Photographer of the year 2022: the judges!

We’ve assembled a panel of some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s top photographers to judge the 10th Annual Photographer of the Year presented by Camera House, Australasia’s largest competition for amateur photographers. Meet the first of our jury:

Alex Cearns OAM

Dogs Today magazine in the UK calls Perth-based photographer Alex Cearns “one of our greatest dog photographers in the world”. Alex is the creative director of Houndstooth Studio based in Perth, Australia, and specializes in capturing portraits that convey the intrinsic character of his animal subjects.

She shoots for committed pet lovers, corporate brands in Australia, the US and the UK, and for around 40 Australian and international charities and animal conservation organisations. His images have been widely published in international media, in books, magazines, billboards and advertising campaigns.

Alex is the recipient of over 350 photography, business and philanthropy awards and in 2019 he received an Order Of Australia for his services to animal charities through photography. Inspiring others with his joy of working with animals, Alex’s philanthropy and passionate advocacy for animal rescue has earned him high regard among animal lovers in Australia and a strong following on social media. She is an ambassador for Tamron, Profoto, BenQ and Spider Holster and is considered an influencer in the photography, business and pet industry communities.

She regularly judges photography competitions and presents at events. Alex lives with his partner, two rescue dogs and a rescue cat in Perth, Western Australia.

Matt Palmer

Matt Palmer is a landscape photographer specializing in conservation issues based in Bright, Victoria. Together with his partner Mieke Boynton, he operates the Alpine Light Gallery. Matt has been recognized as a master of photography in Australia and New Zealand, and in 2019 his documentation of the Tasmanian fires won him the AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year award.

Matt has a diverse history in photography, including 15 years documenting the world’s most influential musicians from Metallica, Pearl Jam, TOOL, Nick Cave and hundreds more. He is also a former AIPP Australian Professional Sports Photographer of the Year for documenting the sport of Muay Thai, and he has acted as an ambassador for the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania and has collaborated with the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. .

Matt has also served as chief photographer and creative director for Brisbane Roar FC, ran a wedding and portrait photography business and worked with a children’s hospital to create images and designs to help with fundraising for medical care and research.

Douwe Dijkstra is a senior professional graphic designer based in Sydney. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he moved in 2003 and now lives in Australia. Photography is a great passion for Douwe and he took his first camera when he was 12 years old.

Over the years, his hobby has evolved from taking family photos with his grandfather’s camera to creating black and white artwork in the digital age. Douwe prefers to shoot in monochrome because he simply finds it easier to capture the essence of a scene in black and white: the color is just a distraction. He won the black and white category of Photographer of the Year 2015.

Helen Whittle

Helen Whittle is a fine art photographer specializing in child portraiture who draws inspiration from dramatic, natural light. With a style composed mainly of black and white, she produces simple, emotive and authentic images.

She is a proud member of ClickPro and has many awards to her name. She was awarded Australian Photographer of the Year 2016 by Australian Photography magazine, and second place Emerging Portrait Photographer of the Year 2019 by Capture magazine and winner of the international Black and White Child competition. Photo Competition in 2019.

Helen has been a judge in numerous international photography competitions and has been teaching child portraiture since 2018. She speaks regularly locally and internationally on this subject. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm and passion and inspiring others.

Anthony McKee

Anthony McKee is a Melbourne-based social documentary writer and photographer. In 2014 he was named AIPP 2014 Australian Documentary Photographer of the Year. He has also won awards for his landscape photography. He has judged professional and amateur photography awards from both sides of Tasmania and in 2013 was made an honorary member of the NZIPP for services to photography. He is a regular contributor to Australian Photography magazine.

Doug Gimesy

Doug is a professional conservation and wildlife photojournalist focusing on Australian issues. A four-time finalist for the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year and first winner of the WildScreen Panda Photo Story Awards, he is a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and counts among his clients National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Australian Geographic, as well as as various mastheads like The Guardian. Initially trained as a zoologist and microbiologist, he then completed a master’s degree in environment and a master’s degree in bioethics. Together, these two qualifications helped shape his thinking about what kind of issues he should focus on and why – conservation and animal welfare issues.

Believing that people should focus on issues that matter to them and those close to home, his recent work has focused on conservation and animal welfare issues facing the platypus and flying fox in grey-headed – having recently facilitated the listing of the platypus as an endangered species in his home state of Victoria, as well as the launch of a children’s book (with his partner) about grey-headed flying foxes called ‘Life Upside Down “.

Current projects include a series of portraits titled “Wildlife Warriors, Conservation Champions, and Animal Advocates,” papers on wombats, and using language to better frame environmental and conservation communication. He is also co-author of an academic study to help better understand how images of wildlife impact both emotional engagement and people’s behavior.

He hopes the images and information he shares will inspire people to stop, think, and treat the world with more kindness.

Lisa Michele Burns

Lisa Michele Burns is a travel, landscape and underwater photographer who seeks to capture the world with an alternative perspective. Whether through his “The World Seen from the Water” series or with the use of artistic reflections, his work showcases destinations with an ethereal, pastel tone.

Preferring to photograph extreme and natural climates, Lisa got her start in photography while working as a journalist for planet alone in 2007. She now publishes The Wandering Lens, a travel guide for photographers listing photogenic destinations and experiences as well as creative tips. Every year Lisa, an Olympus visionary, also organizes travel photography tours to places like Japan, Iceland and France.