“My intention was to transform an insect and a human to highlight our interdependence,” said Charmaine Heyer, a professional photographer based in North Queensland, winner of Australia’s inaugural Epson Print Award, presented in Melbourne.
“This ‘Creative’ category image started from a fashion shoot,” Heyer said. “I’m thrilled the judges saw merit in this creation. By participating in awards, you extend and grow as a storyteller, not to mention the wonderful photographers you meet along the way.
The inaugural Australian Photographic Prize (APP) event – a conference and exhibition, including live judging, took place over four days in Narre Warren, on the outskirts of Melbourne. Hundreds of enthusiasts and professional photographers came together to showcase their work, intervening with a national photography community awards event in place of the now defunct Australian Institute of Professional Photography APPAs.
The Australian Photographic Prize is divided into two main categories: the Nikon Digital Awards for amateurs and the Epson Print Awards which are open to all photographers but include professional categories such as Wedding and Commercial. The Nikon sponsored prizes accept digital image files and the Epson prize only accepts prints.
Camberwell Camera Club member David Bignell won the Nikon Digital Award with a reflective self-portrait.
“My photo is part of a series I did during lockdown,” Bignell said. “He uses a visual metaphor to convey the message of someone who is literally washed out. The idea of experimenting with tissue paper was born out of thoughts about processing floating emulsion. Once I started printing on fabric, I considered the possibilities of connecting paper to emotions. I started creating self-portraits with torn fabrics, damp fabrics, wrinkled fabrics, etc. The Fragility of Tissues felt apt to describe the fragility of the mind under different pressures. Ironically, being cooped up opened the door to a new creative space to explore and a Zeitgeist to capture.
Australian Photography Prize organizers Robyn Campbell and Karen Alsop reported strong attendance at the event, despite pandemic concerns: We had students from local primary and secondary colleges in attendance, as well as a strong mix of enthusiasts and professionals who all came together to be part of the event.
“For an inaugural event, we achieved a higher than expected number of registrations. On-site event attendance could have been stronger, however, given the current societal shift away from face-to-face interaction. faced due to pandemic concerns, attendance numbers were promising for future growth.Live attendance was strong across all events, with students from Charters Towers in Far North Queensland, up to foreign participants from America listening.
“We would like to thank our sponsors, especially Nikon, Epson and Kayell who have joined us as visionary sponsors.”
A 2023 Australian Photography Award is planned for next year, possibly early August.
More photos and details APP 2022 here.