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NZ Student Wins 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

New Zealand Student Beats Photographers Worldwide In 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus

University of Auckland student Chloe Riddell has been announced as a finalist for the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus competition.

The 25 year-old Mt Eden resident secured her place as one of the ten finalists from around the world with an image titled “The Twins”. The image was shot in response to a brief asking for a single image showing “Tomorrow’s News”.

Student Focus is one of the largest international programmes for photography students worldwide. Involving 230 educational institutions, its aim is to support and inspire the future generation of photographers. It provides a professional network of contacts and offers a variety of competitions, tutorials and opportunities to help talented emerging photographers to turn professional. Many of the previous finalists of the Student Focus competition are now working in the photography industry.

Chloe is in her first year of a masters degree at Elam School of Fine Arts. As a finalist she wins the latest full frame camera from Sony – the 7 – which she must now use to fulfil the second brief of the competition: shoot a series of images under the title “Self-portraits”. The judges will then select one overall winner from the finalists, from this work.

Chloe will be flown to London with her tutor Lisa Crowley to attend the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in London on 30 April.

Talking about her winning photograph Chloe says “The image was taken on a 4x5 large format camera and is from my "Memories Enclosed...Handle with Care" project. I took the picture while visiting my mother and family back in my hometown Hastings, NZ. The twins are my niece and nephew, who I photographed one morning while they were watching TV. “

She continues: “I am very grateful to be a finalist and have the opportunity to go to London. I am looking forward very much to receiving the final brief and seeing what I can do.”

Chloe has been interested in photography since studying darkroom photography in high school. She has always been drawn to images (photographs, movies, magazines) and the way they are able to capture or create moments with great detail and complexity. She hopes to continue taking photos and potentially teach at tertiary level.

At the ceremony in London in April the ten finalists will discover the recipient of the 2014 Student Focus Photographer of the Year title. The grand prize is €35,000 worth of Sony photographic equipment for the winner’s university.

In addition, each finalist will have their “Self-portraits” series shown as part of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from 1-18 May as well as have their work published in the 2014 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

Talking about her student’s success, Lisa Crowley, Senior Lecturer, Elam School of Fine Arts says “Chloe has always been a student of outstanding talent. I am continually impressed by the insight and sensitivity she brings to her view on the world, which I think is clearly demonstrated in her photo that has been selected for the finals for this competition. I am looking forward to seeing how she approaches this second brief on self portraiture, and, to also seeing the work of the other finalists from around the world.”

For more information about the Student Focus programme go to

Notes to editors:

• The judging panel included: Rob Taggart, Director of Commercial Photo Operations, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Associated Press (AP); Moni Haworth, Photographer and Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, Creative Content Director of

The ten Student Focus finalists are:
• Argentina – Nadia Navarro, Al Aire
• Bangladesh - Rahul Talukder, Pathshala South Asia Media Institute
• China - Li Dandan, Nanjing University of the Arts
• Denmark – Tor Birk Trads, Danish School of Media
• New Zealand - Chloe Riddell, University of Auckland
• Romania - Sebastian Vacariuc, Babes-Bolyai University
• South Africa – Russell Bruns, Rhodes University
• South Africa – Tara Mette, Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography
• United Kingdom – Scarlet Evans, Central St Martins
• USA - Jordan VanSise, Marylhurst University


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