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Auckland Festival of Photography Winners Announced

The Auckland Festival of Photography

Reflecting the varied social textures of Auckland – the Auckland City Photo Day was presented as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography and celebrates the many individual pockets of culture and identity present in New Zealand’s biggest city.

Reported by Victor van Wetering From City Scene 26 June 2005:

The Photo Day competition - supported by Auckland City as part of its sponsorship of the annual festival of photography - attracted nearly 600 entries, well up on 2004’s figure and a reflection of the annual event’s growing appeal.

Images for the competition were taken on 11 June, with photographers challenged to interpret the theme, "Your Auckland".

Matt Close’s image of a solitary rail commuter waiting at Morningside Railway Station has won this year’s Auckland City Photo Day competition.

Mr Close photographed the image from the flat he lives in. “The scene caught my eye due to the single guy waiting for a train, and the ovals of light with the outline of the palm. Like many shots, it was a case of seeing how it turned out, and in this case the result was eye catching and atmospheric.”

Mr Close said winning the competition had boosted his confidence in his ability to spot a good shot. It was particularly fortuitous given the competition prize is a $400 Kodak digital camera and Mr Close’s was stolen shortly after he took his winning photo.

Photography lecturer and practitioner Deborah Smith, whose work presently features at the John Leech Gallery, and The Aucklander’s chief photographer Kellie Blizard, spent eight hours going through the entries. Mayoress Diana Hubbard assisted with shortlisting entries.

“We were looking for that x-factor”, Ms Smith said, “a fresh way to show or see Auckland.”

"Our judges definitely had their work cut out for them," says Auckland City event promoter Amanda Gilchrist. "The challenge was all the more demanding given the high standard of entries and the range of participants, from professional photographers to keen amateurs."

Judging criteria included freshness, sensitivity and how images communicated a personal view of Auckland. “Our approach was to take a very open attitude,” explains Ms Blizard. “We wanted something natural, organic and with broad appeal.”

City Scene Report ENDS

Photography Festival organiser, Julia Durkin says “the winning image is a bold and challenging choice, it has a filmic quality about it which brings to mind the great film noir photographers who use minimal light to brilliant effect and achieved a visual atmosphere in their craft that is a photographic genre of it’s own – all that and it defines a moment in the day of a life of someone in Auckland on June 11th 2005. It is about making memories and taking photos which show unique perspectives of the city we live in”.

The runners up in the top 6 were: Mark Helsby, with his “High Drinks” taken at the water fountain in Albert Park, Won Ho Kim image “A Little Moment” shows a downtown bus stop smoko, Martin Horspool with his latest electrical appliance art shot, “Telly Vision” (last year 2004 his image of an abandoned fridge made the top 6), school kid Farhiyo Ahmed from Wesley Primary School image of punks and classmate in Aotea Square - “Punkers”, and image by So Youn Kim “Winter Garden” illustrates inner city urban garden innovation amonngst concrete walls. The top 30 superb images from this competition are presented in a public digital visual slide show at the Central City Library, Lorne Street from 29 June to 7 July, as well as at Britomart, Railway Station and Artstation, 1 Ponsonby Road for 3 weeks from 29 June. This is a fun event open to all to see. Sponsored by Auckland City.

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