PetaPixel and lots of other sites wrote about the $120 thosuand grand prize winner of the 2019 Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA) Edwin Ong Wee Kee winning with a photo that was taken at a workshop with dozens of photographers present taking the very same picture.
The photo stirred quite some debate among photographers about the ethics of entering such a photo into a photo contest. First because it is a staged photo not a documentary picture it appears to be. Second probably it wasn’t even staged by the prize winner himself, but some organiser of the given workshop. A photo contest is meant to award uniqueness, originality and special creations, but this seems not to be the case here.
As PDNpulse writes the photographer claimed “His roadside shot of a Vietnamese woman and child was not planned and came about due to an unforeseen stop.”. But the werk photo published by Ab Rashid puts the creation circumstances of the all into a completely different context.
On the other hand the rules of this photo contest doesn’t forbid entering staged photos so this may not qualify to be a breach of them.
I wanted to write about such situations before when someone published a video of a very similar scene on Facebookon:
Of course this is not uncommon in a variety of workshops like the ones held at PhotoExpo in Hungary:
What do you think about the award winning of the photo?