way, reciprocated Iqbal’s love for her and revealed to him her most beautiful side.Iqbal's timeless masterpieces have inspired a generation of photography enthusiasts in India. In the course of the film, Iqbal will reveal lesser known but critical facets which will be invaluable information for aspiring photographers for generations to come.
In that sense, it will also be an exploration into the mind of an iconic photographer as he carefully plans his way, with nature being his co-conspirator.Iqbal Mohamed is beyond money or anything materialistic. His passion is to bring the beauty and innocence of nature to the world. Through his eyes... Through his photography.
At the peak of his career as a commercial photographer, Iqbal left it all to set up the 'Light and Life Academy', a first of it’s kind in India, with his wife Anuradha Iqbal. Today it is the most successful photography academy in India, located in the beautiful hills of the Nilgiris, where Iqbal is most at home in the heart of nature.The film will showcase the nature of Nilgiris like never before, captured in a sensational way through Iqbal’s unique photography technique. A native spider in its habitat, a bee humming over a flower in close-up, a group of ponies crossing a river...
It will be narrated by Iqbal himself, exploring his inspirations, adventures and his journey as a visual communicator, told in a very poetic and cinematic way. We will capture the sound of nature and the original music will be scored to make the documentary memorable.
He is an independent photographer and curator.
He has worked in media as a photo director and photo editor.
He has published the book Chinese Contemporary Photography Catalogue: Wang Pan.
His works focus on the "extraordinary" in daily life in the development of China
He participated in many photographic exhibitions in China and abroad.
His main awards are：
TIFA 2021 Portfolio/Tokyo International FOTO Award
2021 Barturphoto Award
2020 ZEISS Photography Award
2021、2020 PX3 PRIX DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE PARIS
2018年The Invisible Photographer Asia Awards
2018 JUAN I-Jong HUMANITU AWARD OF PHOTOGRAPHY
2017 TAIPEI PHOTO
2017 The United States National Geographic world photography contest
2017 Three Shadows Photography Awards
2016 China National Arts Fund
When I decided to take the Yellow River as the shooting project and chose the "Shanxi Shaanxi Grand Canyon" as the starting point, it was no longer just a river. The Yellow River, which flows through the blood of the Chinese people, carries a heavy meaning.
I will rely on emotion and aim at narration. Use but not limited to various types of photography such as humanistic documentary to complete this image investigation project.
While showing the magnificent scenery and natural features of the Yellow River, we should pay more attention to the relationship between people and rivers and the relationship between people and the environment, observe the transformation and impact of the diversion of the Yellow River and soil erosion on urban changes and personal destiny, explore the embodiment of the Yellow River Civilization on the value of the times, and present the history and culture of the Yellow River Basin. So as to arouse social thinking and attention.
I can only infer based on early memories of her and the stories which my relatives and parents have told me.
Old family photos and documents left behind become objective clues of her life. I use them to search and trace her past, creating an imagined narrative formed around the fragments of her life. The objective reality of her life and my remembrance converge into a single narrative that intertwine with personal memories and broader histories of Hong Kong.
These series of images become doorways to remembering and imagining the forgotten past where the boundaries between memory, fiction, and reality are blurred.
He studied photography at university and video at graduate school.
It takes very slow observation to discover hidden majesty and sublimity. Photographers usually want to definitively capture photogenic heroism or something at its peak. But I've been trying to take a shot of my time as a slow and sustained way.
Themes of intimacy, identity and belonging are important elements that continue to permeate the how & why that drives her creative journey. Barbara values legacy, personal responsibility and growth and even after 15 years she still feels fresh and ever learning about the world and art and craft of photography.
She recognizes the power, impact and privilege of African women owning their voices and images and leading their narratives of navigating their own female gaze. This project, Utawala, is an extension of that ethos. She was recently internationally listed as one of the Black women photographers to watch in 2022 and welcomes an impactful year of new horizons and co-creation.
The colour red is a statement of power, presence and amplification. ‘UTAWALA’ is a Kiswahili word that means ‘to reign’, and refers to the change that starts within self and then permeates to affect society.
Representation, Unity, and Power are the core foundational themes. The featured women (including LGBTQIA & Special Needs) are between the ages of 18 to 99, in both rural and urban areas.
What legacies are they embodying? What social, cultural, climate, technology and economic shifts are they navigating? What do we learn from their environment and the stories they share with us?
The project developed very well, from the creative, through the technical, till the acceptance of the community. The work was artistic/documentary, managing to express a problem wich affects the Province of Buenos Aires and extends throughout the country.
Personally, I am very happy with the contact I made with the community. Experiencing the human quality of these territories ratified the importance that inspired me to make theme visible through images, a process that allowed to condense me, meet them, feel ourselves in a time, in its space; it was poetic.
I did definitely enjoy working on the project, not only with the results themselves, but also the wider boundaries the project did extent my visions. I am certainly happy with the results as they have met expected standards.
Dealing with macro subjects, technical challenges are the main enemy. For completion of focus stacking, we need around 70 - 200 photos with overlapping DoF for one stacked result. Too small numbers of photos would result in some blurred areas of final images while too many photos would take up huge memory capacity and would unnecessarily extend time for processing stacking result. It was a matter of finding balance. Another major challenge is environmental controls. These included how to move the camera vertically and horizontally along the specimens with as little discrepant as possible and how to lighten the insects with distinct shapes and textures.
