35 Top Tips to Winning Australasia's Top Emerging Photographers 2020 (part 2)
For the last 12 years, Capture magazine has been on a mission to help discover Australasia’s very best emerging talent. During this time, the competition has uncovered and helped boost the careers of numerous emerging photographers from Australia and New Zealand. Now in its 13th year, the call for entries for Australasia's Top Emerging Photographers 2021 is open.
Pre-early bird pricing extends until 25 October, so if you're considering entering, don't delay!
Helping decide the winners, place-getters and Top 10 and Top 20 entries across the nine categories is no easy feat. As such, we rely on the wisdom, experience, and expertise of some of the world’s very finest photographers and industry experts. With such impressive credentials, our judges are suitably qualified for the important role they take on. But don’t take my word, scroll down and have a look at who was on board to help judge the 2018 competition. Stay tuned to learn who our judges for 2019 are.
Each year, we ask the judges to provide feedback and constructive criticism on the categories they judged so that we can share this invaluable information with you. It’s not designed to provide a warm and fuzzy feeling, but instead be helpful to those about to enter the competition.
While the tips are broken down by category, the advice is likely to be applicable across multiple genres of photography.
To see the first part of this article (tips 1-19), follow this link.
20. The work that I chose presented a story throughout the set of pictures that required me to think about the subject, or narrative, in an unexpected way. I saw a glimpse of the author, an original voice.
21. In this category it is so import to be able to capture a genuine connection and emotion from the subject.
22. Connection with the subject of portraiture carries through to and affects the viewer’s response to a portrait. A great face can only carry a portrait so far. It’s the relationship between the sitter and the photographer that reveals the most in a portrait. Consistency of vision within a portfolio or project reflects the photographer’s higher understanding of their craft and their ability to tell a narrative of that moment of interdependence, that moment of trust that usually elevates a portrait to one that embeds in the memory.
23. A great portrait is telling. It tells something of the world of the subject. Or it tells something about me.
24. The winning photos were all images that made me feel something – whether it was joy, sadness, curiosity or even discomfort – but what set them apart from other entries is that along with that feeling they also told me a story and made me want to know more.
25. Concentrate on finding your best images. I saw many folios from those who entered multiple times where the folio of images were pulled down by a weak image. The weakness was often the same subject shot during the same session. Sure, both were probably good and it was a great session, but it doesn’t display your diversity. Don’t show the same subject in all your images. If you choose to stay with a theme, then that’s a good reason to show the same subject. But the reality is that I’ll see four different subjects and without any reason or explanation two images will be of the same subject/person/building/concept, without any visual connection/reason/justification. And that drags your folio down.
26. A portrait is at its strongest when it presents the viewer with a narrative. Technical excellence is one thing, but if it makes you pause – and think – and provides clues in the inclusion of environment and composition for the viewer to read, perhaps through their own lived experience, then it has been successful in its communication.
27. Travel is so much more than simply going to a place – it is an emotional experience. The winning images not only showed me a place, but they told me a story, and made those places look magical.
28. The strongest portfolios were not just technically strong, but were captivating; revealing a new viewpoint and drawing the viewer into the scene. The submissions that stood out had a clear theme, were well executed, and, most importantly, included images that epitomized a personal and more unique take on travel photography.
29. There were lots of really good individual images submitted, but the real challenge, where a series of images is requested, is to produce a strong portfolio. Often, one or two of the images included weakened a submission.
30. The submissions that stood out had a clear theme, were well executed, and, most importantly, included images that epitomized a personal and more unique take on travel photography.
31. I want to feel a sense of place when it comes to a travel folio, and rather than simply see a showcase of a group of pretty pictures. Too many folios had no structure and were often let down by their weakest images.
32. Successful travel photography needs to convey a sense of place, as well as have great composition, gesture, subject, light, and emotion. It should ideally also say something about the human or wildlife condition. A portfolio of photographs in the travel category also needs to tell a story about the location and subject. It was fantastic to see a range of portfolios in this category that clearly showed the photographers ability to work successfully with their subject in the context of travel.
33. When judging wedding photos, I am looking for style and emotion. The winning portfolios had both of those things in most of the images. All style, but no emotion, only looks good. All emotion with little style only feels good.
34. I think the components to great wedding photography are a demonstration of sound technical skills combined with the ability to capture authentic moments, a sense of atmosphere, and emotion. The strongest portfolios included a strong sense of individual style and consistency.
35. Consider more real-life moments. Just remember, judges aren’t always into seeing your current post-processing skills. Or just cuddles on mountains. Show us more of the real/raw moments.
2019 judging panel
- Adam Ferguson – adamfergusonstudio.com
- Ben Von Wong – vonwong.com
- Cory White – corywhite.com
- Dallas & Sabrina – dallaskolotylo.com
- Dan O'Day – danodayphotography.com.au
- David Kirkland – kirklandphotos.com
- Ed Kashi – edkashi.com
- Ed Peers – edpeers.com
- Erik Johansson – www.erikjo.com
- Grant Matthews – studiomondo.com.au
- Ignacio Palacios – iptravelphotography.com.au
- Jez Smith – jezsmithphotography.com
- John Gollings – gollings.com.au
- Josh Holko – jholko.com
- Kelly Brown – littlepiecesphotography.com.au
- Kelly Tunney – kellytunney.com.au
- Krystle Wright – krystlewright.com
- Michael Corridore – michaelcorridore.net
- Murray Fredericks – murrayfredericks.com.au
- Nick Ghionis – xsight.com.au
- Paul Hoelen – paulhoelen.com
- Peter Coulson – www.peter-coulson.com.au
- Richard I'Anson – richardianson.com
- Ryan Schembri – ryanschembriphotography.com
- Sally Brownbill – www.thebrownbilleffect.com
- Sean Izzard – seanizzard.com
- Simon Harsent – simonharsent.com
- Steve Wise – 27creative.com.au
- Tim Griffith – timgriffith.com
- William Long – longshots.com.au
- Zena Holloway – zenaholloway.com
Judges for 2020 are still to be finalised.
LAST MINUTE: 1 February to 16 February 2020, 11:59pm AEDT
$40 (portfolio of 3 images or Single Shot category)
The prize pool for 2020 was our biggest to date, with over $26,000 in cash and prizes. The overall winner, Australasia's Top Emerging Photographer 2020, will walk away with $1,500 plus a Fujifilm X-T3 and XF18-55mm lens valued at $3,298 from our major sponsor, Fujifilm. The overall runner-up will win a Fujifilm X-Pro2 Graphite Edition with XF 23mm f/2 lens valued at $3,099. For a full list of all category prizes, visit this link.
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