Photo Feedback

Tuscan Trees, Gold Award, 1995 Australian Professional Photography Awards. You can also read about this image in Peter's new book, The New Tradition. Details on the website.

Each year, in an effort to encourage photographers 'to give it a go', I repeat a competition experience I had years ago: The most important award I ever received was coming second!

It was back in 1995 when I aspired to produce great photographs like Doug Spowart, Rob Imhoff, Ken Redpath and John Whitfield-King. Of course I also admired the work of Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Irving Penn, but they were the international legends while Doug, Rob, Ken and John were the leading photographers in the AIPP.

And then at the end of the awards that year, I was standing on stage next to Tim Griffith who was the AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year. Was I bummed that I only came second? Hell, no! I was amazed that I was even on the same stage – that the judges put my photography in the same league.

However, second place wasn’t the real prize, it was the gold and silver awards for my four prints. Winning first or second is a preference and there’s only one of each, while gold, silver and bronze awards are a standard and there is no limit to how many will be handed out. It’s not up to the judges, it’s up to the entrants to reach that standard.

We all love receiving likes and hearts on Facebook and Instagram, but how does your work stack up when viewed by the more experienced eyes of judges? Earning a bronze award tells you you’re on the right track, a silver award is a real mark of achievement. And a gold award – I wish I knew how to get more of them myself!

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!

Gold Award by Victoria MacDonald, 2018 Travel Category, Better Photography Photo of the Year Award. Winning photos are often quite simple, but they are beautifully executed and processed. You don't have to do lots of editing, but you do need to get the colour and exposure exactly right!

I realise I have a vested interest in encouraging readers to enter our annual photography competition, but I practice what I preach.

My life, my career and my 'success' as a photographer is directly attributable to photography competitions. Yes, I’ve been lucky to win a few, but I’ve entered far more where my results have been less than stellar!

The reason for my success as a photographer isn’t because I’ve won competitions, but because I have spent the time entering them. Now, don’t get me wrong! I try to win every competition, but win, lose or draw, I’m a winner because I’ve spent time making my entries better.

Simple, isn’t it.

The mere process of putting your best foot forward, of refining your skills as a photographer to enter an image into a competition is how you improve. While the results are important, they’re not the most important. What’s important has already happened just before you entered the competition.

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!

Given all the publicity about a number of photo awards in recent months, I found it interesting to read how one particular winner was given a hard time by people who read something different into his photograph.

As reported on PetaPixel by Michael Zhang, Edwin Ong Wee Kee won the $120,000 first prize in the Hamdan International Photography Award. See link here. The photo, which you can see cropped above on the left, depicted a mother and children with nice lighting and a non-descript background. It's a good photograph. Now, add in the theme 'Hope' and suddenly, as viewers and judges, we can begin to read in all sorts of stories and backgrounds to the mother's expression.

So, why the controversy? Some viewers didn't like how the photo was taken! They don't seem to be complaining about the photo itself, just the way it was captured.

The photo was taken on a photo tour. If you were one of the other photographers on this tour with a better angle and a better shot, wouldn't you be dark for not entering the competition!

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