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Emerging Photographer Grant 2010 Finalists

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This is a short preview of the essays of our 13 EPF finalists……their complete essays will be published on Burn in the coming weeks……the jury: Bruce Gilden, Michael Nichols, and Alessandra Sanguinetti

43 thoughts on “EPF 2010 Finalists”

  1. I’m so excited by this photography. Wonderful choice and diversity. How to choose one thats more deserving on top of another. Impossible for me so now going to check out who you chose and think about why….

    Thanks BURN people for putting back in to photography the way you do..

  2. EXCELLENT choice of finalists! The diversity of vision and execution shows there is room for everyone at the table. DAH and Anton, I know you worked incredibly hard to whittle down 11,000 entries to this small number of finalists. We are so grateful to you.


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  4. Thrilled to see Jukka´s essay here..(along with La Chica Barbie my favorite Burn essays for the last twelve months). Great work and as Peter observed, nice diversity. I think the jury did a sensational job selecting the finalists. There was a certain pervasive dark grainy look..i agree that the look works for these essays but along with the dark essay background, i often felt quite swallowed up in the blackness. Which made me grateful for Katherine´s work which was as a silken thread of welcome light. I loved her essay so much.

    Congratulations to all the finalists!


  5. Oh yes, i would like to echo Patricia´s salute to David and Anton..how they managed to plod through 11,000 essays is anybody´s guess..not to mention proceed with work on their own projects and run the Burn machine at the same time! Kudos to you both!!!


  6. CONGRATULATIONS finalists all….

    on a personal note, congratulations little brother Jukka :)))….belief….

    very pleased to see Justin’s spiritual truthful story: a delerium of the body’s ache….and Kate’s paper dreams and dima’s brilliant nightware…and alexander’s reconfigured ennui…

    11,000??…hope that was a typo….

    all the best to the terrific stories and to burn!


  7. Seeing these writ large on the screen last nite took my breath away – am very pleased with the choices, just great and the creative ways of seeing and story telling were refreshing. Am so exhausted – wish I had seen more of you at LOOK and that I had had more time with those of you I did see…but happy as can be to have been in the hills surrounded by good creative folks and to have had a 6am swim in majesty before hitting the road. Congrats to all the finalists and to all who need to share what they see and feel and live.

  8. Erica

    Welcome back!!!

    Patricia…hahaha, i should have realized the 11,000 was a typo but i am so gullible i bought it hook, line, and sinker..Doesn’t diminish the the achievements of the Burn team, the jury and the participants themselves, just puts it somewhat more in perspective ;)


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  10. Congrats to all the finalists!!!! I am looking forward to see the full essays in the coming weeks… I guess it is no surprise that Emily was among the group…her essay was so special for me…glad she had another prize already with PDN and I am sure we will get to hear a lot about her in the future… Overall, quite a diverse selection here with many different styles… Some a bit suprising but surprise is good and certainly makes it a very interesting combo….

    Well done to all!



    we chose the finalists, and the jury (Gilden , Sanguinetti , Nichols) chose the recipient from among those 13 finalists….i do not think there is a jury in the world that would have been willing to view 1,000 submissions…and we are on our knees because of it..laughing hysterically…

    cheers, david

  12. Mr Harvey,

    First of all much congratulation to all the finalists. Really impressive work.

    Second: I have a question!
    At first glance, some of the finalists work, and of course the winner of this year’s contest, is very strong. It seems that this work is much stronger than last year’s Magnum nominees Olivia Arthur and Peter van Agtmael. These nominees’ work seem to lower Magnum standards of excellence. I was personally very surprised to see them nominated. Davide’s work is super, so is Emily’s and others, and would deserve much more considerations compare to Olivia’s and Peter’s work. I am curious to know you opinion on this matter.

  13. MARTNB

    first of all, neither Olivia Arthur nor Peter van Agtmael are members of Magnum…they are nominees which is quite a different animal, and a long way from membership…if you are a student of Magnum you will of course have noticed that many, if not most, of our nominees do not make it through the entire process to membership…it takes 50% of a membership vote for a photographer to become a nominee and 75% to move on towards associate and finally full membership…to sustain a 75% vote over several years of being scrutinized by Magnum members is no small feat…

    my opinion on any photographer applying to Magnum is voiced through my one vote at the proper time, and i would never discuss this on a public forum…i am sure you can appreciate the sensitive nature of these kinds of things…both Peter and Olivia are up for this vote in just less than two weeks…if this year’s EPF grant winner Davide Monteleone feels as do you, then he should simply apply if he has any interest..application is of course open to anyone, however it would be impractical to have a full membership vote on all applicants ….just as Anton and i screen submissions for the EPF and only a few are juried, we have a similar system for Magnum…a system set up to discover talent, not to discourage it…

    please understand that it takes more than one good essay to become a Magnum member…EPF judges one essay, Magnum judges an entire photographic life…it takes a full photographic life and to be sustained over a long period of time…we are interested in the long term development in any photographer we consider….i am very interested in this development from Peter, Olivia, and Davide…..we will see where they all go from here….only they are in control of the outcome…

    many thanks for a good question….

