We've pulled together a panel of some of Australia's finest photographers to judge the 2017 Photographer of the Year, the biggest competition for amateur photographers in Australasia. Meet the first of our judging panel:
Drew Hopper is a travel and documentary 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.
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.
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.
Shannon Wild is an Australian wildlife photographer and cinematographer based in Africa. As a passionate wildlife lover and conservation advocate, Shannon shoots for many organisations and non-profits worldwide and films for clients such as National Geographic and NatGeo Wild. She is also a published author with topics including wildlife photography as well as reptile ecophysiology, another personal passion.
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.
As well as being named Overall Winner of Australian Photography magazine's Photographer of the Year in 2016, Helen was a finalist in The Voice Collection 2016 and runner up in the Photographer of the Year, Portrait category, in 2015. She is inspired by dramatic and natural light, and produces simple, emotive and authentic images. With a style consisting mainly of black-and-white, she sees beauty in the everyday.
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.
Nick Rains has been a professional photographer for over 30 years, starting off in the UK with sports and commercial work before moving to Australia in 1990. Since then he specialised in landscape work, crisscrossing the country on assignments for many large book and calendar publishers including Explore Australia, Penguin and Australian Geographic. Nick still enjoys packing up his trusty 4WD and heading off into the wilderness for weeks at a time, driving tens of thousands of kilometres and camping out under the stars in a never ending quest for the perfect light.
In 2002 Nick was named Australian Geographic Photographer of the Year and in 2014 Nick won the AIPP Travel Photographer of the Year category at the industry’s professional print awards. In addition to shooting book and magazine assignments, Nick also runs the Leica Akademie in Australia which instructs other photographers in the finer points of camera use and image making.
Richard I'Anson is a freelance photographer who has built a career on his twin passions for travel and photography. Over the past 33 years he has travelled the world, amassing a substantial and compelling collection of images of people and places in more than 90 countries on all seven continents.
His images are published worldwide in books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, calendars, posters, cards and websites. Richard has published twelve books including five editions of the best-selling Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Photography, Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips and the large format pictorials: Australia: 42 Great Landscape Experiences, Nepal and India: essential encounters.
Richard was one of five photographers selected for the first series of National Geographic Channel’s television documentary Tales by Light (now on Netflix). He is a Master of Photography awarded by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and represents Canon Australia as a Canon Master Photographer.