Open menu
  • Subscriptions
  • Photo Tours
  • Photo Books
  • Menu
  • Login
    • Better Photography Education Website Info

      If you are already a subscriber to Better Photography or one of our many other courses, you'll need to login at our sister website, Yes, it's a little confusing - and you should complain bitterly to our editor about it! However, in the meantime, click on any of the links in this panel to be taken directly to the Better Photography Education website where your reading and viewing material is awaiting your return!

      Click here to visit the Better Photography Education Website

  • Home
Slide 1
Don't Miss Out!

Peter Eastway's inspirational photography book, full of ideas and techniques - guaranteed to improve your photography. Take $30 off with coupon code TNT30
Full details and sample pages available here.

Slide 2
Great Landscapes

Peter Eastway shares his capture and post-production skills in an extensive MasterClass. Learn at your own pace, online or download. And take 50% off with coupon code NEWS2021

Slide 3
The Ideas Library

Four times a year, Better Photography magazine will give you an injection of ideas, inspiration and techniques! Support us by subscribing now - and get immediate access to our archive of over 50 magazines!
Get 40% off with coupon code BPFORTY

Colourful. Emotive. Exotic. Creative. There are many ways we can describe Victoria McDonald’s Exotic Travel entry and the winner of the 2018 Better Photography Photo of the Year Award!

We touched base with Victoria about her category win, but we didn’t tell her that she’d won the overall prize at that stage. Exclaimed an excited Victoria, “I’m blown away and in total shock! I won the Exotic Travel section in 2015 and couldn’t believe it. To win again, I still can’t believe it! Thank you so much to the judges and all concerned!” We’re figuring she’ll be pretty happy with first prize as well!

Victoria works in hospitality and photography is her creative outlet. She loves taking a new view of the world around her and sharing it with others.

“I’m a member of the local photography club which inspires me to keep going, to try new things and hopefully improve. I like to have a go at all genres, although I don’t feel I’ve really mastered any!” Well, maybe she has now!

“I enter the Better Photography Competition as the feedback helps me to see which of my images are on the right track and those which need a different approach.”

So, how does travel fit into her photography? “When I get the chance to travel,  I hope I can somehow capture the essence of the places I visit, whether they be within my own country or overseas.

“This image was taken in Bali, Indonesia. My first visit to Indonesia was in 1977 and it’s a country I never tire of because there’s always somewhere new to explore. Behind the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas is a country of beauty and an ancient culture that has carried through to the present day and is in the forefront of daily life.”

The photo was taken in January 2018 in Tirtha Empul.

“I had never been to Tirtha Empul, so it was my aim to get there. My travel buddy and I hired a local photographer for the day to take us to areas we wouldn’t get to on our own. Our pre-dawn start gave us a day filled with experiences that most Bali tourists just don’t see. Tirtha Empul is a place of great spiritual importance to the Balinese. I took numerous images here and I like them all, but I feel that slowing down the image gives a real feel of the spiritual importance of this place and the sacred water purification ritual.”

The photo was taken with an Olympus EM5 Mk2 with a 7-14mm f2.8 lens, tripod mounted with a remote trigger. Victoria also used a 0.6 Nisi ND filter and the exposure was 1.6 seconds, ISO 400 at f11.

“Most of my editing is in Lightroom. The image has been cropped and I used Lightroom’s gradation filter to darken the edges, drawing the viewer’s eye to the line of worshippers performing the cleansing ritual. I have also lightened the exposure in that area, to draw in the eye. I dulled down the pink in the top of the girl in the group in the top right.

“Looking back in LR, I have updated highlights, saturation, clarity, exposure, dehaze, noise reduction, sharpness. Then I took the final image into Photoshop to resize and save for the competition.”

Victoria takes out the overall first prize which is a cash purse of AUS $5000, two amazing LaCie DJI Copilot 'backup on set solution' drives and NiSi is adding in a 100mm Professional Filter Kit! Total value over $7500 in prizes!

In addition, Victoria was the Exotic Travel category winner and she and the other five category winners will receive a wonderful package of goodies, comprising a Canson Discovery Pack Fine Art Photo, a Datacolor Spyder5, a Momento photo book voucher, Capture One processing software, and a Wacom Intuos tablet. In addition, the Landscape category winner will receive a Nisi Filter 100mm Starter Pack and the Travel category winner (Victoria again!) a Sirui W-1204 Waterproof Carbon Fibre tripod.

The category winners were:

2018 Emotive Portrait Category Winner: Dikye Ariani

2018 Incredible Sport Category Winner: Alain Schroeder

2018 Exotic Travel Category Winner: Victoria McDonald

2018 Creative Flair Category Winner: Helen Mary McLeod

2018 Classic Landscape Category Winner: Timothy Moon

2018 Revealing Nature Category Winner: Pedro Jarque Krebs

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors for supporting our competition. And thanks also to our esteemed judges Peter Eastway, David Oliver and Tony Hewitt, AIPP Grand Masters of Photography.

This year there were 1111 entries and 663 entries earned a Bronze Award. A Bronze Award is given where the judges can see some elements of photographic skill and imagination and want to acknowledge what the entrant has submitted. And given the competition is entered by passionate photographers, it's gratifying to have such a high overall standard.

Silvers are harder to attain with 393 delivered and there were just 19 Gold awards. Silvers and golds really have to be earned, so congratulations to these winners.

Each entry also received a short judge comment which will hopefully be of use to entrants for the future. If you entered, you can log back into your account at the website to see your scores and read your comments. And here are the other category winners!

2018 Emotive Portrait Category Winner: Dikye Ariani

2018 Incredible Sport Category Winner: Alain Schroeder

2018 Creative Flair Category Winner: Helen Mary McLeod

2018 Classic Landscape Category Winner: Timothy Moon

2018 Revealing Nature Category Winner: Pedro Jarque Krebs

View Top 20 in each Category - click here.