Ockham Residential

2021 Photographer of the Year Finalists Announced

Image for 2021 Photographer of the Year Finalists Announced

Fifty-four finalists from more than 6000 entries – a record – have been selected for New Zealand Geographic’s Photographer of the Year. Over the coming weeks, the citizenry of the internet can vote for their five faves, the most beloved winning the Ockham People’s Choice Award (aka the Nobel Prize for Snappers).

New Zealand Geographic ‘General’ James Frankham said he was delighted with both the quantity and calibre of entries to the 13th instalment of the country’s premier photographic competition. “For the first time, we had more than 6,000 entries,” he says. “It’s an incredible crop of images this year and I can’t wait to hit go on it.”

The 54 finalists for POTY-2021 sit within six categories:

  • Landscape (sponsored by Resene)
  • Wildlife (sponsored by Electric Kiwi)
  • Photostory (sponsored by Progear)
  • Built Environment (sponsored by Resene)
  • Aerial (sponsored by Lightforce)
  • Society (sponsored by Panasonic Lumix)

The Ockham Residential People’s Choice Award

The most popular individual photograph from all finalists – as voted online – will win the coveted Ockham People’s Choice Award.

It’s our second year as sponsors of this unabashedly populist category, widely held to be the Nobel Price for snappers. Remarkably, neither Henri Cartier-Bresson nor Ansel Adams nor Dorothea Lange nor Robert Capa have won the Ockham People’s Choice Award, but then Peter O’Toole, Ralph Fiennes, Ian McKellen and Glenn Close have never won Oscars.

It’s a curious thing.

Never mind. We’ll be featuring the finalists on our social media channels in the coming weeks, but you can see the lot on the nzgeo website right now. Right here. This is also where you vote for your five faves – which count towards that People’s Choice gong.

Exhibition (Covid-willing)

Britomart Precinct – the Peoples’ Precinct! – will host a free, public exhibition on custom-made frames inside the atrium laneway under the Westpac building.

New Zealand Geographic are aiming for a September opening date, conditional on alert levels. It’ll be to be a no-touch exhibition experience so it can remain open across Covid-19 alert levels 1, 2 and 3 if necessary.

Winners announced late-October

The champs will be announced late next month. “We're forging ahead with plans for the awards night on Thursday 28 October,” says General Frankham. “Leveraging off the exhibition experience in the atrium, we intend to hold the awards at the Generator space on Level 10 above the exhibition, with expansive harbour views.”

Of course, this depends on the country – and Auckland – returning to Level 1 or 2. “As with last year there are contingency plans being developed in parallel,” says Frankham. “The first of which is keeping the event to less than 100, and secondly looking into what a virtual event might look like, if it comes to that.

“Naturally we will make it as large and compelling an experience as possible under the circumstances.”

(Photo © Richard Robinson. The inaugural Ockham Residential People's Choice winner Edin Whitehead was on assignment in the Poor Knights Islands and joined the Awards evening via Zoom. Her proud dad, Tony - pictured here with Ockham's Mark Todd - took the field in her stead).