Application and participation

The Merck Prize, endowed with € 10,000, is being offered for the ninth time. All photographers and artists who work with the medium of photography as well as all students, e.g. of art, design and photography and photo assistants, can participate in the Open Call of the »9th Merck Prize of the Darmstadt Days of Photography«. An independent, contemporary position had to be recognisable.
A jury of curators, photographers, some of whom are also initiators of the Darmstadt Days of Photography, will select up to 10 works from a large number of portfolios of international artists on two consecutive days and as a result of intensive discussions. The winner of the “9th Merck Prize of the Darmstadt Days of Photography” will only be decided by the jury on the day of the opening of the festival. The hanging, realisation and final exhibition context of the works will again be decisive for the jury’s final decision.

Bitte füllen Sie das untenstehende Formular online aus.

Zusätzlich please the PDF runterladen and print out page five and send it by post to:
Darmstäder Tage der Fotografie
Kasionstraße 3
64293 Darmstadt

Deadline for entries is 15 November

    Exposé beigefügtKurzbiografie liegt bei

    Participation fee (compulsory field)

    Inland/EU 25 € oder andere Staaten 30 € bis 15.11.2019Inland/EU 35 € oder andere Staaten 40 € bis 29.11.2019

    Return of the submitted work (mandatory field)


    Pre-order catalogue

    Katalog vorbestellen (bitte bei Anmeldung 15 € zusätzlich überweisen)


    Status of the call for entries August 2022. No legal recourse is possible.


    The competition

    The Merck Prize, endowed with 10,000 euros, is a central element of the festival. The awarding of the Merck Prize as a kick-off on the opening evening is one of the highlights of the festival. The ten finalists from the competition will be presented together in the Designhaus on Mathildenhöhe.

    From this selection, one work will be chosen for the Merck Prize. Ten finalists from the competition will be presented together in a curated exhibition in the Designhaus on the Mathildenhöhe.

    The announcement and award ceremony will take place during the festival opening on 28 April at 6 pm in the Designhaus.

    The Jury

    • Alexandra Lechner (Fotografin/DTdF-Mitbegründerin/RAY-Kuratorin, BFF-Vorstand)
    • Ute Noll (On Photography, Bildredaktion DU)
    • Marcel Rauschkolb (Fotograf, Vorstand DTdF)
    • Julia Reichelt (Leiterin des Kunstforum der TU)
    • Prof. Dr. Kris Scholz (Künstler)
    • Gregor Schuster (Fotograf/DTdF-Mitbegründer)

    Annual topic 2023

    Tilt/Shift – Experiment as a normal state

    The simultaneous and worldwide crises reveal to us a long unimaginable failure, even in fields of action of our society that were previously believed to be secure. Although there is no claim to a normal state of the world, the feeling of security is fading for an ever-increasing number of people: Familiar perspectives are breaking down, certainties are shifting.

    The promise that everything will remain fine, or will be fine, is dissolving and can hardly be carried forward from the present into the future. Even people who previously thought they were safe in their living space increasingly perceive their everyday lives as threatened. Patterns of thought are being questioned and discussed – constructively by groups and individuals, but also polarisingly by fact-twisters. Old discourses about Eurocentric and postcolonial views of the world – large and small – are being continued.

    Times of crisis do not only mean uncertainty, but can – despite everything – also reveal opportunities. Potentials, partly due to necessity, are examined at all levels for free spaces, new things and further developments. Is the experiment of having to constantly reorient oneself now becoming the normal state of affairs? How can photography capture the enormous changes? Which images enable us to better understand an unsettled, diverse world in turbulent and complex change – and to keep an eye on the open outcome of the experiment?

    Participation in the competition

    All photographers and artists who work with the medium of photography, as well as all students, e.g. of art, design and photography, as well as photo assistants, are eligible to participate.

    All genres of photography are permitted and can be submitted as a self-contained series or as a single image. An independent, contemporary position should be recognisable.

    The Merck Prize demands a consistently implemented and high-quality work up to the point of presentation on site.

    Deadline for entries

    Entries for the supporting programme and the Merck Prize of the Darmstadt Days of Photography 2023 must be received in full by 15 November 2022 (date of receipt).

