It’s that time of year again, as the AP Awards 2024 are announced! The AP Awards, an annual highlight in the photography calendar for over 40 years, are held in higher regard within the global camera industry than any other UK award. As a weekly magazine, Amateur Photographer not only tests cameras, lenses, software, and accessories, but also keeps watch on photo book releases and exhibitions. This year we’ve seen some outstanding photobooks published and unforgettable exhibitions. But without further ado, here are the winners of Book and Exhibition of the Year 2024, kindly sponsored by Hahnemühle.

Advertising feature

Book of the Year: The New Big 5 by Graeme Green

Book of the Year Graeme Green Big 5
Greame Green The Big 5 Book cover

Earth Aware Editions, hardcover, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1647228705, £62.50

Our book of the year was very much the passion project of one man. The original ‘Big 5’ was a term used by colonial-era trophy hunters in Africa for the most prized animals to shoot and kill. Graeme Green had the idea to create a New Big 5 of wildlife photography: the animals that people would most like to shoot with a camera, rather than a gun. Instead of being about suffering and death, the New Big 5 would be a celebration of grace and beauty. 

Following a public vote via a website he built, the New Big 5 was born: elephant, polar bear, gorilla, lion and tiger. All five species are endangered. Graeme then set about persuading 146 of the world’s top wildlife and environmental photographers to contribute to the book. They include Ami Vitale, Steve McCurry, Brent Stirton and Cristina Mittermaier, as well as local African, Asian and Latin American photographers from more than 30 countries. 

‘The world’s wildlife is facing an unprecedented crisis,’ Graeme told AP in June 2023. ‘One million species of animals and plants are currently at risk. Biodiversity loss and environmental destruction spell disaster for the planet, if we don’t change course.’ 

graeme green receives book of the year at the AP Awards 2024
Graeme Green receives Book of the Year at the AP Awards 2024. Image: Isabella Ruffatti

Exhibition of the year
From Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth project. High school seniors (from left) Lili, 17, Nicole, 18, Lauren, 18, Luna, 18, and Sam, 17, put on their makeup in front of a two-way mirror for the author’s Beauty CULTure documentary, Los Angeles, 2011.

This year’s winning exhibition is a hugely ambitious endeavour that seeks to encapsulate the full spectrum of 21st-century human civilisation on this increasingly globalised, interconnected planet. World-renowned photography curator William A Ewing had the idea in 2010, but it took him until 2016 to find a backer, in Todd Brandow, the executive director of the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography. The resulting exhibition, Civilization: The Way We Live Now made its debut at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea in 2018 and subsequently toured China, Australia, New Zealand, France and Italy before arriving at London’s Saatchi Gallery in the summer of 2023. 

Comprising 350 astonishing, thought-provoking images, by an international line-up of photographers, the exhibition is divided into eight chapters which show how we live, work, move, relate, influence, relax, govern, and fight with each other, and there’s a section about the future that is already with us. ‘A picture can change the way you think about things if it is powerful enough,’ says Ewing.

While some of the exhibition’s images are depressing or pessimistic, others are uplifting and optimistic, and leave the viewer with a sense of wonder at the scale of human achievement. Almost all are thought-provoking in one way or another.

william A Ewing curator of Civilization the way we did now exhibition
Civilization: The Way We Live Now wins Exhibition of the Year. Image: Isabella Ruffatti
hahnemuhle logo

Make sure you have a look at the other AP Award winners!

Tell us what you think on social media, using the hashtag #APAwards2024

Follow AP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.