IPA 2013 – 6 Honorable Mentions

IPA (International Photography Award) is the most precious award in the Photo Industry (equivalent to the Oscars) and is a branch-sister of The Lucie Foundation.

A bit about the competition and the organization: The 2013 International Photography Awards received nearly 18,000 submissions from 104 countries across the globe. IPA is a sister-effort of the Lucie Foundation, where the top three winners are announced at the annual Lucie Awards gala ceremony. The Foundation’s mission is to honor master photographers, to discover new and emerging talent and to promote the appreciation of photography. Since 2003, IPA has had the privilege and opportunity to acknowledge and recognize contemporary photographer’s accomplishments in this specialized and highly visible competition.

I submitted 6 images for the IPA 2013 in 4 different categories: Fashion, Portraiture, Fine Art (Portrait) and Lifestyle.

All the shoots are “Outtakes” from my editorial/commercial or commissioned work. Non of them was prepared and It was just a half of a second that inspired me in the same moment to take this pictures. I call it my personal work, but I just starting to realize – it becoming my actual work and my actual passion.

All the 6 Images have received Honorable Mentions. I really want to thank everyone who have been a part of this journey, and still are a part of my current adventures and projects. Without this amazing souls around me that believes in me I don’t know if I was so motivated to do it. Creative teams, Models, Followers, Family, Friends and Sidney my amazing Fiance. All these creative souls are inspiring me everyday to create something new. Thank you. The journey is still long, and it never ends, in a different words: “Our journey, is our destination”. Always to keep the fire up and not to let go. Each step will be harder then the one we just pass, and the ups and downs are countless – hourly.

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Featured in PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY Magazine August 2013

3 years ago, when I decided to make the trip from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles and go after my dream of studying photography and start somehow to move things around towards that dream, I had a connection flight stop-over in London. As any photographer, I went to WH Smith at the airport, you know,like Barnes and Noble here in the USA, but in Europe. I went straight to the section where it says: “Photography”.

After spending around 25 minutes in this stand and looking on all the new hot equipment, whats going on, Photoshop tips and some articles about inspiring photographers I decided to buy the one magazine with the most input for me. I picked: “PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2011”.

The magazine is a large mixture of photo techniques, photo articles, inspirations, photoshop tips, old school and new school articles, guests, contests, equipment reviews, advertising for endless big camera and photo equipment company from Canon to Leica and all the other big guns. The magazine is Since 1959 and publish 13 times a year to +200,000 subscriptions and other thousands that getting it on the stands or pre-order.

I went to my flight to LA, read the articles, went through the amazing images, colors that I never seen in person of photographers from all over the world, stories, equipment reviews, and not to forget the “best way” to sharp images with the unsharp mask.

As well, I saw this section of “Gallery: Your Amazing Shots” which is a collection of 3-4 photographers from all over the world that sharing their stories about their work, and the inspiration of the picture they took. I never realized how the hell they submitting these, because I never saw any submissions email or whatever. I just forgot about it.

Almost 3 years later, after living in Los Angeles, emerging and building myself, doing mistakes, running in circles and shooting everything and anything like Paco from “The Good The Bad And The Ugly”, I got an email saying:

Hi Benjo,

Firstly let me introduce myself, my name is ******* and I’m a staff writer at Practical Photography magazine. I am emailing because I came across your images on ***** and I think they’d look great for our gallery feature! It’s aimed to inspire our readers across the globe with amazing photography. We do pay you for using the image and will send you a copy of the mag once it’s printed. I don’t know if my previous email to you got through but I thought I’d try again 🙂 I’ll attach screen grab of the shot we were interested in, and a spec sheet of what we’ll need from you.

Talk to you soon, and have a nice weekend! 

Staff Writer, Practical Photography

So, not only this magazine contacting me in person, but they want to pay me(!) jackpot.

Of course I told her my story about how I grabbed their magazine back in Heathrow Airport in London when i was on my when to make the dream happen, that caused me taking the photographs that I’m trying to take everyday. Ironic.

Practical Photography Magazine feature Benjo Arwas

So there we go, 3 years later, I get in the mail an envelope sealed from UK of “Practical Photography Magazine, August 2013” Issue, and see my picture in the section of “Gallery: Your Amazing Shots”. Ironic.

And I know that there are hundred of thousands of photographers and aspiring around the world now that stopping at the newsstands and looking for some news, inspirations and techniques in photography that purchasing this magazine. Well, its only $7, not bad for the large mixture of knowledge in 130 pages.

The image is of my fiancée, muse and best friend and talented photographer – Sidney Kraemer (lucky me). She always inspire me with her beauty and soft look, that I always bug her to photograph her. Once she let me photograph her just as part of my personal exploration and I captured all of her pure beauty. Besides the editors of Practical Photography Magazine loving it, it’s also got right now hanged in the CAL (Coastal Art League) Museum and Gallery at the International Kellicut Annual Photo Show 2013, San Francisco, and soon to be hanged in Calumet, San Francisco, but thats another blog post that i will write about soon. So if you are in the bay area, do me a favor and send me a picture? 🙂

Thanks to Sidney for her beauty, and thanks to Practical Photography Magazine for making a step in my dreams and showing that what goes around comes around.

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Golden Camera Awards 2012

Recently i found online a competition, “The Golden Camera Awards”, which is a photo contest that presented and sponsored by the top guns such as: Leica, EPSON, M17 Contemporary Art Center, PHOTOCULT.

