Now that’s a REAL landscape photo!

Earlier this year Australian landscape photography legend, Ken Duncan (below), launched the REAL Australia Landscape Photo Awards to find and celebrate some of the finest photo-realistic Australian landscapes.

Ken_ptBut the competition’s other objective was to establish a distinction between two styles of landscape photography – ‘photo realism’ and ‘photo illustration’. The first captures an ‘honest interpretation’ of a scene with minimal post-processing, in contrast to photo illustrations which have plenty of post-processing, resulting in an image looking little like the original landscape – but pretty nonetheless.

Well, the results are and this is what photo realism looks like:

First Place - Mark McLeod - Penola, SA

First Place – Mark McLeod – Penola, SA

Marc McLeod, a Ballarat-based landscape photographer, captured the winning image of a black and white landscape in Penola, South Australia.

He is joined by Sydney-based professional photographer, Pamela Pauline in second place; and fine art landscape photographer, Jim Picot in third. The Junior Award was taken out by Talia Szekely.

Second Place - Pamela Pauline - Sydney, NSW

Second Place – Pamela Pauline – Sydney, NSW

‘Judging these photos is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do.  It gives me a whole new respect for photo competitions,’ Duncan said. ‘I personally loved so many of the photos that I wanted to award many prizes.  Left up to me there would have been 10 first prizes.  So I was very thankful to have Kevin Raber and Andris Apse as fellow judges because it helped us reach a point of decision.’

Raber and Apse, two international judges, were appointed for their world-renowned profiles, and additionally to ensure that no landscape photo – whether taken by a master photographer or amateur – would be excluded. No details of entrants was given to the panel, so it was all about quality images.

Third Place - Jim Picot - Long Jetty, NSW

Third Place – Jim Picot – Long Jetty, NSW

There was over $40,000 in prizes up for grabs, with McLeod taking home the top prize: a five day one-on-one on location shoot in a remote area with Duncan, an Eizo ColorEdge CG247 monitor, a 40-inch print and Bellini frame, and a Capture One software licence – a total worth of $27,734.

Duncan says he was pleased with the high standard of entries and he looks ‘forward to next year’s awards, as I believe it will grow even bigger in the years to come’.

Junior Winner - Talia Szekely - Alice Springs, NT

Junior Winner – Talia Szekely – Alice Springs, NT

Real Photo Awards 2015-04-28 from Ken Duncan Group on Vimeo.

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