ABC photographer wins Walkley Press Photographer of the Year
The winners of the 67th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism have been announced, with ABC photographer Brendan Esposito named Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year for 2022.
Esposito’s entry spanned the civilian impact of war in Ukraine, social issues closer to home including opioids, incarceration, DIY erotica, and life after a double mastectomy.
The Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism are the highest honours in Australian journalism, celebrating excellence across all media.
The annual awards were presented in 30 categories covering print, radio, and television.
“Brendan Esposito shows a high standard of professionalism, earning the trust of vulnerable people and getting into their inner circle to convey a sense of intimacy. Each portrait is tailored to its subject and gives us a different feeling. Ukraine Mona Lisa, shot through the condensation on the glass, looks like a classical painting,” said the judges.
In other categories, photographer for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Kate Geraghty, took out the Feature/Photographic Essay category with her series Invasion of Ukraine – Civilian Impact.
Geraghty described photographing the series as an opportunity to show the emotions of victims of the war in Ukraine.
“I photographed breaking news such as a woman being rescued after a missile strike, but the main focus was to show the emotions behind the impact on civilians," she said.
“Previous experience of covering the Donbas war, and months of planning last year to return to Ukraine, meant that when Russia invaded, I was already accredited, allowing visits to Ukrainian forces on frontlines. On one of the five embeds I documented the bodies of Russian soldiers being recovered from a battle to be used in a prisoner exchange.
I had to photograph quickly as Russian missiles had been fired towards our location and would kill three Ukrainian soldiers soon after we evacuated.”
An image by Natalie Grono (The Saturday Paper and Surfing World Magazine), Peter takes a moment, won the News Photography category following its win as the 2022 Nikon Walkley Photo of the Year Prize in October.
The image depicts a 'quintessential' Australian impacted by the devastating floods that floodwaters inundated the Northern Rivers of NSW in February and March 2022.
Grono was first assigned to photograph Ballina and surrounding communities as they prepared for the waters to move down from Lismore. With roads, power and communications cut off, Grono waded into flooded streets, speaking with residents and making their portraits.
Finally, Getty Images Cameron Spencer was named winner of the Sport Photography category with his body of work, Sport is Back!
His images captured fleeting moments from tennis and ironman, to ski-jumping and AFL.
Of the work, the judges said: “This well curated series demonstrates Cameron Spencer’s impressive range. His strong use of natural light, shadows and silhouettes shows his great technical skills. His ability to see something different, and to find interesting, unusual viewpoints on a variety of sports, is a testament to his creative eye.”
You can see more work by the finalists at the Walkley Awards website.