United Nations Media Peace Awards …

… announced yesterday … a selection of my work from “Life in a Coffin: Hong Kong” has been chosen as one of the three Finalists in the  “2012 United Nations Media Peace Awards” for Photojournalism. The other two finalists in the photojournalism category are Stuart McEvoy from Melbourne and Lee Giriffiths from Western Australia.

The Winners will be announced at a presentation dinner attended by United Nations big wigs and media in Melbourne on October 26th to coincide (almost) with United Nations Day (Oct 24).

Really excellent to be selected in the final three … although Stuart and Lee’s work will both provide tough competition for the prize.

One of my selected images is shown below … whilst the entire “Life in a Coffin: Hong Kong” essay … and the story … can be found on the site of my photojournalism collective ‘fotostrada’ here.

© Image Brian Cassey

News from Sweden …

Good news from Sweden. In a post a few weeks ago I mentioned that one of my images was selected to represent Australia in the “2012 World IFAJ Star Prize for Photo Excellence” (grand title isn’t it!) to be announced in Stockholm.

The news just in is that the image – of Atherton Tablelands grazier Shane O’Brien of Kinrara Station in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi and published in The Australian on the 14th February 2011 – was ajudged the Winner of the ‘People’ category of the awards which focus on images of agriculture. Excellent news …

The image first won the  ‘People’ category Queensland State selection … then the Australia wide selection … and now it has come out tops from images from around the planet. Judges included US Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Mary Chind. (Thanks Mary!)

I have to be brutally honest and say that the standard of overall entries wasn’t that great … but I’ll take it!!

The overall winner over the three categories of ‘People’, ‘Production’ and ‘Nature’ was an image of a bouncing spring lamb by a photographer from Ireland.

My ‘People’ category winning image of grazier Shane O’Brien is shown (again) below ©Brian Cassey

“The Seventh Second” at the Clarions …

Queensland’s media congregated at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre last Saturday eve to recognise their collective achievements over the past twelve months … courtesy of the MEAA and The Walkley Foundation.

Approximately 300 attended “The Clarions” and celebrated awards across the spectrum of the states media – TV, radio, online and print. As is usually the case when the media congregate – the drinks flowed rather well.

Half way through the evening I was summoned to the stage to collect the award for “Best Sports Photograph” for the image I made last year at the Mareeba Rodeo – “The Seventh Second”.  A little pleased about that!!!

Here’s the caption for the image –

“It’s The shortest ride in sport. Eight seconds is all it takes to record a ‘ride’ in the rodeo saddle bronco event.

Indigenous Bull riding specialist Elroy Josiah was a fraction of a second from ‘scoring a ride’ at the Mareeba Rodeo in far north Queensland when … at the 7 second mark … he gave his mount ‘Arrow’ a little too much respect and rein !

It was all that ‘Arrow’ needed and … sporting an dastardly evil grin … ‘Arrow’ dispatched Elroy and he was eating the Mareeba dirt.

For Elroy, who hadn’t been on a horse for 5 years as he usually is content to just ride bulls, you’d think it would have been a salutary warning. But Elroy is ‘hooked’ on the pain! “I love the riding,” he says, and adds, “I love feeling the pain, too. I’m not just saying that. Pain is my middle name.”

Then Elroy couldn’t wait to jump back on a bull … ”

The image was published as a double page spread in The Australian Weekend Magazine “Heart of a Nation” feature section with great text by journalist Ross Bilton.

The “The Seventh Second” image (© Brian Cassey) is below …


Finalist in the Clarions …

In gratifying news just announced two of my entries have been selected as Finalists in the “2012 Clarion Awards” – Queensland’s prestigious annual awards for the media industry.

The Finalist entries are “The Seventh Second” in the ‘Sports Photography’ category and “Soulless in Seoul” in the ‘Photographic Essay’ category.

“The Seventh Second” is an image (below) made at the Mareeba Rodeo in north Queensland, whilst “Soulless in Seoul” documents the plight of homeless in Seoul the capital of South Korea (one image from the set is shown below).

Winners of all the various categories across the media spectrum will be announced at a spectacular dinner event, organised by the Queensland MEAA, at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on the night of Saturday the 25th of August.

Images © Brian Cassey

A Win … and a Third … in the US …

Just received the great news that TWO of my images featured in last nights presentation of awards at the “2012 Kellicutt International Juried Photo Show” in California. My image of Carol Mayer – “Carol – Burns Survivor” – was judged the overall Winner (very gratifying!), whilst my image from Udaipur India – “Rajasthan Dancers” gained a Third place!!!

The theme of this years show was “Vibrant” and it is indeed an honour to have two images selected by the judges from a large contingent of amazingly vibrant and accomplished works from around the World.

