Kiwi artist wins Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Award

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Anne Noble — Ruby's Room #18, 1999–2004

New Zealand photographer Anne Noble has been recognized as the winner of the 31st Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Award, which is part of Japan's Higashikawa International Photo Festival.

The award focuses on recognizing photographic achievement, and the Auckland Festival of Photography nominated 13 New Zealand photographers to be considered for the award. Noble caught the attention of a significant number of the jury members of the judging panel with her selection of images that included works involving the theme of Antarctica, a series of photographs of her daughter's mouth, as well as other work dealing with sexuality, representation, and our relationship with nature.

As part of this year's Auckland Festival of Photography, Anne Noble's exhibition No Vertical Song will be showing at Two Rooms Gallery from May 29–July 4. As you can see from the sneak peek below, the exhibition features dead bee portraits that have been taken using a scanning electron microscope — an image-making process that uses an electron beam that is excited by the element gold. Created in such a way that it exudes a feeling that the images are in some sort of museum illustrating that bees no longer exist, the imagery  explores the importance of our relationship to the natural world.

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Anne Noble — No Vertical Song

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Anne Noble — No Vertical Song

The cancellation of Auckland Photo Day 2015

Dave_Barker_DBarkerTime for a fagTime for a Fag. Dave Barker — first prize

It was first initiated back in 2004, and has been running ever since, but this year Auckland Festival of Photography's Auckland Photo Day is not going ahead.

Nikon has been the naming rights sponsor since 2011, but due to a new business plan currently being worked on by Lacklands, Nikon's newly appointed agents, the competition has lost its sponsor.  

Katie_Quinney_rugby people 2Rugby People. Katie Quinney — second prize

The Auckland Photo Day is known as the public competition that is held over 24 hours only where photographers are asked to capture an image which reflects Auckland in their mind.

It's previously been about allowing everyone to capture and communicate their perspectives of the Auckland region and celebrate many of the different cultures and identity present.

Chris_van_Ryn_Auckland Photo Day 1Lazyboy Time. Chris van Ryn — third prize

Lacklands said, “While Nikon will not be a key sponsor this year, we wish the festival all the best for 2015 and look forward to future festivals. Nikon has enjoyed a strong association with the Auckland Festival of Photography, which showcases photography to a wider audience and inspires Aucklander's to document and commentate visually on their city ... It is an outstanding event.”

The organizers of the Auckland Festival of Photography are optimistic that the competition will make a return in 2016.

Nikon Auckland Photo Day winners

Each year, for a 24-hour period, Auckland becomes the collective subject for the masses of photographers who reside in the city, competing in the Nikon Auckland Photo Day competition. This year the competition, held in conjunction with the Auckland Festival of Photography, found its winner in Dave Baker, whose image, Time for a Fag, was picked as the judge's champion amidst over 1000 other entries from throughout the metropolis.

All submissions to the competition are added to a collection the Festival has been amassing since 2004; this archive of images of Auckland and its communities throughout the years now totals more than 11,000.

First place: Dave Barker

Dave_Barker_DBarkerTime for a fag

Time for a Fag

Barker's image captures a newlywed couple snatching a relaxed moment together at Auckland's waterfront. The judges praised the image for its fortuitous timing and beautiful golden light, saying it was a photo that begs questions of people, customs, traditions, and consumption.

"It’s brilliant because of the multiple readings that can emerge from this single image," the judges report. "A split world of idealism versus reality."

As this year's champion Barker wins a Nikon D5300 DSLR with kit Nikkor AF-S DX 18-140mm VR lens.

 

Second place: Katie Quinney

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Rugby People

Quinnley's second-place image takes the viewer into the stands during a rugby match at Eden Park, a quintessential Auckland experience. The judges enjoyed the image's narrative aspects as well as its idiosyncratic approach to subject.

"A decisive moment capturing a lone English supporter amidst a chaotic scene of varying reactions, made more intriguing by the reversed emphasis away from the game."

The photographer wins a Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof compact interchangeable lens camera for her efforts.

