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Musician, Khiva, Uzbekistan
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As we all get better and better at the technical side of photography, it's the small details that make the difference. David Oliver, Tony Hewitt and I judge at the AIPP's Australian Professional Photography Awards each year and we often see entries that are technically proficient, but emotionally lacking. What do I mean?

Take this example of a musician in remote Khiva, Uzbekistan. Obviously attired to impress the tourist market, unfortunately recovering from a broken arm (you can see his cast), he had an incredibly expressive face. If I timed the exposure correctly.

With a little more experience these days, I find myself waiting for multiple opportunities. First, I need interesting subject matter. Next, I want good lighting. Add in an appropriate background and then I ensure there's nothing distracting around the edges of the frame. All this happens in a fraction of a second and, with practice, is easily controlled, but I have no direct control over my subject.

And this is where you find the difference - the gesture or the expression that takes a competent 'capture' up to a more desirable, expressive moment. Once I have the technical side nailed down, I'll then shoot as many frames as it takes to get that difference. And because I don't necessarily know when my subject will make the 'best' gesture or expression, I shoot lots of frames. It costs me nothing except time at the other end when editing my work and choosing the best frame.

So, when entering photos into a competition, don't just look for technical perfection, also look for a gesture, an expression or an emotion that lifts your image out of the ordinary, even if just a little!

We have a short period of grace accepting LATE entries into the 2019 Better Photography Photo of the Year Awards, but this time entries fully close on 21 August 2019, so while the 'every fifth entry' free option may not be available, there's still time to enter - and who knows, you could be part of the $17,000 prize pool too! For more details, visit now!

On Tuesday 13 August 2019, Peter Eastway was announced as the 2019 AIPP Australian Professional Nature Photographer of the Year. This followed on from his win as the AIPP NSW Epson Professional Photographer of the Year, including the nature category.

"It's a great honour to win this award. I'm known for producing interpretive landscapes that include post-production techniques, so it was an interesting challenge to work within a category where there are limits on what you can do after capture - the most important limit being that the photo must remain authentic to the subject photographed, so no composites, no cloning areas out, no squishing or squeezing the image!

"In reality, most of my landscapes are produced much the same way. I think successful photographs rely on the creative mapping of tone and colour to enhance the subject and once you approach an image this way, things have a habit of falling into place."

However, Peter says winning the Nature category isn't so easy and he actually suggests it's partly a matter of luck.

"You can enter your best work, but you have no control over how good the work of other photographers is, or how the judges will react. That's why I like the AIPP's awards system. Instead of going for a place, the main objective is to get four silver awards - or maybe four gold awards. There is no limit to the number of awards the judges can hand out and conceivably every entrant could receive a silver or gold award.

"However, when it comes to the various categories, there is only one first place. Instead of your work being judged against a standard, it is compared against the work of other photographers and that's why there's an element of luck.

"I really struggle to decide which of my photos will appeal to the judges, so this year, I took a slightly different approach. I started by entering 12 prints into the Epson State Awards. Some did remarkably well, others bombed. I even 'earned' a 67 for one which my friends love to remind me about!

"At nationals, you can only enter four prints, so based on my state results, I went with three images that had scored well and one new one, crossing my fingers that the judges would see things the same way.

"Even after all these years, I find it challenging to second-guess what other people like, so when you're choosing photos for a competition, a wider pool of entries is going to give you a better chance of presenting one or two that will resonate with the judges. The initial 12 entries at state helped me work out my strongest images for the nationals - or APPA."

The AIPP APPA Nature category was sponsored by Lacie and Peter acknowledged their support. "When travelling, I always back up my files onto Lacie Rugged drives and back in the studio, I use a Lacie 6big with a TB3 connector for my complete archive."

And don't forget - entries into the 2019 Better Photography Photo of the Year Awards close on 15 August 2019, so there's still time to enter - and who knows, you could be part of the $17,000 prize pool too! For more details, visit now!

A World-Leading Photo Competition Offering Both Advice And Prestige

Late entries still open until 21 August 2019 - you may not receive the 5th entry free but price is still $20 per entry!

The Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year Award 2019 offers great prizes and is highly respected around the world on the competition circuit.

  • Every entry receives a judge’s comment to help you improve your photography. Many past entrants have noted how useful these comments have been!
  • Your photographs are professionally judged by three AIPP Grand Masters of Photography and every entry gets a score.
  • The best images will be awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards.
  • There are six exciting Category Awards with a special product hamper from Canson, Datacolor, Momento and Wacom.
  • And then there’s the prestigious Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year 2019 Award with a AUS $5000 cash prize and a Nisi Professional Filter kit!
  • Entries are open now!
  • Results announced by 30 September 2019

Get Professional Feedback!

We have three AIPP Grand Masters of Photography judging our competition because we want you to receive the benefit of genuine, professional experience. And we keep the same judges each year so you have consistency of judging and commentary. Plus, every entry gets a judge's comment to help you improve your work.

Worldwide Audience

Our entrants come from the Americas, Europe, Russia, Asia and Oceania. So while we're an Australian based competition, now in its 13th year, we welcome international participation!


  1. Emotive Portraiture
  2. Classic Landscapes
  3. Creative Flair
  4. Exotic Travel
  5. Incredible Sport
  6. Revealing Nature

All entrants will need to create a new account as we have a new judging system and database. 

Don't Delay - Enter Now As Final Days!

Challenge yourself? How many Bronze awards can you earn? How many Silver? Or is there a chance you could earn an elusive Gold?

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