WPC finalists for Australia 2020

Awards, Events

WPC Arriviamo Presto!

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UPDATE March 6th, 2020: Due to the continued spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Italian government cancelled all public events, including the World Photographic Cup, which has been postponed 6 months to September 2020.


By Katrina Ferguson

February, 2020

WPC We’re Coming Soon!

On the 23rd March, 2020, presentation of the 7th annual World Photographic Cup (WPC) winners will be held at the Salone Margherita theatre in Rome, Italy as the culmination of an extensive four-day program of workshops and presentations.

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Salone Margherita by Daniele Grasso
Venue for the WPC presentation dinner 2020: the Salone Margherita theatre, Rome, Italy. Photo by Daniele Grasso

Thanks, in part, to the fundraising efforts of Sue Lewis at the WPC Rome auction night sponsored by Chromaluxe and Epson at APPA last year, five Australian representatives will be there to proudly fly the flag including volunteer WPC captain, Sue, WPC Board member and Australian compatriot, Kylie Lyons, Aussie (wedding category) finalist Shireen Hammond and team Australia members, Mandarine Montgomery (illustration category) and Damien Bowerman (portrait category.)

Mandarine won the 2019 APPA Epson Signature Worthy Award for the highest scoring print and Damien is the reigning AIPP Australian Portrait Photographer of the Year.

AIPP WPC Rome auction at APPA 2019. Photo by David Simmonds
The print auction at APPA 2019 was organised by Sue Lewis to help get Aussie team members to the WPC in Rome and raised $13,000

Fellow Australian team members (and finalists) Peter Eastway (nature – landscape and wildlife), Belle Verdiglione (reportage) and Matthew Gianoulis (commercial category) will no doubt be willing the team on from the sidelines at home.

Best of Nation

Matthew was previously announced as Australia’s Best of Nation winner. He also represented the team in last year’s WPC event, finishing 4th place overall in the commercial category.

World Photographic Cup Best of Nations graphic
Matthew Gianoulis Photographic Piece
Best of Nation winning photograph in the commercial category by Matthew Gianoulis

Cheering on from Home

Peter will be on a month-long trip in Antarctica at the time of the WPC event in Rome, and Belle on-call at home in WA for a birth client.

“I really weighed it up because I’ve got a mum due, but I’d literally be on-call for that week!” Belle said.

Belle’s photo was taken in the Family Birth Centre in Subiaco, WA (despite often being mistaken for a home birth image) and has won her multiple international awards including 1st place in the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBA) competition and 2nd place overall in the Birth Becomes Her image contest.

Family birth centre, Subiaco. Birth photography by Belle Verdiglione
Belle Verdiglione’s birth image in the reportage category of the WPC. The mother photographed, Claire, said of the image: “This photo is so powerful to our family, it signifies the beginning and the end. The end of our heartache that is infertility and miscarriage and the beginning of our dreams being answered, Holding our baby in our arms and birthing him into the world in such a beautiful and calming environment. We feel truly blessed that Belle was with us on our journey and was able to capture such a meaningful picture.”

The mother/’child’ theme continues with Peter’s walrus and cub image captured in the north-east of Svalbard (an extensive group of islands situated north of mainland Europe, approximately halfway between continental Norway and the North Pole.)

It made up one quarter of his 2019 AIPP Australian Professional Nature Photographer of the Year portfolio.

Mother and cub walrus about to dive from an iceberg in Svalbard. Photo by Peter Eastway
Peter Eastway’s entry in the nature (landscape and wildlife) category for the 2020 WPC. A mother and cub walrus about to dive from an iceberg in Svalbard

I’ve met some wonderful guides on the voyages I’ve made to the polar regions… And a good guide will get you great photos.

– Peter Eastway

“Our guide was scanning the horizon and way in the distance, saw an iceberg with an unusually shaped top,” Peter wrote on his blog.

“Someone like me would think it was just the shape of the ice, but our guide was thinking it could be walrus. And she was right!”

“As we closed in, we cut the motor to an idle and drifted quietly up to the iceberg. There were a dozen or so walrus, including a few pups, resting. They didn’t seem at all fussed by our presence as we passed by, until something spooked them and they vacated the iceberg. My photo is of the mother instructing her pup to take a dive,” Peter wrote.

“I shot perhaps 50 images as we approached the iceberg and continued afterwards as well. A lone, single-tusked male remained on the iceberg and as we moved away, he made a great shot – which I must process some time.”

