Welcome to the Photo Follies 2010 Awards, the Premier Photo Industry Contest In This Universe Or Any Universe Yet To Be Discovered™. Entries were judged by a jury consisting of leading industry figures, including former deputy assistant night picture editors, photo agency interns and Flickr Pro members.

The Shop Till You Drop Award [sponsored by Adobe]
Highly Commended: Winston Churchill’s Britain At War Experience for Stubbed Out.
Winner: Al-Ahram for Best Foot Forward.
The judges’ verdict: Photoshopping is now so commonplace that mere incompetence is no longer enough to succeed in this category: to rise above run of the mill Photoshop disasters it’s now necessary to show intent to mislead. Clearly inspired by Karsh of Ottawa, the London museum entry provided a fine example. BP overcame their early Gulf shopping limitations to extinguish evidence of the disaster more easily than the disaster itself. But Egypt’s Al-Ahram entry was exceptional. Not only did the newspaper alter a widely available wire photo, meaning that the deception was immediately recognised, but they went on to defend the altered image as an accurate representation. Not since Stalin’s Soviet Union has a democratic state provided such a splendid example of the art of shopping.

The Naked Gun Award For Photography And The Law
Highly Commended: US Transport Security Administration for Photographers Are Terrorists.
Highly Commended: Inspector Manger of the London Metropolitan Police for The Wankergate Tapes.
Winner: Inspector Donaldson of the London Metropolitan Police for Tooth Fairy.
The judges’ verdict: An exceptionally high standard of entries in this category. At first the Kuwait DSLR ban seemed a certain winner, but this entry was disqualified after proving to be a hoax. And we appreciated the post-modernist irony of the TSA entry from an organisation that fails to notice passengers carrying loaded handguns onto aircraft. But in the end the Metropolitan Police’s long-standing and enthusiastic interaction with photographers provided a worthy winner: who says there’s no money to be made in photojournalism? A special mention goes to the supporting role played by photographer David Hoffman in the award winner and one of the commended entries: proof yet again of the benefits of police-photographer co-operation.

The Pariah Educational Workshop Award
Highly Commended: National Geolaugh for Fifty-Two Grand Jolly.
Winner: Zoriah Miller for Intimate Haiti.
The judges’ verdict: While we thought the NatGeo course a fraction overpriced at $52,950, it’s made easier by a $6,000 discount for room-share, and the fact that participants qualify for air miles. However Zoriah’s entry was a clear winner: the opportunity to hone one’s HDR skills while surrounded by the dead and dying, guided by the Sixth Greatest Photojournalist Of All Time™, was one no aspiring disaster groupie could afford to miss out on.

Quote Of The Year
Highly Commended: Daily Mail for Hanging On The Telephone.
Highly Commended: Judith Griggs and Cooks Source for But Honestly Monica.
The judges’ verdict: We loved the Daily Mail’s disarmingly frank admission of why they so often neglect to pay their contributors – who indeed has the time for such trifles in a busy modern world? Judith Griggs trended on Twitter and provided the catchphrase of the year. But iStock’s entry was truly inspired. The company has long led the business of crowd-sourcing photography, but this was an entirely new business direction: crowd-sourcing abuse. Unfortunately the Internet is not large enough to display the winning entry and its thousands of messages in its entirety, but the following exchanges between COO Kelly Thompson and his contributors give a taste of the iStock community spirit:

‘We know change is never easy and comes with challenges’
‘I really hope someone will burn in hell because of this.’
‘This is not “like robbery”. This is robbery.’
‘What kind of crackhead business model are we riding on here? We are getting raped.’
‘Rotten news all couched in happy, shiny language. Like getting a beautifully-wrapped turd for Christmas.’
‘Hey, where’s my kiss? I didn’t get a kiss. Did anyone get a kiss? I usually get kissed before I get f…..’
‘We knew when we made yesterday’s announcements that there would be a lot of feedback.’
‘I think you would have been better off saying nothing.’
‘What drugs do you use?’
‘HOW MUCH FRIGGIN PROFIT DO YOU NEED MAN? If you can’t operate on a model such as this you’re just a failure and a failed company. We all know that this company is a fucking cash hog. Getty would not have bought you if you weren’t.’
‘You can’t survive on 60-80% of the profits from a product that you have 0% ownership in? Sad. Pathetic.’
‘So I guess all those glowing announcements about how great iStock was doing and how much profit it was making year after year was all lies.’
‘Money isn’t going to be what makes you all happy.’
‘So THAT is your response to this mess?? Wow, thank fuck you’re not my boss!’
‘Oh, for fucks sake … leave out the pathetic, for-the-camera, misty-eyed rhetoric will you? It isn’t going to wash this time.’
‘Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.’
‘Pardon me while I vomit.’
‘Cry me a fucking river Kelly. You’re all a bunch of spineless fuckwits and you’ll get what you deserve.’

The Heath Robinson Award For New Technology
Highly Commended: Sony for Alpha A55 Camera.
Highly Commended: Wafaa Bilal for Camera Head.
The judges’ verdict: We had high hopes for the LeicaPhone, but sadly like so many Apple announcements this proved to be vapourware. Both Time and PetaPixel justly raved over Sony’s apparent invention of the pellicle mirror camera – a mere 40 years after Canon launched the Pellix QL. In contrast, Camera Head was a true original, although we were saddened to note that Bilal must wear a lens cap – or at least a hat – while in class. The country that once boasted the largest microprocessors in the world continued that tradition by providing a winner that proves the spirit of Heath Robinson is flourishing in the world of Russian weddings.

The Stock Shockers Award For Image Misuse
Highly Commended: US Republican Party for What’s In Mexico? Uh…Mexicans.
Highly Commended: Best of The Web et al for Microstock Mess.
Winner: Airdrie United FC for Remembrance Day Nazis.
The judges’ verdict: The emergence of a new market of image users uneducated in picture use made it a bumper year for this category. The Republicans scored a double whammy by using an editorial image of residents in a foreign country for an advertising campaign playing on domestic immigration fears. Best Of The Web and many others showed why the web is made for sharing, whether one knows it or not. But the clear winner was a small Scottish soccer club, not least for their impeccable logic in using a picture of a World War Two Nazi troop train in a match programme: because the club is sponsored by a railway company.

Photo Credit Of The Year
Highly Commended: Daily Mail for © Commissioned Work.
Highly Commended: Daily Mail for © Flickr/Internet.
Winner: Daily Mail for © Internet.
The judges’ verdict: Photographers value bylines and the Mail justly swept the board with their novel approach, ensuring that credit is always given, although not necessarily as expected.

Grand Prix de Folie Photographie
Highly Commended: Daily Mail for Million-Dollar Suit.
Highly Commended: UK Labour Party for DEB Turns To Ashes.
The judges’ verdict: As the premier award only the very best entries can be considered for the Grand Prix, and in a stellar year for photo follies the finalists did not disappoint. The Daily Mail made a strong showing with a string of copyright infringements leading to a future appearance in a Los Angeles court. The British Labour Party showed true genius in launching an election campaign by plastering a stolen picture all over the country just days before attempting to pass a copyright bill in Parliament. And AFP’s winning entry had it all: an earthquake, looting, a courtroom drama and multiple comic sub-plots featuring lawyers and photo industry figures unable to understand the simplest of terms. Sealing AFP’s victory was their inspired decision to escalate a simple and easily-settled matter of copyright infringement into a multi-million dollar court case by threatening to sue their victim.

Part of AFP's winning entry for the Grand Prix de Folie Photographie
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