04/30/2014 06:32 EDT | Updated 05/01/2014 01:59 EDT

Scotiabank Photography Award 2014 Winner Is B.C-Based (PHOTOS)

Mark Ruwedel

A photographer based in both British Columbia and California has won the prestigious 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award.

Mark Ruwedel, who nabbed the $50,000 cash prize, has been photographing since the 1980s, including many breathtaking shots of the B.C. coast. Originally from Pennsylvania, he moved to Vancouver in 2000 and then to California in 2002. Though now primarily based in the U.S., Ruwedel still has a home in B.C.'s Refuge Cove.

"Ruwedel has developed a distinct approach to image-making that draws upon his extensive knowledge of the history of photography and a keen awareness of the debates on the nature of representation associated with the emergence of Conceptual Art in the late 20th century," reads his nominator's statement.

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Photo gallery Scotiabank Photography Prize 2014 See Gallery

One of the coveted award's two finalists is also from B.C. Rodney Graham was born in Abbotsford and studied at both UBC and SFU. He has worked as an artist since the 1970s, incorporating photography, film, painting, literature, music, and installation.

The other finalist is Los Angeles-based Donald Weber.

The award celebrates outstanding contributions to contemporary art and photography. Aside from the cash prize, the winner gets a curated exhibition during the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival as well as a book published and distributed world-wide.

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