Google has announced the winner of its first Photography Prize competition, a contest which invited students around the world to submit their best photographs to Google+ for judging by a panel of seven award-winning photographers. According to Google, nearly 20,000 students took part in the competition, with a shortlist of the top 100 announced earlier this month. That group was then narrowed to 10 finalists, all of whom will have their works shown at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Entries were submitted in 10 thematic categories, which ranged from Food and Travel to Sport and Fashion.
The winning photo album, submitted by 24-year old Swedish photography student Viktor Johansson, captured the isolated training regimen of swimmer Christoffer Eskilsson. For winning the grand prize, Johansson will also receive free photography trip to any destination, accompanied by a professional photography coach. The other finalists' photos are equally impressive, my favorite being Kyrre Lien's study of "Point of View". Google has linked all of the top 100 albums on this landing page.
The competition was an effort to celebrate the photography being shared on Google+, and Google chose not to incorporate its +1 button into the contest. Google reports that over 3.4 billion photos were uploaded to its social network within the first 100 days of launch. (Android phones such as the Galaxy Nexus can automatically upload photos the service.) By comparison, Facebook recently announced that its collective users upload an average of 300 million photos per day, making it by far the largest photo-sharing service in the world.