After 3103 votes, the winners of the Rotorua Museum Wildlife & Nature Photo Competition have been chosen by the public.
Established to showcase the unique landscapes and wildlife of Rotorua, the competition organisers were impressed with the quality and originality of all of the entries, with the three winners depicting exceptional Rotorua scenes.
The photo competition was split into three age categories: 8-12 years, 13-18 years and 19 years plus, with all categories showing a wide range of flora and fauna images.
The youth category (8-12 years) was won by Hamish Dodd with a photo entitled Wingspan, Shaheena the Karearea. A student of Mokoia Intermediate, Dodd’s detailed image was taken at Wingspan in Rotorua and shows a New Zealand falcon up close. The runner up in this category was Connor Johnston (Otonga Primary School) with his humorous photo entitled The Hungry Goat, taken when his neighbours goat escaped.
Hayley Butterworth was the winner of the 13-18 year age group with her picture Autumn. This unique perspective of coloured leaves in the Redwood forest earned Butterworth the most votes for an individual image out of the 15 finalists. Runner up Leanna Hill (Rotorua Girls High School) investigated The Perception of Beauty in her photo of a soft pink rose.
The adult section (19 years and over) saw the action-packed Scaup take-off win the top prize. Taken by Tony Whitehead, the finalist judges agreed the image showed high technical difficulty as well as great composition.
Whitehead took the photograph at Rotorua’s Sulphur Point, where he used the wind direction to anticipate their take-off path, allowing him to catch them in an interesting pose as they run across the water before becoming airborne. Wendy King was the runner up with her image of the waterfall near Buried Village, entitled Secret Source.
The winner from each category will receive prizes from a total pool of over $1000, including family passes to Rainbow Springs, Paradise Valley Wildlife Park and Waimangu Thermal Valley. They will also receive vouchers from Gould Photographics and a coffee table book depicting finalists images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 exhibition.
The three runners up will also receive Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 book and vouchers from Gould Photographics.
Rotorua Museum director Stewart Brown says the photo competition re-enforced what we already knew about Rotorua’s amazing environment.
“The images entered were unique, creative and a credit to all the photographers.”
The 15 finalist images will remain on display at Rotorua Museum in the Bathhouse Café until 31 October 2012. This closing date coincides with the closing of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 exhibition.