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2019 Wilderness Photo Competition Winners

Image of the April 2019 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
April 2019 Issue

Many thanks to Panasonic for their sponsorship and for providing the three amazing camera prizes to our winners.

We’ve trawled through nearly 800 entries to find the winners of this year’s competition.

Interestingly, the ‘Huts and camping’ images that stood out to us this year were all taken inside a hut – a stark contrast to previous years when winners have been noted for the glorious location of a hut or campsite. This year’s best photos provide a real sense of what it’s like to spend time inside.

The ‘Wildlife’ images were dominated by birds and three photographs caught our eye, prompting judge Dennis Radermacher to proclaim: “What has happened? These are incredibly good – they all deserve to win.”

Thanks to everyone who entered and made our job so difficult – there are so good images sent to us and I can honestly say the photo competition gets better every year.

Without further ado, here are our winners and some of the best of the rest.


Alistair Hall, editor of Wilderness.

Dennis Radermacher, a professional photographer based in Christchurch. His images and stories have featured extensively in Wilderness. View his commercial and outdoor photography at www.lightforge.co.nz.

The best of the runners’ up images

Wildlife: Whio, by Richard Sidey
Huts and camping: Monopoly at Meg Hut by Kate McDonald
Huts and camping: Gear drying by Samuel Hartnett
Out there: Climbing Mitre Peak by Luke Welch

Huts and camping winner

Cup of soup with a view. Photo: Sam Howard

Sam said of his photo:

‘We had just arrived at French Ridge Hut and the first order of business was making soup. Here Sophie enjoys her cup of soup with a view.’

Judges’ comments:

Alistair Hall: There are few better examples of ‘hut life’ than this photo. Gear is strewn on the table and a warming brew is in hand. Perfect.

Dennis Radermacher: This very simple shot of a weary tramper warming up in a hut excels due to its simplicity. The clean colour palette with its hints of red reinforces a simple backlit portrait that is otherwise almost monochrome in nature. It is a great example of subject matter, light and editing perfectly harmonising.

Sam wins the Huts and Camping category and is our third-place winner. He receives a Panasonic FT7 worth $699.

Out There winner

Tasman Glacier cave. Photo: Thiago Amaral

Thiago said of his photo:

‘I had the opportunity to explore this new cave on the Tasman Glacier. It was one of the best experiences that I have had in my life. Simply stunning.’

Judges’ comments:

Alistair Hall: The amazing location inside a glacier and the sense of exploration it evokes really is ‘out there’. The colours are what really drew me to this image: the red jacket of the hiker against the blue ice of the glacier is striking.

Dennis Radermacher: I love how everything in this composition strives towards the light. The image heavily relies on contrasts of colour and brightness to guide the viewer from cave to sky and back towards a lone explorer.

Thiago wins the Out There category and is our second-place winner. He receives a Panasonic FZ300 worth $799.

2019 Wilderness Outdoor Photograph of the Year

Kea above Doubtful Sound. Photo: David Hera

David said of his photo:

‘The stop at Wilmot Pass after kayaking in Doubtful Sound rewarded with more than just the vista.’

Judges’ comments:

Alistair Hall: An incredible photo of four kea in a dramatic landscape and perfectly composed to show many elements – birds, waterfalls, sea and hillsides.

Dennis Radermacher: The way the photographer combined layers of the landscape, textures and the interaction of the birds in a thoughtfully-composed image made this shot a winner. While a bit of luck will have played a role in the positioning of the birds, the photographer clearly lined up the composition, waiting for this opportunity. Sometimes you have to make your own luck!

Richard wins the Wildlife category and is our 2019 Wilderness Outdoor Photographer of the Year overall winner. He receives a Panasonic G85 camera with 12-60mm lens worth $1599.