The RPS 2015 Awards announced

16 September 2015

Society news

Bath, UK, 16 September 2015 – The Royal Photographic Society tonight announced the recipients of its annual Awards at a ceremony held this evening at the Royal Society, London. The Awards ceremony, generously supported by The Macallan, recognises achievements in the art and science of photography.  Society Awards have been given since 1878.

  • Progress Medal and Honorary Fellowship - Dr George E Smith, joint recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of the CCD, used in the first ever digital camera.
  • Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship - Wolfgang Tillmans RA – Photographer/Artist.
  • The Royal Photographic Society Award for Outstanding Service to Photography and Honorary Fellowship – Dr Maria Morris Hambourg – founding Curator of the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
Also announced were the recipients of The Society’s Educational Bursaries, given to promising photographers at the start of their careers.

The full list of recipients and citations is given below.

Derek Birch ASIS Hon FRPS, President of the Royal Photographic Society commented:  “With the generous support of The Macallan, the Royal Photographic Society is delighted to recognise the achievements of some of the most important individuals in the art and science of photography.  The Society also recognises the contribution of young photographers, in a series of awards and bursaries.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ken Grier, Director of The Macallan at Edrington, said, “Working in collaboration with the Royal Photographic Society strongly reinforces our support for photographers across the globe and enables us to demonstrate our continued commitment in this sphere.  The annual Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate some of the most influential and inspiring talent and we are honoured to be able to play our part in recognising these individuals.”

Image: © Michael Pritchard FRPS / Wolfgang Tillmans RA receives the RPS Centenary Medal from President Derek Birch ASIS HonFRPS. 

Notes to Editors:

The Royal Photographic Society was founded in 1853, to promote the art and science of photography, a mission it continues to this day.  Membership of The Society is open to everyone interested in photography, amateur or professional, artist or scientist.  The Royal Photographic Society is an Educational Charity with Royal Charter.

The Macallan is one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies.  Since its founding in 1824, The Macallan has built a reputation across the world for a single malt whisky of outstanding quality and distinctive character.  The Society is very grateful for its continuing sponsorship of The Macallan Royal Photographic Society Awards Ceremony.

For further information or for images contact:

Jo Macdonald, Awards Manager Tel: 01225 325721 or email

Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS, Director General.  Tel: 01225 325730 or email

The 2015 Awards recipients:-

Progress Medal and Honorary Fellowship:  Dr George E Smith

American, joint recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit, the CCD, which was used in the first digital camera, built by a former recipient of the Progress Medal, Steve Sasson HonFRPS.

Awarded in recognition of any invention, research, publication or other contribution which has resulted in an important advance in the scientific or technological development of photography or imaging in the widest sense.

Centenary Medal:  Wolfgang Tillmans RA

German, photographer/artist and member of the Royal Academy of Arts, Tillmans was the first photographer to be awarded the Turner Prize and in 2015 was awarded the The Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography.

Awarded in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography.

The Royal Photographic Society Award for Outstanding Service to Photography:  Dr Maria Morris Hambourg

American, Founding Curator of the Department of Photographs in 1991 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  

Recognises major sustained, outstanding and influential contributions to the advancement of Photography and/or Imaging in their widest meanings.

Honorary Fellowships:

Bryan Adams - Leading portrait and fashion photographer.

Anderson & Low – Fine art photographers, who have collaborated together for 25 years.

Nadav Kander – London-based artist renowned for his portraiture and large-format landscape photographs.

Viviane Sassen – Works in both the fashion and fine art world.

Awarded to persons having, from their position or attainments, an intimate connection with the science, fine art or application of photography.  No more than eight awarded in one year.

Colin Ford Award:

Els Barents – Curator, writer and collector, former Director of the Huis Marseille Museum for Photography in Amsterdam.

Given each year to honour an individual who has contributed in a major way to curatorship.

Combined Royal Colleges Award:

Dr Gavriel J Iddan D.Sc. – Inventor of the PillCam SB, the most widely used, patient-friendly tool for directly visualising the small bowel.

For an outstanding contribution to the advancement and/or application of medical photography or the wider field of medical imaging.  Established by The Society in 1958 in collaboration with the Royal Collegeof Physicians of London, the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Davies Medal:

Alessandro Rizzi – Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Milan.

For a significant contribution in the digital field of imaging science.

Education Award:

Professor David Alan Mellor – Interdisciplinary Art Historian, teaching at the University of Sussex.

For outstanding achievement or sustained contribution in photographic education.

Fenton Medals:

Mark Buckley-Sharp ARPS

Anne Cassidy FRPS

Paul Goodman

Leo Palmer FRPS

Made to a member or non-member who has made an outstanding contribution to the work of the Royal Photographic Society. 

Hood Medal:

Jean-Jacques Naudet - Creator of the Eye of Photography.

Instituted in 1933 and awarded for a body of photographic work produced to promote or raise awareness of an aspect of public benefit or service.

J Dudley Johnston Award:

Roger Hargreaves.  Writer, curator and teacher of photography.

For sustained excellence or a single outstanding publication, in the field of photographic criticism or the history of photography.

Lumière Award:

Dick Pope BSC - Nominated for many awards, including Academy and BAFTA for Mr Turner.

For major achievement in British cinematography, video or animation.

Members’ Award:

Alexander Melrose.

Given to an ordinary member who, in the opinion of Council, has shown extraordinary support for The Society over a sustained period.

Saxby Award:

Masuji SUTO -  Japanese, author of the very popular 3D photo editing software, StereoPhoto Maker.

For achievement in the field of three-dimensional imaging, endowed by Graham Saxby HonFRPS.

Vic Odden Award:

Matilda Temperley - Finalist in the 2014 SONY World Photo awards for her work in Ethiopia.

For a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer aged 35 or under.

The Bill Wisden MBE HonFRPS Fellowship of the Year 2015:

Yap Kok Hing FRPS

Inaugurated in 2012, the Bill Wisden MBE HonFRPS Fellowship of the Year is awarded annually for the most outstanding panel of work achieving a Fellowship, as decided by the Fellowship Review Board.

Educational Bursary Winners -

The Joan Wakelin Bursary:

The Royal Photographic Society in association with the Guardian newspaper.

John Gallo

Environmental Awareness Bursary:

The Royal Photographic Society in association with The Photographic Angle.

Over 30 – Kieran Dodds

Under 30 – Ekaterina Anchevskaya and Aleksandar Nikolov

The Royal Photographic Society Postgraduate Bursary

Supporting postgraduate students undertaking photographic research or studying Masters Courses in photography.

Alexandra Murphy