Tararua Photography Contest Attracts Incredible Response

The Tararua Photography Competition to capture “the historic, iconic and much-loved buildings of the Tararua District” attracted over 130 entries stretching from Eketahuna to Norsewood and up the coast.

The awards were presented Thursday, January 27 at the Woodville Art Gallery with Mayor Tracey Collis and numerous photographers in attendance, but Covid limited public participation.

Joy Kopa, Archives and Information Officer for the Tararua District Council, which has run the two competitions so far, was an MC and she thanked everyone who participated saying the quality of the entries made the extremely difficult task for the external judge, Mr Simon Woolf, who declared: “he was very impressed by the quality of the images, in particular of the new entrants.”

Mayor Collis was also impressed, saying many photos showed an angle on a building she knew well in a different light. She said the competition was a great opportunity “to showcase such incredible Tararua talent.”

The judges were surprised by the range of buildings shown, but they were also surprised by the number of Tararua-worthy buildings that weren’t chosen.

Pam Gill won the adult section with her Port Motors photo which was the public’s choice for third place. Pam loves photography and runs her website as a hobby with new additions almost daily.

Kevin McIntyre finished second with Tui Evening and Moira Fergus finished third with Milk Towers.

In the secondary section, Lucas Belcher used his drone to capture Pahiatua’s main street “Looking Down on Our Town” (which was also People’s Choice runner-up) with last year’s supreme winner Ollie Bowie runner-up and third with the Anglican Church and the Dannevirke railway platform.

Younger sister Milla Bowie finished first and second in the middle/primary section with Old Graffiti Shed and Ruahine Motors, and Ronya Green third with Justice Served.

In the special section for black and white images, Pam Gill finished first with No. 29, Lisa Seator finished second with School Yard Memories, and Benjamin Blake Evemy finished third with A Direct Line To God.

The best cellphone image went to Nature’s Building, taken by Claire Matthews as she took her morning walk before the dew evaporated from the cobweb. It was also a crowd favourite.

Best Artistic Effect went to Arms to Heaven by Moira Fergus.

Anita Martin (Train Shed and Norsewood Flying Fox), Allan Chandler (Woodville Railway Station) and Robin Winter (Ngaturi School Gate) were particularly commended.

The top 20 images were framed and hung at the Woodville Art Gallery by Kevin McIntyre where they will remain for the public until February 9. The other entries were shown on the video.

The images will be put into a new book with Port Motors by Pam Gill on the cover. It will incorporate some history and original features from the photos and will be available in a few months.

The next competition in two years will have a theme that will be announced soon so that everyone can start taking up the challenge. Only Joy Kopa and Mayor Tracey Collis of our district are not eligible to participate.

Michael E. Marquez