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Australian photographers take Outback New South Wales into focus

Anticipation bubbled and gave way to excitement, as annual outback photography competition, Life and Light, announced its winners earlier this year.

Emerging photographer, Abbie Kelly, took the spotlight on the day, claiming first place in both primary year categories. The pint-sized winner was joined by eight other photographers to receive first place recognition across 10 categories.

Life and Light aims to bring together amateur and professional photographers from adults to primary age students, in celebration of a commonality between them all. That is, their shared love of everything Outback Australia.

This year’s theme ‘What makes our outback special’ inspired photographs that captured outback lifestyles, environments and communities. In response, many photographs featured the drowned red river gums of the Menindee Lakes, the hardships of station life, iconic outback wildlife and landscapes and brilliant starry nights.

Out of the Ordinary Sponsorship

When approached about sponsorship opportunities, outback proud tourism group, Out of the Ordinary Outback, gave a resounding yes.

“Outback Australia is our passion,” says OOO spokesperson, Janine Gowenlock.

“We are thrilled to be involved in anything that supports and promotes the successes, the unique cultures and lifestyles and iconic landscapes that have become synonymous with the outback and its communities.”

The tourism group sponsored primary age categories, Primary Black and White and Primary Colour. Entries into these categories were incredible, particularly considering the young ages of entrants, who were enrolled in primary years K-6.

These categories included the incredible work of Abbie Kelly, who is responsible for the photograph, featured on this page.

A number of organisations also gave sponsorship to the competition, showing strong support for outback initiative. Sponsors included, Western Landcare NSW, Far West Rural Supplies, NSW Farmers and government department, Western NSW Local Land Services.

High calibre entrants make the competition difficult to judge

Miss Kelly’s success was one of many. Submissions into this year’s contest were of such a high standard, that the judging panel states they had trouble determining winners for some categories.

Instagram star, Emma Moss, of Life on a Station stated that the Black and White category was particularly difficult to judge.

“There are a lot of talented photographers that either live in the region or have travelled through it,” said Ms Moss, “and it is great this competition has been around for so long for them to express their talent.”

“I was particularly impressed with the Open Black and White category which I found particularly hard to judge so special mention to all the photographers that entered that. I found there was great variety with the photos in all the categories and also great originality.”

2018 Life and Light Award Recipients

Colour open – “Thirsty Goats at the Trough” by Jane Smith Colour secondary school – “Stare Off” by Charli Smith Colour primary school – “Sunset & Sunflowers” by Abbie Kelly Black and white open – “Well Oiled Machine” by Mel Adams Black and white high school – “Tired Pup” by Georgia Bragg Black and white primary school – “Junction Mine” by Abbie Kelly Digitally enhanced – “Sunset in a Glass” by Brock Martin 20 Years of Life and Light – “Windows” by Simon Seppelt Professional – “Vast” by Andrew Barnes People’s choice – “When the Dust Settles” by Jenna Shirt.

2018 Life and Light Entries

View all photographs entered in the 2018 Life and Light competition on the Life and Light website here.