Sunday, January 26, 2014

THE WORLD’S BEST PHOTOGRAPHS International Loupe Awards 2013

Melbourne, Australia - Now in its fifth year, the International Loupe Awards 2014 has ridden a wild wave of debate and controversy, with heated discourse over the subjectivity of competition judging and category definitions raging right up to the announcement of the overall Open & Amateur Award Winners on Friday 20th December: Mark Carter from New Zealand (Open Award) and Lori Cicchini from Australia (Amateur Award).

Notably, in a competition that featured 22 judges from 11 different countries – assessing 4,468 photographs from 1,060 different entrants from 78 countries – the domination of Australian photographers saw some people up in arms. Yet, Loupe Awards rules stipulate no judge can judge images from their own country, which means Australia’s victory has been a legitimate one and a ringing endorsement for the Australian photographic industry.

“As we’ve come to expect, running a photographic competition of this stature and scale is challenging, exciting and rewarding,” states Competition Director, Nathan Oxley. “With every successive year, the quality of the work from international photographers rises, which means boundaries are pushed in every direction. This year had its own unique challenges, and it wasn’t easy for the judges to come up with winners, but soon two came to the fore as the best overall images of the year.”

A New Zealand advertising photographer with a passion for landscape and underwater work, Mark Carter received a belated birthday gift (by one day) when Competition Director Nathan Oxley phoned to notify him of his Open Award win.

"I shot this image recently for a Mountain Dew campaign in New Zealand,” he says. “It was a huge job pulling this together, and we shot thousands of frames on the day using our hero talent and body doubles. The concept was great but really technical to pull off. It was a fantastic campaign to work on, and I couldn't be happier with the final image.”

For Australian-based Lori Cicchini, taking out the Amateur Award was a resounding note on which to conclude her photographic studies:

“I shot this image as part of my final year assignment as a photography student where I’m majoring in Fashion and Portraiture,” she says. “The image was inspired by the TV series Game of Thrones, and the idea behind creating an image like this was to push my postproduction skills to a higher level. I knew it was something special as soon as it was finished.”

Mark Carter receives a prize pool that includes US$15,000 in cash and a VIP trip to the 2014 Creative Asia Imaging Expo in Hong Kong, while Lori Cicchini receives photographic equipment from the likes of Canson, Kayell, Elinchrom, Drobo, Datacolor, Orbis and IOShutter.

Entries for International Loupe Awards 2014 will open in October 2014.

About International Loupe Awards
The International Loupe Awards (formerly known as the International Aperture Awards) was established in 2008 with a mission beyond that of most photographic competitions: To deliver opportunities that ensure wider exposure for photographers and allow them to gauge the perception of their work on the world stage.

About Nathan Oxley – Competition Director
Nathan Oxley and his company IC12 conceived the International Loupe Awards in their own vision after developing a successful competition judging system for the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). He also co-developed the Creative Asia Awards and Conference in 2011, specifically focused on the promotion and support of photography in the Asia-Pacific region. Nathan and his company IC12 recently created the LED Light Cube ( in response to the needs of photographers. The Cube was successfully crowdfunded on raising US$132,000, and is currently in production. Nathan is an avid photographer himself. Twitter @NathanOxleyCA

About Peter Eastway – Head Judge
(G. M. Photog., Hon. FAIPP, Hon. FNZIPP, FAIPP ) Peter Eastway is an Australian professional photographer who works in landscape, travel, portrait and advertising. He is also the publisher of Better Photography magazine ( and co-publisher of Better Digital Camera and Better Photoshop Techniques magazine. He has won the AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year Award twice, as well as many other national and international awards.

About William Long – Head Judge
(M. Photog IV, MNZIPP, FBIPP, FRPS ) Australian photographer, speaker and educator, William Long is regarded as one of Australia’s most awarded photographers. Receiving numerous major photographic prizes and honours both nationally and internationally – including his recent Quadruple Gold Bar: AIPP Master of Photography, his highly esteemed Queensland Professional Photographer of the Year and British Portrait Photographer of the Year – William was equally delighted when he received recognition for his excellence in photography with a Fellowship by the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) and then again with his Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS).

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