Brand-new category for Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year 2015

With every year that passes the D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition grows exponentially. The 2014 edition received an incredible 5783 entries across the seven categories. This year, for the 2015 edition of the Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition, we're excited to announce a brand-new category — the Junior category, proudly sponsored by the Universal College of Learning (UCOL). This section will be open to 16–24-year-olds to submit their works of art.

The competition opens on Monday, March 16 at, with full details available in the upcoming issue of D-Photo Issue No. 65.

takeover_juniorImage: Ryan Meta, courtesy of UCOL

Open weekend for would-be commercial photographers

StudentIf you're considering pursuing a career in photography, this month brings the opportunity to check out a new programme in commercial photography in Auckland with one of the most respected educators in the country. This year the Universal College of Learning (UCOL) opened a new campus in Auckland, purpose built to train students for a career in portraiture, landscapes, and product photography; come September 26 perspective students are invited to attend an open weekend to check out the course's inner workings.

UCOL Institute of Commercial Photography in Auckland's two-year Diploma programme is taught by some of the region's top photographers and has extensive backing from key industry players, including Canon.

From Friday, September 26 to Sunday, September 28 the Newmarket campus will be open to visitors to meet the tutors, explore the facilities and discuss the course from 9am to 4pm. There will also be two introductory workshops held during the weekend – at 10.30am and 2.30pm on the Saturday.

UCOL were kind enough to host D-Photo and our judging panel for the judging of this year's Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition, and we can personally vouch for the high quality of these newly built facilities.

For more details on the course and the open weekend visit UCOL's website.

Image: Amy Fowler, UCOL student and winner of the Student award at the 2014 Iris Professional Photography Awards

Iris '14: Portrait Classic and Creative, Student

Continuing D-Photo's online coverage of this year's Iris Professional Photography Awards, we are proud to present the winning images in the Portrait Classic, Portrait Creative, and Student categories.

Portrait Classic category: Catherine Cattanach

As well as picking up the Highest Scoring Entry award for her extraordinary Gold Distinction-winning portrait, Wellington's Catherine Cattanach also took the top nod in classic portraits with this elegantly emotive showing.

Portrait ClassicGold Distinction award

Portrait Classic Silver Distinction award


Portrait Classic Silver Distinction award


Portrait Creative category: Holly Spring

Auckland photographer Holly Spring had a huge result at this year's competition; not only did she win the top spot for creative portraits, but she earned both her Associate and Master distinction with the NZIPP in one fell swoop.

(C) Copyright Holly Spring - Portrait Creative Category - Gold Image Gold award


Portrait - Creative Silver Distinction award


Portrait - Creative Silver Distinction award


Student category: Amy Fowler

UCOL student Amy Fowler topped the category reserved for both students or assistants for the second time in as many years, leaving her fellow students wishing she would hurry up and graduate and give someone else a chance.

(C) Copyright Amy Fowler- Student Category - Gold Image Gold award


(C) Copyright Amy Fowler - Student Category - Gold ImageGold award

You can follow all of D-Photo‘s coverage of both the Iris Awards and the Infocus photography conference here.


Meet the Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year judges

With time almost up for entering New Zealand's biggest amateur photography competition, D-Photo would like to introduce the judges who have the exciting task of assessing your images. Emma BassThis year's Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition will be judged by leading professional photographers Emma Bass, Mike Hollman and Harry Janssen.

Emma Bass is a highly regarded commercial and fine art photographer who has shot for many of New Zealand's leading magazines as well as exhibiting her own personal projects through the country. She has shot editorial for the likes of Life & Leisure, Good, Taste, NZ House & Garden, Next, and Fashion Quarterly. She has also created portraits of some of the country's biggest celebrities, including Denise L’estrange Corbet, Lucy Lawless, Jonah Lomu, Keisha Castle-Hughs and Peter Jackson.

You can hear Emma speaking about her photography practice at this year's Image Nation conference, or, if you can't make that event, check out her interview with D-Photo's Point-Shoot blog about her exhibition, Imperfect.

Mike HollmanMike Hollman is an award-winning professional photographer specialising in travel, architectural, fine art and landscape photography. His career has taken him around the world, shooting for local and international clients, producing four photo books and a series of annual photography calendars, and publishing work in books and magazines.

Mike currently holds the title of Professional Travel Photographer of the Year with the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers (NZIPP) and was recently inducted as a New Zealand Nikon Ambassador.

Harry Janssen is professional photographer renowned for his proficiency across a wide array of photographic disciplines. He runs Auckland's Red Zebra studio and offers a diverse range of services including studio Harry Janssenportraits, commercial location work, retouching, graphic design and photographic education. In 2011 he was named NZIPP Auckland Photographer of the Year and was a finalist in the most recent contest for New Zealand Photographer of the Year.

Harry is currently exhibiting a beautiful collection of his landscape works as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography, click here for more details.

This prestigious group will assemble next week at UCOL's new Institute of Commercial Photography in Newmarket to decide the champions of this year's Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year awards. The winners will be announced in a special edition of  D-Photo, on sale July 14.

You have until 5pm, Friday, June 13 to submit your entries and be in to win a share of over $14,500 worth of prizes up for grabs, see here for details.