Nikon-Walkley Community/Regional Prize


Illawarra Mercury

Sylvia Liber

“Sea of Emotions”

“Life as a photographer is never the same from one day to the next”, says Sylvia Liber in her entry statement. “My work days generally start with finding powerful images in whatever job I’m assigned, from a simple weather photo to the extremes of the human condition.”

When you’re a regional photojournalist, versatility is essential. Liber has an arsenal of skills; she knows just how to light rippling muscles, and how to blur and stop motion for an exciting surf shot. She’s also mastered underwater photography, which Liber says requires not only technical skill but “physical endurance, great knowledge and understanding of the ocean, and lots of good humour”. As well as the toolkit, Liber has the local knowledge and contacts to get tip-offs on hard news stories like early-morning police raids.

The judges loved Liber’s entry as “the package”, where every shot is strong. “It covers news, action, documentary, sport. It’s creative, there’s diversity. She’s got it all. … and it’s all done well.”