Home Events Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2023: The jury’s in

Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2023: The jury’s in


This year marks the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of the Oskar Barnack Award. Since then, it has become of of the most important and highly respected photography prizes in the world.

The jury for 2023 has been selected and is entering the decisive preparatory phase.

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) has been granted to outstanding photographers every year since the first winner announcement in 1980, and the LOBA’s thematic approach has consistently gained in importance and reputation.


As in previous years, the selection of the winners is based on proposals submitted by a panel of nominators made up of photography experts from all over the world. The winners in the Main and Newcomer categories, as well as the shortlist nominees, are chosen by a five-member jury. This year’s jury includes:

  • Caroline Hunter, Picture Editor for The Guardian’s Saturday magazine (Great Britain)
  • Whitney Hollington Matewe, Photo Editor at TIME Magazine (USA)
  • François Hébel, Curator (France)
  • Luca Locatelli, Photographer (Italy)
  • Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director and Chief Representative Leica Galleries International (Austria)

You can find more information on the jury members here.

May decision

The five experts will come together during May in Wetzlar to choose the 2023 LOBA winner in the Main and Newcomer categories from a shortlist of up to twelve series, selected from proposals submitted by around 60 photography experts from over 30 countries.

Based on their personal expertise and experience, each nominator puts forward their choices of up to three photo series, which each include between 15 and 20 images.

The prerequisite for a photo series to be considered for nomination for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award in both categories is that the pictures must be documentary or conceptual-artistic works that deal with the relationship of people to their environment. This humanistic constant has defined the LOBA since its inception in 1979. That was the year in which Oskar Barnack, the developer of the Ur-Leica and whose name is given to the competition, would have been 100 years old.

The Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award was added in 2009 and is granted to a photographer under 30 years of age. Participating photographers will once again be selected in collaboration with, and through proposals submitted by, international institutions and universities from 15 countries.

In addition to information about the award and interviews with previous jury members and nominators, the LOBA website includes the 2023 nominators.

The prizes

The LOBA’s Main Award winner will receive €40,000 in prize money and Leica camera equipment valued at €10,000. The Newcomer Award winner receives €10,000 and a Leica Q2. Furthermore, the winning series will be displayed in Leica galleries and at selected photo festivals as part of a global touring exhibition.

The images will be presented initially at the award ceremony in Wetzlar in October, with both winners and all the shortlisted candidates also featured in the annual LOBA catalogue.

Over the coming summer months, the shortlist nominees’ work will be presented on the LOBA website, and the winners’ announcement will take place at the award ceremony on 12th October 2023 in Wetzlar.

The 2023 Leica Oskar Barnack Awards jury

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    • I am not sure if this is public knowledge at the moment, but no doubt we will soon get a press release from Leica detailing the information. We will publish it then.


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