    It is possible to extend the deadline until 29 November 2022 (date of receipt) in order to submit work after the official deadline. An additional € 10 processing fee will be charged for this extension.

    Submission of works/series

    Entries must be submitted in a closed packaging together with the fully completed registration form incoming. Registration documents online (Onlineformular).

    In addition, the form on page 5 in this PDF must be printed out and signed and enclosed.

    The works/series submitted for application must be supervisory submissions.

    A presentation in DIN A4 format is sufficient, with a maximum of 30 x 40 cm.

    Approximately 10 supervisory submissions may be submitted, which must be marked with the author’s name and address on the back.

    A description of the work/series must be attached, including both the total number of images with final size details and the form of exhibition presentation, as well as a short synopsis about the work (max. half a DIN A4 page or approx. 1,000 characters).

    A short biography about education, exhibitions, scholarships or publications is desired.

    Recognition of the jury's decisions

    The decisions of the jury are binding. Legal recourse is excluded. By registering, the participant accepts the conditions set out in this call for entries. The participants selected for the competitive exhibition of the »Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie 2023« bindingly agree to participate in the exhibition.


    The festival is a non-profit event. The Darmstadt Days of Photography are organised and run by the DTdF team of gUG (limited liability). The organiser acts as an intermediary between the exhibition venue and the artist. It is responsible for public relations, the realisation of the exhibition catalogue and the organisation of the entire festival programme.

    Appropriate print data must be provided for the catalogue entry. The transport of the selected works to and from the exhibition will be taken over or supported by the organisers in consultation with the nominees. The organiser will be responsible for setting up the works. An appropriate hanging will be agreed upon in advance and adapted to the available possibilities.
    All ten nominees will be invited for the opening weekend: This includes two nights’ accommodation, participation in the symposium and artists’ dinner (29 April 2023). Travel expenses will be covered up to an amount of € 250.

    Submission address

    Postal address:
    Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie
    Kasinostr. 3
    D – 64293 Darmstadt

    Phone: +496151271608
    Shipments from abroad must be declared duty-free (contents without value).


    Before sending the documents by post, please fill in the online registration form at theWebsite with the relevant details, send it and send it as a personally signed, enclose printed form with the consignment.

    This will make it easier for us and for you to organise. Many thanks!

    Participation fee

    Applicants from Germany and EU (SEPA):
    The closing date for applications is 15 November 2022 (date of receipt).
    The organisers will charge a participation fee of € 25, which should be enclosed in the form of a bank transfer confirmation. For the extension of the deadline until 29 November 2022 (date of receipt), an additional amount of 10 € is due, thus 35 € in total.

    Applicants from other countries:
    The closing date for applications is 15 November 2022 (date of receipt).
    The organizers charge a participation fee of €30, which should be enclosed in the form of a bank transfer confirmation. For the extension of the deadline until 29. November 2022 (inbox) an additional amount of 10 € will be due, making a total of 40 €. The sending of the application documents must be declared duty-free (content without value). The organizers are not responsible for any costs incurred through customs.
    All required documents must be attached to the work. Incomplete application documents will not be presented to the jury. The organizers are not liable for damage to submitted works or for their loss.
    A copy of the 2023 exhibition catalog (retail price €25) will be sent to all applicants upon request and for a nominal fee of €15, regardless of the selection by the jury or participation in the exhibition.

    Return of the works

    The packaging must be such that it can be reused to return the work.

    The return is sent by post. Appropriate return postage must be enclosed. If another form of return is desired, this should be noted. Regardless of the return method, the items will be returned at the risk of the respective participant after the jury meeting by the end of January 2023 at the latest.

    If you do not want the application documents to be returned, please make a note on the registration form. The receipt for the participation fee will be enclosed with the return.


    The applicant makes his work(s) available at his own risk. From the time the work is received until the time it is returned to the respective participant, the organizer is not liable for damage to the work sent in or for its loss. Of course, the organizers ensure careful and appropriate handling.

    Copyright and the right to one's own image

    All submitted works may be used for the festival and its journalistic evaluation.

    In particular, the Darmstadt Photography Days have the right to exhibit the works selected by the jury for this purpose and to publish them in newspapers, magazines and other publications and media – but only within the framework of the festival and its journalistic evaluation. The participants cannot claim a usage fee for this use.