    cheers, david

  14. DAH, I was waiting to see how you responded to this question, and as always a class act. I also wanted to say that many of us are waiting and pulling for someone off this site to hit it big. Be it Magnum, VII, National Geographic or any other number of the big guys. I can’t help but to think there is an Icon in the making, it could be Davide, Alejandro, Sean or any number of talented photographers that are represented here. I feel most of us should look at the work and deep down ask ourselves what can I do to elevate my photography to the next level. I feel we should all think of this as not only a means to get our work looked at, but also as a learning tool into what hopefully the future of photography will be. Thanks for the education David.

  15. I hope that the globe is less bleak than the one depicted on the essayes.
    If an alien would see these stories would be a bad idea on the world, and may be he fly away very quickly (all essay are very beautiful and well done, I do not dispute the technical quality …).

    Some light stories would be appreciated …

    I wonder why all the Olympus of journalism persists with cynicism about the misfortunes of the world, do not tell me that this is done to give information to people.

    Why the new talents of journalism does not undertake to describe a positive story? Perhaps because publishers do not publish them.
    Much better scenes of war, suffering, blood, dark.
    A bad prospect for journalism, which declares that it is free, but it is a slave to these logics.

    sadly sparklight

  16. KURT…

    what you are thinking is the same as what i imagine as well….as a matter of fact this is my only self assigned “job description” or mandate here online…..i do hope that the elevation of one will only serve to inspire many…some go down psychologically when another photographer is given special attention….for those, the world will be a disappointment always…the wise will learn and grow….

    thanks again for the cranberry juice….

    cheers, david

  17. what is a ‘magnum’?

    some really inspiring stuff from the EPF this year and seeing them on a big screen at look3.. well.. crazy good stuff..

    a photographic life is THE reward in itself.. no goal beyond the day to day of taking or organizing to take photos will satisfy as much.



    As has happened more than once in the two years I’ve known you, you have again spoken words that set a lightbulb shining brightly into my heart and mind. This time it shone into some dark musty corners that definitely needed sweeping out. I had let myself go into that ugly place of envy, a place that is not my norm. No excuse for it, but, thank God, I now see it for what it was and I will not go there again.

    When I look at the work of the EPF finalists and winner for 2010 I am left breathless. The bar has been raised SO HIGH that all I can do is celebrate their excellence, daring, originality and authorship. And yes, I will do my best to find such richness within myself but we are not in competition: it is all about singing your own song and joining the many different voices that bring their own unique sounds to the music.

    Together we are creating a world of photography that has a place for both dark and light subjects, realism and fantasy, photojournalism and fine art. Together we will support, offer constructive critiques, respect and learn from one another. And how fortunate we are to be part of a community like Burn whose founder/editor/mentor models for us this evolving photographic paradigm that is all about seeing possibilities for excellence in ALL kinds of work.

    I am humbled and grateful…


  19. Great to watch the slideshow.. looking forward to see the single essays, esp. two of them, very curious. Congrats to all!

  20. PATRICIA….

    thank you thank you…you are the most AWARE among us….your feeling now is the place of nirvana i want all to reach…not for a “specific goal”, but for the best each of us can do within our personal sphere of consciousness….

    DAVID B…

    you are absolutely correct

    cheers , david


    are you not being just a wee bit dramatic with these finalists?? i went back through the finalists and even the winner whose story was in a war zone and found less than 10% pictures as you so describe among all the finalists etc…most pictures were of everyday life and were introspective in nature…at the same time there can be no doubt that our planet IS clearly in turmoil with more conflicts than ever around the globe….i do agree however that good journalists should, and i feel do, often depict the positive side of human nature whenever that side dominates…

    cheers, david

  22. All:

    just a quick (brief) note…no time….i will say (politely) that I am surprised that either Davide’s essay (the EPF WINNER) or these wondeful finalists haven’t received more comments supports from the Burn crowd….i mean, all that madness under Brian’s essay, and barely a whisper hear….i dont get it…

    so, let me write more of a Bob Black comment:


    this work is gorgeous, inspired and should serve as a reminder to everyone that what matters is the work and how you live, the waking moments of your life and the countenance of that….i don’t think the roof has to come down with comments, but i would have thought more congratulations…being an optimist, i think folks are simply waiting for the essays to write then :)))..

