Despite taking home prizes in last year’s contest, thanks to their love for photography and passion for competition, Tich Karim and Um Phanith still to have ambitions to win the 13th annual Phnom Penh photo contest.
“Not only do I want to take part in the contest again, I am ready to win the 13th event,” said Tich Karim – from Kampong Chhnang – who placed first in the 12th Photo Contest 2021. Un Phanith, from Kampong Cham, took second prize.
The competition gives the opportunity to members of the public, whether photography enthusiasts or professionals, to win prizes. The contest is held annually by the Phnom Penh Photo Association, with this year’s entries closing on October 20 at 6pm. Results will be announced on October 29.
Tich Karim graduated from the Faculty of Media and Computer Science at Norton University, majoring in photography, whereas Um Phanith is largely self-taught. He taught himself via the internet, while also being lucky enough to receive a few pointers from industry professionals.
Last year’s competition featured the theme of “Education in the year of Covid-19”.
Tich Karim explained that he captured images of students in rural Kampong Chhnang for the winning shot.
“They were photos of two children in a rural area holding textbooks while cooking in their kitchen. The meaning behind the image was to say that anyone could study anywhere during the Covid-19 period. The only thing needed was a thirst for knowledge,” he said, describing the winning photo.
Phanith said that he entered two photos in the competition.
“My photos featured children in the countryside using charcoal to write letters on a blackboard next to a dilapidated school wall in Kampong Siem district’s Koh Kampong Trom commune of Kampong Cham province. It illustrated the youth of the Kingdom’s desire to learn,” he added.
“I was very satisfied with the contest, especially as the competition commission chose a topic that allowed candidates to interpret it in their own way,” he continued.
Hann Enong graduated from a Siem Reap university with a major in finance, but began a career as a photographer and graphic designer during the pandemic.
She learned photography through short courses at Institut français du Cambodge in Phnom Penh, in 2019. On a whim, she decided to enter five shots in the 2021 competition, and was very happy when she was awarded third place.
“My photos were about the lives of children in the countryside who wanted to attend school in person, but missed out on studies owing to Covid-19 restrictions and family obligations,” she said.
The 13th Photo Contest 2022 offers the opportunity to win a new digital camera at the Phnom Penh Photo Festival 2022. The competition has received the support of the EU delegation to Cambodia. The contest is hosted by the Phnom Penh Photo Association, in collaboration with the French Institute. The theme selected for this year is “Water in danger”.
Competition coordinator Khut Layfung said the purpose of the contest is to encourage professional photographers and lovers of photography to showcase their work and to cultivate the skills of young photographers. The commission chose the topic accordingly.
“This year’s judging panel will select the final ten candidates from the entries we receive. Finally, we will narrow our selection down and choose our top three,” she said.
To apply for the contest, candidates submit photographs which they have taken themselves within the previous 12 months.
The organisers request that they submit a maximum of five photos, from three to five MB in size. They should include their full name, a contact telephone number and their intent to enter the contest, before emailing their entries to : [email protected]