2015 & 2016 Auckland Photographer of the Year

Awards

2017 NZIPP Iris Awards

June 23, 2017

Auckland Portrait Photographer



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Black and White Spider Awards - Honourable Mention in Portrait

June 23, 2017





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One Eyeland Photography Awards

February 17, 2017

One Eyeland Photography Awards Portrait Photography Auckland



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Black and White Spider Awards Winner

November 8, 2016

Portrait Photography Studio North Shore



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2016 Auckland Photographer of the Year

September 15, 2016

NZIPP Auckland Photographer of the Year



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D-Photo Magazine Article

September 12, 2016

Within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem

Within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem

“Ilan Wittenberg takes Lara Wyatt along on his visual journey through Jerusalem’s Old City to capture images for his series Faces of Jerusalem
It’s not hard to see why the Old City of Jerusalem captured Ilan Wittenberg’s attention. It is beyond anything I have ever witnessed before. It’s a place with more than 2000 years of history, all bricks and iron gates, and tiny shops packed floor to ceiling with cultural items, souvenirs, religious artefacts, and day-to-day requirements, all up for sale. And then there are the merchants with very few smiles but plenty of pride and honour. “They’re not happy, you can see that … but they are serious for a good reason: the economy is slow. But it’s who they are, this is their natural way. If you see people on the street, most are not smiling, and these people have seen their own share of hardship,” Wittenberg explains emphatically about the merchants. It was during a family trip to Israel that they all went on a trip to the Old City of Jerusalem and came across the capital of Israel. “Usually I go with my camera and do my own stuff, but this time I said no, I’ll be part of the family,” he says, remembering. “I needed a strong collection of photographs to submit as a portfolio for my fellowship application to the Photography Society of New Zealand — and then I saw the huge potential there. It opened my eyes only when I got there, even though I’d been there many times in the past. It was interesting — the ancient streets, the people, the merchants, the mosques, the churches — it really is interesting.” Adamant that this trip would be about family bonding rather than stopping to pull out his camera all the time to the dismay of his family, Wittenberg had to delay the spark of an idea that was forming in his mind for another day: “I said to myself, OK, I’ll go back again, and I extended my stay just a little bit longer. My wife hates it when I stop and take photos, she simply keeps walking while I stay behind. It’s not really enjoyable to walk with me, because I stop and I start talking to people — I could spend half an hour just photographing a wall. So, it really is just no fun … I accept that, so I made four other trips to Jerusalem … it was important to me.” With each trip, he packed his Sony 7R and set about wandering the streets, entering many stores and speaking, or, if necessary, miming, to the merchants to gain their permission to take their photo. Wittenberg didn’t want to portray the merchants in any way other than their natural state. He did not set about posing them — other than a few very rare situations in which he needed to raise someone’s arm to get the composition of the image right — he did not ask them to smile, he only used the lighting available (no flash and no tripod), and he didn’t create a photo-shoot atmosphere. Most of the time he would only take a single image, then put his camera away. On one occasion, though, he disobeyed all these rules when he was trying to take a photo of a man working in a traditional coffee shop, but it achieved a beautiful result. “It was extremely dark and grimy,” Wittenberg recalls. “He became a little embarrassed because I took so many photos of him, because, to be honest, they weren’t all in focus and there was such bad light. I think he was joking with the people behind him that he was a model, that he was now a movie star. You can see the movement of his hand — that’s how slow the shutter speed was. It’s like a gamble when I take these photos; some are as slow as 1/30s, using high ISO because of the dim light.” With a cold atmosphere and a lack of customers filtering through the city, an air of tension is bred, and Wittenberg put out all the right signals he could to ensure he did not incite any trouble during the course of his roaming the streets and photographing. “When I travel there, I am a proud New Zealander, which removes a lot of tension. People are relaxed and agree to have their portrait taken. I am also an Israeli, but I have to be careful not to mix politics in, because, if they knew that, it may create unnecessary tension. Some wouldn’t be as natural with the camera or wouldn’t allow me to photograph them. I walk the dark and empty streets at night, by myself — it could become dangerous too. If you say you’re from New Zealand, ‘Oh, Kiwi, welcome!’. Part of the problem, is that there are very few customers, very little foot traffic, because there is a lot of stress in this region — wars, religious tension, and ongoing conflict, which scares tourists away,” he explains. But after showing his work to people and entering it into awards, including the Epson / New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) Iris Professional Photography Awards at which he was named a finalist and his images received a silver award, many tell Wittenberg that they want to go there. “Not just because of the photos,” he says, though. “They’ve always wanted to visit the holy land, so even though these are not always happy faces, people say, ‘Wow, that’s such a different culture’.” In terms of how the Faces of Jerusalem photographs work as a series, Wittenberg is quick to point out how the sepia toning of the images was a way to give them a timeless look while also ensuring they had a consistent and uniform appearance. “If I was actually trying to put these in colour — which is nice to be able to see the colourful merchandise — then the faces would turn out yellow, orange, or pink because of the different light sources; some are fluorescent and some are ambient … I can remove the issue of different colours of their faces this way, or it would have been very distracting,” Wittenberg explains. Titirangi’s Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery exhibited Faces of Jerusalem during early 2016, fulfilling Wittenberg’s goal of bringing the series to an audience to experience. “I want people to see it, it’s a rare opportunity to see large prints,” he says. “People who come to the exhibition will be able to gain more insight … most have never been in this sort of environment. You are actually there, you can see how they live and how they play, and you can see their faces — they tell a story.” At the 2016 Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards, Wittenberg's Faces of Jerusalem series of photographs saw him win the Travel Photographer of the Year award.
 



