• Drew Hopper
    Drew Hopper
  • Petra Leary
    Petra Leary
  • Jacques van As
    Jacques van As
  • Keren Dobia
    Keren Dobia
  • Steve and Ann Toon
    Steve and Ann Toon
  • Nick Rains
    Nick Rains
  • Anthony McKee
    Anthony McKee
  • Shannon Wild
    Shannon Wild
  • Douwe Dijkstra
    Douwe Dijkstra
  • Helen Whittle
    Helen Whittle
  • Lisa Michele Burns
    Lisa Michele Burns
  • Richard I'Anson
    Richard I'Anson
  • Tanya Stollznow
    Tanya Stollznow
  • Rohan Kelly
    Rohan Kelly
  • Alex Cearns
    Alex Cearns

We've pulled together a panel of some of Australia and NZ's finest photographers to judge the 2018 Photographer of the Year presented by Panasonic, the biggest competition for amateur photographers in Australasia. Meet our judging panel:

Drew Hopper

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.

Petra Leary

Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Petra Leary is an award winning photographer whose work is distinguished by her travels. Petra's work captures a view out of the ordinary - whether through symmetry and motion in architecture or through patterns only discovered from above.
Her work has been featured in various publications and sites around the world. Instead of creating a monotonous perception, Petra creates scenes from heights and places not for the faint-hearted to tell you a story from a different perspective.

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

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.

Nick Rains

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.

Anthony McKee

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

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

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.

Helen Whittle

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.

Richard I'Anson

Richard I'Anson is a freelance photographer who has built a career on his twin passions for travel and photography. Over the past 35 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 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.

Tanya Stollznow

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.

Rohan Kelly

Rohan Kelly grew up on a farm in Western Australia and, after a stint at university, returned to work on the family property. Picking up a camera for a holiday to Africa, he was hooked. He then moved to Perth to study photography, and got his first full-time job in 1998 at the Northern Territory News in Darwin.

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.
Alex Cearns
Dogs Today Magazine in the United Kingdom calls Perth based photographer Alex Cearns “One of our greatest dog photographers in the world.” Alex is the Creative Director of Houndstooth Studio based in Australia, and specialises in capturing portraits that convey the intrinsic character of her animal subjects.

She photographs for engaged pet lovers, corporate brands in Australia, the USA and the UK, and for around 40 Australian and International animal charities and conservation organisations. Her images have been published extensively across international media, in books, magazines, billboards and advertising campaigns.  Alex is the recipient of over 250 awards for photography, business and philanthropy. Inspiring others with her joy of working with animals, Alex’s philanthropy and passionate advocacy for animal rescue has earned her high regard among Australia’s animal lovers and a strong following on social media. She is an ambassador for Tamron, BenQ, Spider Holster and Seagate and is considered an influencer in photography, business and pet industry communities.

She regularly judges photography competitions and presents at events. Alex lives with her partner, two rescue dogs, and rescue cat in Perth, Western Australia.
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