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We have had some amazing entries this year- thank you to all our entrants. Unlike some competitions, the Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year certainly attracts a high calibre of photographer – as shown by the results. And life up at the top of the competition tree was extremely intense with a lot of strong photographs jockeying for position.

However, since it’s a competition there can be only one first place and Richard Tonkin is our 2021 Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year winner. Congratulations! Richard’s simple geometric composition, delightful luminance and soft hues enthralled the judges, with some great discussions about whether a photograph can have emotion of its own, or if it merely evokes emotion in the viewer. Either way, we loved it!

Richard wins the overall first prize which is a cash purse of AUS $2000, plus the Classic Landscape category first prize of $750, a total of $2750. No doubt this will be put to great use to extend his camera outfit or visit more exotic travel locations.

Officially, the category winners were:

    • 2021 Classic Landscape Category Winner: Richard Tonkin
    • 2021 Emotive Portrait Category Winner: Andi Abdul Halil
    • 2021 Exotic Travel Category Winner: Graeme Gordon
    • 2021 Revealing Nature Category Winner: Pedro Jarque Krebs

Thanks also to our esteemed judges David Oliver, Tony Hewitt and Peter Eastway, AIPP Grand Masters of Photography. There were 802 entries and the vast majority scored Bronze or higher. If an entry shows strengths in one or more areas, the judges are encouraged to recognise this with a Bronze award. However, to get a Silver award you really have to show them something remarkable, and with 45% of entries achieving Silver this year, that’s fantastic! Silvers are only given to very strong images.

And the strongest images of all, the photos the judges wished they’d taken themselves? There were just 26 Gold awards this year – and a special congratulations to them.

You can see the Top 20 (or so) entries in each category on the website (www.betterphotographyphotocomp.com) and they are definitely worth a look. Congratulations to all these photographers.

And if you’re an entrant, you should already have received an email with your results. If not, you can log into your account (click the login button above) to see your results. You will also be able to download a PDF of your Bronze, Silver or Gold awards and see your scores and comments.

When you look at your scores, you’ll see the individual scores from all three judges. Often the score are very similar, but sometimes they can be really different. This is quite normal in the world of photography judging, but don’t blame the judge who gave you the lowest score! To get a Gold, for instance, generally requires all three judges to be in agreement, not just one. The score you end up with is an average – and a considered opinion.

The idea behind the judges’ comments is to give entrants an idea of where they might improve. Many of the Silver and Gold award winners simply receive a congratulatory note because sometimes there’s no need to provide feedback on what is already a very successful entry. However, for the Bronzes and many of the Silvers, we tried to isolate one main area in which the entry could be improved. Of course, there could be several areas entrants can investigate, so our comments are provided to encourage further research and advancement. We know there is always a let-down when you first get your results if they are lower than anticipated, but take a deep breath and read the comments again in a few days, trying to take on board what you could potentially improve next year. The judges have all gone through this process themselves – and they reckon it worked for them!

Stay tuned for the 2022 awards and another chance to be the Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year winner.