2 Travel Silvers from the 2014 SAPPA awards

Coming off the back of a very successful silver with distinction showing in this year’s AIPP creative photographic arts awards last week, this weekend brings around the 2014 SAPPA awards. The 2014 SAPPA awards, or ‘South Australian Professional Photography Awards’ is set up much differently to the CPA awards where images are judges individually rather than as part of an overarching portfolio theme.

Today the judging focused mainly on the categories that generally don’t focus on human objects. ie: Landscape, Illustrative and Travel categories. In these 2014 SAPPA awards I entered into the travel and wedding categories, with the wedding category being judged tomorrow. Basically the way the awards work is that a single print is presented to a panel of 5 judges and each of them give a score out of 100. a score over 70 indicates professional practice, 80 a silver award, 85 silver with distinction, 90 for gold and 95 for gold with distinction. Obtaining any score above the 80 scoreline is a huge achievement and a big honour.

2014 SAPPA – Travel category silver awards

I entered the 2014 SAPPA travel category with the maximum allowed 4 prints with images I took around the pacific. 2 images are  from Tasmania, 1 from Tahiti and 1 from Hawaii. I received 2 silver awards from these with the other 2 being judged in the high professional practice range.

81 score at the 2014 SAPPA awards

81 score at the 2014 SAPPA awards

This image I took at wineglass bay whilst on a trip around Tasmania. I achieved the silky effect of the water via a long exposure with a heavy ND filter during the day. The beach itself as an amazing hidden part of Australia only accessible via a tough hilly hike.


80 score at the 2014 SAPPA awards

80 score at the 2014 SAPPA awards

This is a scene on the coastline of Honolulu, Hawaii






2014 SAPPA – Travel category professional practice

79 score at the 2014 SAPPA awards

79 score at the 2014 SAPPA awards

The sofitel hotel in Tahiti.


78 score at the 2014 SAPPA awards

78 score at the 2014 SAPPA awards



A scene in the cradle mountain national park in Tasmania




The 2014 SAPPA awards continue tomorrow at the Marden senior college and the judging is open to the public if you’re interested in gaining an insight into how industry awards work and also to see a marvellous display of the best photography South Australia has to offer. If you can’t make it they are live streaming the judging of the  portrait, wedding and family categories tomorrow here.

Sixth Daily Deviation on DeviantArt

I’ve just been awarded my sixth ‘Daily Deviation’ Award on the website that has really laid the foundations of my photographic career, DeviantArt. I have been a member of Deviantart for almost 12 years now, quite an achievement considering the website itself is only just over a year older than that itself. In that time I have used my account to showcase anything I have created from 3D animation, to sketches and of course my Award Winning photography. In fact I’ve probably spent more time on DeviantArt than any other website on the internet over the last 12 years.

I started out with my artistic career, as many other have done on DeviantArt with drawing and digitally colouring Japanese animation (anime) characters, then moved to more design and fine art paintings, and now finally photography. If it weren’t for DeviantArt being there over the last 12 years of my artistic development, I very much doubt I would have had the determination or support I have needed to come as far as I have. DeviantArt is the world’s largest community for artists of any genre, and being awarded a Daily Deviation allows my work to be showcased on the front page for a day, causing any recipient of a Daily Deviation to receive a huge boost of traffic to his or her account page and better exposure of their work. I’ve very privileged to have received the Daily Deviation honour 6 times now, and I appreciate each one.

My sixth Daily Deviation

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[image title=”Kashima Port” alt=”Daily Deviation Award”][/image]

My Sixth Daily Deviation is an image I captured at the summit of the Kashima port lookout tower in Japan while I was on a voluntary program to learn about the after effects of the devastating 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami. The body of work I put together during the trip, including this image was recently ‘highly commended’ by the Australian ministry for the Arts in the government’s inaugural ‘Australian Arts in Asia’ Awards. The image has also won multiple individual honours such as a silver award at both the South Australian and Australian National Institute of Professional Photography Awards.

