We've pulled together a panel of some of Australia's finest photographers to judge the 2016 Photographer of the Year, the biggest competition for amateur photographers in Australasia. Meet our judging panel:
Tamara Dean is an Australian photographic artist whose practice explores the relationship between humans and the natural world and the role ritual plays in our lives. Tamara has received numerous awards including a high commendation in the 2013 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, and was a winner of the 2011 Olive Cotton Award, and 2009 Sydney Life: Art & About. Tamara was a member of the Oculi photographic collective from 2001-2011. She is represented by Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney.
Based in Melbourne, Tobias Titz’s passion lies with portrait and documentary photography. He has collaborated extensively with remote indigenous communities and has work held in the Museum of Australian Democracy, Canberra. Tobias is the recipient of the Head-On Photographic Portrait Prize and the Moran Contemporary Photography Prize.
Drew Hopper is a travel and landscape photographer based in Australia, specialising in the Asia-Pacific region. His curiosity for different ways of living have influenced his desire to travel to new and unfamiliar places. Through his travels he has developed a photographic style that is unique, simple and compelling. Drew is a regular contributor to Australian Geographic, covering photo assignments throughout Australia. He also regularly contributes and writes for Australian Photography magazine and has been featured in numerous travel, photography and lifestyle magazines worldwide.
Ann and Steve Toon
Ann & Steve Toon are a UK-based, husband and wife team of award-winning, professional photographers with a specialist interest in the wildlife and wild places of southern Africa where they spend several months each year photographing and running photographic safaris.
Their work is published in a wide range of magazines and national newspapers, both in the UK and abroad, and they are reprepresented by several leading photographic libraries. They've also written three books, two on wildlife photography and one on rhinos. You can see more of their work on their website at toonphoto.com and follow their African adventures on on their 'Beat about the Bush' blog at toonphotoblog.com.
Anthony McKee is a Melbourne-based writer and social documentary photographer. In 2014 he was named AIPP 2014 Australian Documentary Photographer of the Year. He has also won awards for his landscape photography. He has judged professional and amateur photography awards on both sides of the Tasman and in 2013 was made an Honorary Fellow of the NZIPP for his services to photography. He is a regular contributor to Australian Photography magazine.
Nick Melidonis is a landscape and travel photographer who has travelled extensively in pursuit of emotive images from some of the world’s most scenic and wild locations. He is a three-time winner of the AIPP Australian Landscape Photographer of the Year and is an AIPP Master of Photography IV. In 2016, he won the silver medal from 27 countries in the World Photographic cup held in Portugal in ‘Nature’ (Landscape and wildlife) and was a finalist in the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year. He presents seminars and workshops Australia wide and has led numerous overseas tours to Greece, Borneo, Cambodia, Iceland, Africa, Spain and India.
Justin Gilligan combines his scientific background and artistic flare to create images that draw attention to the beauty of the natural world. His freelance images and feature articles have been published globally, and he has won awards in the BBC Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year, and the Australian Professional Photography Awards. Justin’s first book, Port Stephens Naturally was published in 2014 and can be purchased from his website.
Tasmania-based photographer Paul Hoelen has won numerous accolades and awards for his images both nationally and internationally, including NZIPP Overseas Photographer of the Year (2012 and 2014), AIPP Tasmanian Professional Photographer of the Year (2011 and 2013) and AIPP Tasmanian Landscape Photographer Photographer of the Year (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015). He is an AIPP Master of Photography and a Fellow of the NZIPP and judges regularly at state, national and international level.
Sally Brownbill stands at the forefront of the Australian photographic and creative industry. A trained commercial photographer, she is now one of Australia’s most highly respected creative intermediaries. A much sought-after judge, lecturer and keynote speaker, Sally has developed a professional reputation in Australia and overseas as the authoritative voice on folio construction, career advice and editing images for exhibition and web. For more than 15 years, she has been running individual sessions with photographers and other creatives to guide them though image selection and career questions, along with being a great source of inspiration to help them reignite and realise their passion.
Douwe Dijkstra is a professional senior graphic designer based in Sydney. Born and raised in The Netherlands, he relocated downunder in 2003 and now calls Australia home. Photography is a strong passion for Douwe and he picked up his first camera at the age of 12. Over the years his hobby has evolved from taking family snaps with his grandfather’s camera, to creating black and white fine art in the digital age. He recently started an Instagram account, @monochromevisions, marking a new chapter in his photography journey. Douwe prefers to shoot in monochrome. He simply finds it easier to capture the essence of a scene in black and white: colour is just a distraction. He won the black and white category of the 2015 Photographer of the Year.
His first taste of international attention was in 1999 when East Timorese was evacuated to Darwin Airport during the election crisis. He also covered the 2000 Sydney Olympics as part of the News Limited national team of photographers and was a finalist in the Walkley Awards with his sports pictures. In 2001, he moved to Sydney to work at The Daily Telegraph and has since worked across all sections of the paper including time on the picture desk at the daily and Sunday Telegraphs. He won the nature category of the World Press Photo award in 2016.
Professional photographer and guide Darran started his professional photography career in 1980 as the photographer on Norfolk Island. His commercial shoots started in 1984 and continue to this day. He has also written and self published six books and has images in over 200 books world wide. He has written over 300 articles for around 20 magazines.
With over 400 successful photo tours/workshop and seminars worldwide and counting, Australian-born Darran’s lifetime loves are travel and outdoor photography. He combines these with vast experience in delivering global photo tours, workshops and seminars. Darran is one of the world’s few full-time professional photo guides. He leads photographers of all levels to many of the world’s most captivating locations. As a natural born photographer, educator and adventurer, Darran’s career inevitably led him to help others explore and capture their world. Now Darran spends his time up to his armpits in crocodiles, cuddling gorillas or herding photographers. The adventure continues…
Australian based wildlife photographer Tanya Stollznow spends several months of the year capturing images of the natural world in Africa, Asia and Australia. Tanya is skilled in capturing emotive, compelling images that allow the viewer to identify and connect to the subject. Through her imagery Tanya promotes interest and support for the conservation and protection of wildlife and their habitats, in particular the conservation of rare and endangered species in South Africa.Tanya’s work has featured in various magazines, conservation assignments and commercial projects in Africa, USA and Australia. Her clients include advertising agencies, publishing companies, universities and zoos.