Playing with her dad's old camera as a youngster led to a full-grown passion for photography for Auckland teenager Cordelia Norris.

The 15-year-old has won this year's Herald summer photo competition with a stunning picture of Matt Campbell in midair on his BMX bike - silhouetted against a colourful sunset in Gisborne.

The judges said the shot was technically difficult to achieve and "the photographer had captured the moment perfectly".

At her home in Greenhithe yesterday, the teenager excitedly unwrapped her prize - including a Canon EOS 7OD EF-S 18-55 valued at almost $2700.


She said the photo was one of dozens she had taken while spending the afternoon out with relatives at a skatepark in Gisborne, where the family had been holidaying over the summer.

"It wasn't planned or anything. I just heard about this guy and his BMX bike and thought it might be good to take some photos of him.

"He started doing some stuff and then I just started taking pictures."

Cordelia is in Year 12 at Albany Senior High School, and is taking photography as one of her subjects.

"I've been teaching myself and this will be the first year I take it at school. I'm really excited about it," she said.

Mum Dianne Norris said her daughter - the eldest of three siblings - started taking photos when she was about 11, using an old camera that belonged to her husband.

"Cordelia's a springboard diver, so she used to take lots of photos of all the divers. That's where it started for her."

Mrs Norris said the family had spent the summer holidays with relatives in Gisborne and only heard of her daughter's win - announced last week - when it appeared in the newspaper.

Cordelia said she was looking forward to exploring more of the world using her new equipment, saying there was a certain feeling she craved when behind the lens.

"When you get the photo you want - it's just sick, it's amazing."