Canon supports the Joop Swart Masterclass

A Joop Swart Masterclass participant tries out Canon equipment.© Falk Eumann

During the Joop Swart Masterclass, each participant had the opportunity to check out the latest in camera equipment as part of the Canon sponsorship of the masterclass. A corporate sponsor of World Press Photo, Canon is also a sponsor of the Joop Swart Masterclass, providing the 12 participants with grants for new equipment. We talked with Thijs Ekelschot, European Brand & Sponsorship Manager, Canon EMEA, to hear why the company annually extends its support to 12 young photographers.

World Press Photo: Why did Canon decide to extend its sponsorship to include grants for the participants of the Joop Swart Masterclass?
Thijs Ekelschot: Canon first began its sponsorship of World Press Photo back in 1992 as a partner promoting excellence in photojournalism. Now in its 53rd year, the World Press Photo Contest is universally acknowledged as the world's premier competition for photojournalism and its accolades are coveted by photographers across the world. To have the opportunity to then go on and enable a new generation of photographers to follow in the footsteps of these great journalists is a unique chance that we are privileged to be a part of. We hope our grants will facilitate some of the most promising individuals in the world and inspire them to go on and continue to change the way we see world events for many years to come.

World Press Photo: What values does the masterclass reflect that appeal to Canon?
Thijs Ekelschot: The Joop Swart Masterclass offers a unique opportunity for any young photographer to gain further knowledge from some of the most experienced journalists in the industry. Any activity to inspire any photographer, regardless of age or ability is a value we fully support.

World Press Photo: Why did Canon choose to support the photographers with equipment?
Thijs Ekelschot: Canon continually strives to produce innovative products that enable photographers to take more than pictures, providing the technologies and features that allow users to take stories with the best possible image quality. By providing the winners with equipment from Canon, we hope it will further enable them to grow their passion and capture the best stories and images that have the potential to make a real difference.

World Press Photo: What kind of equipment is offered to the photographers?
Thijs Ekelschot: Each winner was provided with their EOS body of choice and several accessories to support the camera from the EOS range including lenses and flashes. Most chose either an EOS 5D Mark II body or EOS 7D with one or two lenses and a flash.