Fighting fit: Leon Rose

20040212-ASBStadium0050Ten years ago Auckland-based professional photographer Leon Rose entered into a unique agreement in his quest to get fit; he would offer his photography services to a kickboxing gym’s fighters in exchange for one-on-one training sessions. This led to a decade of documenting the passionate Muay Thai fighting community in New Zealand.

Now Leon is ready to pull the project together into a beautifully-crafted photo book and has taken to the PledgeMe crowd-funding platform to make it happen. If he can reach his funding goal in the allocated time renowned local publisher PQ Blackwell will begin production on the Live, Train, Fight like Thai monograph – you can help make the project happen here, or hear all about it from Leon first:

D-Photo: Can you briefly give us an outline of your Live, Train, Fight like Thai project?

Leon Rose: Live, Train, Fight like Thai is a photo essay/documentary that documents the sport of Muay Thai in New Zealand over the last 10 years. It has been treated in black-and-white, to stay true to the boxing images that I have always aspired ...full story

Shoot the zoo, help the animals

Ceratotherium simumA new photography competition launched by one of the country’s leading wildlife photographers seeks to help local conservation efforts by tempting photographers with flash new photography gear.

Photographer Trevor Penfold and the Hamilton Zoo have joined forces to launch the Hamilton Zoo Photography Competition, with entrants vying for a Canon PowerShot SX60 HS and Canon 70D and entry fees going to the zoo’s conservation funds.

To enter the competition photographers must head to Hamilton Zoo and capture images of the wildlife inhabitants. The winning image will earn the photographer a new Canon PowerShot SX60 HS worth over $600, while other prizes include zoo passes and animal experiences, vouchers for Snapshot Cameras, and copies of Penfold’s excellent wildlife photo books.

There is also a category in the competition exclusively for members of the Hamilton Zoo Photography Group (HZPG), wherein entrants will compete for the title of HZPG Photographer of the Year and a Canon 70D kit worth over $1700.

The photography group was another joint initiative between Penfold and the zoo, giving passionate photographers the opportunity to access the zoo ...full story

Live the streets: Chris Leskovsek

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For two years photographer Chris Leskovsek has been roaming the streets of Auckland, capturing intriguing black-and-white images as a way of acquainting himself with the town he now calls home. The Chilean-born artist moved to New Zealand to continue his graphic design and illustration career but found himself gravitating to the camera as a means of expression and discovery in a new land, giving rise to a series of self-published photo zines called Øbservations.

After publishing six excellent issues of Øbservations Chris now brings the project to culmination with a public exhibition of black-and-white prints displayed at Auckland’s Camera and Camera store. The photographer chats to D-Photo about bringing Øbservations to life, from the streets to page to print.

D-Photo: How did you come to street photography as a genre that interested you?

Chris Leskovsek: When I came to New Zealand things didn’t go as planned, specially the first year, which meant that I was doing long walks around the city; wandering, thinking, observing. I then started bringing my camera and started taking pictures of this new place so different to my home. ...full story

1983

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Fashion photographer Russ Flatt weaves multifarious narratives with his latest ambitious personal project

The career path from the incubator of art school out into the harsh reality of commercial photography is a fairly common one, but it’s a story that played out in reverse for photographer Russ Flatt. Having already established himself as a leading fashion photographer, both in New York and New Zealand, it was Flatt’s decision to go back to school that led him to the creation of his latest personal work.

Shooting for a steady base of regular clients since returning home to New Zealand in 2007, Flatt recently decided to tackle a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts at Auckland’s Elam art school, part-time.

“I went back because I needed to get a fresh perspective on photography again, and to really explore the medium without the constraints from a lot of other people,” the photographer explains. “I did it for completely selfish reasons — for me.” (more…)

Beyond boundaries

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Windy Tree

Adrian Hatwell and New Zealand Photographer of the Year for 2013, Kaye Davis, look at photography’s past to chart the future

Innovation provokes a response, positive or otherwise, and this has never held truer in the realm of photography than in our era of easy access to powerful digital tools. Of this, photographer Kaye Davis is well aware. In her capacity as honours chair for the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP), and as a lecturer in photography, she often deals with pioneering imagery and ideas — along with the fallout they can generate. This year Davis takes an even more prominent role in the discussion, as her boundary-pushing images have won her the honour of New Zealand Photographer of the Year.

Davis topped the Creative category of the NZIPP’s 2013 Iris Professional Photography Awards with a series of intricate graphic prints, as well as impressing the judges with her Illustrative category entries. Amid tough competition from the country’s top photographers, Davis’s portfolio was found to be the strongest — a win she says she’s still ...full story

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