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Elam student recognised in internat'l photo comp

31 OCTOBER 2006

University of Auckland Elam student recognised in international photography competition

Whoever thinks surfing the Internet is a waste of time should think again.

Thanks to the wonders of the World Wide Web Adam Obradovic, a first-year student at the Elam School of Fine Arts, is one of only seven photographers recognised in an international photography competition.

The Microsoft Future Pro Photographer Contest received three images each from 13,500 contestants from around the world. Adam himself happened upon the competition while browsing online one day. Against all odds, and despite the high number and quality of entries, Adam's photo, "Dark City", received a merit award.

The black and white image depicts a bleak, colourless cityscape cast in shadows by a setting sun. Aucklanders may recognise it as Wellesley Street in the CBD. For Adam, who takes his camera everywhere, the scene had a hint of unreality.

"I was walking along the same route I always take and it had been raining. When I saw the street, the combination of the rain, the reflections and the fading sunlight made the scene look stripped of colour, of life. I captured the photograph using my digital SLR and used Photoshop to turn it into a black and white image, which is essentially how it appeared to the naked eye."

Adam says he had given up on any hopes of winning the contest after the deadline passed without a response. Then, out of the blue, his mobile phone rang. An American voice from Microsoft told him the good news.

"Adam's work stood out among thousands of other entries and his award is well-deserved," says Derrick Cherrie, Head of Elam at the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries. "It is gratifying to know that Adam will be able to develop his skills in an environment that is both challenging and rewarding."

The Belgrade-born student, who moved to New Zealand in 1995, says he's inspired to turn his love of the camera into a profession.

"I love taking photos of landscapes and cityscapes—anything with good light and a strong subject. The thought of being a photojournalist appeals, but I'm in the early stages of my study so I'm keeping my career options open. At the moment, I just enjoy experimenting with my camera and taking photos of anything."

To view Adam Obradovic's Dark City, visit


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