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  • Writer's pictureRubber Monkey

FujiFilm "Texture" Photography Competition Winners Announced



 

Judges Statement


"Judging the Rubber Monkey Texture Competition sponsored by Fujifilm was an

absolute delight. It certainly wasn't an easy task working through over 1500 entries!

I began by selecting what I believed to be the best 80 entries.


I whittled these down to a Top 10 and then a Top Three, all of which were

astounding and outstanding entries. Any entrant who made it to the section should

be very proud of what they entered and feel very good about their abilities as

photographers. What sets these images apart is that the entrants clearly

understood, intuitively or consciously, what texture means.


What also set the images apart was that they were not only outstanding texturally,

but the texture supported and enhanced the photograph's meaning. Any of these

three are pictures which deserve to be printed, framed, and put in pride of place on

a wall. All the images are exhibition-quality. I hope the entrants in this section will

look at expanding the possibilities of what they do with their pictures, perhaps even

building up a body of work for showing in a gallery."



First Place

 

Gavin Klee - Ruru Whānau


"The image of the Ruru whaanau by Gavin Klee is quite extraordinary. It is simply riveting, and I couldn't stop looking at it. The subject's composition and placement were superb, and the textural elements in the picture simply added to the wonder of a truly outstanding image. A very deserving winner."


- Judges Comments


Introduce yourself! Who are you and where are you from? How did you get into photography?

My name is Gavin Klee a recently retired Plumber on the Kapiti Coast. As a father I think photography found me in a way. Capturing snaps of our family moments over the years. The majority of the images were pretty disappointing though and I never progressed past auto on my film camera back then. Things began to change around 12 years ago when I gradually began to delve into nature and bird photography. This accelerated when I acquired a 500mm lens through TradeMe. Having that extra reach enabled me to view the natural world in a whole new light. I could now capture what I term “little secrets” which otherwise go unnoticed.


What is your favorite type of photography?

My go to subject has always been bird photography. Although if i’m away overseas I find street photography very appealing as well.


Where were you when you captured the shot? Is there a story behind capturing the image?

This image was taken in a large area of DOC land near where we live. Every fortnight I’m in there servicing my traps. I’d actually startled one of the fledglings while I was walking down one of the tracks and it flew off ahead of me. I had a feeling come over me that I was being watched, I turned around and here was Mum, dad and two other fledglings eye balling me as if to say thanks for waking us up! Fortunately home wasn’t too far away at this point, so I raced back to grab my camera and a step ladder thinking I need to get at eye level. By the time I had returned, so had the fledgling and found all 5 of them perched on the same branch. Then it was just a matter of inching ever so closer to them to capture a few shots.


Why did you choose this image to enter?

Over the past year I’ve tried to improve my photoshop skills especially when it comes to applying textures on my bird images. Selecting an image for this completion was pretty straightforward actually, as I only had around a dozen to choose from!


What camera gear do you use?

I use the Sony A1 and an A9 combined with a couple of telephoto lenses.


Do you have any other hobbies/interests?

Aside from photography and travel I really enjoy throwing myself into conservation work, especially trapping and now service 80 odd traps most of which I’ve made or purchased over the last 8 years. I also help out with a local restoration group when needed.



Runners Up

 

Benny Chia - Honeycombs


"Photographing fungi is never the easiest of things to do, and this is an exquisite rendition. The composition and balance of the work are masterly, and the photographer clearly has a strong awareness of lighting. While the texture is understated, it supports and contributes to an image that makes you want to reach out and touch the subject matter."


- Judges Comments


Introduce yourself! Who are you and where are you from? How did you get into photography?

My name is Benny, and I am 42. Hailing from Malaysia, I have been reading in New Zealand since 2018. I have been aspiring to become a wildlife photographer since I came across photos from renown photographer Dale Morris and Christopher Martin during my college years. After a year at work upon graduation, I bought myself a Nikon D7000 and started my photography journey.


What is your favorite type of photography?

I began with landscape photography, and gradually expanded my foray into astrophotography, macro photography and now further into the niche of mushroom and myxomycetes. Believe me, they are not as easy as they seem to shoot: they might be stationary in position, but due to their tiny size, and my perfectionism, it took me two years to master.


Is there a story behind capturing the image?

While hosting guests at my workplace , I met Lee Ormsby, an expert with extensive mushroom knowledge. Over the past two years, knowing Joseph Pallante has been the most important milestone in my photography journey. I switched my camera system to Olympus, learnt from this guru and evolved myself from point-to-point shooting technique, to Olympus built-in focus stacking, to now using manual focusing with peak focus assistance and focus stack my shots with Helicon Focus software.


Why did you choose this image to enter?

During the submission month, this was my best shot to date and the unique pore structure of Favolaschia Claudopus can be a stand out from other photos. I would also wanna raise the awareness of the public about the existence of these tiny fascinating mushrooms that are frequently being overlooked. Mushrooms are not meant to be food, they are tiny beings that need to be respected.


What camera gear do you use?

I have an Olympus OMD EM1 Mark III and Mark X as a backup body, with a Zuiko 60mm Macro Lens, Zuiko 12-40mm Pro II Lens and Zuiko 40-150mm Pro Lens. I also have two tripods: one normal size one and another mini one (Ulanzi MT-20). The final vital kit for my mushroom photography is the Raynox DCR-250 magnifying lens, important especially when shooting myxomycetes/slimemold.


Do you have any other hobbies/interests?

I like hiking, and my obsession in mushrooms adds on extra itinerary to my trips, but also slows down my tramping trips on the downside. I am aspired to conduct free mushroom photography workshop in next Autumn (April-mid June), and also hopefully win more competitions to help fulfill my bucket list of camera gears, namely the Zuiko 150-400mm Pro Lens.



Graeme Skinner - Aviator


"The image is very reminiscent of the conceptual photography of people like Joel-Peter Witkin. There is a wonderful play between the textural overlays on the skin, the fabric and the riveted metal background. All three textures play against each other and yet contribute to an integrated whole."


- Judges Comments


Introduce yourself! Who are you and where are you from? How did you get into photography?

My name is Graeme Skinner and I live in Nelson, New Zealand. I am a keen amateur photographer and I have been practicing my craft for the past 18 years. My father was a keen photographer, however I didn’t follow in his footsteps until digital photography became more accessible. After purchasing my first digital camera, I joined the Nelson Camera Club and I have been an active member since then.


What is your favorite type of photography?

I love creative, experimental photography which pushes the boundaries. I like to present images which are unique and thought-provoking.


Where were you when you captured the shot? Is there a story behind capturing the image?

This image was taken during a photo shoot with a model. As the image had a hint of an aviation theme, the texture I chose as an overlay was of an aircraft fuselage, complete with rivets.


Why did you choose this image to enter?

I liked the quirky nature of the image and the impact the texture overlay has on the image. Shot with a Nikon D600 with a Tamron 24 - 70mm 2.8 lens


What camera gear do you use?

For this image I used my elderly Nikon D600. Since then I have updated to a Nikon D780


Do you have any other hobbies/interests?

I mentor photographers who are beginning their photography journey. I also am involved with volunteering for the Citizens Advice Bureau.

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