The jurors made some very nice comments in regards to my images … and I will ensure that Carol gets to see the comments made about the image of her below …

From juror Kate Jordahl – “Difficult to look at, but as the eyes are the windows to the soul, we see a soul strong and loving, sad and knowing. We are drawn into the tragedy and triumph of this women’s life. The photographer truly connected with Carol and allows us to see her with empathy and understanding.”

From juror Scott Atkinson – “At first I looked away from this print, but it’s impossible to escape the spirit in those eyes! The face, like a windswept landscape, is now burnished to a swirling patina by both time and the camera’s selective focus. The slightly smudged lipstick adds a touch of normal. But it’s those eyes, those sharply focused blue eyes, that show the vibrant world that lives behind the skin. They’ll follow you throughout the gallery.”

From juror Michael Collopy – “The deep blue calm of her eyes accented by her red lips provides the viewer a direct connection to her apparent triumph over tragedy that is written in her textured face. Her eyes follow you throughout the room. This is a visually arresting photograph that is beautifully and simply achieved. It has a profound result. I liked the fact the photographer chose natural light to illuminate this beautiful portrait. It is a tight crop that continues the honest, revealing and direct dialogue between the photographer and subject. The stunning result conveys the trust and connection that the photographer has achieved.”

Kate Jordahl also commented on the Rajasthan pic – “Movement and color join in a literal dance of light and life. This image captures the swirling dancers at the peak moment of this event showing us as only as photography can what we can feel but not actually see with our eyes.”

Seems like I get a very nice trophy (image below) and a little cheque … and the exhibition of the 45 Finalist images will continue at the Coastal Arts League Gallery in Half Moon Bay CA  before the exhibition moves to the Calumet Gallery in San Francisco in August.

Would have been very nice to have been at the awards presentation in the U S of A on Saturday night … c’est la vie …

Below the pic of the trophy are my Winning and Third placed images – “Carol – Burns Survivor” and “Rajasthan Dancers” – © Brian Cassey


Off to Sweden …

Unfortunately its not me off to Sweden but one of my images! Several posts ago on this blog I mentioned one of my images was selected as the winner of the ‘People’ category of the “2012 Queensland Rural Press Photography Awards”. Since then the image has gone on to represent Queensland in the Nation wide “2012 Australian Star Prize for Rural Photography” where it also won the “People” category. Cool.

The image will now whisk it’s way to Sweden to represent Australia (along with two other Aussie representatives in the “Production” and “Nature/Landscape” categories) in the “2012 IFAJ WORLD Star Prize for Photo Excellence”. (I kid you not – Grand Title!)

Winners will be announced in August at the ‘International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress’ at Lake Mälaren just outside of Stockholm.

Lucky Image … !

It was made in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi at a cattle property on the Atherton Tablelands and features stockman Shane O’Brien attempting to clear felled trees (that killed many of his cattle) from his farm. The Australian published the image on the 14th February 2011 and the text of the story can be found here.

Below is another look at the winning image …

© Brian Cassey

Sam and Chook Make Semis …

Well … certainly not the hundred grand first prize (arguably the Worlds’ richest photographic prize) … nor even the two thousand buck runners up cheque like last year – but – just a leetle pat on the back in the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize.

Two of my images – “Sam the Barber” and “The Legacy of Chook” – have just been selected as semi-finalists in the prestigious awards this year. Not up to the standard of the past two years with consecutive finalist selections – but rewarding nevertheless.

The Moran is an immense and most sought after award and it attracts a monumental amount of entries of a stunning standard on the theme “Contemporary Life in Australia” with an emphasis on Australians going about their day-to-day lives within their environment.

I wish the finalists all the best and look forward to the announcement of the winning $100,000 recipient in Sydney mid July.

My two selected semi-finalists entries – “Sam the Barber” and “The Legacy of Chook”- are reproduced below …

© images Brian Cassey


Two in Show …

Just received the news that two of my images – “Rajasthan Dancers” and “Carol – Burns Survivor” – have been selected as ‘Finalists’ in the United States based “2012 Kellicutt International Juried Photo Show – Through A Lens: Vibrant!”.

My images, along with other finalists from the US, the UK, Australia, India, Hong Kong, Canada and Puerto Rico, are part of the hanging exhibition that will be shown in galleries around California.

Prize winners will be announced during an awards ceremony at the Coastal Arts League Gallery in Half Moon Bay CA on July 7th before the exhibition moves to the Calumet Gallery in San Francisco in August.

You can see all the selected finalists images at … http://www.coastalartsleague.com/kellicutt/2012/HangingInShow/index.html … and I’m in some very good company. The selected photographs seem to cross almost all photographic disciplines and styles and will provide a fascinating exhibition.  Just a pity I probably won’t be there to see it!

