Italians win the world’s oldest running 2013 photography award


Three outstanding photographers from Italy won the top awards in The Royal Photographic Society’s International Print Exhibition – the world’s longest running photography exhibition. The Gold Award went to Antonio Busiello, for The Cullatore; the Silver Award to Mattia Vacca for S’Ardia – Introduction to family life in Barbagia and the Under-30s Award to Michele Palazzi for Gone with the Dust. (Mattia Vacca was also shortlisted for the 2013 Accademia Apulia Photography Award)


1285 submissions from 59 countries entered a total of 4905 images of which 115 were selected for the exhibition. All the entries were judged anonymously for its 156th Exhibition – the very first photography competition was started by The Royal Photographic Society in 1854.

The 2013 panel of judges included commercial and fine art photographers: Ray Spence FRPS; Sophie Batterbury, picture editor of The Independent on Sunday; Anthony Holland Parkin, director of editorial content at Getty Images; contemporary portrait photographer Kate Peters; and fine art photographer Bill Jackson.

Speaking for the judges Ray Spence commented on the award winners:

The finalists all had one thing in common – they communicated a story or message in a very direct way.

Anthony Holland Parkin, selector, said about the winning image:

The Cullatore struck a chord with a number of the judges. In a world obsessed with retouched perfection, Antonio’s honest image of a man proudly displaying his huge calluses raises questions about society’s obsession with body image.

2013 has been a particularly important year for Italian photographers. One of the most prestigious world competitions, the Sony World Photography Awards 2013, also saw three Italians achieve this sought after accolades.

Founded in 1853 ‘to promote the Art and Science of photography, The Royal Photographic Society is an educational charity. The Society, which was granted the use of the title ‘Royal’ in 1894, publishes a Photographic and an Imaging Science Journal and it holds over 300 events around the UK and abroad. Its world-class Collection of historic photographs is housed at the National Media Museum, Bradford.