Picture: Courtesy of John Stezaker and The Approach, London

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012 rewards a photographer who has made a significant contribution, in exhibition or publication format, to photography in Europe between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2011.

Stezaker was shortlisted for an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London last year.

He beat Pieter Hugo (South Africa), Rinko Kawauchi (Japan), and Christopher Williams (USA).

A competition spokesman said: ‘Stezaker’s collages examine our multifaceted relationship with the image.

‘Through his juxtapositions of found photographs, illustrations and stills taken from books, magazines, vintage postcards and classic movies, Stezaker adopts the content and contexts of the original images to create new and poignant meanings.’

Chair of the judging panel Brett Rogers said the jury recognised Stezaker’s 30-year career that has explored ‘the subversive force of the found image’ and his influence on ‘a new generation of image-makers’.

He added: ‘Within the vastness of today’s image flow, Stezaker has managed to resurrect the power and uncanny mystery inherent in the still image – using traditional photographic strategies, most especially collage.’

Stezaker was presented with his prize at a ceremony held at The Photographers’ Gallery in London last night.

The best images are on show at The Photographers’ Gallery until 9 September.