The BlackBerry® Photograph of the Year, in association with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team has been announced today. Czech photographer Vladimir Rys has been awarded the accolade for his image of Nico Rosberg celebrating with his teammates following the sensational victory on the streets of Monte Carlo, on Sunday 26th May 2013.

Rys’s winning shot from the Monaco Grand Prix was selected from over 3,400 images that were submitted by the most talented photographers working in the sport, as part of the inaugural year of BlackBerry Photography Focus.

Running across the 2013 race season, the initiative saw the group of participating photographers provided with BlackBerry Z10® smartphones, enabling them to shoot a wide range of images on the device’s 8MP rear facing camera from their unique access to the paddock. The result was a collection of stunning behind-the-scenes imagery of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team from the 19 Grand Prix race season.

The judging process was led by MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team representatives, including Lewis Hamilton and Executive Director (Technical), Paddy Lowe. The wider collection of images was shortlisted into nine categories, with the BlackBerry Photograph of the Year selected from the category winners.

Following the judging process, Paddy Lowe talked about how the decision was reached: “We selected Vladimir’s image as the BlackBerry Photograph of the Year because we felt that it was technically quite a difficult shot to achieve. Perhaps more importantly, what also appealed to us is how Vladimir captured the emotion of the moment. As our first victory of the 2013 season, it was a key milestone for the team and the photograph really conveys just how much it meant to us."

“I’m very surprised and pleased that I’ve won the BlackBerry Photograph of the Year in association with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS,” said Vladimir Rys on hearing of his award. “The BlackBerry Z10 is a very powerful tool, which as a photographer, can be used to create some amazingly creative imagery”

“This picture was taken in Monaco after Nico’s fabulous win. The fact Nico has lived in Monaco all his life also made the win special. I shot the image in the pitlane with my BlackBerry Z10 and then before I had a chance to switch to my professional camera, the champagne started, so I just kept shooting in order not to miss the moment of celebration. Towards the bottom of the image you can see a light strip which shows the flash from the other photographers standing around me.”

A gallery of the top nine images from the 2013 BlackBerry Photography Focus initiative is available to view here.

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