The New Zealand Herald Summer Holiday Photo Competition brought about 2000 entries via email and Instagram this year.

The standard definitely improves every year, which makes life pleasingly difficult for the judges: after some serious deliberation, they pared the field back to just 10 of the very best from which the winning three were then selected.

This year's winner is Jane Dunn for a cracking shot of her nephew Oliver Gowans surfing at Stanmore Bay.

Jane says, "He was just messing around on a surfboard on Boxing Day. I wouldn't normally enter these sorts of competitions, but my brother (Oliver's father) suggested I send the picture."

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The picture embodies how we love to spend our holidays: at the beach, being adventurous and having a great time. The timing, composition and lighting on this shot are outstanding and you can't help but smile when you view it.

"It was a bit of a crazy capture – right place right time," said Jane.

Kerry Stanton's picture of Andrew and Boston in matching togs was a worthy runner-up. Photo / Kerry Stanton
Kerry Stanton's picture of Andrew and Boston in matching togs was a worthy runner-up. Photo / Kerry Stanton

The runners-up are in a similar vein but are very different photographs: Kerry Stanton's "Enjoying sun with my Minime" is a humorous and well-composed shot of her son and grandson and celebrates another Kiwi passion – dressing up, or down in this case. Jordyn Rutledge's "Summer carnival in Taupo" has a cinematic quality, an intimate moment caught in a busy setting.

Summer Carnival at Taupo has a cinematic quality, another worthy runner-up. Photo Jarryd Rutledge
Summer Carnival at Taupo has a cinematic quality, another worthy runner-up. Photo Jarryd Rutledge

What all three winners achieve is to transport the viewer to the scene caught in that instant, sharing the experience of our favourite time – summer!

For their outstanding efforts, the winners receive Canon cameras, the EOS M50 for Jane Dunn and the EOS 200D MkII for Kerry Stanton and Jordyn Rutledge.

Highly Commended

Summer sunset and silhouettes by Pat Norton
Summer sunset and silhouettes by Pat Norton
Black swans get the better of Le Zebra at lake Taupo by Kate Logan
Black swans get the better of Le Zebra at lake Taupo by Kate Logan
Did someone order Dunkin Donuts by Annabel Evans
Did someone order Dunkin Donuts by Annabel Evans
India and Sid Macdonald having fun on jumping cushion, at Pakiri Beach by Misty Lynn
India and Sid Macdonald having fun on jumping cushion, at Pakiri Beach by Misty Lynn
Summer Sunrise at Watering Cove, Abel Tasman by Doug McBride
Summer Sunrise at Watering Cove, Abel Tasman by Doug McBride
The Orca was 50 metres from shore at Waipu Cove, with a swimmer completely unaware of its presence by Janette
The Orca was 50 metres from shore at Waipu Cove, with a swimmer completely unaware of its presence by Janette
Milla Moo flying high in the Matarangi sky by Katie Dee
Milla Moo flying high in the Matarangi sky by Katie Dee