She took 2000 photos on an adventure through India, but Rotorua photographer Jill Wong needed only one of them to win an eminent award in the Photographic Society of New Zealand's 2015 National Exhibition.
Wong's image titled Unta Wallah-Camel Rider was awarded the Brian Brake Memorial Award and a PSNZ Gold Medal for the Best Projected Photojournalism Image in the Open Projected Images category. She took the photo in India last year while observing the Pushkar Camel Fair, where camel riders take their camels to sell.Describing the camel fair as "the most wonderful thing I've ever seen in my life", Wong said she had been waiting on the side of a track watching one rider bring his camels down the hill.
"Suddenly all hell broke loose with the camels, but the rider remained cool, calm and collected and carried on by me as if nothing was wrong."I crouched down and watched it all unfold before my eyes and started photographing," Wong said.
With a photojournalism image the competition rules state there can be no post production other than cropping or colour adjustments.
"What you see is what I saw before me."
Ms Wong is a relative newcomer to photography having joined the Rotorua Camera Club about 12 months ago and has entered only club competitions before."I've never been so thrilled or stunned in my life as I am to win this amazing award.
"I've only been seriously photographing for 18 months and I strive to do my best, but there is always so much to learn."I love photojournalism though and I thought this image told such a great story."
The National Exhibition provides an opportunity for any member of the society to submit work for selection into the exhibition.The winning images will be exhibited at the National Convention at the Tauranga Racecourse from April 29 to May 3.Nearly 250 photographers from across the country will descend on Tauranga for the gathering and to enjoy five days of photographic networking and participating in workshops and field trips with several leading international and national photographers.
- Rotorua Daily Post 27.04.15