Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 22 October 2021

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – Sydney Morning Herald photojournalist Kate Geraghty wins the 2021 Nikon Photo of the Year Prize and freelancer Brian Cassey wins the Nikon Portrait Prize. These prizes are administered by the Walkley Foundation on behalf of Nikon. Check out the finalists in the 2021 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism. Plus the 42nd W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography Recipients.


Nikon Photo of the Year

Kate Geraghty, a long-time photojournalist with The Sydney Morning Herald, was awarded for her picture “Fighting COVID-19 Delta” which the judges said “sums up COVID like no other picture. 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 photo is also in the running for the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism in the news photography category.

Nikon Portrait Prize

Brian Cassey, a multi-award winning photojournalist based in Cairns, Queensland, was awarded for his picture, “The Yarrick Family of Kunhanhaa,” published in The Australian. The judges said of Cassey’s image, “It’s not easy to get that many people in a shot, compose an image and get it to work. 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.”

Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism – Finalists

The winners of this year’s Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism will be announced in Tamworth on February 11, 2022. Here are some of the finalists:

Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year

Alex Coppel, Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph and The Courier-Mail 
Jason Edwards, Herald Sun
Christopher Hopkins, The Age, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald and Al Jazeera

News Photography – Finalists

Justin McManus The Age “Anti-Lockdown Protest”
Brook Mitchell, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Sydney Anti-Lockdown Protest”

Feature/Photographic Essay – Finalists

Scott Barbour,, “2021 Australian Open”
Jake Nowakowski, Herald Sun and The Weekend Australian Magazine, “Superheroes in Lockdown”
Dean Sewell, The Sun-Herald, “Of Mice and Men”

Judges this year are:

  • Sandra Jackson, Visual Editor, The West Australian
  • Danie Sprague, Photographic Editor, The Age 
  • Barbara McGrady, photographer 
  • Mark Baker, Senior Photo Editor and Photographer, AP
  • Renee Nowytarger, past Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year

42nd W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography Recipients

This year the $50,000 grant has once again been split and awarded to five photographers:

Lalo de Almeida (Brazil)

A man walks into the Yawalapiti Village amidst the smoke that has covered Xingu Indigenous Park due to forest fires. In addition to the impact of the accumulation of greenhouse gases, a global phenomenon, deforestation in the park boundaries has caused an increase in local temperature and changes in the hydrological regimes. Climate change, increasingly dry, has made subsistence crops problematic, changing the livelihood of these communities, which are increasingly dependent on industrialized food. Canarana, Brazil, 13 August 2016 (C) Lalo de Almeida

Kimberly dela Cruz (Philippines)

Mothers and widows of war on drugs victims rehearse for a theatre performance in Tondo, Manila on November 22, 2019. Sarah Celiz (center) lost two of her sons in 2017 and was left to care for her 12 grandchildren © Kimberly dela Cruz

Melissa Lyttle (USA)

On June 11, 2020, less than 30 minutes after the county commissioners unanimously voted, a crew was on scene to remove a Confederate statue from the grounds of the Gadsden County Courthouse in Quincy, Florida. The monument in Quincy was placed in 1884 by the Ladies of the Memorial Association of Gadsden County Florida. Etched into the monument are the words, “Sacred to the memory of the confederate soldiers.” (C) Melissa Lyttle

Cristopher Rogel Blanquet (Mexico)

Petra holds her son Sebastian, she died in early 2021. She had kidney failure, renal disease (ESRD), Villa Guerrero, Mexico, 2021  © Cristopher Rogel Blanquet

Nicolo Filippo Rosso (Italy)

Migrants sit in a truck at Paraguachón, Colombia’s border town, heading to the central city of Maicao. August 11, 2018. Paraguachón, La Guajira, Colombia © Nicolo Filippo Rosso


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