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Winter snaps a winning image

The stunning image of Lake Wairarapa that won best landscape photo at the Australasian Sony Alpha Awards. PHOTO/LAURIE WINTER

It’s hard to catch Lake Wairarapa on a still day, but when you do, it’s a winner. JOHN LAZO-RON reports.

Creative photographer Laurie Winter always says, “nature puts the weather on; I just have to be in the right place at the right time”.

And she happened to be at the right place at the right time on a calm early morning at Lake Wairarapa earlier this year.

Winter, from Wellington, was away on a solo weekend of photography in Featherston when she managed to capture the lake on a day without any weather movement.

In the hope of catching some nice reflections on the lake, she went down to see what she could get.

“I love reflections,” she said.

“It was a beautiful morning out on Lake Wairarapa, and it’s pretty difficult to get it still there.”

While taking shots, she said she ended up getting lucky with a beautiful combination of lilacs and warm colours softened by the morning fog.

“I got so lucky on that day,” she said.

“Nature does most of the work for you with landscape photography and on this occasion, the scene really presented itself. The light was particularly nice with pink tones and the low cloud. It made the lake look really magic. I wasn’t expecting the hazy pink colour, so that was a nice surprise. The photo didn’t need much editing at all.”

After taking a look at her pictures, Winter thought she had found a winner.

“I was really stoked with [the picture],” she said.

“It really came out the way the scene was presented to me. I was pretty sure when I saw it that it was going to be one of the photos of the year for me.”

She wasn’t wrong.

Winter submitted her serene photo titled ‘Vanishing Point’ into the Sony Alpha Awards, an annual competition that recognises professional and amateur photographers across Australasia.

To her surprise, Winter took out the ‘landscape category’ in the competition.

“I was stoked to get the win,” she said.

“It’s an honour to have my photo selected as a winner but I was surprised because there was a lot of awesome photos in the comp. But I was particularly pleased to get a picture from  Wairarapa, which I consider to be my local and home as part of the greater Wellington region.

“It was special to have a Wairarapa photo win.”

With the win, Winter received $2000 to spend on camera gear.

“I’m in need of a new lens for my favourite Alpha camera, so it’s great to have the prize money to put towards that.”

Winter, who is entirely self-taught in the photography trade, said she discovered her love for landscape photography six years ago while exploring New Zealand on tramping trips.

She said she makes her way to Wairarapa two or three times a year to capture photos.

Photography is a weekend hobby for Winter, so when asked if she planned to get into more on a full-time basis, she said it would always remain a passion and would leave it at that.

“Doing photography is like fulfilling a passion for me,” she said.

“It’s definitely a form of mindfulness for me. It allows me to get away and see more of the stunning landscape we have here in New Zealand. I feel really lucky to have captured some beautiful moments.

“I’ll keeping taking photos, but it won’t be a fulltime thing for me.”

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