A teenager from the small town of Bargo in New South Wales has been awarded the overall winning title of Australasia's Top Emerging Photographers, presented by Fujifilm. Jodi Weisz is just nineteen years old and could be a photographer to watch.
His winning portfolio Tension comprises a series of images documenting teenagers enjoying a night of alcohol, pool diving, and taking drunk selfies. His series that is reminiscent of a Project X style party also won him the Documentary category.
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Now in its 14th year, Australasia's Top Emerging Photographers competition is the region’s biggest outlet for discovering new and emerging photographic talent, organized by Capture, Australia's leading pro photography magazine. The winner receives gear provided by sponsors as well as cash prizes and the winning title.
Showcasing a diverse array of work across nine categories, the competition this year also boasted the largest judging panel in its history, with a total of 47 leading professional photographers and industry experts from Australia, New Zealand, and worldwide on hand to help ascertain the winning top entries. Visit Capture's announcement post revealing the winners and to see the full list of 2022 judges.
Jodi Weisz was this year's overall winner, at just 19-years old, with his series titled Tension. He was awarded the grand prize of a Fujifilm X-T4 paired with an XF 18-135mm lens, valued at AU$4,578 from competition sponsor Fujifilm. As winner of the Documentary category, he additionally received a SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 2TB hard drive and AU$1,000 in cash.
Weisz shared that he's always naturally gravitated towards the documentary photography style, with a desire to capture moments of amusement. “I didn't know exactly what I was capturing at the time, because I was also experiencing what I was documenting,” he says. “I ended up with a collection of images that help me understand the culture of teenage party scenes and how they create space to explore themselves and learn how to exist with others in this tension.”
Runner up and winner of the Portrait category was a photographer we've seen before, Andrew Rovenko, with his absolutely stunning series The Rocketgirl Chronicles showcasing his 4-year-old daughter Mia as a hopeful astronaut wearing a homemade space suit discovering small worlds around Melbourne.
Third place overall went to photographer Stephane Thomas for his entry, Lines and Angles, a striking black and white series which won the Architecture category. Only a handful of points separated the top three places in the competition meaning it was extremely close and difficult for the judging panel.
Marc Gafen, Editor of Capture, shared that “Over the 14 years that I’ve been involved with Australasia's Top Emerging Photographers, it never ceases to amaze me just how talented and driven early career and enthusiast photographers are in our region.”
He continues, “The quality and breadth of the work was indeed inspiring. For me, one of the most gratifying aspects of the contest is seeing and tracking the progress of photographers as they improve year after year, going from Top 20 to Top 10, and eventually making it to runner-up, and even winning the category.
"I can only imagine how proud the photographers themselves must feel, having had their work judged by some of the best in the industry. A huge congratulations to the winners, runners-up, and top finalists.”
If you're interested in entering the next Australasia's Top Emerging Photographers 2023 competition, and meet the criteria of where you're located and fit into the category of a photographer with less than four years’ professional photography experience, or class yourself as an Amateur or enthusiast, then be sure to have your submissions ready when entries will open in October.