We've pulled together a panel of some of Australia and NZ's finest photographers to judge the 2020 Photographer of the Year presented by Nokia, the biggest competition for amateur photographers in Australasia. Meet the first of our judging panel:
Drew Hopper is an Australian freelance documentary photographer exploring ecological themes, landscape and place. He is committed to documenting social, cultural and environmental stories around the world. Known for his thought-provoking and in-depth visual storytelling, Drew has photographed multiple feature stories for Australian Geographic, including the front cover of Issue 155 (March-April 2020) on the Black Summer bushfires.
Captivated by the diversity of environments, Drew ventures far and wide to capture pictures that define his experiences with the vision that they will impact and inspire an audience in a way individual to each viewer. Drew’s curiosity for different ways of living has influenced the desire to travel to new and unfamiliar territories. With a talented eye, he captures intimate imagery and works with humility, respect and a light footprint.
Drew also regularly contributes to Australian Photography magazine writing articles and judges monthly contests and has work featured in numerous publications worldwide.
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.
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.
Tim is an award winning Sydney based freelance photographer, writer and teacher who has covered a multitude of photographic disciplines. His professional work has seen him cover over 25 years of music gigs, portraits, football (the real one) tournaments, dog calendars, travel, shoe photography, Film and Television and everything else in between.
His personal work centres around Street Photography with which he has put on numerous solo and group exhibitions.
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.
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 toonwildlife.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.
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.
Helen Whittle is a fine-art photographer specialising in child portraiture who is inspired by dramatic and natural light. With a style consisting of mainly black and white, she produces simple, emotive and authentic images.
She is a proud member of ClickPro, and has many awards to her name. She received Overall Winner Australian Photographer of the Year in 2016 in Australian Photography magazine, and Runner up Emerging Portrait Photographer of the Year 2019 in Capture Magazine and overall winner in the international competition Black and White Child Photo Competition in 2019.
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.
She has won numerous awards, including winning the 2020 Bird Photographer of the Year (Portfolio Prize), Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 (Invertebrates: Behaviour ), Australian Photography Awards 2017 (Wildlife) and the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2016 (Portfolio Prize).
Mark’s learning resources can be accessed via his website markgaler.com or his YouTube channel.
A trained photographer, through The Brownbill Effect, Sally Brownbill connects creative talent from all corners of the industry. She provides career leadership and advice and also consults on the design and editing of photography portfolios and websites. This enables creatives at all levels to present themselves as the very best they can be. She's the go-to person for those looking for or seeking to fill a freelance or permanent role in the industry.
Over the years Sal has built a reputation based on an unrivalled level of experience and the ability to inspire and connect all creatives. This is the result of a strong desire to help people, as well as a love for creativity of all kinds.
Sal is also a mentor, judge and guest lecturer across a variety of educational institutions, an Adjunct Industry Fellow within the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne University and a member of several course Advisory Boards.
Ryan is an award-winning British adventure and landscape photographer, based in Wellington, New Zealand. Ryan’s passion for outdoor photography stemmed from a deep love and appreciation of the natural world.
After travelling for much of his 20’s, he moved to New Zealand in 2015, where he now lives with his Fiancé and two-year-old daughter. Ryan continues to travel around New Zealand and photograph some of the countries most scenic places. His passion for photography is growing daily as he continues to push himself to create.
Ryan’s main goal is to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and experience the true beauty of the natural world. In 2019 he was named the NZ landscape photographer of the year.