Leica launches annual Oskar Barnack Award

The Leica Oskar Barnack awards are now open

Leica has announced that the 2012 Oskar Barnack Award for professional photographers is now open.

The competition, which is aimed at professional photographers under 25, awards the prize for a series of photos taken during the 2011 or 2012.

This is the 33rd time that the awards will have been presented, with the winner taking home an M9-P. The Leica M9 is the world's smallest interchangeable lens full-frame camera. The M9-P is the special edition of the camera, which includes a tougher shell, aimed primarily at professional documentary and war photographers. It's valued at around €10,000 (£8,300).

An additional cash prize of €5,000 will also be awarded to the winning entrant.

Young professionals (or prospective pros) under 25 can also enter the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award. The winner of this prize will also win a Leica M9-P, and a cash prize of €10,000.

No messing

Further interesting stipulations of the contest include the banning of photographs that have been "digitally altered in its essence" along with photo montages.

Although the competition is run by Leica, there are no rules determining the brand of camera used to capture the images entered.

Oskar Barnack invented the first Leica camera way back in 1914. Leica went on to become one of the most prestigious photography brands in the world, and was especially popular with street photographers in the 50s and 60s.

Visit the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2012 website for more information on how to enter the competition.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.