Ones to watch

The cream of New Zealand’s next crop of young photographers and film-makers has once again been honoured in the annual Canon Eyecon competition. We look at Canon’s pick of the country’s top up-and-comers

  Isobel Loughran

Isobel Loughran

The Canon Eyecon competition has the tendency to bring out the best in New Zealand’s young artists, and the latest edition is certainly no exception. It’s hardly a surprise that the boldest and brightest flock to the event, now in its seventh year — Canon offers a truly exceptional prize for successful contenders, including thousands of dollars’ worth of Canon equipment, cash, mentorship by top professional photographers, and membership with the country’s leading professional organizations up for grabs. It’s a true leg-up for any burgeoning professional photographer.

The competition invites tertiary photography and film students, assistants, and year 12 and 13 high school students to submit a three-image print portfolio to be judged by a panel of respected professional photographers, who also act as mentors for the winners, taking them on a hands-on experience of on-the-job training as part of their prize. This year’s entries were judged by videographer Daniel Max, wedding photographer Danelle Bohane, commercial photographer Kieran Scott, and Illustrative photographer Mandi Lynn.

The top spot within the Photography — Tertiary Students and Photography Assistants category was awarded to Isobel Loughran, of Eastern Institute of Technology for a triptych of images that explore the fluidity of memory through photography by exploring techniques and mediums that force distortion of the image. In her artist statement, Isobel explains, “Through this project, I aim to explore the changeability of human memory and the lack of visual clarity often experienced when remembering influential and important moments in our lives”.

  Isobel Loughran

Isobel Loughran

The judges selected Isobel’s portfolio from the large pool of submissions as they felt the images were “engaging and highly emotional”, and “technically executed in a really interesting way”.

Runner up within the same category was Edmond Too of Ara Institute of Technology, whose images were captured with a cause: to raise awareness of animal abuse. The judges noted that the images were both creative and impactful, showing real passion.

  Edmond Too

Edmond Too

The competition’s High School Winner was Ruby Shields of Te Kuiti High School, whose series of atmospheric landscapes enchanted the judging panel through exploring the absence of light and the unknown. The judges described the images as “dealing with darkness in a really subtle, beautiful way … dreamlike and playful, experimenting with photography in its realest sense“.

 Ruby Shields

Ruby Shields

Canon New Zealand’s Consumer Marketing Manager, Rochelle Mora, says they’re proud to give students a helping hand in their photography, with the opportunity for students and assistants to develop their style, gain experience, and showcase their talent to leading industry professionals.

“We are very proud to have run the Canon Eyecon competition for over seven years now and being able to give the winning students a head start with their photography.” says Mora.

The Canon EYEcon competition will return again for 2018, with registrations opening later in the year. Visit canon.co.nz/explore/Eyecon for full details.