The response to the Manawatū Wildlife Photography was tremendous. We received more than two hundred entries across the four categories, and voting in the People’s Choice showed that everyone was really invested in the outcome!

After much deliberation the judges reached their decisions, and we are pleased to announce the winners here. Judges’ comments are in italics.

A big thanks to all our entrants, to the judges and to the Manawatū Camera Club for organising the competition.

The four subject categories were”

  • Animals
  • Plants and landscape
  • Backyard wildlife
  • Human impact on the environment

With extra prizes for People’s Choice and Junior Photographer (under-15)

Animals - Evan McKay

"Female Stitchbird/Hihi"
A stitchbird sitting on a branch

A hihi (stitchbird) perched on a branch. The photo was taken in Bushy Park, where the hihi population is beyond the reach of predators.

Now I know these guys do not sit still for long. This is really well captured, fantastic detail and composition is strong. I like the way the image has been so carefully edited and that the way the tones have been controlled reflect the real sense of being in the NZ bush.

Lovely image. Great use of bokeh background and the use of a leading line with the limb reaching into the photo to the bird. The bird is beautifully in focus. I also enjoy the soft contrast; this seems to show some restraint by the photographer to have cooked the contrast and righten the bird. I really like this image.

Backyard Wildlife - Jim Jefferies

"Shelter from the Rain"
A monarch caterpillar

Water drips off a monarch caterpillar hiding from the rain.

WOWZERS, imagine finding that in your garden – awesome! Great macro shot, loving the caterpillar being upside down, sharp focus, clear image nice leading lines and good colour.

This is really well captured and composed; the leaves bring the eye into the main subject, which is beautifully sharp, and the water droplets are absolute treasures to enjoy, as is the cobweb between the leaves.”

Human Impact & People's Choice - Racheal Young

"Track and Trace"
A tyre track across a beach

“Human machines leave tracks on our beaches like scars on the skin of the Earth. Blemishes on our sands and the desecration of our dunes. Ten minutes’ fun takes 10 years to heal” – Racheal Young

Excellent photo. I love that the photographer has gotten low. You can see the tyre tracks clearly leading away down the beach and the particles of sand.”

This is very indicative of human impact on the beaches in our region, one of the few areas in NZ I have been to where beaches are considered roads. Great perspective and depth of field.”

Junior Photographer - Jacob Stevens

"Autumn Birds Singing"

“Standing outside with no inspiration hearing the little birds sing as the colorful leaves glide to the ground. Seeing these quick blurry dashes I sneak up on the pretty birds matching colors with the autumn leaves singing to each other” – Jacob Stevens

A gorgeous little wax eye, lovely image. I enjoy the colours of the bird, leaves and background; tonally they all work together. Bird appears in focus, what a lovely little character.”

This is a really pleasing image and the autumn colours work well with the subject.”

Plants and Landscapes & Overall Winner - Grace Hodson

A yellow leaf hangs suspended from spider silk

“I found a single leaf suspended in the air by a spider’s web as if time had stopped and it reminded me of autumn” – Grace Hodson

A leaf caught in a spiders web – the beauty of simplicity! How perfectly captured!

Really nicely captured; the depth of field is perfect, creating a lovely bokeh background while maintaining nice focus on the subject, with just enough light hitting the web to show how it leads the eye in towards the subject from the bottom left of the frame. Wonderful.”

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