It’s that time of year again, when I challenge & push myself to create some photographic prints to enter the AIPP ACT/NSW Epson Professional Photography Awards to be judged by the best in the industry. I do this to learn & develop my skills and expertise in photography … and just because I really love and enjoy the experience.
Prints are judged by a panel of 5 judges who score the print out of 100. To achieve a score between 70-80 means it has been judged to be of professional standards. The kind of image you would be proud to give to any of your clients. To achieve a score 80-84 is a Silver Award. This is above the everyday professional image and proven to have something special. 85-89 is a Silver Distinction (and these awards get rarer and harder to achieve the higher they go). 90-94 is a Gold Award and 95-100 is Gold Distinction. I have only once achieved a Gold Distinction.
This year I entered two categories, Pet/Animal & Travel. On Day 1, the Pet & Animal category was judged. My first image was a white squirrel I photographed in Montreal, Canada. Squirrel’s are so super cute and I was hoping the cuteness factor would help get his over the line with the judges…. and I was lucky enough to achieve a Silver Distinction Award!
My second image is of the very gorgeous Zoro, the German Shepherd and his best buddy Rio, the Macaw. It did not get an award this time due to technical issues picked up by the judges. But I will be revisiting this image for the National Awards and perhaps create something for the Single Capture section of this category - to ensure that judges realise these two were not just photoshopped together!
My third image was taken in Kuala Lumpur of this rescued black cat called Lucky. He was found in the middle of a busy highway with the rest of his litter. He was the only one who survived, hence his name. I wanted to create something to reflect his personality which is a wild cat stuck in a domestic cat’s body. This was recognised by the judges but unfortunately print and processing flaws kept it from achieving an award.
My last image in the pet/animal category was this triptych image of a wet dog shake. I absolutely love this series of images of the very gorgeous Fly, the tiniest & cutest Border Collie I’ve ever met. It was spoken well of by the judges but missed out on an award by one point, scoring 79.
Although my pet/animal portfolio did not score that highly at the awards this year, I still absolutely love this collection of images and I am proud of what I managed to put together and enter this year. And most importantly, I learnt so much about photography and printing from these entries and the feedback given by the judges.