We've pulled together a panel of some of Australia's finest photographers to judge the 2018 Photographer of the Year presented by Panasonic, 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.
Jacques Van As
Brisbane Based landscape photographer and videographer Jacques Van As was born and raised in South Africa and moved to Australia in 2009. With a passion for nature and adventure since he was young, it was only a matter of time before landscape photography lured him in and he began travelling in search of unique and exciting landscapes.
Jacques runs photography workshops that focus on taking people to dream photography locations, while honing their skills. He also enjoys the art of film photography and spends many an hour in the darkroom working on black and white prints.
Keren Dobia is an accredited professional photographer and a creator of theatrical compositions. Her artwork is influenced by her background in painting, drawing, and fashion, and her images often blur the line between photography and illustration. Keren’s creativity extends to the design and fabrication of costumes and sets. With a natural attention to detail and her industry recognised postproduction skills Keren moulds her inspirational work from concept to completion.
Keren holds a Diploma of Photoimaging from Melbourne Polytechnic (formerly NMIT), and lectures at Melbourne Polytechnic and RMIT in the photoimaging courses alongside her creative and commercial work. She was named AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year in 2017.
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.
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. Douwe prefers to shoot in monochrome as 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.
Lisa Michele Burns
Lisa Michele Burns is a travel, landscape and underwater photographer who seeks to capture the world with an alternative perspective. Whether it’s through her series ‘The World from The Water’ or with the use of artistic reflections, her work showcases destinations with an ethereal, pastel tone.
Preferring to shoot extreme climates and natural, Lisa got her start in photography whilst working as a journalist for Lonely Planet back in 2007. She now publishes The Wandering Lens, a travel guide for photographers listing photogenic destinations and experiences alongside creative tips. Each year, Lisa, an Olympus Visionary, also hosts travel photography tours in places like Japan, Iceland and France.
His images are published worldwide in books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, calendars, posters, cards and websites. Richard has published thirteen 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 the award winning 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.