Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year comp prizes announced

prizes The 2015 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition is getting bigger and greater as the weeks pass by. The prize pool for this year’s competition is outstanding, and is the largest the competition has seen with the total pool valued at over $15,500.

D-Photo is proud to be able to bring this competition to New Zealand’s amateur photography community. We would like to thank competition chief sponsor Sigma, and category sponsors Universal College of Learning (UCOL), Momento, Vanguard, Ilford, Southern Approach, ProGear, and White Studios for supporting this illustrious competition.

This year’s overall competition winner will receive the following Sigma lens products valued at more than $3000: Sigma 10–20mm f/3.5 lens (worth $849), Sigma 18–250mm f/3.5–6.3 OS lens (worth $549), Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS Macro lens (worth $849), and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens (worth $800).

Individual category winners and two runners-up will win the following prizes:people

People category, sponsored by Profoto First prize: Soft box RFi four-inch Octa (120cm) $443.10, RFi speedring adapter Profoto $177.98 Second prize: Umbrella Deep Silver XL (165cm) $507.22 Third prize: Reflector Sunsilver/White L (120cm) $183.54

junior

Junior (16–24) category, sponsored by UCOL First prize: $800 Canon voucher Second prize: $500 Canon voucher Third prize: $200 Canon voucher These vouchers can be spent at selected authorized photographic dealers, excluding Harvey Norman and Noel Leeming.

travel

Travel category, sponsored by Momento First prize: $1000 Momento gift voucher Second prize: $750 Momento gift voucher Third prize: $250 Momento gift voucher

nature

Nature category, sponsored by Vanguard First prize: ABEO PRO 283 AGH Tripod $770 Second prize: ABEO PRO 283 AT Tripod $350, SBH 100 Ball Head $150.00 Third prize: Vanguard Uprise II 48 $270

monochrome

Monochrome category, sponsored by Ilford First prize: Vanguard AUCTUS 283 CT Tripod $500, ColourMunki Smile $180 Second prize: Range of Ilford Prestige inkjet papers worth $300, ColourMunki Smile $180 Third prize: Range of Ilford Prestige inkjet papers worth $200, ColourMunki Smile $180

action-squarebutton

Action category, sponsored by Southern Approach First prize: GoPro HERO4 Silver $629.90, SPU Large My Case $99.90, XSO Big Deluxe Tripod $24.90 Second prize: X Project Micro $499, Small My Case $79.90 Third prize: Big U-Shot Deluxe $109.90, XSO Pholder $12.90

landscape

Landscape category, sponsored by ProGear First prize: $900 worth of Lee Filters Second prize: $400 worth of Lee Filters Third prize: $200 worth of Lee Filters

creative

Creative category, sponsored by White Studios First prize: $1000 excl. GST of rental credit (valid for 12 months) Second prize: $400 excl. GST of rental credit (valid for 12 months) Third prize: $250 excl. GST of rental credit (valid for 12 months)

Action category joins the 2015 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year line-up

Action The 2015 edition of the Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year line-up is well under way with plenty of beautiful shots being sent in for each category.

We are excited to announce that yet another category has been added to the incredible line-up — the Action category, proudly sponsored by GoPro.

If this has inspired you to get out your camera and start shooting, submit those shots over at the competition's entry form here.

Have a look at the galleries of images already submited by clicking on the category images down the side  of the page here.

Introducing Edin Whitehead, Amateur Photographer of the Year

© Edin Whitehead, Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year 2014 - web Those of you who've picked up D-Photo no. 61 have already been exposed to the wonderful work of Edin Whitehead, gracing the cover as this year's New Zealand Amateur Photographer of the Year.

Whitehead came out on top of a truly staggering pool of 5783 entries, the most we have ever received in the competition's history, with her beautifully tranquil image of a Western Cattle Egret, taken during a trip to South Africa.

We caught up with the 20-year-old Auckland University student, originally from Rotorua, to ask her how she felt about winning the top spot in the 2014 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition:

"I think excited is probably the best word, once I got past the initial disbelief! I'm excited because for me, it means that I'm going in the right direction with my photography, which is really rewarding to know."

Edin_webShe says that while she has been taking photos since childhood, inspired by her father's passion for the craft, it wasn't until 2010 when she started taking photography more seriously, after inheriting her grandfather's Nikon D200.

This isn't the first time Edin has been on D-Photo's radar; in 2012 we named her our Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and her abilities in that area have only grown from there.

Discussing Whitehead's champion photo, competition judge Mike Hollman says the image reminds him of the sort of beautiful illustrations found in Victorian botanical books.

"A striking image;  it stood out because of its simplicity, capturing the essence of the bird," he explains. "The subtle colours and graphic quality are enhanced by the high key background."

Judge Harry Janssen was immediately struck by the way the image evokes the detailed illustrations of the great ornithological painter, John James Audubon.

"To me, it has that type of quality. Not just an image of a flying bird, the author has captured the true grace and colours of this animal in a beautiful way."

