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Kiwis triumph in the 2018 Sony Alpha Awards, a celebration of the best Australian and New Zealand photography

This year's Sony Alpha Awards saw Kiwis triumph with established photography talent and new-blood being recognised as winners.

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The Sony Alpha Awards, now in its third year, showcases the very best of Australian and New Zealand photography using the Sony Alpha camera range. Over 5000 stunning images were submitted from both professional and amateur photographers, for the chance to be recognised and celebrated for their talents. This year's competition saw Kiwis triumph with established photography talent and new-blood being recognised as winners.

The overall Grand Prize and also the Portrait category was awarded to Auckland photographer, Ilan Wittenberg. Ilan made New Zealand his home in 2001 and took up photography in 2011, going on to become a professional photographer who has garnered an impressive collection of photography awards of which the Sony Alpha Awards is his most recent achievement.

The concept for Ilan's stunning portrait shot was created in collaboration with his model. He explains, "the idea was to create a cracked earth background using drought as the theme" and elaborates "I love Alicia's eyes, she looks so fragile and vulnerable. Her beautiful eyes are truly the windows to her soul".

This year’s Sony Alpha Awards also saw a brand new Youth competition, empowering budding photographers (aged between 11-18 years old) to showcase their talents by submitting a photo via Instagram. 

The Youth competition saw an outstanding response across Australia and New Zealand, with two Kiwi finalists chosen to go head to head in a photo challenge that saw both finalists flow to Australia and take to the streets of Sydney to try and capture a winning shot. (Click here to see a video of the photo challenge.)

Sony Photography Ambassador and Travel Photographer, Tyson Mayr chose the overall winner, 17 year-old Keeley Watson from Auckland. Keleey says of her image, "I wanted to try and take a street photography shot of something abstract but also include some people in it."

Sony Alpha Awards Youth category judge Tyson Marr said, “It was extremely tough to choose the overall winner as both of the finalists’ photos were amazing, particularly as they only had two hours to capture a winning image. I admire both of them for taking on the challenge and encourage them to continue on their photography journey.” 

The winners across the seven categories were carefully selected by Sony Global Digital Imaging Ambassadors and professional Australian photographers, Craig Parry and Mark Galer. Each category winner received $2000 worth of Sony camera gear, and the Grand Prize Winner, Ilan Wittenberg, received a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tanzania with World Photo Adventures, plus $3,000 of Sony Alpha gear.

The category winners for the 2018 Sony Alpha Awards were:

  • Abstract: Jingshu Zhu
  • Editorial: David Sickerdick
  • Landscape: Grant Galbraith
  • Macro: Chris Cope
  • Nature: Robyn Waterhouse
  • Portrait: Ilan Wittenberg (Grand Prize Winner)
  • Sport: Kian Bullock
  • Youth: Keeley Watson

Please click here for the full list of winners and runner ups.

Further information: 

2018 Sony Alpha Awards – Prize Summary

Prizes:

  • Grand Prize​: Overseas trip for one winner, plus $3,000 of Sony Alpha gear
  • Category Prize Winners​: $2,000 of Sony gear per category
  • Youth Competition:
    • Finalists: Return flights to Sydney (including accommodation, food and travel expenses, and two tickets to Alpha Awards) and a Sony Alpha camera (α6300) and two lenses valued at $2600.
    • Grand Prize: $2,000 of additional Sony camera gear including lenses and accessories.

Latest Sony Alpha Cameras:

Sony a9

  • World’s first full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, 24.2 MP resolution
  • Blackout-Free Continuous Shooting at up to 20fps for up to 241 RAW/ 362 JPEG images
  • Silent, Vibration-free shooting at speeds up to 1/32,000 sec
  • 693 point focal plane phase detection AF points with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
  • Extensive professional features including Ethernet port for file transfer, Dual SD card slots and extended battery life
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilisation with a 5.0 step shutter speed advantage

Sony a7RIII

  • 35mm full-frame 42.4 MP back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor with evolved image processing
  • Continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with either silent shooting or mechanical shutter and full auto focus/auto exposure tracking
  • 399 phase-detection AF points covering 68% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and approximately 2 times more effective Eye AF
  •  5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation with a 5.5 step shutter speed advantage
  •  High resolution 4K 6 movie shooting with full pixel readout and no pixel binning 7
  • Completely redesigned for professionals, including upgraded auto focus, dual SD  card slots, extended battery life, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB Type- C™ terminal and more
  • Compact, lightweight body at only 23 oz 8

Sony a7III

  • Newly developed full-frame 24.2MP back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor with evolved image processing
  • Wide ISO range of 100 - 51200 (expandable to ISO 50 – 204800 for still images) and 15-Stop dynamic range at low sensitivities
  • World class AF system featuring 693 phase-detection AF points covering 93% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and fast and reliable Eye AF
  • Continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with either mechanical shutter or silent shooting and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking
  •  5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation with a 5.0 step shutter speed advantage
  • High resolution 4K movie shooting with full pixel readout and no pixel binning across full-width of full-frame sensor
  • The longest rated battery life of any mirrorless camera at 710 shots per charge
  • Upgraded operability and functionality including addition of joystick for adjusting focus points, dual SD card slots, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ Terminal and more
Contact details: 
For information, please contact the Sony team at Adhesive PR at sony@adhesivepr.nz