Just as each moment is unique and diverse, so too are the winners of the Carl Zeiss Photo Contest 2012 and their photographs. The first-place winner is Polish photographer Mateusz Martyna for his picture “Handplant at Tatra Mountains,” which reflects the main theme of the contest, „The moment that knows no limits,” in a spectacular way.

Distagon T* 2/28
First place in Carl Zeiss Photo Contest 2012 for “Handplant at Tatra Mountains”. Polish photographer Mateusz Martyna took the picture in the Polish region of the Tatra Mountains.

The jury was impressed by the high quality of the 700 pictures that were added to the official Carl Zeiss Group on Flickr between December 2012 and January 2013. “All photographers demonstrated an extremely high level of creativity as they set out to capture that limitless moment with their camera. The diverse and impressive results show very well that a small moment can tell a big story,” said Martin Dominicus, Head of Marketing of the Carl Zeiss Camera Lens Division.

Limitless moments are a recurring theme in the photography of Mateusz Martyna, who can often be found at sports events where snowboarders and athletes from other disciplines demonstrate top performance. Mateusz likes to show off such scenes with his Distagon T* 2/28.  But his winning image was shot far away from the action-packed snowboarding events; it was shot in the serene Tatra Mountains in Poland. Here he photographed his friend, the well-known snowboarder Tomasz “Tylas” Tykla, as he completed a perfect jump.

Distagon T* 1,4/35 (f/1,4, 1/640, ISO 50)
The second-place winner of the Carl Zeiss Photo Contest 2012 is the image “Cebula” by Mac Kwan from China. It was taken during a trip to the Philippines.

Mac Kwan from China won second place. His image “Cebula” shows four happily playing children as they convert an old truck into a playground – even if only for a brief moment. The poverty and hopelessness that surround them in the slums of Cebu City vanish during this moment. The limitless cheerfulness of these girls and boys allows them to rise above the worries of their day-to-day world.

Sonnar T* 1,8/135 ZA (f/2,2, 1/8000, ISO 400)
The third-place winner of the Carl Zeiss Photo Contest 2012 is the image „Catching the Jet” by Zoe Myint. It shows an unequal race between a motocross driver and a jet pilot.

In contrast to the second-placed picture, the image “Catching the Jet” by Zoe Myint from Dubai is fascinating because it depicts a moment that is clearly impossible. The race between a motocross driver and a jet plane is a duel between two extremely unequal opponents — thus exceeding the possible. For a moment the rules of physics seem to be suspended. Myint captured the moment with the Sonnar T* 1,8/135 ZA.

Carl Zeiss held its annual photo contest for the third time via the photo community Flickr. Group members could not only track all submitted photos, but also vote for the winners from the jury's shortlist. Around 1,900 votes were cast during the two-week evaluation period. With a total of 557 votes, the winning image “Handplant at Tatra Mountains” by Mateusz Martyna was clearly ahead of the rest.  Mac Kwan (China) won second place with 457 votes and Zoe Myint (United Arab Emirates) won third place with 184 votes.

The Carl Zeiss Lenses Team congratulates the winners and thanks everyone who participated!

For more information about the 11 winning images and each photographer visit:


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