Australian Photography Prize announces winners

The winners of the inaugural Australian Photographic Prize (APP) have been announced, following a four-day event in Melbourne.

The brainchild of photographers Karen Alsop and Robyn Campbell, the event and competition aims to fill the gap left in the industry by the closure of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) last year, as well as its Australian Professional Photography Awards competition, the APPAs.

However, the main distinction between APP and APPAs is that the competition accepts applications from professional and amateur photographers.

The structure of the competition is somewhat complex. The award is divided into three categories: the Nikon Digital Awards (for digital entries), the Epson Print Awards (for print entries) and the EIZO Photographic Artist Prize (for photographic/digital entries). Photographers who have earned more than $10,000 from photography are not eligible to enter the Digital Awards, while the other two categories are open to photographers regardless of professional status.

The Digital Awards and Print Awards accept images from a variety of genres, including Landscape, Nature and Wildlife and People, among others, but the Print Awards also include Commercial, Portrait and Wedding, reflecting the genres professional entrants are likely to to photograph.

At the Digital Awards, nearly 600 nominations were received in 2022, while the Print Awards had around 700 nominations and the Photographic Artist Prize, 100.

Camberwell Camera Club member David Bignell received the Digital Award with a reflective self-portrait.

Overall Digital Category Winner: David Bignell. Bignell says his photo is part of a series he made during lockdown. “It uses a visual metaphor to convey the message of someone who is literally washed out. The idea of ​​experimenting with tissue paper was born out of thoughts about processing floating emulsion. Once I started to print on fabric, I considered the possibilities of bonding paper to emotions. I began to create self-portraits with torn fabrics, damp fabrics, crumpled fabrics, etc. The fragility of fabrics seemed apt to describe the fragility of the mind under different pressures Ironically, being locked up opened the door to a new creative space to explore and a Zeitgeist to capture.

Charmaine Heyer, a professional photographer based in North Queensland, received the Australian Photographic Print Award.

Overall winner of the print award, Charmaine Heyer.  Heyer says her image was born out of a fashion shoot.
Overall winner of the print award, Charmaine Heyer. Heyer says her image was born out of a fashion shoot. “My intention was to transform an insect and a human to highlight our interdependence,” she said.

Finally, Damien Bowerman was the winner of the Photographic Artist Award.

Photographer Artist Award, Damien Bowerman.
Photographic Artist Award winner, Damien Bowerman.

You can see more of the category finalists at australianphotographicprize.com.au.

Michael E. Marquez