Winning Photo of the $80,000 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize

A couple days ago we covered the winning image of the British Journal of Photography’s international photo contest and how many readers disagreed with the photo’s merits. The prize for that contest was a one week exhibition and a Sigma digital compact camera. Now compare that to the above photograph, which won AU $80,000 in the 2010 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, one of the richest prizes in the world. Like the BJP photo, this photograph became the subject of debate.

Photojournalist Joseph Feil writes on his blog,

Unfortunately, there also seems to be fairly unanimous opinion that the winning image is far from the most worthy winner (see the other finalists here) and unfortunately some murmurings about the winner and the judge knowing each other pretty well. Dean [Sewell, the winner] was also the winner of this prize in 2009 when it was judged by Andrew Quilty, a member of the well known and tight photographic collective Oculi which Dean is also a member of. Whilst I have no doubt that both judges performed their tasks without favour, it is important for independence to be seen to be present and the structure of the judging of the Moran seems to leave this open to criticism.

What do you think of this winning image compared to the BJP one?

Image credits: Photograph by Dean Sewell