JUNIOR 2020: TOP 20
WINNER, JUNIOR (UNDER 18) CATEGORY, PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2020
JAKE FRAZER, 'BLINDING COLOUR'
16-year-old Northern Rivers photographer Jake Frazer captured this evocative, film-like image in January 2020 while sitting on a tram in Kamakura, Japan.
“I was probably scrolling Instagram,” he tells us, “amazed at all the impossibly creative and meaningful photographs on there, and almost completely missed the scene laid out before my eyes.”
With spitting rain to add mood, cloud cover for lighting, a vignette of patient humans and a driver; perfectly silhouetted, all the ingredients were there for a strong image.
“Fumbling for my camera, it occurred to me… How many of these picture-perfect shots have I missed due to distraction? I was scared to intrude, but knew that regret would follow if I didn’t take a chance.”
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Anthony McKee: You don’t always have to be looking directly into someone’s face to learn something about them. This “portrait” by Jake Frazer reveals daily life to us somewhere in Japan; it is a beautiful composition that hints at the nature of this tram driver, sitting up front while shuttling passengers along a route that we can assume they are all too familiar with.
Umbrellas and lashings of rain on the front windows tell us about the conditions of the day, while the shoes, bags and a walking stick hint at who some of the passengers might be. It is a simple photograph in its design and yet tells a beautiful story. Jake has called this image “Blinding Colour”, although “masking colour" would be equally apt. In colour, the signage at the top of the frame would have been very distracting; in this black and white interpretation we get to quietly enjoy the journey the driver is taking his passengers on.
Mark Galer: Photographs of people with their backs to the camera are seldom successful. With this image, however, I would have it no other way. This, for many of us, is the only view of the driver we ever see. The lack of the view beyond the driver, due to inclement weather, also serves to arrest the viewer’s attention at the intended focal point of the image, as our eyes are drawn through the carriage way. The small tilt of the driver’s head only adds to our interest. It is not often a single image conveys an unusual narrative, but this one speaks volumes.
RUNNER UP, JUNIOR CATEGORY, PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2020
JARVIS SMALLMAN, 'SUNSET SEAL'
Jarvis Smallman is an accomplished 14-year-old from the small community of Hopetoun Western Australia, who is lucky enough to call the beautiful Fitzgerald Biosphere home. In between the outdoors, beach and surf, he's also developed a passion for photography.
“I was snorkelling at my favourite beach when I saw a curious head and two huge eyes poke out of the water,” he says. “I rushed back to the beach to grab my camera, and this seal came up close to say hello. I drifted with her down the current as the sun was setting over the ocean. Capturing the perfect shot was difficult as she was moving so fast, but everything lined up perfectly and I was able to nail this image. Such an amazing experience!”
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Douwe Dijkstra: This is a great capture of this playful and inquisitive seal. It’s checking out the photographer entering its domain, and I really love the half-half composition; below the surface we experience the beautiful underwater world and the seal's natural habitat, while above we see its proximity to the land. As a bonus, the sun peaking over the horizon adds some warmth – a nice contrast to the cold waters.
Hillary Younger: A creative capture of two worlds, above and below the water's surface at a fleeting moment in time: the rising sun's rays pierce the water and light up the dunes, just as the seal approaches the camera. Jarvis has nailed his timing and exposure, and created a beautifully balanced composition with visual interest both above and below the water's surface as well. The seal's direct gaze draws our attention, and adds a powerful emotional impact to the image.
TOP 20 FINISHERS, JUNIOR CATEGORY, PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2020
3. Sonya Clarke
4. Jake Frazer
5. Tobias Balcombe Ehrlich
6. Kayley Dixon
7. Julia Howe
8. Matthew Barrett
9. Julia Howe
10. Toby Dean
11. Dylan Schafter
12. Matthew Barrett
13. Jacob Dedman
14. Isabelle Rebetzke
14. Jacob Dedman
17. Julia Howe
18. Julia Howe
19. Julia Howe
19. Henry Openshaw