Age no barrier as Indo snappers honoured
REMARKABLE images of a 96-year-old woman and a teenage superstar have won awards for the Irish Independent.
Staff photographers Mark Condren and Steve Humphreys were last night hailed at an international competition for the originality of their photographs.
The prestigious 2012 Photographer of the Year title was won by photographer Julien Behal of Press Association Ireland, whose photographs regularly grace the pages of this newspaper.
Mark Condren -- recipient of the AIB Press Photographers Association of Ireland (PPAI) photojournalist of the year award for two years running -- won second prize in the competition's portrait category.
His striking image, which depicts the hand of a young Pakistani boy gently touching the face of his 96-year-old grandmother, caught the judges' attention.
"Incredible texture combined with simple composition and low light made it a striking portrait," the judges said.
Mark captured the image during a trip to Pakistan in June, 2011, with the aid agency Trocaire.
The Irish Independent's Steve Humphreys won third prize in the PPAI arts and entertainment section for his striking image of Justin Bieber as he burst on to the stage at the 02 in Dublin to the delight of thousands of screaming teenagers.
Steve has won several PPAI awards over the years, including the overall AIB photojournalist of the year prize in 2008.
The prestigious 2012 Photographer of the Year was won by Press Association Ireland photographer Julien Behal for his body of work.
His image of President Barack Obama's historic address in Dublin won the news category. The judges felt that it "brilliantly captured the excitement and theatre of (Mr Obama's) speech to the thousands gathered in Dublin".
The PPAI awards showcase and reward excellence in Irish photojournalism and this year almost 2,000 images were submitted to the competition by 120 photojournalists from all over the country.
The winning and highly commended prints will now form the AIB Photojournalism Exhibition, which will tour selected AIB branches over the coming months.