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National Photographic Portrait Prize At the NPA

By Benjamen Judd

One of the best collections of photography, the National Photographic Portrait Prize is now showing at the National Portrait Gallery until June 8.

Selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects the National Photographic Portrait Prize is a snapshot of the Australian landscape and psyche.

Intimate and raw, the collection of work selected for the exhibition was chosen for their surprising revelations about their subject, revealing a glimpse of an inner self.

According to the official website “all of the exhibition portraits are defined by clarity and a strong or subtle visual composition either in balance or in tension. The creation of these photographic portraits – tender, haunting, atmospheric, and honest – is the result of the photographer’s eye.”

This year’s winner was the stunning Portrait of Ali by Hoda Afshar.

National Portrait Gallery Senior Curator Dr Christopher Chapman said that the portrait was a unanimous choice for the judging panel. ‘The portrait is poignant for its intimation of this boy’s future – likely as a shepherd. The photographer has captured a powerful sense of mystery that adds to the compelling nature of the portrait – the boy, standing calmly within the rocky, misty setting.’

The National Photographic Portrait Prize is now showing at the National Portrait Gallery until June 8.


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