The jury's comment 2010

by Thomas Block

At the invitation of the Tecklenborg family, the jury met in Steinfurt for a very harmonious and constructive judging of the third edition of the Fritz Pölking Prize.

In the first round of judging, around a dozen works quickly stood out clearly from the other submissions in terms of quality. It was striking that once again photo reports and thematic photo series clearly prevailed over pure portfolios. After the selection was further whittled down to four entries, the choice of this year's winner fell unanimously on Solvin Zankl and his reportage on olive bastard tortoises in Costa Rica.
The arribada, the mass egg-laying of the sea turtles, and the subsequent struggle for survival of the newly hatched young animals are depicted by Solvin Zankel in an impressive series of pictures. Each individual image in itself tells a small story within the context of this natural spectacle and becomes part of a carefully reduced selection of images that together tell a big story without necessarily needing a supplementary text. The award winner used a variety of creative photographic techniques to capture the action in expressive images.

As in the previous year, the jury was impressed by the extraordinarily high quality of many of the works submitted for the Fritz Pölking Junior Prize. Due to this high level of achievement among the best entries and the promotional idea of the Young Talent Award, second and third places have also been awarded since last year. The selection of the winners was not easy, especially as we always kept in mind the age of the respective entrant. Third place went to 16-year-old Sam Cairns from Scotland with a picture series about polar bears in classic reportage style. Second place went to the high-quality portfolio by Radomir Jakubowski (23, Germany).

The winner of this year's Young Talent Award was Michal Budzynski. The jury chose the 18-year-old Pole for the high creativity of his portfolio. Michal's pictures mostly show everyday objects in nature. With a great feeling for light, image composition and reduction, he succeeds in setting the scene for them. You can tell from this portfolio that the photographer is on the lookout for the special light and unusual angles.