We've pulled together a panel of some of Australia and NZ's finest photographers to judge the 2019 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.
Hillary is an award winning landscape photographer based in southeast Tasmania. Her first explorations of the island’s forests, mountains and shoreline were on horseback, later venturing into remote locations on extended hiking trips. In 2007, she went into the mountains with a camera, for the first trip with a specific photographic intention. She has had numerous exhibitions, both solo, and collaborative and has been published in several magazines, including Australian Geographic and On Landscape.
She is known for her Tasmanian landscapes, particularly seascapes, as well as mountain landscapes from more remote locations around the world, including the Ladakh Himalaya, the Yukon and the Rockies. She conducts photo workshops both in Tasmania and internationally. She has been a judge of a number of photographic awards including the Epson International Pano Awards and Focus Australia Annual Awards.
Her passion is connection to the land, and to explore the relationship between the self and the landscape. Her photography aims to communicate the intimacy of that relationship. She is renowned for her dramatic wide angle images of less photographed locations and her original compositions. She values uniqueness, originality and the courage to explore both physically and artistically. She is a proud member of Nature First: The Alliance for Responsible Nature Photography.
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.
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.
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.
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 and in 2019 was awarded an Order Of Australia for services to animal charities through photography. 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, Profoto, BenQ, and Spider Holster 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.
Petra Leary is an award winning New Zealand born aerial photographer. Her ability to capture her subjects from unique perspectives is striking and groundbreaking.
She has an innate design sensibility, reflected in her unique process all the way from conception to post-production. An intrepid world traveller, she hunts out unusual landscapes, captures them from unforeseen angles such as her signature bird’s eye angle from above, and manipulates and accentuates colours in post-production to create her final work.
Her work is simple yet bold in arrangement and composition. Belying this effortlessness are deeply honed technical skills, and a knowing iconoclastic eye for pop culture. Among many other awards, she is the Webstar Magazine Media Awards 2019 Best Photographer, and a finalist in the New Zealand Photographer of the Year 2018 Aerial Category.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dylan Fox is an award-winning Australian Landscape Photographer based out of Perth. Having always loved to travel and witness nature's finest moments, it was only a matter of time before he started capturing them in the form of photographs. His aim is always to capture photographs that provoke emotional connections.For Dylan, the photograph must tell a story and truly captivate those that see it.
In 2016 he was awarded first place in the nature category at the international black and white photography awards, has been a finalist in the ANZANG awards for the last three years and has been a runner-up in Capture magazine's emerging photographer of the year competition.