Three of the winners in the recent Otago Museum Photography Awards competition either grew up or live in Wanaka.
Oscar Hetherington (20) won the all ages landscape award and was runner-up for the main prize.
He now lives in Dunedin and is studying at the Otago Polytechnic but he said Wanaka was where he first picked up a camera.
“When I was about 14 or 15-years-old I used to travel a lot, go on really cool adventures and play lots of sports with my mates and I just ended up taking photos along the way to show other people what we got up to in our spare time.
“Also, growing up with such amazing landscape and lots of adventure sports, even weddings and tourism on your doorstep, it is hard not to be inspired by the place.”
The winner of the award for all ages impact photography was Katja Riedel, who moved to Wanaka 12 months ago.
She was born in Germany and her interest in photography started when she overwintered at the German Antarctic base in 1997.
“We could take a slide photo in the day and develop it in the evening, so you got instant feedback, which helped with learning.”
Ms Riedel relocated to New Zealand and worked for Niwa for 12 years, as an atmospheric scientist, before switching to a career as an expedition guide, where photography was part of her job.
She said her winning photo was taken in Wellington.
“I had been walking the beaches there and noticed there were all these plastic pieces and it really upset me.”
Ms Riedel bought a fish from the supermarket, shaped the plastic into the shape of a fish and had the symmetry of a fish and plastic.
The winner of the over 15 video category, Brian Anderson (82), has lived in Wanaka since the 1950s.
He said his interest in making videos started in 1985, when he owned a shop in Wanaka that sold cameras.
“Customers used to come back and ask me about pushing this button or that button, and asked what did it do, so I had to learn it myself.”
He said his winning 30-second video Home from the Sea was of a Fiordland crested penguin emerging from the waves, walking up the beach and into the forest and greeting its mate.
He said it took a full day of videoing, shooting lots of different penguins.
His award winning video of the penguins was shot on the West Coast, “but I am keeping the beach a secret”, he said.