The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008

While in london this week I checked out The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008 on show at the small but excellent Photographer's Gallery. This Photography Prize worth £30,000 is awarded annually to an international photographer who is judged to have made the greatest contribution to photography over the previous year.

From the four nominees my personal favourite photographs were by John Davies. I really appreciate the fact that he photographs scenes that appear innocuous but are loaded with history and politics. I have seen his work before but never the actual large scale prints where the wealth of detail can be truly explored. It helps of course that his view of England is one I feel a deep affinity to.Fazal Sheikh's work is perhaps the most important of the four. Nominated for his work 'Ladli' about women in India it is my mind an important and powerful work. The testimonies of women who have suffered terrible hardship is combined with Sheikh's beautiful portraits to create a melencholy document and one well worthy of attention. If you can't afford the book, you can view the whole thing (words & pictures) online here.

Jacob Holdt's photographs were interesting - as is his life story - but to be honest I didn't spend much time with them. Although there were some great photographs, on the whole I found the stories behind the images more fascinating.

My least favourite was the actual winner - Esko Männikkö. I just didn't see anything unique in them. Sorry Esko, I love Finland but these photographs just left me cold.

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