Australians awarded top photography prizes

By Tom Lawrie 11 January 2012
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Photographs from two Australians have been named winners in the prestigious Loupe Awards for 2011.

TWO AUSTRALIANS HAVE BEEN named this month as winners of  the 2011 International Loupe Awards for photography. Sydney professional photographer Jackie Dean clinched the top spot for the Open Image of the Year category, while Queenslander Vi Wilson won Amateur Image of the Year.

The Loupe Awards is among the world’s most diverse and varied photographic competitions, and last year attracted more than 4,500 entries from 95 different nations.

First Australian to win top prize

Nathan Oxley, the Awards’ Competition Director, said they had a strong response from Australia and New Zealand this year. “The awards are in their fourth year, and this is the first time an Australian photographer has won the top prize,” Nathan says.

Jackie’s stunning shot of a female darter spreading her wings was taken at Dorais Creek in Morrisset, NSW. “I was quite mesmerised by the female darter with her five chicks in a tree,” Jackie says. “I waited patiently for her to walk to the end of the bough of the tree and she opened her wings and just seemed to pose for me.”

Vi’s prize-winner, Lighting the Landscape, was the product of some serious inspiration. “The morning I took the photo was unbelievably special, everything was lightly dusted with snow,” she says. “By the time I got to the location the sun had barely risen, then the light raked across the fields of stubble creating a subtle golden glow. It was magic.”

Prestigious photographic awards

The International Loupe Awards consists of eight open categories and three amateur categories. Amateur categories are not open to professional photographers, but the open categories are for everyone with a camera.

Winners of the prestigious prizes were chosen by 25 judges, from nine countries worldwide. For her winning entry, Jackie received US$20,000 in cash. “To everyone who entered the International Loupe Awards, we are all winners,” Jackie says. “Photography makes us more aware of the world in which we live.”

The world’s first Medium Format Fine Art Prize is also to be announced early this year, as a new part of the Awards.