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ZEISS Photography Award

The ZEISS Photography Award "Seeing Beyond" is an international photography contest, launched in collaboration with ZEISS in 2016. The contest offers professional photographers and ambitious amateurs the opportunity to showcase their talent to a distinguished jury and global audience. The Award is jointly organized by ZEISS and the World Photography Organisation. Last year, a total of 87,593 images by 11,921 photographers from 146 countries and territories were submitted..


The 2019 ZEISS Photo Award is now closed. The winner will be announced April 9, 2019 and will be included in the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London - April 18 to May 6 2019. Register your interest for exhibition tickets by entering your email below. 

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“Seeing Beyond - The Unexpected”

Photographers are asked for a creative response to the brief of "The Unexpected" that is driven by a strong and clear narrative. To be understood in its broadest sense, the brief challenges photographers to submit a series of 5-10 images that look past the everyday and address something unforeseen or surprising – whether this is through the landscape and the physical environment, through human expression, emotion and interaction, through political or social causes or something more conceptual.  The 'unexpected' element could be of global or very personal concern and may either showcase the familiar in a new way or shed light on something entirely different.

Please note that each entry must be supported by a statement explaining how the images fit the brief. 

All types of photography are welcomed by the judges and all submissions must be accompanied by a supporting statement outlining the story behind the work. All submissions are free

  • Competition opens: November 22, 2018 - 10.00 GMT.  
  • Deadline:  February 8, 2019 - 13.00 GMT.


Read more about the ZEISS Photography Award 2018 winner and shortlisted photographers
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2018 winning and shortlisted images

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2017 winning and shortlisted images

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2016 winning and shortlisted images

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125 Years of Expertise 

“For more than 125 years, ZEISS lenses have been writing history: they are creative tools for the most sophisticated photo and film artists and they documented pioneer achievements of mankind, such as the first moon landing in 1969,” said Dr. Winfried Scherle, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the ZEISS Business Group Consumer Optics.

“With outstanding optical designs and inventions, such as the anti-reflective coating, the ZEISS foundation has created milestones in the history of photography. With our lenses we enable photographers to achieve exceptional imaging performance, and with the ZEISS Photography Award we are demonstrating our commitment to high-quality photography. Lenses are only a tool – the true value of the pictures is generated by the photographer and his creativity.

“Together with the World Photography Organisation we want to create a platform for photographers to show their art and their idea of creation to an interested public, and to pay tribute to that. This prize presents the exciting prospect for photographers to push their creative boundaries. That is why we look forward to presenting many ZEISS Photography Awards in the years to come.” said Scherle.

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