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Australians dominate Frank Hurley Photo Awards

While US photographer, Jason Gulley, won the inaugural Frank Hurley Photography Awards top prize, the four other category winners are Australian photographers.

Cenote Angelina Cloud by Jason Gulley

The Frank Hurley Photography Awards, organised by Hobart-based not-for-profit charity Mawson’s Huts Foundation, consisted of a top prize winner picked from five categories – Polar, Scenic, Composition, Nature and Portraits of Adventure.

The biennial contest had a prize pool of $30,000, with Gulley winning a 10-day Antarctic expedition top prize for his underwater photo captured on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

South Australian photographer, Andrew Dickman, won the Nature category for his photo Flight of the penguins; Tasmanian photographer, David Sinclair, won the Polar category for his photo, Ursus Maritimus; New South Wales photographer, Will Eader, won the Scenic category for his photo, Isolated Cell; and NSW photographer, Benjamin Maze, won the Composition category for his photo, Mutant.

All finalist images are showing in an exhibition at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery until February 28.

The contest received over 1200 entries from 26 countries, and funds raised from entries will go toward the conservation of the fragile wooden Mawson’s Huts at Cape Denison in East Antarctica.

‘For the Frank Hurley Photography Awards’ inaugural year, our panel of judges faced an enormous task to whittle down a pool of entrant images that was both large and of an extremely high standard,’ said awards marketing co-ordinator, Sam Edmonds. ‘With the exception of the overall winner, all other category winners of this year’s awards hail from Australia – a statistic that we are proud of in helping to promote Australian photography but at the same time, given our entrants came from 26 countries, we are elated to say that the Frank Hurleys Photography Awards has already established itself as a truly international contest.’

The contest was launched in honour of the ‘spirit and adventurous career’ of Frank Hurley, who started working at a Sydney photo studio when he was 19 and not long after had his first image published in Australasian Photo-Review. His first solo exhibition was shown in 1910, at Kodak Salon, and the following year Australian explorer, Douglas Mawson, appointed Hurley the photographer aboard the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, which set out to explore uncharted coast and established a base on Cape Denison. Hurley’s next trip to Antarctica was aboard the Endurance with Ernest Shackleton, which would be crushed by pack ice and masterfully photographed.

Here are the remaining category winning photos:

Isolated Cell, scenic winner, by Will Eades.


Ursus Maritimus, Polar winner, by David Sinclair.


Flight of the penguins, Nature winner, by Andrew Dickman.


Mutant, Composition winner, by Benjamin Maze.

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