2016 First Book Prize in Photography Countdown Highlights Past Winners: From 2002, Larry Schwarm’s “On Fire”

“Fire (before and after), Lyon County, Kansas, 1992.” Photograph by Larry Schwarm.

“Fire (before and after), Lyon County, Kansas, 1992.” Photograph by Larry Schwarm.

The CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is a biennial prize that offers publication of a book of photography, a $3,000 award, and inclusion in a website devoted to presenting the work of winners of the prize. Each year a significant and innovative artist, curator, or writer in photography is chosen to judge the prize and write an introduction to the winning book.

In the months preceding the 2016 prize’s submission deadline, we’re taking a look back at previous winners. In 2002, renowned photographer Robert Adams, the prize’s inaugural judge, selected Kansas-based photographer Larry Schwarm to win the first prize competition for his series of color images capturing the dramatic prairie fires that take place in his native state each spring. Schwarm’s On Fire, first published in 2003, is in its second printing. Books in this series are co-published by the Center for Documentary Studies and Duke University Press. Scroll down to watch a video and interview with Larry Schwarm about his prizewinning project, and go to firstbookprizephoto.com/photogalleries to view work by all past winners.

Larry Schwarm

Larry Schwarm

“One of the reasons that I make work is to share it with other people and hope that they can have some of the experience I had when I took the photograph,” said Schwarm. “I really don’t think there’s any better way of getting your work out there than with a book. If someone has the book, there’s a chance it could be on his or her bookshelf for many years. It’s a way of leaving a piece of myself. It’s something to go back and revisit.”

Submissions for the eighth CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography are now being accepted through September 15, 2016. Peter Barberie, the Brodsky Curator of Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will be this year’s prize judge. Melissa Harris, editor-in-chief of the Aperture Foundation, will chair the selection committee that chooses the finalists. For more information on the prize, including how to apply, go to firstbookprizephoto.com

 

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