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CREDIT: Sian Davey

RPS Awards 2023 Media Release

23 October 2023

Royal Photographic Society Awards 2023 Announced 

The recipients of the Royal Photographic Society Awards for 2023 have been announced with Ralph Gibson taking the top honour.  The American photographer best known for his fine-art images that explore the surreal visual nature of the subconscious, received The RPS Centenary Medal and RPS Honorary Fellowship, awarded in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the art of photography over more than 50 years.  

Now in their 145th year, the Royal Photographic Society Awards are the world’s longest running and most prestigious photography honours, recognising individuals working across both still and moving image. Rather than rewarding a single image, The Awards celebrate the photographers and recipients themselves; highlighting significant achievements, showcasing new and emerging talent and recognising notable contributions from RPS members across a range of categories that cover all genres and applications of photography, including moving image, new media, science and imaging, education, publishing, and curation 

A number of new categories have been introduced for 2023 to reflect the constantly evolving nature of photography and the role it plays within society. 

  • The RPS Eastlake Medal (previously the RPS Award for Outstanding Service to Photography) awarded in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the public appreciation, enjoyment or understanding of photography through education, criticism, research, curatorship or publishing went to Side Gallery - the well-known photography gallery and photography archive, run by the Amber Film and Photography Collective, located in Newcastle upon Tyne.  
  • RPS Award for Environmental Responsibility, awarded in recognition of sustained excellence or a notable use of imaging that highlights or contributes to demonstrable improvement in public awareness of environmental issues, was awarded to Yan Wang Preston - a visual artist interested in landscape representation, its relationship to national and personal identities, migration and the environment.  Yan has been regularly featured in the RPS Journal since her major Mother River project. 
  • RPS Award for Social Impact, awarded in recognition of sustained excellence or a notable use of imaging that highlights or contributes to demonstrable improvement in public awareness of social issues was awarded to Raphaela Rosella - an Italian-Australian artist based in Meanjin/Brisbane whose work focuses on auto-ethnographic qualities, drawing from her lived experiences of being raised in a low socioeconomic community of New South Wales. 

Simon Hill HonFRPS, RPS President, comments: "Since 1878 the RPS Awards have recognised and celebrated excellence in photography, film-making, imaging science and volunteer commitment to the RPS.  As in all previous years, the recipients are drawn from an international and diverse list of nominations representing individuals delivering at the highest level of achievement in their field.  To decide on the award winners, we are indebted to the commitment and expertise of our awards panel and the RPS Awards Committee." 

Sir Brian Pomeroy CBE, ARPS, Chair of the RPS Awards Committee, comments: “The recipients this year serve as a vivid testament to the profound influence and significance of photography. They demonstrate its capacity to inspire, raise awareness, facilitate change and enhance personal, social and cultural well-being while showing the relevance of the RPS to the international photography community. Our new categories show how the Royal Photographic Society continues to evolve and reflect important global issues and we have been thrilled to see the incredible range of talent in these areas, as well as across the entire photographic world.” 


The complete list of RPS 2023 Awards Recipients is available here.