 

Third place: Chris van Ryn

 Chris_van_Ryn_Auckland Photo Day 1

Smoko Time

Venturing onto a construction site in the middle of the day, van Ryn's image captures the relaxed and light-hearted atmosphere of local workers taking a break.

"A building site becomes an outdoor lounge for three men relaxing, using wheelbarrows as loungers, it’s an outdoor setting with the intimacy of a living room," the judges report.

Third place prize is a Nikon Coolpix P340 compact camera.

 

People's Choice: Mirjam van Sabbe

Mirjam-van-Sabben-Through Fire And Water For You

Through Fire and Water For You

Following the official judging of the Nikon 2014 Auckland Photo Day competition, members of the public were invited to view this year's submissions and vote for their personal favourite from the top 30 submissions. Rising to the top in that category is van Sabbe's light painted-landscape at Piha beach.

As this year's People's Choice winner, she takes home a Nikon S9700 Coolpix Wi-Fi –anabled compact camera.

You can view the rest of the competition's top 30 entries here.

Writers by night: Brendan Kitto  

In his new exhibition at the Auckland Festival of Photography, Brendan Kitto combines his passion for photography and graffiti art. Night Visions gives viewers a look at the nocturnal world of graffiti artists as they go about their sometimes unappreciated craft. Brendan talks to D-Photo's Point-Shoot blog about putting the series together and some of the escapades it led him on.

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D-Photo:  Can you give us a brief outline of what the Night Vision exhibition is all about?

Brendon Kitto: It's about what graffiti writers get up to while the rest of us are sleeping.

Are you a graffiti artist yourself?

Yes I am, I have been involved in the scene for the past 14 years. I am part of the TMD (The Most Dedicated) graffiti crew.

What is it about graffiti writing that makes for a good photographic subject?

It tends to be hidden from the public eye and the works that result are often very temporary, so if it's not captured , it's gone for ever.

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Are the images in the exhibition all recent, or do they go back a way?

The work is all recent. I started shooting around February.

Where were the images taken?

The images were shot around the inner city of Auckland and the southern rail corridor.

Since you've been involved in the graffitti scene, how have you seen it change?

The scene in Auckland has changed a lot. But the biggest change was when the Rugby World Cup came to town, the council thought it was important to remove every aspect of graffiti, to me this has removed a lot of vibrance from the city.  But in saying that, the scene has moved to finding more obscure places to paint, which is great photo-wise.

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Being the 'underground world of street art', do you ever run into graffiti writers resistant to having their picture taken?

No. As I have been a part of the scene for a considerable amount of time, and other writers know me.  I guess I have a trust within the writing community that I'm not going to post images revealing their identity.

There's often a lot of antagonism from the general public towards graffiti art – are you hoping to change hearts and minds with these images, or simply document?

Purely to document, to show a side people don't often get to see; writers in action

What sort of gear do you shoot with?

A mixture of digital and film:

Fuji X-Pro1 with a 27mm pancake lens

Olympus OM-1 with a 50mm lens & OM-2 with a 28mm

Canon AE-1 with a 50mm

Bronica ETRSi with a 50mm

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What was the biggest challenge you faced in putting the project together?

Security Guards.

Do you have a favourite image from the exhibition, and why?

My favourite image would be the one I titled Retreat (above).

I headed out with four writers and we had to move as security was coming (we had seen them before they saw us). So we headed back down the train line to a safe point and watched what they were doing . A passenger train was approaching so we took cover inside the bush – the lights from the train carriages produced enough light to for me to get a shot of one of the writers assessing the situation whilst the train passed. The others took a nap in the grass waiting for the “all clear”. The writers were cool, calm and collected throughout the whole time – it brought back a sense of nostalgia.

What's next for you?

I currently have a pop up show at Studio 40 in Onehunga.

I'm also in the development stages of a book with artist Askew1 and have a few projects that I hope to have completed for the photography festival next year.

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What other exhibitions are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Jos Wheeler – Voicing Dissent Great South Road at the Art Station Helen Clegg – The Bridge Gathers

Night Visions is currently showing and runs until June 12 at the Depot Artspace in Devonport