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2020 Wilderness photo competition

Image of the April 2020 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
April 2020 Issue

Winning images

Every time we judge the photo competition, everyone at Wilderness sits around the computer and starts dreaming of their next trip as one glorious location or wildlife encounter after another is brought up on the screen. It’s a real pleasure to live so vicariously through your trips! 

Before we show you the winners, here’s a selection of the ‘best of the rest’

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Out There: Climbing Mt Dixon Photographer: Peter Laurenson
Out There: Night kayak in Milford Sound Photographer: Marie Valencia
Wildlife: Fur seal Photographer: Peter McIlroy
Out There: Snowy Kepler Track Photographer: David Ruddock
Huts and camping: Potters No 2 Hut Photographer: Eileen Schwab

Thanks to all who entered – more than 600 of you this year – and special congratulations to our winners who provided the following images.

Photo: Alana Kimber

Winner: Huts and camping
Signing the hut book at Benmore Hut
Photographer: Alana Kimber

Alana said of her photo: ‘I enjoy the rustic, bare-bones state of the hut, the patched up walls and the sacking and platform bunks.’

Judges’ comments

Alistair Hall: It’s a ritual we all do whenever we reach a hut: sign the book. But it takes real skill to shoot inside a cramped room. Alana has done a great job of illustrating an ordinary aspect of hut life under difficult circumstances.

Matthew Cattin: Like peeking into a dollhouse, Alana’s photo shows perfectly the interior details of a cosy hut, from the broom leaning against the wall to the whiskey bottle on the shelf. The pleasing symmetry and leading lines remind me of a Wes Anderson film, and the natural lighting provides excellent contrast.

Alana wins the Huts and Camping category and is our second-place winner.

She receives a two day Brewster Glacier Trek with Adventure Consultants worth $1480.

  • Adventure Consultants: Offering more than 100 expeditions and treks here and abroad, Adventure Consultants is a world-leading guiding company. www.adventureconsultants.com
Photo: Neco Wieringa

Winner: Wildlife
Lone rock wren
Photographer: Neco Wieringa

Neco said of his photo: ‘A lone rock wren stands atop a rock in this seemingly desolate valley. This is its home. The only true alpine bird in New Zealand and also one of the smallest.’

Judges’ comments

Alistair: Even with just a passing knowledge of NZ’s native birds, you’d probably be able to guess which bird this is just by its location amongst the rocks. For me, that was the crucial decider in selecting this as the best wildlife image – it shows the bird in its natural habitat. It’s also pin-sharp and beautiful.

Matthew: I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to photograph rock wren before, so can vouch for the patience and skill required by Neco for this capture. Sharp focus, subject isolation, and great use of foreground and background textures made this a winner for me – you really get a sense of how small and precious these birds are.

Neco wins the Wildlife category and is our third-place winner.

He receives a three-day Ball Pass Summit Trek with Alpine Recreation worth $1250.

  • Alpine Recreation: Family-run Alpine Recreation has one overriding goal: to give you your most memorable mountain holiday. www.alpinerecreation.com
Photo: Dylan Moron

Winner: 2019 Wilderness Outdoor Photographer of the Year
Snake Ridge
Photographer: Dylan Moron

Dylan took this photo while walking the Te Araroa Trail last year: ‘I was on my way to reach the highest point of the trail at Stag Saddle. Behind me, was the impressive Snake Ridge and the view to Lake Tekapo.’

Judges’ comments

Alistair: I love that the eye is drawn to the hiker and is then led through the landscape, along the ridge he has just walked all the way to a distant Lake Tekapo. It tells a story of a day in the hills and is a Wilderness image through and through.

Matthew: I love this photo for its sense of movement. The subject is leaning forward, facing the sun as though in a hurry. The warm colours are incredibly inviting, and it takes blowing the image up to really appreciate the huge amount of detail in the land beyond.

Dylan wins the Out There category and is our 2020 Wilderness Outdoor Photographer of the Year overall winner.

He receives a four-day Rabbit Pass Alpine Traverse with Aspiring Guides worth $2350.

  • Aspiring Guides: Based in Wanaka, Aspiring Guides has been taking people on hiking and climbing adventures in New Zealand and around the world since 1990. www.aspiringguides.com