Crawling commando-style along a wet beach way down south on Stewart Island earned Raglan wildlife and nature photographer Trevor Penfold recognition recently in a prestigious international nature photography competition.

And while Trevor’s delighted with the runner-up award, he’s not surprised his comical shot of two oystercatcher chicks battling on the beach for supremacy caught the judges’ eye.
“When I was taking it I thought this could be a prizewinner,” he told the Chronicle.

Trevor was “astonished” that five of the 20-odd shots he entered in the ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year competition — which attracted 1300 works from New Zealand, Australia, Antarctica and New Guinea — made it into the finals.

But he did not learn about his second placing for the chick pic until prizegiving night a fortnight ago at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide.
The photo was runner-up in the animal behaviour category and Trevor was there with wife Jenny to receive his award.

All up the skills of 68 photographers were represented in the 98 works that made it through to the finals and which now feature in a glossy publication marking the ninth year of the ANZANG competition.

Trevor says he doesn’t usually enter his work in competitions because it’s “down to an individual judge”, but admits he’s done so this time more for the business opportunities.
Being acknowledged as an award-winning photographer, he adds, carries a lot of weight in the isolated world of wildlife photography.

“And it’s good (professionally) to get feedback … to be judged.”
With his ‘Visions of Nature’ book released last year — focusing on nature photography in the Raglan environment — Trevor reckons he’s found a niche in his artistic approach to wildlife in New Zealand and he is now working on another publication to be launched early next year.

Meanwhile workshops conducted both locally at the Old School Arts Centre and at Hamilton Zoo, where he’s hoping to set up a camera club, give Trevor another outlet for his love of nature photography and his efforts to convey a connection with wildlife to encourage its preservation

Edith Symes