Rafal Milach Awarded $25,000 Grand Prize

Rafal Milach, a professional photographer from Warsaw, Poland, was awarded the $25,000 Grand Prize, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, in the second annual Photography.Book.Now competition for his photography book, "Black Sea of Concrete." Mr. Milach’s work was chosen as the most creative, most innovative and finest self-published photography book by an esteemed panel of judges led by Darius Himes, a co-founder of Radius Books. 

Mr. Milach created his body of work about contemporary Ukraine while shooting with 8 other photographers from the Sputnik Photos collective. Commissioned by the Belgian-based NGO Demos, Mr. Milach focused on the Black Sea coastline during the bitter month of December, 2008. Mr. Milach edited the work and worked with graphic and book designer Ania Nalecka, with whom he has collaborated on two other photography volumes.

"I’m thrilled this body of work was noticed and recognized for this prestigious award,” said Mr. Milach, Grand Prize Winner, Photography.Book.Now. “This was my third project with Ms. Nalecka, who worked on the concept and layout after I provided her with a full edit. I'm always glad to work with someone whose eye I trust, because I get too attached to the images. Designing a photography book is dramatically different than presenting images on the web or in an editorial publication."

“Rafal Milach's ‘Black Sea of Concrete’ stood apart as this year’s Grand Prize winner,” said Darius Himes, lead judge, Photography.Book.Now. “Mr. Milach’s work is a wonderful embodiment of the judges’ criteria: strong photography, important subject matter, vigorous edit and intelligent sequencing, combined with a thoughtful attention to those elements that are specifically book-centric, including type treatment, page-layout and cover design. By enlisting the assistance of a designer and an editor, Mr. Milach exhibited care and attention to the book as a whole; it was truly teamwork that led to a better end result. As lead judge, I'm proud to award the Grand Prize to a relatively young photographer and book artist, and I look forward to seeing more from Mr. Milach in the future.”

The second annual Photography.Book.Now International Juried Competition is put on by Blurb, the creative publishing platform (www.Blurb.com) that allows anyone to design, publish, market, and sell professional-quality books. The photography book competition celebrates self-published photography books and the photographers behind them.  Out of 2,400 submissions, the top 85 books are acknowledged as top prize winners and Honorable Mentions. The prize winners are listed below, and the Honorable Mentions are acknowledged on the Photography.Book.Now website at http://pbn.blurb.com