A cute photo of two pūkekos and their chick has won Waikanae-based photographer Roger Smith a major international award.
Smith is the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Urban Wetland Photographer of the Year 2023.
The photo that earned him the honour was a photograph titled ‘Feed me, feed me’ of two pūkekos and their chick in the Waimanu Lagoons at the Waikanae River estuary.
“I crawled through a patch of agapanthus and flax to a place where I could watch them without being noticed.
“It has become one of my most popular photos.”
Smith said the British competition introduced a category for overseas photographs this year which his photo won before going on to win the overall competition.
“I was delighted.”
Smith won a family membership for the trust.
“It’s great because my wife Mavis and I are going to England next year.
“And what the trust has agreed to is that when we come back to New Zealand, they will transfer the membership to my daughter’s family in the UK so they will be able to visit different places.”
Meanwhile, Smith is having his third photographic exhibition Paraparaumu Library’s Roderick and Gillian Deane Community Art Space.
“I’ve got a variety of colourful prints.
“Some are matted photographic prints, some are acrylic-faced prints which are very glossy, and some are floating canvas prints.
“It ranges from birds, aircraft, trains, flowers, scenery and lots more from around New Zealand and the world.
“There’s something for everyone.”
He said the exhibition was “going extremely well”.
“It took five of us three hours to set up.
“A lot of fun but hard work.
“And I’m getting very good feedback about the exhibition and the sales are excellent.”
Interestingly, one of his photographs features the New Zealand Bird of the Century — an Australasian crested grebe.
Smith photographed the bird at a private pool behind a cafe at one of Twizel’s salmon farms where a nesting platform had been created.
The species received a boost in votes thanks to comedian and talk show host John Oliver who unleashed a zany, worldwide campaign on its behalf.
Smith’s exhibition ends on December 22.