It's been a wild few weeks for the otherwise respectable world of photography. The Amsterdam-based World Press Photo organization recently stripped an Italian photographer of his first prize award after the discovery that that he misrepresented the location of one of the images.
In other words, the incredibly mind-blowing, award-winning photos were, well, slightly staged.
As the Times noted, "At a time when anyone with an Instagram account can become a de facto reporter, the controversy raises questions about what viewers should know about photos classified as journalism—and where one of the world’s most respected photo prizes draws the line between documentary photography and art photography."
Fortunately, it looks as if an annual photography fellowship, courtesy of the NYC-based Aaron Siskind Foundation, will avoid this kind of intrigue. The foundation is accepting applications for its 2015 Individual Photographer's Fellowships program, which "encourages and celebrates artistic achievement in contemporary photography by supporting the creative endeavors of artists working in photography and photo-based art media."
A limited number of fellowship grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded to artists working in photography and "photo-based art." Qualified applicants must provide a portfolio of still photography of any subject matter, genre, or process. Works submitted may be traditional photography projects or experimental works, but photographic techniques must be intrinsic to the works submitted. Examples of ineligible work include film, video, and interactive multimedia.
Recipients will be determined by a panel of distinguished guest judges on the basis of artistic excellence, accomplishment to date, and the promise of future achievement in the medium.
To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents over the age of 21. The foundation began accepting applications for the 2015 prize on March 2, 2015. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, May 29th.
Click here to apply.
Ultimately, the key phrase in the foundation's submission criteria is "photo-based art media." It's interested in a kind of creative photography that dovetails with the field of visual art, rather than the aforementioned aesthetic quagmire that is photojournalism.
No word, however, on whether Instagram's allowed.