A series of striking images of endangered amphibians has won Brisbane ecologist, Jasmine Vink, the overall title of Australian Photography magazine’s 2018 Photographer of the Year, Presented by Panasonic. This is the largest amateur photography competition in the Southern Hemisphere, with photographers vying for a prize pool valued at over $46,000 in cash and prizes.
To qualify for the competition, amateur photographers from Australia and New Zealand submitted a portfolio of four images in any of seven categories including Landscape; People and Portrait; Wildlife and Animal; Travel; Black and White; Junior and Aerial.
“The challenge for entrants is not just shooting one or two great images, but compiling a series of four that work seamlessly together.
“Jasmine’s images were not only captured in difficult lighting, they also show a diversity of subject matter and contain an important conservation message. For our judges, it was an absolute standout.”
– Mike O’Connor, Editor, Australian Photography
The 26-year-old, who describes her passion as reptiles and amphibians, says her aim with her photography is to educate people about protecting frogs – amazing but often misunderstood creatures.
As overall winner Vink takes home a prize pack valued at more than $7,500, including a Panasonic LUMIX G9 camera and lens kit and a weekend photo workshop with Panasonic Ambassador Ken Duncan on the NSW Central Coast from March 30-31.
“Being named Australian Photographer’s Photographer of the Year is an absolute privilege. I began my pursuit of photography more than five years ago because I was passionate about capturing the beauty of reptiles and amphibians – a rarely celebrated area of wildlife.
“Winning the Panasonic LUMIX G9 kit is very timely, as I have been thinking about upgrading to a mirrorless model since my current DSLR kit is on its last legs and proving quite heavy on some of the hikes I do while travelling. It was on one of these hikes in the Galapagos Islands where I captured the winning image – memorable for multiple reasons as my partner proposed during the trip!”
– Jasmine Vink, Winner, Photographer of the Year
Other winners included a series of beautifully moody landscapes taken in New Zealand by Sydney accountant Jingshu Zhu, minimalist black and white architectural images by early-childhood teacher Cameron Meacham, and stunning portraits more than 90 years in the making by Melbourne’s Brett Ferguson.
The competition was judged by leading professional photographers from Australia and New Zealand, Petra Leary, Alex Cearns, Rohan Kelly, Shannon Wild, Helen Whittle, Anthony McKee, Steve and Ann Toon, Drew Hopper, Lisa Michele Burns, Douwe Dijkstra, Tanya Stollznow, Keren Dobia, Nick Rains, Jacques Van As and Richard I’Anson.
Overall Winner: Photographer of the Year
Jasmine Vink – On the Brink
Category Winners: Photographer of the Year
Wildlife and Animal
Winner: Jasmine Vink – On the Brink
Runner-up: Ron Lovatt – The World of Macro
Winner: Niall Chang – Scenes of Xiapu, Fujian, China
Runner-up: Kirsty Greenland – Colours of India
Winner: Jingshu Zhu – Magic of New Zealand
Runner-up: Timothy Moon – Mist
People and Portrait
Winner: Brett Ferguson – The School
Runner-up: Tom Joyner – Indigenous Faces of the Goldfields
Black and White
Winner: Cameron Meacham – Shapes of Melbourne
Runner-up: Romon Yang – Dream State
Winner: Dennis Rickard – Sands of Namibia
Runner-up: Tom Matthews – X Marks the Spot
Junior (Under 18)
Winner: Harman Singh Heer – Monsoon Magic
Runner-up: Joel Bryant – The Heart of Sri Lanka
Photo of the Year (Single-Image Category)
Winner: Derek Zhang – Night at he Museum: Summon the Horse
Runner-up: Carol Eatough – A Balcony Observation
Complete portfolios of winners, runners-up and top 20 finalists for all categories can be found in the February issue of Australian Photography magazine, on sale now.
The 2019 competition will open for entries in June 2019 at www.australianphotography.com