Golden Camera Award sponsors and partners

Golden Camera Award sponsors and partners

I thought it would be a nice idea to submit some of my recent fine art work and after nerve racking period of time while waiting, trying to translating Russian, contacting the curators and understanding whats going on in the M-17 Contemporary Art Center in Kiev, Ukraine, I got the “CONGRATULATIONS MAIL” and figured that I won 3rd Place in the “Professional-Fine Art” Category with my image I took in Paris, last year with amazing team and nice starting inspiration of William Shakespeare’s “Ophelia” and the current (Back in August 2012) Olympics…and thats how the name of the photo become: “Ophelia of the Olympics”.

Golden Camera Award 2012 - Benjo Arwas - "Ophelia Of The Olympics"

Golden Camera Award 2012 – Benjo Arwas – “Ophelia Of The Olympics”

Golden Camera Award 2012 - Certificate

Golden Camera Award 2012 – Certificate

Special Thanks to my team in Paris: Amazing Makeup artist and a dear friend – Michele Catillon, My dear friend and model Christine Aimee @ FentonMoon, Julia Savenko from PHOTOSCHOOL, Kiev and to the curator Dmitry Shovkoplyas for taking care of my image, print it and hanging it on the walls of the M17(!!!).

Luckily me, my picture got to be kind of promotion for the whole competition, exhibition, and event, and got featured in Art blogs, Magazines and promotion pieces. (Grateful)

Here are some behind the scenes photos (Courtesy of Golden Camera Award) from the opening ceremony/reception and the gallery. Unfortunately, I could’t be there physically, but I’m happy that my work made it far to the other side of the world. As an artist, this is what I wish and strive for myself all the time. Cheers!


More facts about the competition:

The award “Golden Camera” was established by the Kyiv Photography School in 2009. The competitor’s mission is first of all to create the platform for opening and promoting new names, to form the adequate assessment system of photographers’ skill as well as to support and to develop the photo art in Ukraine. The competition consists of such nominations as: “The Photographer of the Year”, “The Photograph of the Year”, “Photograph Series of the Year ” and Grand Prize of “Golden Camera” is awarded to the young Ukrainian photographers in the nomination “Discovery of the Year “.

Over 3000 professionals and amateurs of photography from 60 countries of the world participated in the International contest. Jury had really tough time reviewing more than 10000 photographs. Finally short list was worked out of 230 most talented works. It’s the first award of International level in Ukrainian history of photography. The award was introduced and organized by the oldest photography school in Ukraine – Kyiv Photography School.

International expert jury was represented by well-known photographers, cameramen, artists and art critics: Bogdan Verzhbitsky, Andreas Gertzau, Andrey Zharovsky, Evgeniy Zubenko, Igor Krivonos, Evgeniy Komarov, Alexander Lyapin, Alexandra Nabieva, Michael Pedan, Roman Pyatkovka, Iryna Ruzina, Konstantyn Sova, Anton Solomuha.

Bogdan Verzhbytsky, honored master of Arts in Ukraine, a jury panel member: «I would really like to emphasize on the proficiency and high level of skill of the photographs sent to the contest. Moreover, I would say that amateur photos were hardly behind the professional ones in the level. Trust me, it was a really formidable task to define the best in such a row of admirable photographs.”

Roman Pyatkovka, photographer, teacher of photography, winner of international awards, a member of the jury panel: «Unfortunately, Ukraine doesn’t have enough photo festivals and contests, not mentioning them being of an international level. It’s the first time I am judging in the Ukrainian contest of such scale. I do hope it will become annual».

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Large Format Photography in Paris…Part #1 – the journey and the icons

Paris was a whole playground and if you remember one of my last posts about the street photography so here is a short reminder.

One day before i left California, in warm June, i decided to buy a new camera. not digital, not expensive, but remarkable, compact and fun (and a bit complicated) to work with – Field Camera – Crown Graphic – 4X5.

It’s what you see used by dapper newspapermen in the 1940s and 1950s. You can get these for a couple of hundred dollars WITH a perfectly fine lens. a 10X10 size box that you can open, pull the bellows out and shoot handheld.

For me the highlights of the trip was to shoot film on that camera, the process, the handling, the thought that im creating like they used to create 100 years ago in the streets of paris. hanging around with monopod, or tripod in heavy shoots and just pulling out film holders, metering and click click click.

i came back with bunch of 4X5 sheets that i just got developed and over 70(!!!) 4X5 polaroids – black and white, colors and transparents. amazing experience shooting people, places, fashion editorials, portraits and some personal work.

After sitting for hours, scanning, examine, processing and “printing” out the negatives – 1 sure thing for all those who keep and telling me that they can get the same with digital photography. i must tell – dont waste your time on trying to copy a technique or to try and do something, where you can get it in a 1/30th shutter release and mark it on a big 4X5 sheets or even better on 8X10. i love medium format as well, but 4X5 is THEE thing.

Dynamic range, clarity, sharpness, fine grain, depth of field that only in your dreams you can get with the top 35mm cameras and lenses, details and of course – just the great feeling that you created the image in your own hands – in camera.

So in this post, bellow, ill attach couple of images i made with ILFORD HP5 400 and Delta 100. (i’m pretty new for ILFORD and used to shoot only Kodak, but as always, im open minded and dont mind to try new things, especially in new places like Paris.)

The shoots were photographed handheld, monopod, or just found a random staircase to place the camera stable on it. enjoy it!

All the photos got picked by Photo Vogue and going straight to my stock.

Hope youll enjoy it and stay posted for my upcoming develops which including a whole fashion spread with the Parisian model/actor – Paolo Wutrich, some portraits i took of models and people i love, and of course all my the polaroids i was taking during models tests or fashion editorials.

cheers and happy September sessions.