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Fostering photography interest with Canon Photomarathon


Canon continues to foster interest and passion in culture and photography via its Canon Photomarathon and Canon Photo Clinic series of events.

Japan Sakura Kimono Canon Photo Clinic

The Canon Photomarathon (CPM)

The CPM is Canon’s annual signature event in the photography scene. From August to November, photographers from across Asia gather to create photographic masterpieces, according to themes announced at the single-day competition. Each CPM is a full-day event, where judging and the revealing of winners occur on the same day. The challenges are completed within a set amount of time, and the grand prize winners are entitled entrance to the exclusive Canon Photo Clinic (CPC).

The CPM has been held in countries and regions including Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. For CPM 2016, the marathon was held in 10 countries and 17 cities, with a total of 21,584 participants.

Japan Sakura group shot Canon Photo Clinic 2016

Group shot in Japan during Canon Photo Clinic 2016


The Canon Photo Clinic (CPC)

As the grand prize for the winners of the Canon Photomarathon (CPM), the CPC is held annually and exclusively at a designated destination. Participants get to indulge their passions – essentially, they get to explore, sleep and photograph. At each CPC, a prominent photographer tags along as a mentor, and the attendees get to experience the enriching programme in the company of like-minded individuals. Each event would make the dream trip of any budding or professional photographer!

Previous editions of the CPC have been held in places including Turkey and Hungary. In its 2016 iteration, the springtime CPC was held in Japan over eight days. Experienced landscape photographer Goto Aki mentored participants from 10 different countries and regions, and together they toured the Tohoku region. The CPC itineraries vary, but one anchor activity includes having participants pit their skills against each other – they compete in photo challenges that are announced spontaneously.

The Canon Photo Clinic 2016 that was held in the Tohoku region, Japan, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Singapore-Japan diplomatic relations (SJ50). An exhibition that showcased CPC photographs – “Canon Photo Clinic in Japan Exhibition with Asia Talented Amateur Photographers” – was then held in Singapore to commemorate the enduring partnership. Hosted by the Japan Creative Centre (JCC) – the JCC being a joint venture between the Singapore and Japanese governments – at a former colonial bungalow on Nassim Road, the exhibition showcased a series of photos that intrigued many of the event’s guests. The photographic perspectives were the main point of interest; they revealed the difference in sensitivities and motivations, between Japanese and other Asia-based photographers.

As such, the event inadvertently opened a dialogue on cultural exchanges. The dialogue came as a potent afterthought to events that at first seemed entirely dedicated to photography. Both the exhibition and the dialogue evidenced the successes of both the CPM and CPC events – the immersion provided by Canon has been unique and empowering.

Aligning with Canon’s efforts, His Excellency Kenji Shinoda, Ambassador of Japan to Singapore has said, “there is so much of Japan that even we Japanese have not discovered.”

Canon Photo Clinic Japan Photo Exhibition

"Canon Photo Clinic in Japan Exhibition with Asia Talented Amateur Photographers” held in Singapore


Canon answers some burning questions on the CPC and provides food for thought

Q: How are destinations selected?

A: Over the last nine years, we’ve taken the CPC to destinations like Japan, Tasmania and New Zealand. We’ve selected these places based on the photo opportunities provided by their natural and urban landscapes. But above all, we look at the hygiene and safety assurances offered by each country.

Q: How are participants mentored during the CPC?

A: Depending on the needs of the participants, and the pace of the programme, there are photo review sessions held at non-stipulated points throughout the trip. Advice and casual critiques are given to attendees.

Q: How do participants benefit from the CPC?

A: With guidance from mentor photographers, past participants have thrived in the group environment. Many have gotten better at conceptualising shots in the course of the trips, and this has come from simply interacting with other participants. The CPC provides opportunities for photographers to capture shots that are elusive (due to difficulty of access) or challenging to achieve without expert guidance. In other instances, participants have also had access to exclusive accessories that have come straight from Canon’s personal stable of lenses and cameras.


Stand a chance to win a Limited Edition Hansa miniature, when you complete this quiz on Snapshot.

Hansa miniature

For more information on Canon’s photography events, and for details on ongoing CPM registrations in your country, please visit photomarathon.canon-asia.com