Once a year the annual APPA Australian Professional Photography Awards are held in Australia. This year they were conveniently held in my home state of Victoria. The event is sponsored by Canon Australia and is run by the AIPP Australian Institute of Professional Photography. Widely regarded by many as the toughest photographic competition in the world today APPA remains one of the few world wide competitions where the finished ‘print’ is judged (in the vast majority of categories) by a panel of professional photographers who are each considered experts in their chosen specialities. The five judges score each print out of 100 points under strictly controlled lighting conditions. The judges scores are then averaged to give a final overall score out of 100. Prints of a professional standard that score between 75 and 79 points are not considered of award standard but are considered to be a good example of solid professional practice. Prints between 80 and 84 are considered examples of photographs above professional practice and worthy of recognition and are subsequently classed as a Silver Award. Prints between 85 and 89 are of exceptional standard and are awarded with a Silver with Distinction. Prints judged 90 – 94 and 95 – 100 are Gold and Gold with Distinction awards respectively that are reserved for prints that are considered to be of the highest calibre. Judges are often heard to wax lyrical about a Gold award print needing to be one that is never forgotten. It takes a print of exceptional quality to be awarded with a Silver or Gold award.
Last year (2011) was my first year entering the APPA awards as a full member of the AIPP. Full members of the AIPP are allowed to enter a maximum of four prints across any of the categories and I was thrilled to receive a Gold award with my very first print in the landscape category. My subsequent three prints in ‘landscape’ each scored Silver awards. This year I was equally thrilled to receive two Silver with Distinction awards and two Silver Awards for two photographs from Antarctica and two from Iceland respectively. Each of these prints was printed on my personal favourite paper – Moab Somerset Museum Rag, Higher resolution versions can be seen on my portfolio website at www.jholko.com and limited edition prints are available through Source Photographica in Brighton.The Fortress – Silver with Distinction APPA 2012Lone Penguin – Silver with Distinction APPA 2012Black Dawn – Silver APPA 2012Iceland Pastels – Silver APPA 2012