    But, a big (again) bob black hug to all the finalists….as you know, i’ve never been a fan of awards or all that photo glitter that gets dished around too easily and i really hate hate the competitive nature of photography (why i am now going on a major, long sabbatical from the photo world), but what is MAGICAL AND LOVING about the EPF is that it isn’t a competition, it is an INSPIRATION, a supportive challenge, an awareness to support and encourage both young photographers and photography in general! the EPF is the ONLY photo award competition (and i hate to use that word) that I have ever entered and i’ll never enter any other kind, because David’s EPF (and now Magnum) is different…it is created in the belief that 1 winner will inspire the work of 10,000 others….maybe i feel more personally close to the award having had the honor of being a finalist in the 1st one, but even if my work were never chosen/exhibited again, i would feel the honor of having been a loyal part of it….These men and women (this year, last year, and year 1) worked their asses off and continue to toil away….as both a photographer and a lover of photographer, i salut and embrace them and their work…we should too!….

    I too once got upset with the EPF (mostly cause i wanted my beloved wife’s work to get the honor and recognition i felt it deserved) but that negative space last year was washed away by a richer, truer truth this past autumn about what really really matters….any photographer that spends more time angry about others, jealous about awards/recognition, just is wasting their energy…..besides, the best revenge is to make great work, period…..:)))))

    David, I personally again want to thank you as a friend and as a photographer for the tireless job you have done in the name of photography/photographers….we all must be inspired by, not others, but the world around us in order to live, in order to thrive…who remembers awards?…who cares, if we’re lucky, maybe some small part of our work will be remembered, and even that, by few, if any…but what we have during our lives is the love and commitment of those around us!! that is what matters, period….had i had time the last 10 days, i’d have beaten the doors down here to drum up the passion :))….

    as for Lookbetween….i must honestly confess that it was a personal realization. I’ve spoken to friends who were there and all of whom had an amazing amazing time and came back inspired. That, to me, is the ONLY thing that mattered: that they were juiced and rejuvenated and that they felt more committed that ever to continue on the commitment and the heritage that each of us inherits when we pick up our cameras……initially i was disappointed that i didnt know anything about it (my fault for not doing the homework), initially disappointed that some of the burn community were asked to participate and then when i saw the language used by Lookbetween as to who (and the reason) why people were invited, i found it (for 1 night) terribly terribly depressing because photography, like life, thrives not upon the names of the chosen but through the rich rush of the heart and love of many….but after a night of meditation and walking, i realized that what matters is not whether or not one is invited to things like this (there is afterall, a very limited amount of space and the entire world cannot be ask to participate ;))), but that one participates in the sharing, that one actively makes work and that one generously and loving supports the work of others and how to accomplish that….the measure of the future contribution to photography is not born of a selection to a festival but of how one lives and what one does with their life and their work…..

    and this perspective allowed me to bloom again and embrace all of those who went, all of those who had the good fortune to have been asked to go (and i hope all of you share that good fortunate with as many people as you can, all around you), embrace all of you burnians and non-burnians….the young fisherman with the gray beard (Harvey), the brilliant mad hatter who was hiding from me on skype (anton) ;)))))…the cat that looks like my brother (panos), and david bowen and audrey and lassal and ben and anna-marie and all those epf finalists….my sense is that the love you experience will brighten you and to remind you that what matters is not who went/was invited BUT who is out there in the world: fill that world with love y’all :)))…and commitment….

    then again, what has always mattered to me is how i treat people, how i behave, how i live and how i try to unite my life, and the work as a photographer, with this passing, shadowy life….the only way to react is with love, not with anger or jealousy or disappointment….

    big hugs to my brothers and sisters who went to Lookbetween (lancer, see u in a couple months!) and all my brothers who have been chosen for this magnificent epf honor and all my fellow burnians….big hugs….

