On Assignment, Outback

These are some of our favourite shots from our Outback photo competition earlier this year.

Within the perfect photo, everything resides. There is no need for captions. If words sufficed, we would never have invented the camera. I’ve made it my life’s work to try to capture the essence of Australia’s outback on film, and yet it never ceases to surprise me again with its beauty, harshness and stark contrasts. We wanted to see how else one could chase this dream, how Australians were capturing this wild landscape, and to do the seemingly impossible: pick the photographers who somehow capture it best.What I was looking for in these was more than following, or breaking, the rules. It was more than just colour and line and balance. With so many talented shooters, and such a vibrant landscape for them to chase, I had to sift, and sift, letting the pictures with that fifth essence simmer and rise. From winner Luke Saddington’s approach, chasing midnight soft light, to runner up Will Wardle’s abstract drone photography of his native island home, Dirk Hartog, there are infinite paths to see, and capture, in this country.The first six spreads here are devoted to Luke and Will’s work. But I wanted to show off some of the shots that made it to the final cutting room, the ones that had me losing sleep trying to find something wrong with them to narrow the selection down to just two photos. Thank you to everyone who entered. If you’re out there at all, beyond the horizon chasing the light in the Kimberley, or the Simpson Desert, or anywhere that means the Outback to you, then you’ve already won something no man can give you: you’re living the dream.


Will Wardle:
Will Wardle
Will Wardle:
Will Wardle
Will Wardle:
Harry Fisher:
Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher:
Harry Fisher
Luke Saddington:
Luke Saddington
Brad Riddington:
Brad Riddington
Will Wardle:
Will Wardle
Luke Saddington:
Luke Saddington
Brad Riddington:
Brad Riddington
Tracey Cooke:
Tracey Cooke
Nick Parkinson:
Nick Parkinson
Adam Armstrong:
Adam Armstrong