The Mono Awards 2022, presented by SanDisk: The winners!

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An emotive portrait captured with available light, an unusual in-camera multiple exposure, and a whimsical interaction between two birds have shared the honours in The Mono Awards 2022, presented by SanDisk Professional.

Now in its fourth year, The Mono Awards 2022 featured a prize pool of more than $13,500, including $10,000 cash, thanks to the major sponsor, SanDisk Professional, and supporting sponsors Kudos Cameras and Midland Insurance Brokers. The competition is Australia and New Zealand's biggest competition dedicated to the art of monochrome and black-and-white photography.

People category winner, Marty by Karen Waller.
People category winner, Marty by Karen Waller. "My portrait of Marty was captured on his front veranda at his home in Adelaide. It is a place where he often spends time watching the world pass by and connecting with his community. Meeting Marty happened by chance, and I sensed that he would be an intriguing portrait subject. When I captured his portrait, he shared the story of his life and was very open with me. This portrait captures a moment in our conversation, as Marty recounts a tragic story of personal loss. He was unapologetically emotional when sharing his story. In that moment, it was simply about documenting the emotion as it unfolded. My aim in this portrait of Marty is to reveal his humanity and vulnerability which may counter our immediate perception of who he is."

Photographers were invited to enter any of the three categories – People, Places and Animals – and this year top honours went to Karen Waller, Tebani Slade, and Steve Nicholls, in each of the categories, respectively. 

This year also was the biggest in the competition’s history, with the total number of images entered eclipsing last year.  

Places category winner, Tebani Slade, Matera 2. Matera 2.
Places category winner, Matera 2 by Tebani Slade. "This image was taken in the town of Matera in southern Italy. It is claimed to be the third oldest continually inhabited settlement in the world. It has been home to someone for at least 9,000 years. There are many layers to this ancient town and I wanted to show that. So, I made an in-camera multiple exposure of four images to create this photo."

The competition was judged by a panel of twelve respected professional photographers, chosen for their expertise in black-and-white photography.

This year, the star-studded panel comprised Adrian Cook, William Long, Lynton Crabb, Sophie Howarth, Jackie Ranken, Mike Langford, Alex Cearns OAM, Anthony McKee, Marley Morgan, Jayne Mclean, Michele Mossop, and Matt Palmer. You can read their full bios at themonoawards.com.au.

Animals category winner, Steve Nicholls. Pelican on the Defensive.
Animals category winner, Pelican on the Defensive by Steve Nicholls. "As the afternoon came to a close at Woodman Point in Western Australia, this pelican stood alone on a large rock overlooking a small rocky pool. I positioned myself low to make sure the pelican rose completely above the horizon line, and stopped down my lens to bring focus to the industrial buildings on the other side of the bay. With all the elements in place, I had to wait for something interesting to bring the image to life. A small group of seagulls arrived on the scene, and one began harassing the pelican. As the gull flew in the pelican raised its beak to fend it off, and I clicked the shutter."

Long-time judge William Long described the experience of judging the competition as a real honour. “There was incredible diversity and immense quality in the submissions to The Mono Awards this year,” he said. 

Competitions like this simply aren’t possible without the support of generous sponsors, and to SanDisk Professional, Kudos Cameras, and Midland Insurance Brokers a huge thank you. You support is greatly appreciated. 

Finally, and most importantly, a huge thank you to everyone who entered The Mono Awards 2022, and for helping to make the competition such a huge success. In a year when we saw more images entered in the competition than ever before, it’s clear that black and white remains a hugely important and exciting medium for photographers in Australasia. 

To learn more about the 2023 edition of the competition, head to themonoawards.com.au.

People
People category runner-up, Precision, Brennan Finighan. This image was created in my studio with the assistance of two amazing models, one of whom is a circus performer and the other an athlete. They posed on a mirror to capture the reflection in order to add an extra dimension to the geometric style. The most difficult part of creating this image was achieving symmetry in order for it to be aesthetically pleasing.
People category runner-up, Precision, Brennan Finighan. This image was created in my studio with the assistance of two amazing models, one of whom is a circus performer and the other an athlete. They posed on a mirror to capture the reflection in order to add an extra dimension to the geometric style. The most difficult part of creating this image was achieving symmetry in order for it to be aesthetically pleasing.
3rd place: Andrea Francolini, Read my lips
3rd place: Andrea Francolini, Read my lips
4th place: Karen Waller, Tenuous
4th place: Karen Waller, Tenuous
5th place: Biljana Jurukovski, The Mundari Boy
5th place: Biljana Jurukovski, The Mundari Boy
Places
Places category runner-up, Tree of Life by Julie Kenny. From above, the surrounding sheep tracks combined with the fallen tree reminded me of the ‘Tree of Life’. While the aerial perspective captured via a drone focuses on the earth, you can see the pooled water in the sheep tracks reflecting the sky. While this represents many different things, for me it communicates the interconnection of all things, beginnings and endings, the cycling of life.
Places category runner-up, Tree of Life by Julie Kenny. From above, the surrounding sheep tracks combined with the fallen tree reminded me of the ‘Tree of Life’. While the aerial perspective captured via a drone focuses on the earth, you can see the pooled water in the sheep tracks reflecting the sky. While this represents many different things, for me it communicates the interconnection of all things, beginnings and endings, the cycling of life.
3rd place: Laura Reid, Mirroring New York
3rd place: Laura Reid, Mirroring New York
4th place: Kathy Wallace, Forest silence
4th place: Kathy Wallace, Forest silence
5th place: Stephane Thomas, The boot
5th place: Stephane Thomas, The boot
Animals
Animals category runner-up, Steam, Mark Loh. A quiet and cold pre-dawn morning at Yanchep National Park, 50km north of Perth, promised cold fingers, dense fog, and the inevitable ‘burn off’ of steam as the sun started to rise and warm the day. I had to manoeuvre carefully around a resident mob of backlit western grey kangaroos to obtain the image I had in mind, but their docile nature afforded plenty of time to pick the moment as it happened.
Animals category runner-up, Steam, Mark Loh. A quiet and cold pre-dawn morning at Yanchep National Park, 50km north of Perth, promised cold fingers, dense fog, and the inevitable ‘burn off’ of steam as the sun started to rise and warm the day. I had to manoeuvre carefully around a resident mob of backlit western grey kangaroos to obtain the image I had in mind, but their docile nature afforded plenty of time to pick the moment as it happened.
3rd place: Deb Ford, Just laying back
3rd place: Deb Ford, Just laying back
4th place: Daniel Browne, Manta Bait ball
4th place: Daniel Browne, Manta Bait ball
5th place: Hannelie van der Merwe, Get lost
5th place: Hannelie van der Merwe, Get lost
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