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March 2015 Issue
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Wilderness Photo Competition 2015

Overall Winner, and above the treeline Winning Shot. PHOTO: Neil Fausett.

The second year of any event is always a concern if the first year was a success.

The 2014 photo competition featured such a depth of high quality photography that we wondered if we could possibly match it this time round.

We needn’t have worried. This year’s winners and finalists easily matched what we received last year. It was a pleasure to arrive at work each day and enjoy the glorious images  of inspirational places across the country sent to us by readers – who knew you guys had such talents?

Thank you to all those who took part and we hope you enjoy browsing our pick of the entries as much as we did.


Taranaki Falls

Photographer: Art Polkanov  Camera settings: Nikon D200 + Sigma 10-20 at 10 mm, ISO 100, f 11.0, 1/4 sec

River, Lakes and Ocean Winning Shot. PHOTO: Art Polkanov

River, Lakes and Ocean Winning Shot. Photo: Art Polkanov

Art Polkanov’s photo of Taranaki Falls, probably the most photographed waterfall in Tongariro National Park, caught our judge’s eye.

Art wins a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 compact camera worth $499

Judges’ comments

Alistair Hall A dramatic waterfall shot that could easily grace the cover of this magazine. I like the way Art has slowed the shutter enough to turn the waterfall into a silky veil, but not too slow he’s over-exposed the image.

Rob Brown Art has nicely balanced the foreground and background light, and while he’s come dangerously close to over cooking the colour, he’s just held on to that fine line of believability. I like the way he held onto the sense of light in the photograph, too. That is the key to giving the image some depth.

Huts and camping winning shot

Jeremy wins a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 compact camera worth $499

Angelus Hut

Photographer: Jeremy Sanson Camera settings: Olympus E-3, ISO 100 , F9, 2 sec, tripod

Winning Shot: Huts and Camping. PHOTO: Jeremy Sanson

Winning Shot: Huts and Camping. PHOTO: Jeremy Sanson


Jeremy crept out of the hut bright and early to snap this scene of the popular Angelus Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park. “I had to wake up at 5,30am and climb up the ridge in time to capture this photo,” he said.

Judges’ comments

Alistair Hall I’d love nothing more than to run this photo in our Waypoints section. It just screams ‘Come visit me!’. It’s photos like this that inspire me to pack my bags and get outside. Well done, Jeremy.

Rob Brown While this was more of a ‘landscape with a hut in it’ than a photo of a hut in the landscape, I loved the crispness and clarity of this image and the way it pulled together all the elements of this special place: the beauty of Lake Angelus, the location of the hut, the interesting geology and vegetation. It’s all there in this one photo which is well composed with beautiful pre-dawn light.
Overall winner and Above the treeline winning shot


Lindis Pass

Photographer: Neil Fausett  Camera settings: f/11, 1/320 sec, ISO 100, focal length 60

Overall Winner, and above the treeline Winning Shot. PHOTO: Neil Fausett.

Overall Winner, and above the treeline Winning Shot. PHOTO: Neil Fausett.

Neil wins a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 worth $1499

Neil Fausett took advantage of perfect timing to take this photo while driving over Lindis Pass. “I was there at just the right time of day for the sun to highlight the many ridge lines,” he said in his entry notes.

Judges’ comments

Alistair Hall A great photo with more depth than I thought would be possible in a landscape image. Each time I look at it I dream of tramping those ridges and mountains – it speaks to me on a very basic level: get outside. A deserved winner.
Rob Brown We almost see an overload of wide angle landscapes in modern landscape photography and it’s always good to remember that you can pull off a really nice photograph with a telephoto. Lindis Pass has been pretty well photographed over the years but this is an excellent composition of a fresh angle. It’s nicely processed to let the light speak for itself and give a wonderful depth to the photograph.


The finalists

Above the tree line:

Red Crater

Photographer: Eugene Polkan

Red Crater.Tongariro National Park.Eugene Polkan

Above the tree line:

Peak Hill

Photographer: Joel Bensing

Peak Hill.Lake Coleridge.Joel Bensing

Rivers, lakes and ocean:

Crater Lake

Photographer: Tim Hutcheson

Crater Lake_ruapehu_Tim Hutcheson

Rivers, lakes and ocean:

Lake Tekapo from Mt John

Photographer: Tom Hall

Lake Tekapo from Mt John.Tom Hall

Huts and camping:

Whangaehu Hut

Photographer: Chris Coutts

Whangaehu Hut_Chris Coutts
Huts and camping:

Heather Jock Hut

 Photographer: Sarah Smith

Heather Jock Hut.Whakaari Conservation Area.Sarah Smith