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New Zealand's Top Amateur Photographer Named

Photo: Edin Whitehead


AUCKLAND, July 15, 2014 — Edin Whitehead, a 20-year-old student at the University of Auckland, has been awarded the title of Amateur Photographer of the Year in New Zealand's biggest annual amateur photography competition.

Whitehead, from Rotorua, scooped the top honour in the 2014 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition with a majestic shot of a Western Cattle Egret taken during a trip to South Africa.

The serene wildlife shot is the result of her combined passions for photography and nature; she is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Science, majoring in biological sciences and psychology.

“It would be a dream to be able to make a living from photography, but I really enjoy my studies and I'd like to study the birds I love to photograph,” says Whitehead.

“Perhaps I can combine the two!”

Coming out on top of 5783 entries from passionate photographers across the country — a record number for the competition — Whitehead wins a grand prize of $3000 worth of Sigma lenses, as well as having her image displayed on the cover of D-Photo Issue No. 61, on sale now.

The image also topped the competition's Nature category, earning the photographer a set of Marumi photographic filters, valued at over $800.

Adrian Hatwell, editor of D-Photo magazine, says Whitehead should be extremely proud of her achievement, as this year's amateur photography event marked the fiercest competition to date.

“Every year we have seen the number of entries in the competition rise, as well as the overall quality,” says Hatwell.

“As for the collection of images that rose to the top in 2014, the surge in creativity and technical acumen was simply remarkable — not an easy job for our judges at all.”

This year's competition was judged by a panel comprising three of New Zealand's top professional photographers; Emma Bass, Mike Hollman, and Harry Janssen.

Whitehead credits her father as her biggest inspiration, cultivating a love for wildlife on bird watching trips together, as well as being her earliest photographic influence.

"The most rewarding thing for me is the time I get to spend with my Dad out in the field, sharing experiences and pictures, and learning things," she explains.

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