Standard photographer nominated for top award

The Standard photographer Rob Gunstone is a finalist in the newspaper of the year awards.

Rob Gunstone's photograph of Mortlake organic egg farmer Allan “Swampy” Marsh amid the carcasses of about 950 young hens killed by stray dogs in September last year.

Rob Gunstone's photograph of Mortlake organic egg farmer Allan “Swampy” Marsh amid the carcasses of about 950 young hens killed by stray dogs in September last year.

Gunstone is one of 11 regional finalists in the news photography category and one of 10 in the sports category. Nominations have come from media outlets across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Judges short-listed Gunstone’s image of Mortlake organic egg farmer Allan “Swampy” Marsh cradling two of the surviving chickens amid a sea of dead birds after stray dogs attacked his young hens last September.

His photograph of equestrian Ashleigh Westcott tumbling from her horse, Cecil Red, as she left the water jump during the cross-country stage of the Camperdown three-day event, also caught their eye.

Gunstone said when he arrived at the Mortlake shed, he and reporter Clare Quirk were confronted by hundreds of dead chickens and an extremely angry Mr Marsh.

“I wanted to capture his distress and some of the destruction that had occurred without being too sensationalist. I knew most people would first see the photo on the front page while eating their breakfast.”

With the equestrian shot he was “just in the right place at the right time”.

“Having covered the Camperdown event previously, I knew that that was a spectacular place for a photographer to stand, regardless of the fact that someone might fall. There’s always a good photo at that location.”

The Standard general manager Tim Lewis congratulated Gunstone on his achievement.

“It’s fantastic to see the recognition of the outstanding work produced by Rob,” he said.

More than 1000 entries were submitted to the industry awards, known as the PANPAs, covering newspapers, digital publishing, print and production, marketing, advertising and executive excellence.

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney next month.

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