‘Serendipitous’ moment makes finals

Finalist. . . Gore photographer Glenda Rees is de lighted to have a photograph she took of a sea-lion being pestered by flies chosen as a finalist in the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year awards. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

A photograph of a sea lion taken by a Gore photographer is a finalist in a prestigious photography competition.
Glenda Rees entered the photograph in the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year awards and is one of 68 finalists chosen from 8000 entries.
Ms Rees said she had been at the beach to take photographs of yellow-eyed penguins.
‘‘They were against the sun and way up on a cliff.’’
The friend she was with noticed a sea lion nearby had woken up and was being pestered by flies.
‘‘We could see the flies because it was backlit, going around its head.
‘‘I took some shots and that was that.’’
No great thought had gone into setting the shot up as she had been waiting for penguins.
‘‘That’s often what happens — a serendipitous moment.’’
She did not have a great selection of photographs to choose from as she had not been out as much compared with other years.
She chose the sea lion and hoped for the best.
‘‘It wasn’t actually a photograph I even thought was significant.
‘‘It’s quite effective.’’
She was especially pleased to be a finalist this year as her 2014 Canon 7D Mark II was not as modern as some of the cameras being used by competition entrants.
‘‘Being a finalist is a big coup.’’
She first entered the competition in 2012 and was surprised to be selected as a finalist.
‘‘I thought this is never going to happen again.’’
However, since then she had been shortlisted several times.
She started taking wildlife photographs in 2009 when she went on a safari in Africa.
She decided to carry on and take photographs of New Zealand wildlife.
‘‘Mostly birds of course.’’
Taking photographs often involved lying in uncomfortable places for hours at a time waiting for the perfect shot.
‘‘If you’re down in the mud. . .and you’re still and the tide’s not swamped you yet, they’ll approach you.
‘‘They will feed as the tide’s coming in and they come right up close.’’
She had become interested in the conservation of rarer birds.
If the bird had a band on its leg she photographed it and sent the image to the Department of Conservation.
People could vote for their five favourite photographs on the New Zealand Geographic website. The awards night will be held on October 27.

Serendipitous. . . The photograph of a sea lion taken by Gore photographer Glenda Rees is a finalist in the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year awards. PHOTO: GLENDA REES