Stuff Photographer Wins New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year
A Things visual journalist won a prestigious photography competition.
Braden Fastier, photojournalist at Nelson Courier and founding member of the Toru Photography Collective, was crowned New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year for a broad portfolio of social documentaries.
Fastier said it was “pretty cool” to receive the award for best photographer, given the “incredible” work on display at the awards ceremony on Wednesday night.
âIt’s what you look for every day, it’s for print and for the web, but getting that recognition is pretty awesome. “
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* The NZ Geographic Photographer of the Year exhibition presents “a year in Aotearoa”
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* Collective focus on Nelson’s life in a new photography exhibition
Fastier first won the Nikon Photographer of the Year award and also won the Resene Color award.
He said he chose his portfolio carefully, putting aside his favorite photos each month and chatting with friends and colleagues.
âIt’s just to find the time to polishâ¦ there’s a lot of photography, it’s everywhere. There are millions of photos uploaded every day, so you wonder, “how is this going to be different from something someone took on their phone?” “
“I approach every job with the attitude that there’s going to be a really amazing photo here, you just might have to look a little harder for that.”
ThingsNelson’s regional editor Victoria Guild said it was Fastier’s attention to detail that set him apart.
âBraden is always committed to producing the best possible image, and that is reflected in the quality of his work. He has a style that is instantly recognizable and we are very fortunate to be able to showcase his work in our print products and online.
In a statement released Wednesday evening, New Zealand Geographic editor James Frankham said Fastier’s images were rich in color and context, were technically sound and demonstrated an original and imaginative approach to photojournalism.
âFastier’s images captured a second level of meaning – the humor of the paperwork around a pair of concrete playground seals, a mask on a statue, phone calls on a golf course – the realities oddities of life in Aotearoa in 2021 that go some way to understand the year that has been.
“His approach borrows from street photography, but with the discipline and talent for storytelling of a photojournalist, values ââthat make Braden Fastier a worthy holder of the title of Photographer of the Year 2021.”
New Zealand Geographic has received more than 6,000 nominations for the title of Photographer of the Year this season, a record in the 13-year history of the competition.
â2021 started out as a cure for 2020, but in many ways it felt like a repeat of history. This was reflected in the registrations we received. There were images of more blockages, more protests and cultural themes were also close to last year – Covid-19, Black Lives Matter and a process of adjusting to smaller, more isolated lives. “
âThe images also reflected, however, our resilience as a nation, our creativity and our determination. There were landscapes of quiet solitude, without the rush of tourists. There were images of small circles of family and friends. Even the images of wild animals were silent and careful studies of behavior, marked by the patience of the photographer. “
Nikon Photographer of the Year – Braden Fastier
Young Photographer of the Year – Mattheus Elwood
Ockham Residential People’s Choice – Grant Nicholson
Resene Color Award – Braden Fastier
Electric Kiwi Wildlife – Danilo Hegg
Resene Landscape – William Patino
Lumix Company – George Heard
Built Environment Resene – Matthew Connolly
Progear PhotoStory – Ralph Piezas
Aerial Lightforce – Hunter Smith