Photography from Tasmania trip

I have spent the last week driving around Tasmania and doing my best to capture the beauty that is Tasmania. The day before I left I had a wedding, and the day after I got back I had a wedding, so it’s been a busy week for me. Anyway, the purpose of this blog post is to give you a bit of a sneak peek of some of the photographs I took in Tasmania. I’ve only had a short while to go through them, and edit them, but this is what I have to show you at the moment.

Random spots around Tasmania

Tasmania really is a very pretty spot in the world. the landscape reminded me greatly of New Zealand, with the cold weather to match. It’s really a shame that not more people visit. That said however I did see plenty of foreign tourists in and about the hostels and hotels I stayed at so it looks like the word is out overseas, but not on the mainland of Australia. The weather was a little disappointing with very overcast days most of the time, and my camera filters not doing what they were supposed to, but I persevered.

Coles Bay/Wineglass bay

These areas are a part of the most visited national park on the island of Tasmania, Freycinet national park. The park boasts a number of white sand beaches and a number of rough hiking tracks over 3 a small mountain range all encompassed by water. A beautiful location.

Russell Falls

Russell Falls are located on the eastern boundary of Mount Field National Park which is about an hour north west of Hobart. After a short, pretty walk amongst a temperate rain forest, you are greeted with three such waterfalls.

Silver Award at the National AIPP Awards


This weekend showcased the most recent National Professional Photography Awards run by the Australian Institute for Professional Photography (AIPP) whereby I again was successful in procuring another Silver Award. These particular awards, known as ‘APPA’ are the most prestigious on offer in Australia where some of the very greats of the photographic industry showcase their very best work from the past year.

I haven’t gone a year yet without winning at least a silver award and this year has been no exception. The APPA only allows an entrant to enter 4 prints, so one must choose to either attempt to win a category with a portfolio of 4 prints, or spread their entries across multiple categories in order to obtain more individual print awards, such as the silver award I won today. I approached this year with the aim of pushing for the ‘Travel photographer of the year’ title by winning the Travel photography category with the 4 prints below. The state-based ‘SAPPA’ awards however allow an entrant to submit up to 12 prints, allowing for further flexibility. This years SAPPA awards I won a silver award 4 times across the Travel, Wedding and Illustrative categories. It appears I made the wrong choice in submitting only Travel prints this year. Oh well 🙂

Travel Entries

Score: 81 – Silver Award

Kashima, Japan. This port was hit by the Tsunami in 2011. Thankfully no one was hurt. I visited here while volunteering in Japan to learn more about the after effects of the earthquake and tsunami. This area was damaged, but quickly rebuilt as it’s a huge trading hub for essential fuel resources in Japan.

Score: 78

The stern end of the largest cruise liner in the world, the Queen Mary 2. Comments from the judges in the state awards indicated that the reason why this wasn’t an award print was due to the sky. I removed the sky for my APPA entry, but obviously wasn’t enough to improve it’s score.

Score: 78

This was another print I had entered in a previous state awards, and it unfortunately came out with the same result of a score of 78. Shouldn’t really be surprised, especially given that this is such an iconic scene of the Itsukushima shrine on Miyajima in Japan, it’s not exactly breaking any new photographic ground having me replicate the scene.

Score: 77

This print however turned out to be a little disappointing with a score of 77 as this same print won a silver award in a previous state awards with a score of 80. It’s a priest going about his duties on the same Itsukushima shrine in Japan, and it actually quite a rare shot to be had. Oh well.

A score of above 70 indicates that the work submitted is at a professional level standard, so I’m quite happy with my silver award and my other 3 prints scoring in the high 70’s. Especially when considering that this was the national awards which have a reputation of being a tough nut to crack when it comes to winning awards compared to the state based competitions.

SA AIPP awards results


Today, as has been the case with my photographic exploits for the past 5 years, I was involved in the South Australian AIPP (Australian Institute for Professional Photography) awards judging. Often known as the ‘SAPPA’ awards. I often help out behind the scenes placing the prints up on the rotating turnstile or the award winning prints up for display. It’s a great gathering of some of the best minds the photographic profession has to offer in the state, and I’m always pleased to be a part of it.

