From a little boy transfixed by neon lights to teens hanging out in a cemetery ... Alan Perrott looks at the top entries in New Zealand's largest photo competition.

Were you wearing your Sunday best on June 11?

Too bad, it's way too late to do anything about it now, but almost 1500 people were out from dawn to dusk, snapping everything and anything within the Auckland region as part of New Zealand's biggest photographic event.

At a rough guess, a photograph was taken every 1.3 seconds in the name of Auckland Photo Day - and that's assuming only 10 duds for every entry. So who knows? You may have been an unpaid extra in someone else's artwork.

Of course, if you're of a paranoid disposition you can always check for yourself (the results of Auckland's eighth annual photo competition can be found here).


Festival organiser Julia Durkin is pleased with how things turned out, and especially with the range of ideas and people involved.

"Photography and the visual arts have a language we can all relate to and I think that is shown by the full diversity of Aucklanders who took part."

Finishing top of this year's entries was Mareea Paterson who, when she isn't carrying a camera, is better known for carrying her bass guitar with artists ranging from Tim Finn, Gin Wigmore and Dave Dobbyn to Veruca Salt, Gramsci and End of Fashion.

It's likely Paterson's winning shot, Boy Sees Light, will be on show in France next year via a reciprocal arrangement the Auckland festival has set up with the city of Toulouse.

In the first exchange, the top 30 shots from last year's Photo Day were exhibited in Toulouse in May, while we got a selection from Le Monde photojournalist Guillaume Riviere.

The only downside is that when the good people of Toulouse think of Auckland now, they'll be picturing us in the dead of winter.

Apparently, punters are more likely to turn out for a photo exhibition during winter and the only free slot comes between the comedy and film festivals.

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