The sixth annual Canon PhotoMarathon yesterday concluded with 18 winners taking the stage, a group winnowed down from more than 1,000 contestants who had spent the day taking pictures across the capital on a series of designated themes. Some had gathered at Koh Pich Buildings G and H as early as 6:30am for registration.
Addressing the crowd in an opening speech, the president of Canon Singapore Pte Ltd, Noriko Gunji, welcomed contestants in what she called “one of the most difficult and exciting live photo competitions in Cambodia”.
“You must have enough stamina to complete three topics in a day, and also produce impressive photographs,” she said.
Organised by authorised Canon agent i-Qlick, the PhotoMarathon is heralded as the largest photography competition in Cambodia. “The aim of this event is to grow the photography culture in Cambodia,” i-Qlick’s regional marketing manager Kevin Chua said.
Chua highlighted the means of topic selection as a major difference in this year’s PhotoMarathon, noting that it now had “a little bit of lucky draw element to it” to heighten contestants’ sense of excitement.
“Previously, we announced the theme,” he said. “Now we invite one of the participants to go up there and randomly draw [to decide] which one of the themes will be chosen before each round.”
The PhotoMarathon comprised three differently themed rounds that started at 9am, 12pm and 3pm, respectively, each producing six winners: three in the open category, and three in the student category.
Yet, many contestants shared the view that bagging a prize was not of the essence.“Winning alone is not important; it’s the experience,” said Sim So Vannkiry, 30, a fifth-time participant in the PhotoMarathon. “I can learn from the talent and the style of other contestants.”
For 27-year-old Lim Houng, joining the competition was partly to learn from Phan “Miller” Phearith, a photographer she had discovered would be part of the jury in this year’s competition.
“I saw his portfolio around one or two years before, and I started to be interested in [the] photography field,” said the executive director at First Solutions, a company that provides photography services.
The competition also invited contestants of different nationalities and age.Ayeesha Hafiz Shrastha, a 12-year-old Bangladeshi national who had been awarded third place for the theme “Life and Shadow” last year, was hopeful to bag an award again this year.
For 59-year-old Belgian national Bernadette Vincent, a first-timer in the contest, the possibility of winning was not a primary concern.“I’m joining for fun,” she said. “If I win, it’s a bonus!”
The 18 winners were each awarded a new Canon DSLR camera and the opportunity to join the photography clinic at December’s Angkor Photo Festival in Siem Reap, where one grand prize winner will be selected to join other regional winners for a Canon photography clinic in Japan.
“We believe photography shouldn’t be a one person thing where you have gear, and you just shoot [photographs] by yourself,” iClick’s Chua said. “Just by being here, just by being a participant [and] having a tag [a participant’s hand stamp], you are one of them, you are one of us.
“This is how we bring people together.”
“Simple Pleasure” (Open) First: Ung Ratha, Second: Hem Chanthol, Third: Sam Prathna; (Student) First: Saran Sopheareach, Second: Ung Sokleap, Third: Long Lysong
“Refreshing” (Open) First: Veal Chanraksmey, Second: Niki Mariager-Lam, Third: Sarith Chomroeun; (Student) First: Noun Sonisa, Second: Tay Theararithyrack, Third: Seng Gechkheang
“Music and Life” (Open) First: Or Sereiromnir, Second: Bin Sakvisal, Third: Chor Chunguong; (Student) First: Som Sokchamreun, Second: Saran Sopheareach, Third: Nou Va VannakThe Phnom Penh Post is a media partner of the 2016 Canon PhotoMarathon. To view all 18 winners visit phnompenhpost.com.