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Dean Lewins wins Nikon-Walkley top prize

AAP photographer, Dean Lewins, has won the prestigious Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year award for his portfolio of news and sports images.

Dean Lewins’ sports photos were captured at major events, such as the Commonwealth Games, FIFA World Cup, Australian Open tennis tournament, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the Ashes.

Dean Lewins’ Nikon-Walkley winning portfolio

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‘Also included is a very poignant moment during the funeral for AC/DC founder Malcolm Young when his brother and co-founder Angus Young, carrying Malcolm’s prized Gretsch guitar, steps to the back of the hearse as Malcolm’s casket is being loaded and pauses for a brief moment, looking almost lost and very alone, despite hundreds of mourners from the music industry attending the service,’ Dean said in his artist statement.

‘There’s so much emotion and history in the picture of Angus Young at his brother’s funeral,’ the judges said about this photo, calling it the quintessential Australian news image.

Getty Images photographer, Jenny Evans, won the News Photography category for her images series, Life Saver.

Life Saver was captured at Bronte Beach, where a swimmer found herself in a dire situation when she was sucked out by a rip.

A woman screams and raises her arm as she is caught in a rip at Bronte Beach in Sydney during very rough surf conditions.

‘They (drownings) account for more deaths per year than sharks, floods and cyclones combined,’ Jenny said in her entry statement. ‘On this particular day, the Bureau of Meteorology had issued a surf warning as massive waves were hitting the NSW coast.’

Yet the person still went for a dip!

Getting Images photographer, Scott Barbour, won the Sport Photography category for his portfolio, Sports 2017 – 2018.

The judges praised Barbour’s technical capacity with light and the timing of his shots.

Scott Barbour’s Nikon-Walkley winning portfolio

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‘What makes a beautiful sport image is timing. Timing can create something you’d barely catch with the naked eye, like the way Scott captured the gymnast,’ they said.

‘It takes immense skill and great reflexes to nail that timing, or to get an exclusive angle like his birds-eye view of the Richmond Tigers parting the seas of adoring fans with their first premiership cup in 37 years.’

Scott Barbour says in his entry statement how he’s proud that women’s sport features in three of the five images in his portfolio.

‘I hope it shows the increasing prominence they are deservingly obtaining in the media landscape.’
He added it has been a joy to photograph the Brisbane Lions AFLW team.

‘It has been a joy to photograph this newly formed women’s tournament that has finally given women a chance to play top level football and young girls new heroes to aspire to.’

Chris Hopkins, shooting for an SBS Instagram documentary series, won the Feature/Photographic Essay category for his series, My Name is Yunus.

Mohamad Yunus came to Australia in 2012 via Christmas Island and Darwin. He fled the persecution that has now seen his family and approximately 700,000 other Rohingyas cross the border into Bangladesh to escape human rights abuses by the Myanmar military.

‘My name is Yunus. I was born in 1990, I do not know my exact date of birth,’ Yunus said. ‘I am Rohingya and a Sunni Muslim. I want to make a story for the world. I want to do this for my family and also for the Rohingya people, those people suffering in the Bangladesh refugee camps.’

Chris Hopkins’ Nikon-Walkley winning photos

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Now in the relative safety of suburban Melbourne with a temporary visa, Yunus faces new challenges – isolation, poverty, unemployment, housing affordability, and constant fear for the safety of his family in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Hopkins writes in his entry statement, ‘what the future holds for Yunus is unseen, but his commitment to family, his persistence to stay strong and his dreams to become a leader within the broader Australian community, are a testament to those that are given a second chance’.

Check out the other Nikon-Walkley winners announced back in October.


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