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New Cosmos of Photography 2017: Calling for Applications!


New Cosmos of Photography is a contest organised by Canon which challenges new possibilities in creative photographic expression. Applications for the contest’s 40th year in 2017 will open on 20th April. If you’re aiming to become a professional photographer recognized for a knack with modern art, don’t miss this opportunity to apply. (Application details on the New Cosmos of Photography website)


A gateway to success for budding photographers to have their works reviewed from a modern art perspective

The New Cosmos of Photography is a culture-supporting project by Canon which aims to discover, nurture and assist new photographers. Since its founding in 1991, the year 2017 marks its 40th year running. A unique feature of this contest is that it accepts any theme or format, any number of works in an entry, and is open to the public worldwide, regardless of nationality and age. Also, anyone can submit their work, regardless of whether they are professional or amateur photographers, or working solo or in a group. However, the works submitted must have not been published. In addition to stills, the contest also accepts video submissions.

The New Cosmos of Photography looks for works that draw an eye toward the various issues in our present society, and represent them as contemporary art in the form of photos or videos. Photographers who can show that they are not confined by existing ideologies, and whose works give the judges a sense of foreshadowing about the next generation, will stand in good stead to win the contest.

The panel of judges will include photographers, videographers, artists and curators who have worked worldwide. Through this contest, Canon aims to discover and foster creative enterprises with the ability to bring out the potential of photography, and provide a platform for the winning photographer or videographer to expand their area of work globally.

The panel of 7 judges (At the Excellence Award selection in 2016)


Judges reviewing entries for the Excellent Award category in 2016


Participants from all over the world welcome. Online submission of digital works also accepted

The New Cosmos of Photography not only accepts print entries sent by post, but also allows the online submission of digital works, a feature that makes the contest stand out. This is probably the reason why it receives many applications from all around the world. In 2016, 502 out of the total 1,723 applicants were from outside of Japan, an increase from previous years.

The breakdown of the figure includes applicants from Europe (229 applicants) and other parts of Asia (197 applicants). In 2016, 2 out of the 7 winners of the Excellent Award were ethnic Korean residents in Japan. The work that won the Grand Prize, ‘STORY’, was submitted by ethnic Korean Japanese resident Kim Sajik. Apart from it, one of the works that won the Honourable Mention Award was film work submitted by a German national.

In terms of the format of submission, the breakdown included 510 entries in print or book form, 96 video entries, and 1,117 entries that were still shots. Although all 7 winners of the Excellent Awards in 2016 submitted their work in a print or book format, one winner of the Honourable Mention Award submitted their work digitally.

An image from ‘STORY’ by Kim Sajik, the winner of the 2016 Grand Prize (click to view more images from the winning work)


One of the winners of the 2016 Excellence Award, ‘2016’ by Kuta Takashima


Applications for 2017 close on 8th June. Register online and prepare to send out your entries

At the Tokyo Exhibition (the exhibition of winning works)


Online application for the New Cosmos of Photography is open from 20th April to 8th June. If you decide to submit your work digitally, you can upload it, or in the case of a print or book format, you can send it through the post. The final deadline for applications is 15th June, so whichever way you choose to submit, do ensure that your work gets received by that date.

Selection for the winners for the Excellent Award will be conducted by the panel of judges from July 6 to 7, with each of the 7 judges picking 1 winner each for the Excellent Award, and 2 winners each for the Honourable Mention Award. Award winners will be notified directly by the end of July, and the list of winners will be announced on the New Cosmos of Photography homepage in early August.

All winners will have their work exhibited at the New Cosmos of Photography Tokyo exhibition from 21st October to 12th November. After which, the Selection Committee will choose 1 Grand Prize winner on 10th November.

Continued publicity support for the winners include, a magazine of winning works (issue No. 32) that will be published and distributed in March the following year, along with information which will be posted onto the contest’s homepage.

The 7 winners of the 2016 Excellence Award (left) / Magazine of winning works (right)


A cash prize of 1 million yen will be awarded to 1 Grand Prize winner, 200,000 yen will be awarded to 7 Excellent Award winners each, and 30,000 yen will be awarded to 14 Honourable Award winners each.

Many of the winners of the contest go on to become renowned photographers who work worldwide. The contest has also provided budding photographers with a platform to be recognized globally. Application for the contest is free of charge, and since it also accepts online applications, those residing outside of Japan will also find it easy to apply. So if you aim towards becoming one of the new generation of photographers who challenge fresh perspectives in creative photographic expression, why not apply with a piece of work that frankly reflects you and your style?

For more details on application guidelines, please refer to the New Cosmos of Photography homepage:


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