Patience has paid big dividends for Bob Smith. The Gore man’s perfectly timed photo of two fighting greenfinches has won a top placing at a prestigious photographic convention.
The win, at the Photographic Society of New Zealand Southern Regional Convention, hosted by the Buller Camera Club earlier this month, comes on the back of two placings in the 25th Annual New Zealand journalist Competition in which he gained the highest award, honours, for his photo Winning the Scrum, and an acceptance for another photo in the sport and action digital section.
Fellow Gore Camera Club member Chris Duggan, of Invercargill, was named champion in the photojournalism prints section.
Mr Smith had never entered a photographic competition outside of the Gore Camera Club until the Southern Regional Convention held last year in Gore. There he gained five acceptances and three honours.
He was reluctant to talk about his success. Instead he was keen to put the focus on the Gore Camera Club team that attended the West Coast event.
The seven Gore photographers brought home 25 placings “which is pretty good really. Collectively we did pretty well.”
Mr Smith photographed the greenfinches in his backyard.
“I’d seen that image many, many times but to capture it on film was pretty difficult,” he said.
Mr Smith’s first passion is nature. He is the Gore Public Gardens aviary keeper, and that interest led him into nature photography.
When planning photographic expeditions, Mr Smith kept in mind some advice given to him by a judge – to present an image they had not seen before.
As well as the champion award Mr Smith also gained one honours and four acceptances.
Mr Duggan said his champion image was of a farmer at the Southland A&P Show preparing an alpaca for the show ring.
As well as the champion placing Mr Duggan also received three honours and four acceptances.
Club life member Alan Ritchie described Mr Smith’s photographs as just amazing.
“It will be one of the best years we’ve had for results,” Mr Ritchie said.
He described Glenda Rees, Chris Duggan and Mr Smith as some of the best photographers in New Zealand.
“They’re fantastic photographers – they’ve spent a lot of time on their photographs.”
Gore Camera Club winners from the Photographic Society of New Zealand 57th Southern Regional Convention in Westport, October 7-9.
Nature print, champion: Bob Smith Fighting Greenfinches. Honours: Glenda Rees. Acceptances: Glenda Rees, Bob Smith and Sandy Trotter.
Photojournalism prints, champion: Chris Duggan The Gentle Farmer. Honours: Bob Smith. Acceptances: Chris Duggan, Alan Ritchie and Bob Smith.
Portrait prints, honours: Chris Duggan Punk Rocker.
Open prints, acceptances: Glennis Taylor and Sandy Trotter.
Nature projected images, honours: Glenda Rees. Acceptances: Glenda Rees and Bob Smith.
Photojournalism projected images, acceptances: Chris Duggan and Bob Smith.
Portrait projected images, acceptances: Chris Duggan.
Open projected images, honours: Chris Duggan and Glenda Rees. Acceptances: Chris Duggan, Dawn Patterson and Glenda Rees.