Successful Photographic Essays 2018

The Photographic Essays are great examples of the genre. There is, quite deliberately, no mention of how well each did. However, they all achieved a Merit Award or higher. All Photogrpahic Essays have been de-identified.

Photographic Essays are quite a difficult art form to master. They require each photograph to be taken by the student.  When comparing Photographic Essays, judges are looking for:

  • Creativity and technical skill
  • Photos that are relates to theme
  • Adherence to presentation guidelines (found in the 2019 TSTS Information Booklet)


Lower Primary

Lower Primary_The World of Print

The work above was clearly related to the 2018 theme: Game Changers. The development and evolution of printed type was one of the most influential inventions in human history. It single-handedly allowed literacy to be a skill that could be acquired by the people, not just the rich aristocracy. Many suggest that printing is the most important invention of all time! This student has shown part of the evolution from quill and ink to stencilled letters, laptops and printers, copying machines and then 3D printers. The judges loved the student’s use of a question mark to pose the question ‘What will be next?’


Upper Primary

Upper Primary_Square Eyes

This clever Photographic Essay takes the negative term Square Eyes and explores it from a different, more open-minded perspective. The use of gaming to support learning and the emerging field of Virtual Reality (VR) are already proving to be Game Changing inventions, with VR being something society will see much more of in the future.

Upper Primary_A Miraculous Mistake

Some estimates state that over 200 million lives have been saved by Penicillin. There is no question that its discovery was Game Changing. This student used a variety of relevant, original photographs to tell the story of penicillin. The first photo is humorous as it shows a sink full of dishes with a petri dish on top. The other photos all have a direct relationship to the theme. From the photo of a police officer (an early recipient of penicillin was a policeman) through to a Cenotaph (WWII when widescale use of penicillin saved many lives) and on to a modern package of an penicillin-group antibiotic – the judges were impressed by the obvious breadth of research that the student had completed about this medical marvel.

Junior Secondary

Junior Secondary_Electricity

The judges loved this Photographic Essay’s minimalist approach. The captions are very short, simply identifying the main feature of each photo without any need for explanation. There is a powerline to represent power transmission, a light bulb to show one of the most important functions of electricity, a powerpoint to show how we access electricity for many of our electrical devices, batteries to show a form of stored electricity and solar panels to show one aspect of the future of sustainable electricity generation.