Judge Emma Bass particularly enjoyed the way Whitehead managed to evoke the feeling of flight in such a painterly and graceful way with the image.

"This image sung out to me with its pure simplicity.  It made me yearn to fly.  Sleek and stunning!"

Though her enticing image looks as though it is the work of long, meticulous planning, Whitehead says it was more a case of reacting quickly to a spontaneous opportunity.

dphoto_61 (1)"We were on holiday in South Africa, in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands earlier this year, and Dad and I went out every morning to a dam to photograph birds. It was quite a fleeting moment when I saw the egret flying directly overhead."

On this trip Whitehead had begun to use manual mode, previously shooting in Aperture Priority and using exposure compensation.

"I had my settings ready for darker birds against a white sky, so I had to push the shutter speed up a little as it flew over so it wasn't overexposed. I just got the one shot, and it looked down at me just as I pressed the shutter release."

Whitehead's passion for wildlife does not end at photography, she is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology. She hopes to go on to study animal behaviour at a post-graduate level, while continuing to work on her photography in tandem.

"I just want to keep learning and improving my skills. I've managed to infect a few of my friends with the photography bug, and I enjoy helping them learn too. It would be a dream to be able to make a living from photography, but I really enjoy my studies and I'd like to study the birds I love to photograph.

"Perhaps I can combine the two!"

If you would like to see more from this year's champion amateur photographer, head over to her website. And be sure to get your hands on D-Photo no. 61 to check out all the successful photographers in this year's Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition.

Meet the Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year judges

With time almost up for entering New Zealand's biggest amateur photography competition, D-Photo would like to introduce the judges who have the exciting task of assessing your images. Emma BassThis year's Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition will be judged by leading professional photographers Emma Bass, Mike Hollman and Harry Janssen.

Emma Bass is a highly regarded commercial and fine art photographer who has shot for many of New Zealand's leading magazines as well as exhibiting her own personal projects through the country. She has shot editorial for the likes of Life & Leisure, Good, Taste, NZ House & Garden, Next, and Fashion Quarterly. She has also created portraits of some of the country's biggest celebrities, including Denise L’estrange Corbet, Lucy Lawless, Jonah Lomu, Keisha Castle-Hughs and Peter Jackson.

You can hear Emma speaking about her photography practice at this year's Image Nation conference, or, if you can't make that event, check out her interview with D-Photo's Point-Shoot blog about her exhibition, Imperfect.

Mike HollmanMike Hollman is an award-winning professional photographer specialising in travel, architectural, fine art and landscape photography. His career has taken him around the world, shooting for local and international clients, producing four photo books and a series of annual photography calendars, and publishing work in books and magazines.

Mike currently holds the title of Professional Travel Photographer of the Year with the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers (NZIPP) and was recently inducted as a New Zealand Nikon Ambassador.

Harry Janssen is professional photographer renowned for his proficiency across a wide array of photographic disciplines. He runs Auckland's Red Zebra studio and offers a diverse range of services including studio Harry Janssenportraits, commercial location work, retouching, graphic design and photographic education. In 2011 he was named NZIPP Auckland Photographer of the Year and was a finalist in the most recent contest for New Zealand Photographer of the Year.

Harry is currently exhibiting a beautiful collection of his landscape works as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography, click here for more details.

This prestigious group will assemble next week at UCOL's new Institute of Commercial Photography in Newmarket to decide the champions of this year's Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year awards. The winners will be announced in a special edition of  D-Photo, on sale July 14.

You have until 5pm, Friday, June 13 to submit your entries and be in to win a share of over $14,500 worth of prizes up for grabs, see here for details.

New Zealand's biggest amateur photo comp now accepting submissions

Hreoimage_new_3.1We are excited to announce the country’s most prestigious competition exclusively for amateur photographers is now accepting submissions for its 2014 programme. The Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year contest gives passionate photographers throughout the country the chance to showcase their skills and vie for a share of over $13,500 in prizes.

D-Photo is thrilled to announce this latest partnership with Sigma to help encourage and promote the talent of our local photographic community – head to the official competition page for terms and conditions, online entry form and to view images already submitted.

In addition to the grand title of Amateur Photographer of the Year, prizes will also be awarded for the top three spots in each competition category, thanks to the generosity of our category sponsors.

They are:

Landscape, sponsored by Vanguard

People, sponsored by Epson

Action, sponsored by GoPro

Nature, sponsored by Marumi

Monochrome, sponsored by Hasselblad

Creative, sponsored by Fantail Publishing

Travel, sponsored by Sandisk

The competition is open to any New Zealand residents who do not earn their primary income from photography (exceptions can be made depending on circumstances – email editor@dphoto.co.nz to discuss) – the deadline for entries is 5pm, Friday June 13.

One change to this year’s programme is an increase in the amount of submissions allowed up to three per category.

Be sure to check back regularly for prize announcements, judging appointments and tips from past winners.