University College Falmouth Photography student wins Olympus
Digital Photographer of the Year Award
A third-year student on University College Falmouth's
acclaimed BA(Hons) Photography course, Monica Stromdahl, has
been named as the winner of the Olympus Digital Photographer
of the Year Award at The Observer Hodge Photographic Awards
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the prestigious
Observer Hodge Photographic Awards, which rewards exciting,
dynamic and energetic new work from emerging photojournalists
under the age of 29.
The award was established in memory of photojournalist David
Hodge, who was fatally injured whilst covering the Brixton
riots, and more than 300 photographers from across the country
entered this year's competition.
Eligible applicants were required to submit a series of eight
images across any subject or theme within the genres of reportage,
documentary photography or portraiture. The panel of judges
was every bit as compelling as the submissions and included
respected photographers, Jenny Matthews, Hannah Starkey and
Julian Broad; leading international journalist and broadcaster,
Rageh Omaar; editor of The Observer, Roger Alton; editor of
The Observer magazine, Allan Jenkins; The Observer's
picture editor, Greg Whitmore; and The Observer magazine's
art director, Balwant Ahira.
Monica won the Olympus Digital Photographer of the Year Award
for her compelling depiction of the inhabitants of a rundown
residential hotel in Brooklyn.
"I went to New York just to keep my camera busy
during the Easter holidays," explains Monica of
how her award-winning images came about. "It took
me a while to gain the residents' trust because a camera can
seem quite intimidating, and people are sometimes scared of
what they don't know. But in the end they accepted me
because I'm young and human," she added. "I
am determined to pursue a career in photo documentary because
I want to tell other peoples' stories and winning this
award has given me the confidence to know that I can do that."
Her prize was £2000 and an Olympus Digital SLR camera.
"I am delighted to see yet another student from
the BA(Hons) Photography course at University College Falmouth
achieve success in a prestigious national photographic competition,"
continued Course Leader, Dave Matthews. "This award
is a tribute to Monica's drive and determination, and
I warmly congratulate her on this fantastic achievement."
Monica's winning images feature in The Observer Hodge
Photographic Award exhibition, which is on show at The Newsroom,
60 Farringdon Road, London EC1 until 19 January 2007, and
on her website, www.monprod.net.
University College Falmouth is a founding partner in the
Combined Universities in Cornwall, a unique initiative to
promote regional economic regeneration through higher education.
The CUC is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective
One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the
Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support
from Cornwall County Council.
For further information about BA (Hons) Photography at University
College Falmouth, please visit www.falmouth.ac.uk/photography,
or contact Admissions on 01326 214384.
For further information contact Jilly Easterby, Public Relations
Officer, University College Falmouth on 01326 213792 or email
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities
in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European
Social Fund (ESF). University College Falmouth is a partner
of the CUC.
Media Relations Manager
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