Based in Madrid, five Board members, elected for a four-year-term by the General Assembly, form the governing body of the association. Members of the Technical Committee support the board with the selection and analysis of the new products introduced to the market and eligible to be added in the list of nominees.

TIPA Chairman - Thomas Gerwers


Thomas Gerwers


Thomas Gerwers, a member of the board since 1998, was elected Chairman in 2008. The German photo journalist is editor-in-chief and publisher of ProfiFoto and managing partner of PF Publishing GmbH. Thomas Gerwers has been a part of the photo and imaging industry since 1990 and is a valued expert in the field of professional photography concerning the technical as well as creative, cultural and professional aspects. He is a qualified member of DGPh, the German society for photography. Thomas Gerwers developed TIPA from a European to a global association of photo and imaging publications, with a worldwide membership that has a total of over one million readers.

TIPA Vice-Chairman - Emanuele Costanzo


Emanuele Costanzo


Emanuele Costanzo is the founder and publisher of FOTO Cult, a magazine that he established in 2003. With an appreciation for both the technical and cultural dimensions of photography, Emanuele created a comprehensive publication that merges art with technology. He has been working in the field since 1995, testing lenses and cameras to stay at the forefront of the rapidly evolving digital photography landscape. In 2023, Emanuele transitioned FOTO Cult from its traditional print format to an engaging online platform. This shift enabled him to deepen his exploration of technical nuances while embracing the multimedia capabilities of the web.

TIPA Vice-Chairman - George Schaub




George Schaub has been covering the imaging industry for over 30 years and during that time served as Executive Editor at Popular Photography (US), Editorial Director of the Photo Group at PTN Publishing and Editorial Director at Shutterbug Magazine (US). He has authored over 20 books on silver and digital imaging, and was an Adjunct Professor in the Visual Arts Department at the New School/Parsons School of Design in New York City.

TIPA Treasurer - Roland Franken


Roland Franken


Roland Franken took his first steps into photography in his father’s darkroom, developing and printing the photos he shot for a local newspaper. He studied photo engineering at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, finishing with a diploma thesis on colour management. Recognizing the arrival of digital imaging he started his career as an editor for digit! magazine in 1993. In 2012 he acquired digit! as a publisher. Roland Franken is a member of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh).

TIPA Secretary - Johan Elzenga




Johan Elzenga is the editor-in-chief of the Dutch photography magazines FOTOGRAFIE. His life-long passion for not only photography but also computers made him one of the very early adopters of digital photography, and he has written several books about this subject. Among these books was the first Dutch book about the RAW format, which became a best seller and is still considered as the standard Dutch book about this subject. Elzenga also still works as an independent professional photographer, with (African) wildlife as his most important specialty. His images are sold worldwide through leading stock agencies such as Getty Images and Alamy.

Technical Committee

The mission of the Technical Committee, a four-member body with specific technical knowledge, is to select award candidates following an elaborate guideline. The Technical Committee works year-round checking which products have the prerequisites necessary to be considered for an award nomination.

The major responsibility of the Technical Committee is to evaluate competitor products and prepare a list of nominees per various categories. By TIPA standards, competitor products are those that sell in the same price bracket and have comparable basic features, so we do not compare an entry-level digital SLR with a professional one. The Technical Committee considers features, price/performance ratio, innovation, design, ease-of-use, ergonomics and efficiency. In some cases, the Technical Committee may suggest recognizing a product for other extraordinary reasons with a special award.

Honorary Presidents

Honorary President

Juan Varela

Juan Varela was a founding member of TIPA in 1991. He was initially elected as chairman for a two-year term and subsequently re-elected several times every four years, presiding over the association for a total of 17 consecutive years. In 2008, he did not stand for reelection as chairman but continued for four more years as a member of the board.

In 2008, he received the Photokina Obelisk for his “outstanding contribution to the photography industry”.

Honorary President

Giulio Forti

Giulio Forti was an early member of TIPA and a member of the board from 1998. He was elected as  Vice President in 2008 and held that role until 2022, when he received the title of Honorary President for life. Giulio Forti founded FOTOGRAFIA REFLEX in 1980 and received the prestigious Photokina-Obelisk award in 1994.