The Mono Awards, presented by SanDisk, is now closed. Results will be announced on Friday 20 August 2021. Good luck!

Once entries close on 13 June 2021, images will be shortlisted by staff of Australian Photography and Capture.

A panel of leading photographers will judge the shortlisted entries. In the event of a tie for first or second place, the relevant images will be returned to the judges for an additional round of voting.

The results of The Mono Awards, presented by SanDisk, will be announced in Australian Photography (September 2021 issue) and Capture (August-September-October 2021). Announcements will also be made in August 2021 at australianphotography.com, capturemag.com.au and themonoawards.com.au.

Following the winners' announcement, People's Choice judging will begin. This will be conducted on the Australian Photography Facebook page in late September. Voting will be open for approximately two weeks. Images in the Top 30 from each category – People, Places, and Animals – will be eligible for People's Choice. The image with the most likes in its category will be declared the People's Choice winner in that category when the voting period closes.

2021 Judging Panel

Anthony McKee

Anthony McKee is a Melbourne-based writer and social documentary photographer. In 2014 he was named AIPP 2014 Australian Documentary Photographer of the Year. He has also won awards for his landscape photography. He has judged professional and amateur photography awards on both sides of the Tasman and in 2013 was made an Honorary Fellow of the NZIPP for his services to photography. He is a regular contributor to Australian Photography magazine.

Matt Palmer

For conservation-focused photographer Matt Palmer, photography is a compulsion and obsession. Throughout his career, which began as a graphic designer, he has photographed everything from portraiture, sports, travel, weddings, and more. He even spent 13 years documenting live music, including some of the world's biggest musicians such as Metallica, Pearl Jam, TOOL, and Nick Cave as well as many up-and-comers.

His documentary project on Muay Thai fighters, presented in black-and-white, won him AIPP Australian Sports Photographer of the Year in 2014 and is currently the subject of an ongoing book project. Matt's black-and-white portraiture project, Faces of Islam, has also received international coverage and will be donated to the Islamic Museum of Australia. In the search for more stories, Matt hiked through bushfire affected areas in Tasmania in 2019 creating the ASH project, which culminated in winning AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year, as well as the landscape category.

Matt also is a judge for numerous photography competitions, a mentor, and an ambassador for Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, producing photography to support the rehabilitation of Tasmanian native wildlife.

Alex Cearns

Dogs Today Magazine in the United Kingdom calls photographer Alex Cearns, “One of our greatest dog photographers in the world.” Cearns is the Creative Director of Houndstooth Studio based in Perth, Australia, and specialises in capturing portraits that convey the intrinsic character of her animal subjects. 

She photographs for engaged pet lovers, corporate brands in Australia, the USA and the UK, and for around 40 Australian and international animal charities and conservation organisations. Her images have been published extensively across international media, in books, magazines, billboards, and advertising campaigns. 

Cearns is the recipient of over 250 awards for photography, business, and philanthropy, and in 2019 was awarded an Order of Australia for services to animal charities through photography. Inspiring others with her joy of working with animals, her philanthropy and passionate advocacy for animal rescue has earned her high regard among Australia’s animal lovers and a strong following on social media. She is an ambassador for Tamron, Profoto, BenQ, Ilford Imaging Australia, and Spider Holster, and coaches pet photographers all over the world through her business, Black Cat Consulting.

She regularly judges photography competitions and presents at events. Cearns lives with her partner, two rescue dogs, and a rescue cat in Perth, Western Australia.

William Long

Photographer, Speaker, Mentor, and Educator; William Long is arguably one of Australia’s most reputable, successful, and technically diverse professional photographers. In addition to winning numerous national and international professional awards across multiple photographic categories, he has been recognised for his excellence in photography with Fellowships from the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP), British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP), and the Royal Photographic Society (RPS).

In 2014, Long was also the recipient of a rare Honorary Life Membership from the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), and then in 2016 an Honorary Life Membership from the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) in recognition of his outstanding professionalism and voluntary work in the photographic industry. He is also a recipient of Quintuple Gold Bars – AIPP Master of Photography from the AIPP.

In addition to his award-winning photography, Long has also developed his career as a sought-after internationally recognised speaker, competition judge, mentor, and industry advocate. He continues to use his talent to educate, guide, and inspire other photographers at every level, both locally and worldwide, through his mentoring programs, workshops, and online groups.

William Long is also the Founder and Managing Director of PhotoWatchDog, a private industry advocacy concern group that lobbies companies, governments, organisations, and individuals who produce photographic competitions to establish fair terms and conditions for all entrants.

Douwe Dijkstra

Douwe Dijkstra is a professional senior graphic designer based in Sydney. Born and raised in The Netherlands, he relocated downunder in 2003 and now calls Australia home. Photography is a strong passion for Douwe and he picked up his first camera at the age of 12. Over the years his hobby has evolved from taking family snaps with his grandfather’s camera, to creating black and white fine art in the digital age. Douwe prefers to shoot in monochrome as he simply finds it easier to capture the essence of a scene in black and white: colour is just a distraction. He won the black and white category of the 2015 Photographer of the Year.

Jackie Ranken

Jackie Ranken is an Australian born, multi-award winning landscape/art photographer who has lived in New Zealand since 2004. She has over thirty five years’ experience within the visual arts and has been an international awards judge since 2002.

She combines her art practice with teaching and is a presenter in workshops and seminars internationally. Her passion is the creation of multi-layered narratives via in camera multiple exposures and intentional movements. Allowing play and serendipity into her creative process gives her personal freedom to break rules and push the so-called boundaries of traditional image making processes.

Since 2001 she has won many prestigious photography awards which have culminated in making her a Grand Master of both the Australian and the New Zealand Institutes of Professional Photography. She is a Canon Master and EIZO Ambassador.

Helen Whittle

Helen Whittle is a fine-art photographer specialising in child portraiture who is inspired by dramatic and natural light. With a style consisting of mainly black and white, she produces simple, emotive and authentic images.

She is a proud member of ClickPro, and has many awards to her name. She received Overall Winner Australian Photographer of the Year in 2016 in Australian Photography magazine, and Runner up Emerging Portrait Photographer of the Year 2019 in Capture Magazine and overall winner in the international competition Black and White Child Photo Competition in 2019.

Helen has been a judge in many international photography competitions and has been teaching child portraiture since 2018. She regularly speaks locally and internationally on this subject. She loves to share her enthusiasm and passion and inspire others.

Chris Reid


Chris Reid immigrated to Australia from Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1994. His darkroom experience began in the Netherlands back in 1989 and he has been in the dark ever since. Reid has been running Blanco Negro since January 2000 and relocated to an off-grid darkroom in the Lower Hunter Valley four years ago.

He specializes in all aspects of silver gelatin fine-art exhibition printing. From Lith printing to the Liquid Emulsion process, his skills also encompass toning techniques as well as teaching these processes. Blanco Negro produces work for numerous Australian institutions as well as many fine-art photographers, both local and international. His Devere digital enlarger also allows the printing from digital files onto traditional silver gelatin papers.

Clients include Stephen Dupont, Tobi Wilkinison, Andrea Francolini, Robert McFarland, Mervyn Bishop and Ricky Maynard, to name a few. Reid continues to expand his knowledge in the historical photographic processes and by taking on commissions that challenge his skill sets.