Announcing the 2010 PBN Winners!

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Drum roll, please. We’re thrilled to announce the following winners and runners-up in the 2010 Photography Book Now competition. It was an incredible show of talent with more than 2,300 entries from more than 40 countries. Please join us in congratulating:

- $25,000 Grand Prize Winner: Judith Stenneken, Last Call

- Fine Art Category Winner: Arthur Tress, Barcelona Unfolds

- Editorial Category Winner: Anton Kusters, 893 – The Yakuza in Tokyo

- Portfolio Category Winner: WassinkLundgren, Portfolio

- Fine Art, First Runner-up: Justin Schmitz, Mosh

- Editorial, First Runner-up: Alexey Vanushkin, Merry-Go-Round

- Portfolio, First Runner-up, Emily Shur, The Woods

- Fine Art, Second Runner-up: Elisabeth Tonnard, In this Dark Wood (self-published but not a Blurb book)

- Editorial, Second Runner-up: Carl Bower, Chica Barbie

- Portfolio, Second Runner-up: Lauren Orchowski, Rocket Science

- People’s Choice, Fine Art: David Beach, Fetzer’s Tale

- People’s Choice, Editorial: Matt Eich, Carry Me Ohio

- People’s Choice, Portfolio: Barry J. Holmes, Entertain

The list of 2010 Honorable Mentions will be live on the Photography Book Now site today as of 10:00 a.m. PDT (5 p.m. GMT).

Let the celebrations begin! We have a great line up of celebrations worldwide, so we hope you’ll join us at one or more of the following:

  • Friday, September 30 – NYC Gala Event, sold out
  • Friday, October 1 – Brighton, No RSVP necessary
  • Tuesday, October 5 – Paris, RSVP
  • Wednesday, October 6 – Los Angeles, RSVP
  • Wednesday, October 6 – Berlin, RSVP
  • Thursday, October 7 – Amsterdam, RSVP
  • Thursday, October 8 – Breda, RSVP
  • Thursday, October 14 – Seattle, RSVP
  • Tuesday, November 9 – Toronto

We update our Events page weekly, so check there for more details on our PBN events and other great Blurb happenings. Once again, huge congratulations to our winners and a sincere thank you to all who submitted their work. We are humbled, impressed, and inspired by all of you.

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  1. While the winner’s books are all well formmated, I find the quality of the photographs generally lacking. The winner’s book certainly isn’t lacking, but I find all the photographs to be generally amateur at best. Maybe the size of the photographs enamoured the pretensious group of judges, but they certainly of the same caliber as Black Sea of Concrete.

    If you think photography as an art and you take a look at the fine art category winenrs, I find a very dismal outlook for the future of photography as whole (if you already don’t think photography died going into the digital age). More elaboration on the fine art cateogry winners: the winner is a book of some second rate photographs some guy took on a week traveling trip to Barcelona. Is this what photograph has been reduced to? Are Blurb books just people taking pictures on a trip or taking pictures of their wedding and then entering them into this contest? It appears to be so.

    Furthering the trend of modern photography, the first runner-up Mosh is filled with lackluster photographs (albiet their amusing layout) that are generally grotesque (and not in a good way).

    I would have hoped the judges would have critqued the books based on the merits of the photographs, but I guess they were trapped up in the amusing layouts and big images (I mean how creative can your layouts get given the limit features of the Blurb publishing software in which you can’t even post text vertically).

    Photography is dying (good photoshopped photography =/= good photography) and we can’t not admit that, but at least we can go about it in an unpretensious way.

    If any judges want to defend their poor decisions or provide some commentary on the essentials of photography, I invite them to respond here or to me directly at

    By soctd
      September 14, 2010 – 10:13 am   Permalink
  2. All feedback and input is good. There’s a huge variety of books published with Blurb and the Photography Book Now winners represent just a slice. That said, this is a forum for discussion and news, so while we’re sorry that you’re disappointed, we’re pleased you’ve chimed in.

      September 14, 2010 – 5:44 pm   Permalink
  3. hi…I’m happy to see that MOSHing has reached the status of fine art. I honestly don’t see why all “entertainment” shouldn’t some day. To me, the winners feel like pretty standard photo compilations…they tell some very good stories, but feel very usual…well not the Barcelona book.. but that’s how I feel after one to many cervezas…so I guess I’m looking for another kind of unusual. I think I might have really enjoyed the Yakuza one, but i couldn’t discern the necessary text. I know it would be nice to post links to underrated books, rather than bemoan the winner selections, but who has time these days to even begin to try to sift through them all? I’m sure there are a ton of gems out there..ahem, ahem ;) To end on a truly positive note, it’s good to see Fetzer’s doing well :)

    By MTT
      September 14, 2010 – 7:53 pm   Permalink
  4. My congratulations to the winners!

    I think it is disappointing that only one of the thirteen books above was not a Blurb published book. I suspected that this was going to happen when I first saw this competition announced and I was totally on the money. There is a conflict of interests when a book publisher runs a competition for books which means you have to work extra hard to avoid the accusation that the whole venture was simply to promote your own publishing platform.

    Can you imagine any other publisher doing the same, Phaidon for example running a book competition and awarding all the prizes to Phaidon books, it would be laughably embarrassing.

    If Blurb run something similar again next year you need to decide if its an open and fair photobook competition or if its a Blurb book competition.

    I entered a non blurb self published book which cost me £20 and spent £40 sending three copies worth £105 to the US, which is all fine, but now I seriously wonder if entries like mine were judged on a par with those published through the Blurb platform, the results above would indicate not.

    Was I super naive or was Blurb dishonest in its entry criteria? Probably a bit of both.

      September 15, 2010 – 4:03 am   Permalink
  5. Nick,
    Thanks for your comments. We just want to let you know that none of the judges knew which entries were Blurb books and which were not. As it turned out, three of the winners were non-Blurb books. Also, just to reiterate, the competition was independently judged. In other words, the judges do not work for Blurb and they all represent varying specialties within the photography and books fields. Obviously, we try to get a mix of viewpoints and ultimately, the judges, not Blurb, have the final say.

    As always, we take your comments seriously and really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

      September 15, 2010 – 10:03 am   Permalink
  6. Hereby our great congratulations to the winners this year!
    I take my hat off for the jury, they did a hard job to make a
    choice from so much great work.
    My book was one off the loosers :-) but I did enjoy to make my
    book and thanks Blurb for hosting everything .
    I’m already working on my entrace for next year, yeah!
    Best regards from Holland,
    Peter Rothengatter

      September 22, 2010 – 11:57 pm   Permalink
  7. Thanks, Peter. It was an incredible talent pool to choose from and we salute and thank you for being part of it.

      September 23, 2010 – 11:18 am   Permalink

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