    Raise high the roofbeams y’all…..and make this world brilliant and alight, far as the widening of your hearts…

    see u once i finish the work i was meant to do! :)))

    big hugs


    we must be looking at 2 different sets of finalists…shit, i see stories there which CELEBRATE (actually they all do) this waking life….Matteo’s is about place, Michael’s is about the amazing and wonder of china, jame’s is a celebration to the core, Matt’s is filled with wonderment (and in ohio, nonetheless ;)) ), Kate’s has to be one of the most joyeous odes to the ACT OF MAKING i’ve seen in a while, Jiwon’s Oragami (yes, they make oragami in korea too) is pure visual poetry, and Emily’s is simply incandescent….

    how in the hell would it be possible to choose ANY finalists and not have people be angry/complain…fuck it…I celebrate these finalists…..because it IS NOT the prize that matters but what matters is the work….

    any real photographer, rather than complain, would/will simply make work and continue on their way…but i find the strength of this years finalists to be beyond reproach…

    god bless david and anton for continuing to have to ‘explain’ why they did it…

    screw that shit…

    as i’ve said before, it aint the awards, it’s the work and these finalists produced powerful, thoughtful, imaginative, strong work….and yes, there were photographers not chosen who produced just as powerful and important work and so what…they’re still making…

    let’s not forget that :))

  24. It’s a case of being inspired by the work of others and using that inspiration to bring something unique from within to your own way of seeing and expressing.

  25. just a quick (brief) note…no time….i will say (politely) that I am surprised that either Davide’s essay (the EPF WINNER) or these wonderful finalists haven’t received more comments supports from the Burn crowd
    Probably because the finalists are a mixture of seen and unseen work. Then again how much can one really input by comments with work in progress, one to one it is easy on the net it is all post and respond stuff.

    Maybe a comment by the selection panelwould get things moving

    Also you guys up there are in summer and out and about dodging tourists and the tin lids are scampering around testing out their pester powers much to their parents angst.

  26. ok, some REAL perspective….from a photographer, young, I met a few years ago…..who died this past March….A. K. Kimoto ….

    anyone that had ever met A.K., even briefly, realized they were in the presence of an enlightened, luminous spirit….anyway, LENS has published the story that A.K. had been at work on, Opium and Families in Afghanistan…..the final image, when i first saw, was seared into my body….a father passing opium smoke into his child’s pain and broken body as a remedy of relief…..

    please take a look at A.K. story…..


    and more importantly, please countenance his words…..i’ve often wanted to quote them at Burn when behavior looked odd, but now is a good time…to remember them….

    he’s a north star point of navigation for all of us…

    “I don’t care about being recognized, and I don’t care if I go through life with no fame to show for my efforts,” Mr. Kimoto wrote to the photojournalist James W. Delano. “When was the last time you saw a 4-year-old sucking down heroin? Is it not a tragedy? If I can’t do anything to bring attention to their plight, and if nobody cares, then what am I doing with my time and, in fact, my life? It was never about awards or anything like that. I thought it was about being out in the world, witnessing things that others don’t see, and sharing these stories with a larger audience. I always said that I do what I do because I only have two hands.”


  27. Hey,

    what a surprise! didn’t think EPF was for another week or two…

    firstly congrats to all the finalists…

    and well done david and anton, a good diverse and very interesting mix, which seems to me a good
    representation of genres/styles, never an easy job…

    stand outs for me on first look: Michael Christopher Brown – China – consistant (great story last year also) and i LOVE the second image… (wish it snowed down here!)

    & Dima Gavrysh – Inshallah – great first image…
    but when i look again and again many others grab me, like Justin Maxon, Davide Monteleone, Jukka Onnela
    and Emily Schiffer…

    i did expect to see Dmitry Markov’s Awkward Age (assuming he entered it) which was one of the strongest essays here on burn, for me…

    looking forward to seeing the essays in their full glory

    well done!

  28. I just wanna say BIG Thank You to David Alan Harvey and Anton, and whoever is involved with burnmag, EPF and making this possible. The works just blew my mind and it also made me think how enormous are the possibilities to create photographic pieces of works. the sky is the limit, fuck it, there’s no limits. these finalists and Davide as the winner proves it.
    tried, wanted to come to Charlottesville, but whatever, wouldn’t let me. would’ve been great to see the faces and personalities behind the blog names.
    Bob thanks for the words, all words. Imants yes it totally surprised me to my work in there. also “work in progress” hmmm… it never feels like work, and it will never ever stop, the progress never stops. looking for my own style? nope. looking for life and experiences, how things go in and around me, a constant process, 24/7. i love it.
    coungrats to ALL the finalists and especially to Davide. well deserved.
    peace peace

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