Nikon Auckland Photo Day competition: Portrait of a city

'Dreamer', Amanda Reelick, 2009.
'Dreamer', Amanda Reelick, 2009.

From sunrise to sunset, these are the photos that have captured the mood of a city - in various years - for a day in its life.

The Nikon Auckland Photo Day competition is a pivotal part of the Auckland Festival of Photography; a chance for Aucklanders and visitors to the region to take a picture defining their day.

Today is Auckland photo day and you have until midnight tonight to capture the image that best sums up what Auckland, on Saturday, June 11 is all about to you. It can be a scenic shot of a place you love or maybe somewhere that shows what Auckland means; a well-known landmark or a still-to-be-discovered corner of your world.

'It's a New Day', Mitchell Round, 2009.
'It's a New Day', Mitchell Round, 2009.


It can be of people you know or strangers you meet, maybe those who keep this mighty metropolis surging. It might be a regular Saturday activity (but, be warned, a lot of entries feature kids' sport, especially rugby), a ritual part of your regular weekend routine.

It must be a new image, not one that already exists from some other day, and, for the first-time in the festival's history, you can submit a moving image: time-lapse, video or short-film.

It's a nod to changing technology, something the festival has seen a lot of in its 13-year history.

'Don't Worry Be Happy', Lee Copas, 2012.
'Don't Worry Be Happy', Lee Copas, 2012.


Festival director Julia Durkin recalls that at the beginning, people used to shoot on film but now it's all digital. No matter what the medium, though, entries for photo day flood in: usually about 1200-1400. Durkin believes that's because photography is expressive, and most of us like to find an outlet for self-expression, and, with cameras everywhere - from phones to high-end makes and models - it's accessible and democratic.

Even if you don't win the Auckland Photo Day competition, your image will become part of an extensive collection, now numbering around 10,000, of a day in the life of Auckland as taken during the last 11 years.

This year, for the first time, the festival holds an exhibition of the entire series of winning images (2004-14). It's at The Cloud, on Auckland's waterfront, from Saturday, June 18 and it's free.

Breen Porter's 'A Little Beardy', 2010.
Breen Porter's 'A Little Beardy', 2010.

- Weekend magazine

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