There are a lot of big, well-funded competitions around at the moment, but here is a new, smaller one we are really happy to help promote. The Ellen Fitzgibbon Memorial Competition is being organised to honour the memory of Ellen (below), who was a keen amateur photographer from the US, as well as a vet. She died from ovarian cancer at the tragically young age of 49 in 2018. As her sister Anne explains, “after Ellen’s ovarian cancer diagnosis, photography, which had been a hobby, became a passion. Although there were days she was too tired to lift her camera, photography was the only activity that could distract her from thinking about her diagnosis. Sharing pictures online kept her socially engaged, and editing photos of the beautiful places she had explored inspired her to fight hard for nearly four years.”
Ellen established a project called Shooting for a Cure to give a face to ovarian cancer, educate women about its symptoms, and raise funds for an early detection test through the sale of her photographs. Proceeds from the sale of her photography were donated to the Drapkin Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. Today her photographs new the walls of the chemotherapy rooms at the university’s Abramson Cancer Center, as Ellen had requested, to help brighten the spirits of other cancer patients.
This new competition runs from September 1 to October 15, and is free to enter. Entrants need to supply digital images (one per entrant) of the natural world, along with a 500 word statement. Full details are here. The first prize is $1,500 and the runner up $1,000. Winning photographs will be donated to cancer hospitals across the US and displayed prominently. Judges include some big names, include Joel Sartore and National Geographic picture editor, Elizabeth Krist.