Photographer of the Year 2023 presented by Ted's cameras: The winners!
Sunshine Coast photographer Raoul Slater has taken out the highest honour in Photographer of the Year 2023, presented by Ted’s cameras.
The competition is the largest of its kind for amateur photographers in Australasia and for 2023 had a prize pool valued at more than $20,000.
Slater’s series marks his early foray into 1860s-era wet plate photography, an archaic, artistic process that requires immense patience from both the photographer and the sitter.
Captured with a Russian FDK 18cm x 24 cm view camera he bought on eBay from the Ukraine, the technology involves coating a glass or aluminium plate with gun cotton and then sensitising it in a silver nitrate bath. The plates are 1 ISO, so portraits require long exposures, a wide lens, or lots of light.
But beyond the technology itself, Slater’s images revealed wonderful details about his subjects – testament to his skills behind the camera, regardless of the tool.
For judge Matt Palmer, the limitations of the analog process take nothing away from the images he created.
“Connection and soul trump perfection in portrait image-making... it’s a reminder that the subject comes first,” he says.
Slater's entry won the People category and was also named Overall Winner for 2023, taking home $2,500, a Sigma lens valued at $2,000, and a Seagate prize pack valued at $500.
More than 2,700 entries were received in the annual competition which, for the major categories, challenges photographers to shoot four images that work together as a cohesive series.
Other category winners included a series of dynamic wildlife images by Ivan Glaser, stripped-back American landscapes by Niall Chang, beautifully-lit aerials by Benjamin Chubb, an Ansel Adams-inspired series from Craig Ford, evocative images from Morocco by Kate Hutchinson, a powerful image of wildfires by Ruth Woodrow, a quirky fishy capture by Paul Evans, and finally a lovely moment between a farmer and his dog by Junior category winner Indiana Kritikou.
The special Photographer of the Year edition of Australian Photography magazine will be available in newsstands, delivered to subscribers, and via digital download at Zinio in the coming days. The issue includes Winners, Runners-up and Top 20 entries in each category, except in the smaller Travel category, where only the Top 14 entries appear.
We’d like to thank our amazing sponsors of Photographer of the Year, as without their support we simply couldn’t run the competition. To Ted’s Cameras, Sony, MSI, Aurora Expeditions, Lacie, and Seagate – thank you for your support of photographers in Australasia.
A huge thanks too to the amazing Alex Cearns OAM, Helen Whittle, Matt Palmer, Douwe Dijkstra, Drew Hopper, Mandarine Montgomery, Ann and Steve Toon, Anthony McKee, Lisa Michele Burns, Shannon Wild, Doug Gimesy, Sally Brownbill, and Petra Leary for their work judging the competition this year.
And finally, to all our entrants, thank you. It’s easy to run out of superlatives when writing about the images entered in Photographer of the Year, which is testament to the quality of the work being produced in Australasia.
We feel immensely honoured to offer a platform to showcase what we truly believe is the best of the best.
Photographer of the Year will open again for entries in June 2024.
Winners and runners-up below: