Richard Wainwright wins Best in Show – Association of Photographers (AOP) Open 2009

Mongolia-Surviving the Winter

Munkhbat (15) and Altangeret (15) have lived down this manhole in Unur district of Ulaan Baatar for over 3 years. The manholes contain heating pipes which are part of a vast underground central heating system built by the Soviets to keep the capital warm during the long winter months. Their daily lives revolve around seeking food and warmth as temperatures drop to -40c. A tough, lonely existence, violence from drunken adults and other street children is ever present. Their manhole has been petrol bombed 3 times since living here and other street children frequently attack them. © Richard Wainright, 2009,

Photojournalist Richard Wainwright’s image, Mongolia surviving the Winter, of two young boys peeping out of a manhole in a street in Mongolia has won Best in Show at AOP’s Open 2009 competition. Wainwright scooped first place – a Kodak all-in-one printer plus a Wacom tablet – at the prize-giving ceremony held last night at the AOP Gallery in London. The AOP Open is “one of the only major competitions that is open to everyone” and “offers a rare opportunity for amateurs, emerging photographers and established professionals to contend on a level playing field”. (From the press release).

Interestingly, the same photo by Wainright is also one of the 119 photographs selected for Foto8’s Summer Show at Host Gallery, London. What’s more, it’s for sale (as are all the photographs at Host Gallery). And the price?  £80 (unframed) 20″ x 30″ unframed C-type print. This was one of the least expensive works on sale at Host Gallery, where prices tipped the thousand pound mark, such as Clemence de Limburg’s colour image, Gitty and her daughter, priced at £1,500 (17″ x 22″ inkjet print), and Eleanor Cleasby’s image of primate skeletons priced at £1,500 for an unframed inkjet print, edition of 5, (30″ x 37.5″). There’s a lot of debate about the pricing of work – especially regarding students and emerging photographers – and, as these comparisons show, it’s not an exact science. However, it pays to research the market – see earlier post and section on how to edition prints.


© Lara Jade, 2009

The Public Vote – approx 3,200 votes – went to freelance photographer Lara Jade, who picked up 467 votes – for her photograph Bernadette. There were also seven Judges’ Choice winners. The winning images are on show at the gallery until August 28, or online at AOP awards 2009.


One response to “Richard Wainwright wins Best in Show – Association of Photographers (AOP) Open 2009

  1. Stunning shot from Ulaan Baatar!

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