As mentioned in my previous post, I entered two categories in the 2019 AIPP Epson ACT/NSW Professional Photography Awards, Pet/Animal & Travel. On Day 2, my Travel images were judged.
The prints entered into the Travel category must be a single image with only basic processing allowed. You are not permitted to change or alter the image in anyway from the original in-camera capture. This is a category I love to enter, as it pushes me as a photographer to also improve my technical ability, not relying on ‘fixing’ an image in photoshop later, or jazzing it up using fancy post-processing.
To do well and impress the judges in a competition like this, you also need to choose images which are unique and something they may never have seen before. They must be technically perfect and professionally printed. For an image to succeed in the Travel category it must ‘express or reference the feeling of a time and place, or simply portray a land and its people in its natural state.’
My travel images ended up scoring above and beyond what I could have hoped for at the judging. Then at the Presentation Dinner where the finalist and winners of each category are announced, I was stoked to find out I had won 2019 ACT AIPP Epson Travel Photographer of the Year!!
My first image which was judged was this skyline of Kuala Lumpur, taken out the window of a small Cessna plane, featuring just the tips of the Petronas Towers and the city faded in the smoggy background. It hit a note with the judges and managed to score a Silver Award.
The second image is also from my trip to Malaysia. We took a drive down the south of the country to an area in Melacca. I actually found the area very uninspiring to photograph. There was lots of dirt and poverty, but it was hidden behind huge walls and shopping malls. This capture sums up my perception of the area, and I was blown away with how well it was received by the judges, who got into a passionate discussion over my print and it ended up receiving a GOLD award!
My third photograph was taken in Montreal, Canada. I set out on my own little photowalk in -16 degrees. As you can see, no-one else was as crazy as me to be walking around in that freeze!! I was able to capture the playing fields where there was once a hive of activity but in the winter is left empty. The negative space and design of this image resonated with the judges and scored a Silver award.
My last image was a favourite of mine. (Another cute squirrel…I loved these guys!) A friend took me to a park which has some of the most friendly little squirrels ever, making it slightly easier to capture these crazy animals. When the snow started to fall over the park, I found the perfect little path to photograph and was lucky enough that one little squirrel decided to stop right in the centre to pose for me! This image missed out on an award by one point!
My collection of travel images was then chosen as the best of the category, winning me the title of 2019 ACT AIPP Epson Travel Photographer of the Year, sponsored and presented by Camera Electronic.