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Leica-sponsored TV show will see photographers compete for a $166,000 prize

master of photography
Leica is serving as the “exclusive technical provider” for a new European TV show from Sky Arts called Master of Photography. The show, which takes place in Rome over eight episodes and eight weeks, will bring twelve photographers together to compete for a 150,000 Euro prize (about $166,000).

Borrowing cues from American Idol and related shows, Master of Photography will put participants up against a panel of three live judges. Renowned European photographers Rut Lees Luxemburg, Oliviero Toscani, and Simon Frederick will serve as the judges. An additional ten international photographers will serve as “guests” to mentor the contestants over the course of the show, as reported by PetaPixel.

Among the guests is New York-based street photographer Bruce Gilden, who recently introduced this profanity-laden shirt proclaiming an apparent disdain toward Paris and London while celebrating his home city. The shirt leaves Rome out of it, but it would still seem to make his appearance on a European TV show a bit ironic, and possibly quite enjoyable.

As for the contestants themselves, thousands of photographers from all around Europe submitted portfolios, but only twelve made it on to the show. They will be tasked with a new challenge every week, and each week one photographer will be voted off the show. Contestants will be judged on all aspects of photography, including post production, and one lucky winner will walk away 150,000 euros richer.

Like other programs that have followed this formula, Master of Photography looks like it will try to amp up the drama as much as possible. The trailer below shows a fair share of inspiration, frustration, triumph, and disappointment. (It also contains some brief nudity, so don’t press play if you’re at work, or if that sort of thing is not for you.)

Whether or not a reality show based on photography will appeal to people who aren’t photographers remains to be seen. But for photographers, it could potentially be not just entertaining, but very educational. It’s not often that so much top talent is gathered in one place.

Master of Photography will air on Thursday, July 21. Stay tuned to Sky Arts for updates.

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