Summer is the favourite time of year for many Kiwis with a long holiday, great weather and happy memories. This summer has been no exception by the look of the 2000 entries to the New Zealand Herald Summer Holiday Photo Competition.
Many of us have made the most of the hard-won freedoms from lockdown and the exceptional weather to get together with friends and family and grab a snap or two to keep the memories fresh through this year.
If ever there are themes to the competition, this year has seen lots of jumping into water - a joyous expression of celebration with a characteristic practical payoff of a cooldown in the hot weather.
The standard seems to improve with each competition and this year's winner has shown a combination of perfect exposure, great composition and outstanding timing to get a picture that stood out from the beginning.
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"It was a still and beautiful Boxing Day morning and after breakfast my four boys and their two cousins wanted to go out to the pontoon in Manly Bay (Whangaparaoa)," said George Botha, who took the winning shot.
"I was shouting '1, 2, 3 ... jump' and we got it first frame. The others after that weren't so good."
Botha said that he'd never won anything like this before and it meant so much to share the experience with his family and a great prize of a Canon EOS RP camera with lens.
The second-place winner is a beautifully moody picture from Glinks Gully Beach, near Dargaville, shot by Joey Gillatt of Whangārei. Seven people are silhouetted against the setting sun as they fly model planes. It's an evocative image of a balmy summer's evening hinting at the freedom and fun of childhood, staying up later through the summer holidays playing until it was too dark to see. Joey wins a Canon EOS M6 mark II camera kit for his picture.
Freedom and fun are what the third-place winning image is all about: two girls, Isla and Hollie, running through the shallows dragging Dribbles the rabbit on a boogie board. It's another fantastic moment shot, perfectly composed and exposed: Summer at its best. Michael Fraser, the man behind the lens, gets a Canon EOS 850D kit for his efforts.
Sadly, the competition now closes until next time. But that's not the end of summer, so go out and enjoy it while it lasts. And keep the memories alive through photographs.
Best of the rest