However, along the project way, I have learned and found even precise details and technique that can elevate the results to the even higher levels. And I am happy with this overall processes of development.
My own 22-year cave adventure shooting has gone through a 135 film camera, DSC camera, APS-C format, full-frame. And this time I used the GFX medium format camera, which gave my cave adventure photography career a complete shooting experience.
Some of the underground halls shot in this project required hundreds of meters up and down, and some needed to use rubber boats through the underground river. I have been to three, but I have never been to the other two locations before. Therefore, I had to do some homework and consultation beforehand to know the location. For a few months, it can be described as hardworking and full of hardships. The success was strongly supported by teammates and friends from various places.
Though the project is complete, I still think that the world on the surface is not short of me to shoot records. My studio is still on the dark cave. There are many rare wonderful hidden in it waiting for me to explore and discover and present it. I will continue to shoot in the form of a special topic.
After seeing the final photos I am very happy with the result and I am looking forward to people seeing them too, hopefully, this can bring a better understanding of the impact climate change is having on this part of the world.
This was my first time using the GFX system and also my first time shooting in medium format. I usually shoot with a full-frame DSLR and after years of using the same camera, it becomes like an extension of you. Once I switched and started to use the GFX50S II (the camera I chose), I loved how it felt on my hands. It is very ergonomic and the camera does adapt to the user’s necessities so rapidly that I felt really comfortable using it. The RAWs are top quality and give you room to be as creative as you want without compromising the final image, it is really a dream camera for any photographer.
Looking into the future I wish to keep working on stories about climate change through local and collaborative narratives while incorporating a mix of technologies that can help with it. However, I'd love to keep adding the atemporal beauty of medium format to them.
The project went well and is still ongoing - and I suspect it will be for some time. For now, I am happy where things currently are.
The way I work takes time to plan, but also I have to allow things to flow organically, that’s a big part of the creative process. You have to accept that some things you planned won’t work like you want, some happy accidents will also occur and so any project will inevitably change as it goes on.
Weather is a huge part of this and of course cannot be controlled. During my shoot I encountered huge wild fires making it impossible to shoot locations I had wanted to, but there was nothing to be done to change the fact. I ended up choosing different locations but also documenting some of the consequences of the fire too, and perhaps that will become another project in the future. During something like that you understand how small you are and how tragic and huge the current climate situation is, and you just can’t help but put things into perspective.
The project will go on for a while longer in different locations. I am hoping to bring it out in installation and printed form once I feel it is ready
From the seas to the mountains I trekked in my quest to capture beautiful portrait images of some of the worlds’ most precious insects. Not precious in monetary terms however in global ecological circumstances they are worth their weight in gold. Insects are the base pollinators of all our food sources and their populations have been found to be in sharp decline worldwide. This is a disastrous situation and I have chosen this as my project, entitled ‘The Underworld’. The format of my project is images taken in a macro style showing close up detail of this tiny world of insects. Travelling over 13,000 kms in the allocated period of the GFX Challenge I photographed insects in four different ecoregions around Australia. From elevations of as high as 1800m, I collected images of vastly different subjects across the alpine montaine through to the sandy dunes of the ocean. This project has been a passion project for me and it was through the generosity of Fujifilm (Japan) via the Fujifilm Challenge Grant that gave me the impetus to complete my project and resulting book.
It has been a wonderful experience working with the GFX platform. The camera body is built like a tank and the optical quality of the lenses are unmatched. The quallity of the footage shot while filming of the project has exceeded all my expectations. The Project had some external factors delaying it. 1. The delayed arrival of the South West Monsoon rendered the Nilgiris unsuitable for the look we were trying to achieve. 2. Mr. Iqbal had a fall which required him to take rest. Following which he tested positive for Covid-19. This set us back by 67 days.
Going forward, we intend to enter this project in film festivals. My writing partner and I are also developing a script for a children's feature film and intend to use the GFX body with primista lenses for filming.
In the three ten-day periods of the hot season which in old sayings described as "Pure sun in June and fluid fire in July", I wandered through the Qin Jin Grand Canyon of the Yellow River, from west to east, with GFX100S. It was a 28 days’ road trip from Tuoketuo County in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to Yumenkou in Shanxi. This camera has withstood the trial of extreme hot weather. When the camera was continuously exposed under the strong sunshine, under the alternation of "high temperature warning" and torrential rain, it has excellently completed this project.
Especially while shooting Hukou waterfall of the Yellow River in the rainstorm, besides the downpour, there were also yellow mud spots splashing around due to the water drop, mist in the canyon, and water dripping from the rocks above, which soaked my clothes. But the camera was still capable of shooting normally when switching lenses back and forth, which made me felt a lot at ease in my later creation, and no need to feel uneasy about not carrying a spare camera.
The images of active volcanoes we have seen up until today are those that have been photographed through timely dispatch of a shooting team upon eruption, those obtained from nearby residents, or those of visible light captured with satellites. I wanted to see an active volcano as a photographer through the eyes of temperature - not through the eyes of a scientist or a geologist. I expected to see things that I had not been able to up until now if I could see an active volcano whose eruption one cannot predict through the eyes of temperature. I had faith that it would help me comprehend the underlying 'anxiety' in life in the time of Corona even in the slightest bit after seeing the volcano. There are many responses to the question of why I was visiting an active volcano but I had been answering that it's because there are things that can only be observed and felt at an active volcano to achieve order in one's inner world and growth of one's soul.