Ex­cel­lence in pho­tog­ra­phy cel­e­brated at Iris Awards

The Photographer's Mail - - News -

The 2016 Ep­son/NZIPP Iris Pro­fes­sional Pho­tog­ra­phy Awards spanned the week of June 16–20 in Welling­ton, with judg­ing tak­ing place at Shed 6 in front of a live au­di­ence, as well as be­ing live-streamed, over the first three days. The judg­ing was at­tended by more than 800 mem­bers of the pub­lic, as well as NZIPP mem­bers, del­e­gates, and spon­sors. The awards were then pre­sented to the win­ners on the last evening of the NZIPP In­fo­cus Con­fer­ence. The Iris Awards at­tracts hun­dreds of en­tries from around the coun­try and over­seas ev­ery year, and this year’s event was no dif­fer­ent, with 1139 images pre­sented to pan­els of judges across the three-day pe­riod.

The Iris Awards in­vites en­trants to sub­mit up to four prints per cat­e­gory, with a max­i­mum of 10 over­all. The judg­ing process is car­ried out with pho­tog­ra­phers’ images re­main­ing anony­mous, and a panel of five judges — fea­tur­ing some of the most qual­i­fied and renowned na­tional and in­ter­na­tional pho­tog­ra­phers — cri­tique the images live in front of an au­di­ence of mem­bers of the photographic com­mu­nity and the pub­lic. Prints are as­sessed in terms of their in­no­va­tion, photographic qual­ity, and tech­ni­cal ex­cel­lence, and judges score each one be­tween 50 and 100. The awards that can be pre­sented in­clude Bronze, Sil­ver, Sil­ver Dis­tinc­tion, Gold, and the very cov­eted Gold Dis­tinc­tion. This year’s stan­dards were ex­cep­tion­ally high, re­sult­ing in 821 awards pre­sented, of which 13 were Gold Dis­tinc­tion, 59 were Gold, 61 were Sil­ver Dis­tinc­tion, 252 were Sil­ver, and 436 were Bronze.

Some­thing that the or­ga­niz­ers and judges no­ticed in the 2016 edi­tion of the awards was a dis­tinct change in di­rec­tion in the images sub­mit­ted, with a switch from the con­structed im­agery seen in the com­pe­ti­tion for a num­ber of years to­wards images based on in-cam­era cre­ativ­ity and skill. This was noted dur­ing the se­lec­tion of a num­ber of cat­e­gory win­ners, as well as the port­fo­lio of this year’s NZ Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year. The judges re­ally en­joyed the fresh and hon­est pho­tog­ra­phy that was pre­sented to them.

This year’s win­ner of the NZ Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year award was Kather­ine Wil­liams, and, in se­lect­ing her port­fo­lio as the win­ning se­ries, judges ap­plauded the quiet beauty and sense of time­less­ness that the images pos­sessed, and they also com­mented on how they pro­vided a new di­rec­tion for pho­tog­ra­phy.

The 2016 Ep­son/NZIPP Iris Pro­fes­sional Pho­tog­ra­phy Awards ma­jor win­ners were:

• NZ Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year: Kather­ine Wil­liams

• In­ter­na­tional Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year: Lisa Saad

• High­est Scor­ing Print: Ilan Wit­ten­berg

The High­est Scor­ing Grand Mas­ter award was be­stowed on Richard Wood, and the James White Memo­rial Award (high­estscor­ing first-time en­trant who is an NZIPP mem­ber) went to Marama Shearer.

To see all the award-win­ning images, visit iri­sawards.org.nz.

High­est Scor­ing Print: Ilan Wit­ten­berg

NZ Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year: Kather­ine Wil­liams

In­ter­na­tional Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year: Lisa Saad

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