Anyway, I’m pleased to say I have been successful in winning a few awards this year. I haven’t gone a year yet without winning at least a silver award and this year has been no exception. But before I showcase my new award winning prints, I’d like to educate you on how these types of awards work. There are a variety of categories one can enter and I entered two with four prints each and a third with only two. Each print is set in front of a panel of five judges  under pure white light to be fair for every entry. Each judge gives a score from 50-100 with over 70 considered professional standard. One wins an award if the median of the 5 judges’ scores is above 80; in which case the print is awarded a silver award. A silver with distinction award is given to a score of over 85, gold award to over 90 and gold with distinction over 95. To be a category winner (ie Landscape photographer of the year) an average score of a portfolio of work consisting of 4 entries must be the highest from all entrants into the category. Clear as mud? good 🙂

My entries to the Illustrative category

Score: 82 – Silver Award

A 3 week exposure of a jetty believe it or not… but it looks like a comet flying out of space and striking the sea. Water and sand have got into the camera causing the ‘explosion’ at centre of frame, pretty lucky the sun lined up with it. The judges didn’t seem to realise this so next year I plan on doing more of these in a series.

Score: 80 – Silver Award

From the visitor’s center on Mauna Kea, Large island of Hawaii. From base to summit, the tallest mountain in the world. It had been a lifelong dream to visit this place, one of the most famous observatories is perched on the summit. Great clear skies and a chance to capture the stars, much like my lighthouse pic, but not quite as well developed. Will revisit this one.

Score: 77

48 hour exposure of the city of Adelaide. Unfortunately it was fair windy and the duct tape I used came loose, hence the double exposure of the sun you can see. The creases in the paper was caused by the double sided tape I used to fasten the paper inside the camera. As is often the case in Awards, this image actually won a silver award at the nationals, but only received a 77 today.

Score: 77

A Japanese snow monkey, not in the snow. 🙂 I took this photo in a Japanese monkey park in western Kyoto, Japan. Bit of a wild card in this category. I knew the technical aspects behind this piece was sound, but really theres not much happening the draw the attention of the viewer. This is the real reason why I enter the awards to learn stuff like this.

My entries to the Travel category

Score: 84 – Silver Award

Kashima, Japan. This port was hit by the Tsunami in 2011. Thankfully no one was hurt. I visited here while volunteering in Japan to learn more about the after effects of the earthquake and tsunami. This area was damaged, but quickly rebuilt as it’s a huge trading hub for essential fuel resources in Japan.

Score: 79

The stern end of the largest cruise liner in the world, the Queen Mary 2. I was lucky enough to enjoy a month on this magnificent ship with my family. Comments from the judges indicated that the reason why this wasn’t an award print was due to the sky. I think if I were to use this in the upcoming national awards I’ll remove the sky altogether. What do you think?

Score: 77

A Buddhist priest doing his morning prayers at a lesser known, but no less impressive local temple nearby where I had my homestay while on my volunteer excursion for the tsunami effort. This was however on the other side of the country in Saga. The judges I feel scored this low due to it’s complexity. Due to the category however I wasn’t able to remove anything from the scene as it’s against the rules

Score: 74

A pagoda on the island of Miyajima, near Hiroshima, Japan. The disappointment of the day. I guess this image wasn’t as striking as the others, but a score of 74 was pretty bleh.

My entries to the Wedding category

Score: 81 – Silver Award

A bride and groom enjoying each other’s company walking along the Brighton beach jetty, South of Adelaide. I used a very commercial approach to this image, I feel the very clean and simple lines here helped out with the judging. The silhouette of the bride’s face through the parasol was also a big conversation point while judging.

Score: 75

A bride and groom exchanging their rings at the front of their congregation. This image I felt would do better than this. The print quality was fantastic, and it’s not really an angle one often sees of this event.

These four awards add to my already long list in my Artist’s CV, it further enhances my assertion that my photography product is industry recognised as award winning work. Rest assured that any commision you may ask of me will be of the same high standard.