This weekend past saw the annual running of the 2015 Australian Professional Photography Awards (affectionately known to all those who enter as APPA). For those of you who may be unfamiliar with APPA you can read my previous blog post on the awards HERE. In short, if you want to see where the bar is set for world class photographic images and prints you need look no further than APPA. I am always buzzing with nervous anticipation during the APPA judging. The spine-tingling anticipation of having my work scrutinised for any minutia by my peers gets my heart racing. It’s not even the fear of scoring poorly that puts me on edge; its something far less tangible that I can’t quite put my finger on. If you have never entered or attended the APPA awards that probably sounds a little strange, but for those of you who have entered before you will know exactly what I am talking about. Its a special competition and quite honestly its not for the faint of heart. Its a weekend of heavenly highs for some and crushing emotional lows for others. It’s never wise to take these things too seriously, but on the other hand, APPA is the standard by which professional photographers are judged against each other and is considered to showcase the highest level of photography so one can’t help but become a little emotionally involved. This was only the fifth time I have entered the APPA awards and it was also the first time I have participated as a judge. This year I again chose to enter the Science, Wildlife and Wild Places category (formally known as the Science, Environment and Nature Category), not only because I won this overall category last year, but also because this category has very rigid rules on image manipulation that are consistent with my own ethics for minimalist post production techniques. This year I chose to enter four images from the Arctic that I felt conveyed strong emotional feelings of wildlife in the landscape in dramatic conditions. I was thrilled to receive four Silver with Distinction awards for my four entries; which placed me in the finals for the overall category win. You can watch the judging of my four photographs my clicking on the image below.My current APPA points total now sits just a few points away from my first Gold Bar and I look forward to the challenge of banking these last few points at the 2016 APPA awards next year. I also want to congratulate my good friend and co-guide Antony Watson who this year accumulated more than sufficient points for his Associate status with four silver awards.
Lastly, I want to congratulate Keren Dobia who took this ‘homage to Polar explorers’ photograph of me earlier this year. The photograph scored a highly coveted Gold Award in the Illustrative category.