The Ellen Fitzgibbon Memorial Photography Competition is pleased to announce this year's winners!
Our first place prize of $1,500 is awarded to Koen Hoekemeijer of the Netherlands for his photograph of “a newborn humpback whale calf swimming sheltered under its mother’s giant tail fin,” taken in Vava’u, Tonga.
Along with his image, Koen shared with us this thoughtful intention: “With this photo I hope to provide a small escape hatch for the people who are dealing with cancer and who are in that tough waiting room, not knowing what their future holds for them. I would like to take them underwater with me, to share with them a bit of that happiness, to bring across the calming effect whales have on me, and to let them forget the cancer for a brief moment. To maybe inspire them to never give up, to keep hope and to never stop dreaming.”
Our second place prize of $1,000 is awarded to Maja Bet of the United Kingdom for her photograph of a “lonely tree in the Quiraing Mountains covered with moss and blooming purple heather on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.”
For Maja, this image “expresses the beauty, strength, and joy of nature” and reminds us of “those little pleasures that fill our lives…and bring happiness.”
Honorable mention goes to Zaw Maung Maung Oo of Myanmar for the photograph he calls “Love Affair.” He hopes that this vibrant and lighthearted image will “give the viewer strength.”
We are grateful to all of our 1,073 contestants, from 97 countries around the world, for sharing their artistry with us as part of our inaugural year. Additionally, we share our appreciation with our distinguished panel of judges, Jasper Doest, Elizabeth Krist, Amy Pereira, Joel Sartore, and Camille Seaman. And, we extend a very personal thank you to Ellen Fitzgibbon's cousin, Kevin McGarvey, for generously donating this year's prize money.
Congratulations to our winners whose images represent a wonderful diversity of subject matter and evoke feelings of comfort, beauty, and levity. In the months ahead, we will donate our two winning images to cancer hospitals where they will carry on Ellen Fitzgibbon's inspiring legacy.