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Winner of Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award

August 20, 2016

The Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards are organised by Travcom (New Zealand Travel Communicators) to celebrate excellence in travel writing and photography.

The photography awards were judged by a panel of three; Rob Lile, director of One Shot image library, Jenny Nicholls, Art Director for North & South magazine and Tessa Chrisp, past winner of the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award. The Travel Photographer of the Year is judged on the entire portfolio of published work.

Rob Lile said: “This year a clear and unanimous favourite appeared amongst the many images put forward for the scrutiny of a tough judging panel. While there were many images that caught our eye and invited second and third viewings, one series stood out, indicating the work of a master visual storyteller. Ilan’s images transported us to centuries-old locations to examine modern lives intertwined with layers of time. They displayed patience and sensitivity as a storyteller becomes immersed in the worlds of people going about their ordinary daily lives, as unobtrusively as possible. His presence is accepted; images are not overtly posed nor awkward and each subject is entirely comfortable with the interaction. The creative journey continued through careful post production, printing and mounting, all reflecting the skills of a professional determined to present his vision as perfectly as possible. This was a powerful series that will live in our minds for a long time.” Award winning photography

 A merchant is surrounded with souvenirs waiting for tourists to visit his shop. Notice that 'Palestine' is replacing 'Israel' on the map behind him. The old city of Jerusalem, Israel. Travcom Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards Best Travel Image with People runner up Ilan Wittenberg 104B
A hunched nun is walking briskly across the busy platform in front of the dome of the Rock Mosque. The old city of Jerusalem, Israel. Award Winning Photography   Man praying outside the Dome of the Rock the old city of Jerusalem, Israel. This is one of the oldest works of Islamic architecture.     Teenager transporting gas bottles down the main alley at the old city of Jerusalem.  He steps on the tyre dragging along the ground in order to slow down the trolley when descending downhill. Silver Award - Documentary category - NZIPP 2015 Iris Awards   A man preparing Turkish coffee for his customers at the back of his Shishas smoking shop.  The old city of Jerusalem, Israel. Auckland Portrait Photography   A man brushing the brass souvenirs to shine the merchandise.  The old city of Jerusalem, Israel. [caption id="attachment_7423" align="alignnone" width="725"]Award Winning Photography A merchant is smoking his Shisha, while his apprentice is cleaning the fish at Acre Street Market, Israel.[/caption] http://travcom.org.nz/awards/award-winning-photography-2016#cathay-pacific-travel-photographer-of-the-year