The point is that you never know in a situation like this which shot is going to be the best shot, so just take lots and lots.

– Peter Eastway

Once in a Lifetime

Wedding category finalist, Shireen Hammond, will be attending the WPC in-person in Rome towards the end of March.

“I think it’s a once in a lifetime thing,” she said. “Just being nominated is a career highlight for me.”

On the Facebook announcement from team captain, Sue, on the AIPP community page detailing those chosen to represent Australia for 2020, Shireen’s excitement delightfully spilled over:

“Thanks so much Sue!! Congratulations to all my colleagues. What an honour and how thrilling! OMG there are such amazing images, this is such a great honour! Thank you AIPP for choosing one of my images to enter…. I’m beyond thrilled and excited! Xxx Go Team Australia!!”

Shireen’s image (and all elements within) was taken at the Fitzroy Town Hall. “It’s such a beautiful old town hall. I’ve had a bit of a love affair with it for a number of years!”

The photo was created to show the true joy of a wedding day, which can sometimes be forgotten or lost amidst the busyness.

“Their wedding day was joyous! It was a beautiful wedding….it was one of those weddings where everything went right. And Monike’s like Tigger: she’s just a beautiful, gorgeous, happy bride. And you can see it on her face!”

– Shireen Hammond
Beautiful bride at Fitzroy Town Hall, Melbourne. Photo by Shireen Hammond of Field of Vision Photography
Glowing bride, Monike, at Fitzroy Town Hall, Melbourne. Shireen is one of four Australian finalists in the 2020 WPC

“I said to her, ‘When you spin, I want you to think about all the planning you’ve done; everything that’s come to fruition and how much you’re actually are loving this day.’ And that’s what she gave me,” Shireen said.

I love giving people a little bit of direction through emotion, not just, ‘Spin for me!’

– Shireen Hammond

How does it Work?

Australia literally took home the World Photographic Cup in 2019, after finishing as one of the top three nations thrice over prior.

Australia wins World Photographic Cup 2019
Team captain, Sue Lewis, represents Australia after winning the World Photographic Cup 2019, Drammen, Norway. (Photo by Maciej Krzysztof) 

This year some 40 nations across five continents are participating and the event is once again supported by gold sponsor Chromaluxe, a valued sponsor here at the AIPP.

The WPC was founded in 2013 by The Federation of European Photographers (FEP) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA).

[The WPC’s] singular goal is to unite photographers in a spirit of friendship and cooperation. A Governing Committee has been created to conduct the ongoing affairs of the competition, also supported by UAPP (United Asian Professional Photography) and AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography.)

– World Photographic Cup website
Australia wins World Photographic Cup 2019
Doing the team proud (L-R): Sue Lewis and Kylie Lyons in Norway, 2019. (Photo by Peter Lyons)
Who’ll take home the 2020 WPC?

The brotherhood and sisterhood of photography is a bond that transcends language, culture, and geography. That’s the foundation behind the World Photographic Cup: a one of a kind international team competition.

WPC website

Each country can choose to enter between three and 18 images for 400 euros and the full contingent of 18 was entered on behalf of Australia as follows:

Team Australia World Photographic Cup 2020
Team Australia World Photographic Cup 2020

(You can see all 2020 WPC entries from Australia and across the globe HERE.)

The photos chosen to represent team Australia are drawn from the vast pool of images entered into the previous year’s APPA.

Our WPC Aussie captain (and APPA event manager for 19 years), Sue Lewis, selects a short-list of possible entires per category usually (but not always) from the gold and gold distinction awarded prints.

From that short-list, the top three images per category as determined by a panel comprising of the AIPP president, awards chair, WPC captain and the previous year’s WPC Australian judge are chosen, before a single image is determined (by the captain alone if a general consensus isn’t previously met.)

The top three scores in each WPC category receive medals, but the top 10 scores in each category count towards their country’s team total (10 points for the Gold, 9 for the Silver etc.) Every photographer whose image ends up in the top 10 contributes points to their team’s total.

Everyone at the AIPP – and behalf of the community at large – wishes our Australian team the best of luck.

And to our Aussie representatives on the ground in Rome: Sue Lewis, Kylie Lyons, Shireen Hammond, Mandarine Montgomery and Damien Bowerman, safe and happy travels.

Thank you for doing us proud, all of you!

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