Esko Männikkö has been awarded the 2008 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
Männikkö fought off stiff competition from John Davies, Jacob Holdt and Fazal Sheikh to claim the £30,000 award, which was presented to him by David Furnish at a ceremony last night.
Brett Rogers, Chair of the Jury and Director of The Photographers' Gallery, said: "Esko Männikkö's pictorial risk-taking, combined with his poetic approach to dealing with universal issues such as alienation and identity, greatly impressed the 2008 jury."
He added: "In his books and on the gallery walls, Männikkö has successfully created an authentic and compelling new photographic vision that fuses social documentary and fine art."
Männikkö, a former hunter, documents a wide range of themes in his work. The subjects of his powerful colour images range from eccentric Finnish bachelors to landscapes of the Finnish countryside.
The images, which were all displayed in over-sized frames, were taken from his retrospective, Cocktails 1990 - 2007, originally shown in Stockholm.
The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize was established in 1996 and is awarded to an international photographer for their contribution to the medium during the past year.