David Gray and Steven Saphore awarded at the Tokyo International Foto Awards (TIFA) 2021

Both AFP freelance photographers based in Sydney, Australia, have been awarded at TIFA 2021. 

David Gray has been honored three times for his coverage of the 2021 Australian Open tennis tournament. 

"Nadal's Dandelion", Silver in Editorial/Sports category

Spain’s Rafael Nadal blows a dandelion off his hand after catching it during a practice session on the third day of the 2021 Australian Open tennis tournament, February 10, 2021.


"Madame Butterfly", Bronze in Editorial/Sports category

The shadow of Japan’s Naomi Osaka is cast onto the court as she gently removes a butterfly that flew onto her dress during her match at the 2021 Australian Open tennis tournament, February 12, 2021.


Photo essay “The Colour of The 2021 Australian Open Tennis Tournament”, Honorable mention

Including "Nadal's Dandelion", "Madame Butterfly" and 6 other pictures, David Gray's photo essay "The Colour of The 2021 Australian Open Tennis Tournament" received a honorable mention from the TIFA 2021 jury.

David Gray has been covering news and sporting events in Asia and the South Pacific region since 1995. He moved back to Australia in 2013, and became a freelance photographer in 2019, working regularly for AFP since then.
Throughout his outstanding career, he has covered 9 Olympic Games, 14 World Cup tournaments for soccer, cricket and rugby, numerous world athletics and swimming championships, and 24 Australian Open tennis tournaments.


Steven Saphore, for his part,  won the Silver Award in the Editorial/Political category for his viral image at an anti-lockdown protest in Sydney.

"Anti-Lockdown Protester Fends Off A Police Horse", Silver in the Editorial/Political category  

During a controversial anti-lockdown protest in Sydney where unmasked protesters gathered to oppose NSW’s coronavirus health orders, Steven photographed a protester who was, allegedly, striking a mounted police horse in the head. The interaction caused mass outrage and also spurred debate about media manipulation and animal cruelty. As the image circulated widely online, one article called it “the photo that shocked the nation.” 

Steven Saphore is a Sydney-based media/image specialist, professional photojournalist, picture editor, and digital archivist with a proven track record in the Australian and international media industry.


The Tokyo International Foto Awards, founded in 2016 by the Farmani Group, connects photographers all over the world with the creative circles of Tokyo, Japan, to promote their work online and in the prestigious Shibuya Cultural Center – the heart of the Tokyo art community, and the prestigious Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre.