Press Release – New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year
10.00pm THURSDAY 29 OCTOBER, 2015
INNOVATION APPLAUDED WITH TOP AWARD
Photographer of the Year 2015 winners announced
New Zealand’s most coveted photography award, the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year 2015, has tonight been taken away by Jason Hosking in the most tightly contested year of the competition yet.
The New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year celebrates the best editorial photography across Society, Landscape, Wildlife, Photo Story and—new in 2015—Timelapse categories. Twenty-eight finalists were selected from more than 5800 entries, resulting in just nine winners awarded at tonight’s ceremony.
“Each year, special recognition and the title of Photographer of the Year is given to a photographer whose submitted portfolio exhibits a coherence of visual approach and technical excellence across all categories entered,” says New Zealand Geographic Publisher and Convenor of Judges, James Frankham. “Jason Hosking’s entries added innovation to those qualities also.”
“A professional photographer of a decade’s experience, Jason recently took to the skies in search of perspective, building a drone, mounting a camera, and finding entirely new angles on his subjects. The aerial images complement his regular documentary work in a compelling way. It adds unexpected and artful interpretations on the world below.”
Hosking’s portfolio included fruit-pickers harvesting a grapefruit orchard with red crates among trees billowing with fruit, a new view high above the well-touristed Muriwai gannet colony, and a wakeboarder weaving a fine white ribbon through forest and water as he scythed down a river. Turning his lens upon human society he captured a photo essay of the sheep meat industry, challenging viewers and consumers alike, and submitted a frame into the Society category of a performer and engineer quietly going about a last-minute sound check backstage at Golden Guitars country music awards in Gore. Perhaps his most powerful frame, however, was judged runner-up in the Landscape category; a breaker rolling into Cape Palliser in the Wairarapa—an image of raw natural power, but delicately back-lit by evening light.
The introduction of the Timelapse category was another innovation for the 2015 competition and brought new artists into the competition for the first time. “The commitment shown in the Timelapse entries is mind-blowing,” says Frankham. “Photographers lay in sleeping bags beside their cameras, monitoring the output every few minutes throughout the night—category winner, Jordan Poste, spent 40 hours in a glow-worm cave for a single two-minute clip!”
The Timelapse category was also incredibly popular with the public. Some 30,000 votes were cast in total, with Mark Gee’s Moonrise over Mt Victoria taking home the People’s Choice Award.
Other winners among the 5800 entries include Susan Blick’s stunning monochrome image of Rangitoto at dawn seen from the North Shore, Peter Meecham’s documentary coverage of the Miss Universe event, a chilling image of a blue shark emerging from the water near Little Barrier Island by Richie Robinson and David White’s young girl making a pūkana face in the Urewera.
Ricky Wilson (18) of Marlborough, took out the Young Photographer award with a portfolio that included a young boy being hosed down after a mud run in Havelock and Iain McGregor won the Colour Award with his image of a ‘Color Run’ after-party in Christchurch.
“More than technical prowess, these photographs share an original perspective,” says Frankham. “They provide an insight into the fabric of our country and society that tells us something new about what it is to be a New Zealander or live in New Zealand. Each image trades on the access that the photographer gained, the moment they captured, and their unique contribution as an artist.”
“Some of the images are universally delightful, others have proved controversial, but all of them elicit a response, whether that’s charm, awe or horror.”
“We feature difficult pictures in New Zealand Geographic regularly,” says Frankham. “Challenging public assumptions about the nature of our environment and society has been at the core of the magazine’s philosophy for more than 25 years. Images that create the opportunity for those conversations to take place are what this competition is all about.”
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Jason Hosking
YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Ricky Wilson
PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Mark Gee: Moonrise over Mt Victoria
COLOUR AWARD – Iain McGregor: ‘Color Run’ afterparty in Christchurch
WILDLIFE – Richard Robinson: Blue shark rearing out of the water
LANDSCAPE – Susan Blick: Dawn looking over the Hauraki Gulf towards Rangitoto
SOCIETY & CULTURE – David White: Girl performing a pukana on a horse
PHOTOSTORY – Peter Meecham: The finals of Miss Universe New Zealand
TIMELAPSE – Jordan Poste: Glowworms in Waipu Cave, Northland