Picture perfect

Fruit, flora, friends, family, fences, flights, and football fields all feature in the photographs chosen as finalists in the inaugural Capital Photographer of the Year (CPotY) competition.



More than 1200 entries vied for the Capital Photographer of the Year award across six categories. CPotY celebrates Greater Wellington, its beauty, its creativity and its people. The finalists’ winning entries will be exhibited at Te Auaha Gallery in Wellington from 2–11 July.


The finalists are: Yin Hsien Fung, David Lewis, Huia Wesling Macgregor, Humaidi Ridwan, Yuyi Woon, Nayte Hardaker, Abigail Askew, Monica Winder, Alan Blundell, Jiaqi Tang, Rob Vanderpoel, Paul Hamer, Lewis Ferris, Rachel Waddingham, Nik Brinkman, Lorenzo Buhne, and Mira Patel.


Category winners will be announced on 1 July. The awards give $500 to each category winner and a further $1000 for the Supreme Winner, and were generously donated by keen Wellington photographer Mazz Scannell.


Judges praised Wellington’s photographic talent, and described the images as “stand out”. Comments included, “provoking emotion”, “technically strong”, “beautiful”, and “energetic”. Matariki Williams, CPotY judge and Senior Curator Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa, says, “The entries were really exciting to see as an insight into the way others are viewing the world, and a note that the innate curiosity of humanity remains.”


Judges praised Wellington’s photographic talent, and described the images as “stand out”. Comments included, “provoking emotion”, “technically strong” “beautiful”, and “energetic”. Matariki Williams, CPotY judge and Senior Curator Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa, says, “The entries were really exciting to see as an insight into the way others are viewing the world, and a note that the innate curiosity of humanity remains.”


The judging panel for CPoTY 2021 included twenty of New Zealand’s top photographers, artists, curators, creatives, and art connoisseurs. They were: Sean Aickin, Janet Bayly, Bonny Beattie, Steve Boniface, Joyce Campbell, Conor Clarke, Russ Flatt, Mark Gee, Henry Hargreaves, Gavin Hipkins, Rebecca Kempton, Jacqui Kenny, Grant Maiden, Jeff McEwan, Marcia Page, Neil Pardington, Anne Noble, Jono Rotman, Matariki Williams, and Virginia Woods-Jack.


“We’ve been fortunate to have some of New Zealand’s best creatives judging the inaugural competition. They’ve provided fantastic guidance and critique throughout the process,” says Shalee Fitzsimmons (Ngāti Tūwharetoa), convener of CPotY and Capital’s art director. “The photos to be presented at the exhibition are stand-outs.”


CPotY Finalist's Exhibition

Te Auaha Gallery, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

2–11 July