The winner is...

Nick Hannes wins 2018 ZEISS Photography Award

Winner and shortlist selected from 90,000 submissions from over 140 countries

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 2018-04-03.

Garden of Delight, a stunning photography series by Belgian photographer Nick Hannes, is today revealed as the winner of the 2018 ZEISS Photography Award “Seeing Beyond – Untold Stories”, alongside nine shortlisted photographers.

Shot over five trips in 2016 and 2017, Hannes’ winning series examines leisure and consumerism in Dubai. Each photograph was meticulously planned, with locations ranging from a prototype underwater holiday villa to a subzero bar in a Dubai shopping mall. In the work, the photographer explores ideas around globalization and capitalism and raises questions about authenticity and sustainability.

Chosen from nearly 90,000 entries by photographers from more than 140 countries, Hannes’ work is praised by the jury for its unique character and narrative. They applauded its ability to address a current subject through a captivating and lighthearted visual story.

Jury member Chris Hudson, Art Director, National Geographic Traveller (UK), comments: “The winning series stood out because each image captures a real moment and tells a story of its own. And yet they knit together so well to give an overall sense of what life might be like for locals in the metropolis that is Dubai.”

Talking about his success, Hannes says: “I am very honored and grateful to receive this award. ‘Garden of Delight’ is a self-initiated and self-funded project. I am glad I persevered. This recognition proves that it was worth to keep going and dig deep into my subject.”

As the winner of the ZEISS Photography Award, Hannes receives €12,000 worth of ZEISS lenses and €3,000 to cover travel costs for a photography project. The photographer also has the opportunity to personally work with ZEISS and the World Photography Organisation.

The 2018 ZEISS Photography Award judges also recognized nine further series of works and shortlisted the following photographers:

  • Toby Binder, German, for the series “Themmuns – Youth in Northern Ireland”
  • Sarah Blesener, American, for the series “Beckon Us From Home”
  • Snezhana von Büdingen, Russian, for the series “Permer Frost”
  • Stephanie Gengotti, Italian, for the series “Circus love, Les Pêcheurs de Rêves”
  • Tadas Kazakevicius, Lithuanian, for the series “Soon to be Gone”
  • Mark Leaver, British, for the series “TIGHT”
  • Gowun Lee, South Korean, for the series “I’m Here with You”
  • Stefano Morelli, Italian, for the series “Suspension”
  • Kicia Randagia, Polish, for the series “Scelte”

The work of Nick Hannes and all shortlisted photographers will be exhibited at Somerset House, London as part of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition from April 20 - May 6, 2018.

Now in its third year, the ZEISS Photography Award is a collaboration between ZEISS and the World Photography Organisation. The award challenges photographers worldwide to submit a body of work addressing a selected theme.

The 2018 judges were: Chris Hudson, Art Director, National Geographic Traveller (UK), Peter Bas Mensink, Chief-Editor and Publisher, GUP Magazine (Holland), and Patricia Morvan, Cultural Projects & Exhibitions, Agence VU’, (France).

You can have a look at the winning photos from Nick Hannes here, please find an overview of the shortlisted photo series here.


We would be happy to arrange interviews with the winner and the shortlisted photographers for you. Please contact us if you are interested in more photographs.

A butler stands guard on a luxury floating villa replete with underwater bedroom: Nick Hannes, winner of the ZEISS Photography Award 2018, shows us curious scenes unfolding in Dubai. © Nick Hannes, Belgium, 2018 ZEISS Photography Award

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An exciting interplay between traditional Islam and western consumerism: Tourists from Saudi Arabia chill in a bar made of ice. © Nick Hannes, Belgium, 2018 ZEISS Photography Award

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Jörn Leonhardt
Camera Lenses
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Jill Cotton
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ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops, produces and distributes measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, Vision Care/Consumer Products and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. The ZEISS Group is represented in more than 40 countries and has over 50 sales and service locations, more than 30 manufacturing sites and about 25 research and development centers around the globe.

In fiscal year 2016/17 the company generated revenue approximating €5.3 billion with around 27,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

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Consumer Products

The Consumer Products business group combines the company's business with camera and cine lenses, binoculars, spotting scopes, hunting optics and virtual reality headsets. The business group is represented at sites in Oberkochen and Wetzlar. The business group is allocated to the Vision Care/ Consumer Products segment. In fiscal year 2016/17 the segment generated revenue of €1.1 billion with around 9,770 employees.

About the World Photography Organisation

The World Photography Organisation is a global platform for photography initiatives. Working across more than 180 countries, our aim is to raise the level of conversation around photography by celebrating the best imagery and photographers on the planet. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with both individual photographers as well as our industry-leading partners around the world. The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of events including the Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s leading photography competitions, and PHOTOFAIRS, international art fairs dedicated to photography with destinations in Shanghai and San Francisco.

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