Below I’ve posted the two images selected as ‘Finalists’ – “Rajasthan Dancers” and “Carol – Burns Survivor”

Images © Brian Cassey

Rural Press Awards …

… not a biggie – but gratifying nevertheless. Received the news that an image I made in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi has been selected as the winner of the ‘People’ category of the “2012 Queensland Rural Press Photography Awards”. It will now be a Queensland representative in the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists “2012 Australian Star Prize for Rural Photography” and if successful there it will be an Australian entry in the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Photography Awards.

The image (below) of Atherton Tablelands farmer Shane O’Brien was made at the end of a day of clearing trees felled by Yasi’s power. Falling trees killed hundreds of head of Shane’s stock and the felled trunks made traversing and operating his cattle farm impossible. Despite the quick response to cyclone damage on the coastal strip of north Queensland, farmers inland from the coast on the Tablelands received little or no support.

It was published in The Australian newspaper on February 14th 2011 … full text of the story here.

Image © Brian Cassey 2011


International Loupe Awards …

A little recognition in this years “2011 International Loupe Awards” (formerly the “International Aperture Awards) announced today – a Silver award in the ‘Sport’ category (with “Crazy Horse” – left) – and Bronze in ‘Portraits & People’ (“Carol – Burns Survivor” – centre) and ‘Photojournalism’ (“Rebecca Comes Home” – right).

For more on all three on these images please check out earlier posts – as follows – “Walkley Award … ““Head On Portrait Prize …” – “Moran Prize … “ – and – “Pain Is My Name …”

Images © Brian Cassey 2011

Walkley Award …

Last week I was enjoying a nice evening after a hard day flying across the Torres Strait to photograph old George Mye on Darnley Island, when I started to receive messages from friends and colleagues in Sydney that my image of Cairns burns survivor Carol Mayer had been selected as the Winner of the “2011 Nikon Walkey Best Portrait Award”. The announcement was made that evening at the Australian Centre for Photography in Paddington.

That’s a great way to start an evening. Fantastic news …

This Thursday I have to take the little flight from Cairns to Melbourne for the presentation dinner hosted by the lovely people at Nikon and the Walkley Foundation.

I’ve since visited the subject of the image … the brave and lovely Carol … and showed her the image, the judges comments and the hundreds of comments I have received on various social media.

The image is shown below with the comments of the judges … and clicking on the pic will also take you to the My Nikon Life site where you can view all the photographic works of the 2011 Nikon Walkley winners and finalists.

Image © Brian Cassey 2011



Clarion Award …

Great night at the “Clarion Awards” – Queensland media’s night of nights – at the Brisbane Convention & Entertainment Centre on Saturday eve.

Was indeed fortunate to pick up the award for ‘Best Photographic Essay’ for a series of eleven images from the passage and destruction of category 5 Cyclone Yasi in north Queensland.

A night of celebration, sadness and emotion included a poignant tribute to Brisbane ABC cameraman John Bean – who was killed in a helicopter crash just weeks ago – the award for ‘Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism’ to legendary ‘The Australian’ journalist Tony Koch who recently retired – and a ‘Journalist of the Year’ award for the Courier Mail QWeekend journalist Trent Dalton.

A great event organised by the MEAA and the Walkley Foundation – and some amazing work by talented individuals on show receiving recognition as Queensland’s finest.

Winning images from my ‘Best Photographic Essay’ entry – just one of which is shown below –  can be found on my main web site at Photographs/Cyclone Yasi here.

Image – ‘Shocked evacuees emerge as Cyclone Yasi passes’ – © Brian Cassey 2011

Clarion Awards …

The Finalists in the 2011 Queensland “Clarion Media Awards” were announced last Thursday eve and the nice surprise is that my work covering category 5  Cyclone Yasi’s vicious onslaught on far north Queensland has been selected in both the major photographic categories – “Best News Photograph” and “Best Photographic Essay”.

Rounding out the other finalists in each category are Neville Madsen (image from the Toowomba floods) and Rob Maccoll (image from Cyclone Yasi coverage) in “Best News Photograph” – and in “Best Photographic Essay” – once again Rob Maccoll (for state wide disaster images) and Harrison Sarogossi (for images from a night in Brisbanes’ Valley).

Rob Maccoll, staffer at the Courier Mail, and I have been friendly rivals over many years … and the ribbing will be on again this year for sure!

The big media awards presentation night and dinner is on Saturday 10 September at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and is organised by the hard working crew at the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) and the Walkley Foundation.

For the list of all finalists from all the media categories across Print, TV, Radio and Online – and details of how to book for the big evening – go to the “Clarion Awards” page.

Below is just one image from my finalist entries – “Lives Laid Bare” – an aerial image of just one of the residences destroyed by Cylone Yasi at the luxury resort island of Bedarra. Clicking on the image will take you to the full Cyclone Yasi essay on my web site proper.

Image © Brian Cassey