Judith Stenneken, a professional photographer from Berlin, Germany, was awarded the $25,000 Grand Prize in the third annual Photography Book Now competition for her photography book, "Last Call." Ms. Stenneken's work was chosen by an esteemed panel of judges who reviewed more than 2,300 books from 40 countries to select the most creative, most innovative and finest self-published photography books entered into the competition.
"Last Call" features pictures Ms. Stenneken captured at the historic Tempelhof Airport in Berlin between February and October 2008. The airport, which was an important lifeline for residents of West Berlin during the Cold War, shut its doors for the last time on October 31, 2008.
"I am honored that 'Last Call' was selected by the judges to receive this prestigious award," said Judith Stenneken. "Although the Tempelhof Airport was still operating in 2008, it felt as if the building was deserted, and the only people who were there acted like extras in a movie. It seemed as if time had lost its meaning. 'Last Call' is focused on the transitory condition of this place, where desertion had been taking place for a long time."
"Ms. Stenneken's work stood apart as this year's Grand Prize winner," said Darius Himes, lead judge, Photography Book Now. "Her photographs combine a rigorous, large-format camera aesthetic with a quieter sensibility. She edited and sequenced the work intelligently, creating an intimate view of a grand space within the pages of her book. She then brilliantly took a 'readymade' trim size offered by print-on-demand and made some crucial alterations to the pre-existing format: added endpapers that complimented the feel of the book, a gold-debossed detail on the cover of the book, and a hand-made fold-out midway through the sequence of the book all enhanced the experience of the book as an object. The end result is both elegant and compelling."