Published in the Border Mail 04.08.2012
Written by Jack Baker

IN a delayed ceremony, Kylie Esler yesterday took out the 2011 Alex Massey memorial award for The Border Mail’s photographer of the year. It is the fourth time Esler (nee Goldsmith) has won the award, placing her high on the paper’s long list of great photographers. Editor Heath Harrison said it had been a close decision.

“It wasn’t a unanimous decision this year and it was ridiculously close,” he said. “It’s a tough (award) now because photography isn’t just about photography any more. “A lot of our guys are doing video now. It’s a bit of a different world.”

The pinnacle of Esler’s work was the picture of a rescue by helicopter of a man from Beechworth’s Woolshed Falls. Esler said her fourth Alex Massey Award had come as a shock. “I really wasn’t expecting it,” Esler said. “I think we’ve got one of the best photography teams we’ve ever had. “To win it with that team is just amazing.”

Ben Eyles took out best news picture of 2011 with his classic shot of Patricia Gould at last August’s Albury council meeting. Darrin Falkner, Suzy Mercieca, Matt Cram and Julie Batson were all recognised with staff awards for their efforts and achievements.