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Kate Geraghty wins Walkley Photo of the Year award

The Walkley Foundation has announced the finalists of the 2021 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism, with Kate Geraghty winning the Nikon Photo of the Year award.

Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year by Sydney Morning Herald photographer, Kate Geraghty.

The Walkley Foundation splits the results of the Nikon-Walkley Photography Prizes into two announcements, with two awards and the finalists publicised for this round.

Geraghty’s Photo of the Year image, Fighting COVID-19 Delta, was captured for the Sydney Morning Herald and ‘epitomised the year’ marked by ‘illness, hospitalisation, isolation, family not being able to visit;.

‘This sums up COVID like no other picture,’ the judges said. ‘An empathetic image that explains COVID in Australia: all the loneliness and isolation. There’s a greater story being told; a lot of family members can’t even get that close to patients like this. Geraghty’s skills with, and use of, light make the image.’

The other winner is Cairns-based photojournalist, Brian Cassey, who pocketed the Nikon Portrait Prize title for his image, The Yarrick Family of Kunhanhaa.

Nikon Portrait Prize winning image by Brian Cassey.

The Portrait Prize looks for an image which ‘reveal aspects of the human condition by showing people from all walks of life’. Cassey’s image was shot for The Australian, and judges felt the portrait ‘told them a great deal about its subjects, from where they live to how they communicate’.

‘It’s not easy to get that many people in a shot, compose an image and get it to work,’ the judges said. ‘One child makes eye contact but everyone else is doing their own thing. The lighting is just beautiful and the circular motion of the composition means the faces keep drawing the eye around, finding something new each time.’

Where is Covid’s ‘Tank Man’?

The Finalists

Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year

To win this highest honour, photographers must show their range and editing skills by selecting up to 10 images in any genre from their work over the previous 12 months. Here’s the shortlist including one hero image by each photographer.

Alex Coppel, Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph and The Courier-Mail

‘USA’s Caeleb Dressel powers through the water on his way to winning Gold in the final of the Men’s 100m Butterfly at the Tokyo Olympic Games.’ Photo: Alex Coppel.

Jason Edwards, Herald Sun

The family of William Wall, a 14-year-old boy with autism, grieve in the moment they are told he has been found dead. Photo: Jason Edwards.

Christopher Hopkins, The Age, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald and Al Jazeera

‘Former Wesley College student David Kay was sexually assaulted by two teachers in the 1970s. Now 58, Mr Kay has decided to speak publicly about the ordeal that “tarnished almost every aspect of my life”. He wants Wesley College to be held to account and says he was inspired to speak out publicly by “kick-arse young women” such as 2021 Australian of the Year and sexual assault survivor Grace Tame. Melbourne, Australia. May 30, 2021.’ Photo: Christopher Hopkins.

Sport Photography

From our hallowed grounds to iconic athletes, entries may show action and/or feature images from the sporting arena. Photographers may enter up to five images, which may represent a body of work or be unrelated.

Alex Coppel, Herald-Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier-Mail and The Adelaide Advertiser

The Games that Had to Happen by Alex Coppel. ‘USA’s Tara Davis lets her hair fly as she makes her landing in the final of the Women’s Long Jump at the Tokyo Olympic Games’.

Michael Dodge, Tennis Australia and Instagram

Unguarded Moments by Michael Dodge. ‘Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it proved to be a lonely world for all the tennis players at the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park. But at least Jessica Pegula of the United States had the enduring support of her one-man team in coach David Witt. Here she celebrates after defeating Elina Svitolina of Ukraine as coach Witt cuts a solitary figure within the confines of an empty Rod Laver Arena.’

Jason Edwards, Herald Sun and The Australian

The Crux by Jason Edwards. ‘Tom Perkins completes the crux part of a route called Trapeze on Castle Crag, an iconic formation at the foot of Mount Arapiles/Dyuritte near Horsham in western Victoria.’


Feature/Photographic Essay

Photographers use between five and 12 images to tell a longer story or make a point. But we’ve only got one of the images to show here!

Scott Barbour, Tennis Australia, 2021 Australian Open

Photo: Scott Barbour. ‘Rafael Nadal of Spain jumps in the air as he prepares to walk onto the court to play Cameron Norrie of Great Britain on Rod Laver Arena during Day 6 of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Saturday, February 13, 2021.’

Jake Nowakowski, Herald Sun and The Weekend Australian Magazine, Superheroes in Lockdown

Photo: Jake Nowakowski. ‘Vision (cosplayer Steve Alder-Goad) trims a rose bush while his neighbour looks on’.

Dean Sewell, Sun Herald, Of Mice and Men

Photo: Dean Sewell. ‘Allan Inglis disposes of drowned mice carcasses in the open fields beyond the homestead. He performs this task several times over during the morning. “Even the Guinea Fowl are sick of them,” he quips, as he nods to the birds that roam freely around his property’.

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