CSU photography student among the best

Thursday 5 Mar 2015

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) student has been named as the only Australian finalist in an international photography competition.

Mr James Farley, from Dubbo, is one of only 10 students short-listed for the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus Program.

The 24 year old postgraduate student is doing research, Towards an Ecological Aesthetic in Photography through the School of Communication and Creative Industries at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Mr Farley has been named a finalist for his image, "Gordon Dam, Tasmania". The image was shot in response to a brief asking for a single image symbolising contemporary consumer culture.

The Awards are the world's largest photography competition. The student program is a launch pad into the industry for many emerging photographers. The ten shortlisted students, from Argentina, Australia, France, Hong Kong, Russia, South Africa, Spain, UK and USA, were selected from entries from 230 educational institutions worldwide.

Mr Farley said, "My image was taken in 2014 during a practice and research trip exploring the multiple uses of Tasmania's State and National Parks. The on-going impact that the hydro scheme has had on local ecosystems and biodiversity is traded for the economic and social value of renewable energy. The complexities of such issues are being explored through an on-going research project that seeks to uncover alternative ways to prescribe value to land, environments and ecosystems beyond their economic potential."

"My love of the photographic medium comes from its ability to express different points of view and encourage personal and individual responses from audiences across barriers of language and time. Therefore, the opportunity to represent not only Charles Sturt University, but also Australian artists working in regional and isolated areas to such a wide audience is an incredible honour."

As a shortlisted photographer Farley has won a full frame camera from Sony – the α7 with the 28-70mm kit lens – which he must now use to fulfil the second brief of the competition - shoot a series of images under the title, "The edges of our cities". Judges are looking for between six and 10 images that capture the unseen and undocumented outskirts of our cities. The judges will select one winning series from this work.

As the other part of their prize, all ten shortlisted students will be flown to London with their tutor to attend the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in London on Thursday 23 April.

At the ceremony, the winner of the 2015 Student Focus Photographer of the Year will be revealed and the photographer will win almost $AUD50 000 worth of Sony photographic equipment for their university. 

The shortlisted photographers will see their "The edges of our cities" series shown as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from 24 April to 10 May and have their work published in the 2015 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.


Media contact: Fiona Halloran and Emily Malone , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

For interviews with CSU PhD student Mr James Farley at CSU in Wagga Wagga, contact CSU Media.

For information about the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus Program, contact: Kristine Bjørge, PR Manager, World Photography Organisation,+44 (0) 20 7886 3146 or email kristine@worldphoto.org.

Photo: "Gordon Dam, Tasmania" © James Farley, Charles Sturt University, Australia, Shortlist, Student Focus, 2015 Sony World Photography Award.