Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism

Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism

Entries are now open.

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The Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism recognise the work of photographers across a range of genres, from news and sport to portraiture and photographic essays. Some of their images are the work of a split second. Others take months of research and trust-building. Photographers interact with their subjects with perhaps more intimacy than storytellers in any other medium; they can move you with a single frame.

In selecting three finalists in each category, each year the Nikon-Walkley judges look for newsworthiness, impact, creativity and technical skill. The winners are named at the Walkley Awards Gala Dinner each year and an exhibition of the winners’ and finalists’ images tours Australia.

In 2019 the Walkley Foundation celebrates 20 years of support from Nikon, which has allowed us to grow a program that recognises and rewards Australia’s most skilled press photographers.

An exhibition of the 2018 Nikon-Walkley Press Photography Award winners and finalists is currently touring Australia (link to event listings in Adelaide, Geelong, Perth). From politicians to everyday folk, from our backyards to the furthest corners of the globe. Such is the power of photojournalism – in a still moment, the smallest story can be as compelling as the largest.

This year’s entries will open on July 1, 2019 for work published in the 12 months from Sept. 1, 2018, to Aug. 31, 2019.

Our 2018 Nikon-Walkley finalists announcement

The 2018 Nikon-Walkley Press Photography Exhibition

Important information for entering the Nikon-Walkley Awards

  • Entries open July 1, 2019.
  • Photographers are also invited to enter their work in relevant All Media categories in the Walkley Awards.
  • Photographers are eligible to enter photographic work in All Media categories as an individual entrant or as part of a group or team entry.
  • A photographer may only enter once in each photography category.
  • Each entry must contain at least one picture that has been published in the 12 months from Sept. 1, 2018, to Aug. 31, 2019.

Entry fee

For non-MEAA members, the entry fee is $150 (inc GST). For photographers, only one fee is payable, regardless of the number of categories entered. Once you have paid for your first entry please use the code PHOTOPAID to enter the other categories free of charge. This will be checked after entries closed and people will be invoiced if an initial payment has not been paid.

Submission guidelines

Below are the number of images you can submit per category.

Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism

  • News Photography: Enter up to 5 related images
  • Sport photography: Enter up to 5 images. These do not need to be related and can represent a body of work
  • Feature/Photographic Essay: Entry can include 5 to 12 images in a series with at least one published image
  • Press Photographer of the Year: You may enter 6-10 images representing a body of work with at least one published image

Nikon prizes

Note: these are not Walkley Awards but are administered by the Walkley Foundation and chosen by the Walkley photography judging panel.

  • Nikon Contemporary Australian Daily Life Prize: Can include up to five images
  • Nikon Portrait Prize: A single image only
  • Nikon Community/Regional Prize: Can include up to five images
  • Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year: A single image only. There is no entry for this prize; the judges choose it from all work entered by photographers in the Nikon-Walkley photographic categories, and it represents a hero image for the year.

Entrants may not enter the same photograph in more than one photographic category except:

  • Portrait, Daily Life or Community/Regional categories, which are Nikon-Walkley Prizes. Entrants in these categories are eligible to submit these entries again in another appropriate Nikon-Walkley Award category.
  • In the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year Award where the body of the year’s work may include shots included in other entries.

Entry process and requirements for photographers

Photographers entering the Nikon-Walkley photography awards must enter through the online form. Please note the entry form is separate from that of non-photography Walkley Awards.

Upload your images and give a brief description of each photo, publication and dates as well as an overall supporting statement of up to 400 words for each category.

Only photographers working in community or regional media are eligible to enter the Community and Regional Photography category.

Warren Macris from High Res Digital (who prints our photo exhibition) has asked for the following guidelines to be followed when uploading photos:

“As some of the winning images are printed at around 100cm it is essential that your high res versions are supplied at their full native resolution (if the image is cropped it will obviously affect the final size but that is unavoidable). There is no need to enlarge them, we will do that if required, but please do not supply them smaller than what your camera shoots!  The high res versions should be saved at the highest quality JPG setting that keeps the saved file under 5MB. Please make sure that the working colour space is embedded when saving.”

Material specifications for photographers

  • Images must be uploaded in .jpg/.jpeg format
  • Images should be at least 3000 pixels in length
  • Each image should be saved in the .jpg/.jpeg format with a medium to high quality
  • An embedded ICC profile is required. Adobe RGB or sRGB is recommended for colour images, Gamma 2.2 for black and white. No CMYK.
  • All required image information, such as the creation date, place and country as well as the caption/description, must be provided. It can be included in the metadata of the image files or entered on the entry website after uploading the images.
  • The content of an image MUST NOT be altered. Only retouching that conforms to currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed. No cloning, montaging or digital manipulation other than cropping, ‘digital spotting’, burning and dodging is permitted. The jury is the ultimate arbiter of these standards.
  • Entrants must not intentionally contribute to, or alter, the scene they picture by re-enacting or staging events.
  • Entrants must ensure captions are accurate and provide a supporting statement that is open and transparent about the entire process through which their pictures were taken and published.
  • Participants who are longlisted by the first round judges may be contacted and required to provide file/s as recorded by the camera for all images in order to proceed to the final stages of the contest. These file/s will be requested and examined confidentially during the judging period. A failure to provide these files, will lead to the elimination of the entry that will not proceed into the final rounds and will not become eligible for a Nikon-Walkley Award.
  • Entrants may not enter the same photograph in more than one photographic category except:
    – Portrait, Daily Lifeor Community/Regional categories, which are Nikon-Walkley Prizes. Entrants in these categories are eligible to submit these entries again in another appropriate Nikon-Walkley Award category.
    – In the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year Award, where the body of the year’s work may include shots included in other entries.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Walkley Awards, please contact awards manager Lauren Dixon / 0413 212 890 or Barbara Blackman / 02 9158 3821.

To find out when we announce finalists and winners, sign up for our weekly newsletter.

2018 Finalists