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Gold at North Shore National Salon of Photography

August 14, 2016

North Shore Salon Honoured to win two Gold Awards with a couple of my favourite portraits at the prestigious North Shore National Salon of Photography! Established in 1995 by the North Shore Photographic Society, the Salon aims to promote the art of photography in New Zealand through an inspiring annual event. This year's Salon attracted 2,104 entries from 600 entrants including members from 33 photographic clubs and societies from across the nation. The Salon convenes independent panels of six selectors to judge entries in various categories such as Open, Impressionist, Scapes People, Abstract, Action and Street Photography.
All awarded prints and digital images were displayed at Mairangi Arts Centre. I'm delighted to take part in this beautiful exhibition with dozens of stunning photos! North Shore Times August 21




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2016 Iris Awards

June 23, 2016

NZIPP 2016 Iris Awards

The Iris Awards is New Zealand’s only professional photography competition. The aim of these print awards is to recognise and honour the best in contemporary photography from New Zealand and overseas. The awards showcase cutting-edge imagery and top, creative photographic talent. They celebrate the excellence, providing a platform for recognition within the industry and the wider public. The event also raises the profile of photography throughout New Zealand, providing an annual showcase of cutting-edge imagery and creative photographic talent. It provides an excellent opportunity for photographers to gain widespread exposure for the fruits of their creative talent. The Iris Awards are open to all photographers in New Zealand and to members of approved overseas professional photography organisations by entering up to 10 prints across a range of categories. All prints are judged in an open forum over a three-day period, the best of which are awarded gold, silver and bronze awards. The judging sessions are open to the public in order to educate, inspire and inform. This year I first won a Gold Award, a Silver Award and two Bronze Awards at the Travel Category. I was then awarded Gold with Distinction, a Gold Award plus two Silver Awards in the Portrait Classic category and finished with two Bronze Awards in the Portrait Creative category. These awards placed me as a Finalist in both the Portrait Classic and the Travel categories! The competition which was held in Wellington this year ended with a Gala dinner where I became a Fellow of the NZIPP and went on to win the prestigious award for the Highest Scoring Print (out of 1,139 entries) for the Bare Truth set showing below.

Gold with Distinction & Highest Scoring Print Award - Portrait Classic category

2016 Iris Awrads

Gold Award - Portrait Classic category

Auckland Portrait Photographer

Silver Award - Portrait Classic category

Auckland Portrait Photography

Silver Award - Portrait Classic category

Portrait Photographer Auckland

Gold Award - Travel category

Portrait photography Auckland

Silver Award - Travel category

2016 Iris Awrads

Bronze Award - Travel category

2016 Iris Awrads

Bronze Award - Travel category

2016 Iris Awrads

Bronze Award - Portrait Creative category

2016 Iris Awrads Award Winning Print Save Save Save Save Save Save Save



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Gold at 2016 North Shore National Salon of Photography

June 21, 2016

North Shore Salon Honoured to win two Gold Awards with a couple of my favourite portraits at the prestigious North Shore National Salon of Photography! Established in 1995 by the North Shore Photographic Society, the Salon aims to promote the art of photography in New Zealand through an inspiring annual event. This year's Salon attracted 2,104 entries from 600 entrants including members from 33 photographic clubs and societies from across the nation. The Salon convenes independent panels of six selectors to judge entries in various categories such as Open, Impressionist, Scapes People, Abstract, Action and Street Photography.
All awarded prints and digital images were displayed at Mairangi Arts Centre. I'm delighted to take part in this beautiful exhibition with dozens of stunning photos! North Shore Times August 21




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