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  • A Nikon Year in Review: looking back at 2019

  • As 2019 draws to a close, we look back at what has been an eventful year. From the development of pioneering cameras and lenses, to projects and partnerships that involve some of the best photographers on the planet, it’s been an action-packed 12 months. Here’s a snapshot of what has been keeping us busy, starting with photography-related news attention in 2019.

    Photography news that caught our eye

    Each year, the world of photography moves so fast it's a challenge to grasp it all. No doubt, the first image of a black h0le shared in April 2019 by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a significant achievement. The image was the result of data that took two years to collect, process, and analyse in order to create a visual of the object itself!

    Closer to earth, we'll remember 2019 for spectacular images such as theview of Raikoke volcanic eruption from space, as well as the ingenious discoveries, like the shipping container transformed into a functioning camera, and the news of the  bride arrested for allegedly forcing a photographer to pay her for photographing privileges — 2020 will no doubt continue to hold our attention.

    A little bit more closer to earth, we'll remember 2019 for yet another year that has kept our attention: from the spectacular images such as the view of Raikoke volcanic eruption from space, to the ingenious yet impractical discoveries, like the shipping container camera to the disturbing news of the bride arrested for forcing a photographer to pay her for photographing privileges — 2020 will no doubt continue to hold our attention.

    Remembering Peter Lindbergh

    On September 3, 2019, we were deeply saddened to by the loss of German videographer photographer Peter Lindbergh. Here we take a look back as he discusses his work, vision, and his exquisite, timelessly beautiful black-and-white photographs of women.

    Adventures that inspire

    Following the arrival of the Z 7 and NIKKOR Z lenses, we challenged leading photographers across Europe to show us what the Pursuit of Light meant to them. Using the mirrorless equipment, the photographers travelled to beautiful and exotic locations to explore how natural light can be used to take outstanding imagery in difficult conditions.

    One such photographer was Daniel Kordan. His Pursuit of Light took him to rural Japan. Journeying from Fuji-san, where he hiked above Kawaguchiko lake, he went into the deep countryside of the Japanese alps, to Kiso valley, before heading to Shirakawa-go and Ainokura, to capture the ‘blue hour’ in local farmers’ villages. Find out more about his experience in Daniel’s dedicated blog here.

    Daniel Kordan photographed a beautiful evening in Shirakawa-go, Japan as part of his Pursuit of Light

    Ambassadors of excellence

    This year, our Nikon European Ambassadors continued to demonstrate their passion, energy and commitment to the craft of photography. They’ve taken us on journeys to some of the most remote parts of the world as they showcase their unique styles, technical approaches and outstanding portfolios.

    Standout projects this year include Bénédicte Kurzen and Sanne De Wilde who together visited Nigeria to learn more about the complexities of twinhood in a remote area called Ibeji. Following their trip, the pair were awarded first prize at this year’s World Press Photo Contest after the images from their trip helped promote Nigerian values and traditions with the rest of the world. Meanwhile Pieter Ten Hoopen’s journeyed through Turkey and Mexico to uncover the stories of loved ones caught in the middle of refugee crisis.

    Benedict and Sanne photographed brothers wearing a crown of blue Christmas lights in Calabar, otherwise known as the ‘Home of twins’
    Pieter Ten Hoopen captured this image of a family gathering beside the river banks of the Rio Novillero to bath and wash their clothes

    50 years of the Nikon Photo Contest

    Celebrating its 50th anniversary, this year’s Nikon Photo Contest achieved a record 97,369 submissions from 33,000 participants in 170 different countries and regions. Together the submissions produced a magnificent gallery for an independent international panel of judges to review and pick out the best.

    The Grand Prize was awarded to 25-year-old doctor Sara De Antonio Feu from Spain.  Sara travelled to Bolgatanga, Ghana and captured an image of a young albino child named Ayimpoka embracing her biological sister. Albinism has been a cause of discrimination and persecution for years in Ghana due to an association with magic and witchcraft, however the winning image depicts genuine love, affection and protection.

    Sara De Antonio Feu won the Grand Prize at this year’s Nikon Photo Contest with this image of an albino child in a Ghanaian village

    Awarding winning kit

    We’re delighted that one theme running throughout 2019 was Nikon’s consistency in picking up industry awards. The awards recognize the development of market leading equipment for our photographers. In April, Nikon received four prestigious Technical Image Press Association World Awards – or more commonly known as TIPA. The D3500 won ‘Best DSLR Camera’ while both mirrorless cameras received recognition – the Nikon Z 6 won ‘Best Full Frame Camera Expert’ and the Nikon Z 7 won ‘Best Full Frame Professional Camera’.

    The Z 6 continued to impress and was crowned ‘Camera of the Year’ at the EISA Awards 2019-2020 while the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S also won the ‘Professional Standard Zoom Lens’ award. Nikon’s mirrorless system along with the COOLPIX P1000 and DF-M1 Dot Sight won Red Dot Awards for the product’s achievements in optical engineering. A great result all round.

    The Nikon D3500 won the ‘Best DSLR Camera’ at the Technical Image Press Association World Awards 2019

    Our community champions

    For the second year running, 55 Nikon employees teamed up with the Sea First Foundation for a ‘beach cleanup’ event held in The Netherlands. Alongside the Foundation, our volunteers collected over 769 pieces of waste, ranging from a myriad of plastic pieces to cigarette butts and broken glass, bottles and cans. Nikon’s involvement in the initiative is part of an ongoing community collaboration as we continue to work with local companies to protect the place we call home.

    Talking of home, during the heights of spring we encouraged our fans to capture and share images of the Nikon Tulip in blossom on their favorite social channel. The response was unbelievable and together with our army of photographers, Nikon helped celebrate one of the Netherland’s most recognizable pieces of nature.

    It was a full day of coordinating efforts to collect a wide range of rubbish including plastic, rope, cigarette butts, soda cans and even old, washed up, plastic barrels

    And last but not least, here’s a recap of the products launched in 2019

    Cameras

    ·       NIKON Z 50

    ·       COOLPIX A1000

    ·       COOLPIX B600

    ·       COOLPIX W150

    Lenses

    ·       NIKKOR Z 14–30mm f/4 S

    ·       NIKKOR Z 24–70mm f/2.8 S

    ·       NIKKOR Z 85mm F/1.8 S

    ·       NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S

    ·       NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR

    ·       NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR

    ·       NIKKOR Z 58MM F/0.95 S NOCT

    Looking ahead

    This has been a brief snapshot of the events and stories that happened this year. With 2020 around the corner, we look forward to a new decade and an exciting project pipeline and more fantastic photography from our Ambassadors, Nikon’s global #Zcreators: a community of visionary artists exploring new creative ground using Nikon’s Z series mirrorless system, and of course Nikon’s talented community!

    Wishing Happy Holidays & Happy New Year to all our readers!

    Happy New Year from Nikon Europe!