Imagine Auckland People’s Choice Award Winner: Tina Macrae MURIWAI GOLD F10, 1/125s, ISO125 HI TINA, TELL US ABOUT YOU… I have been very fortunate to live in the beautiful Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula for the last 22years with my partner Mark and our two gorgeous boys (or I should say young men) plus two cats, and Badger our Lab/foxy cross rescue dog. I’m passionate about native plants and gardening, food, travel, and photography. WHAT’S YOUR CONNECTION WITH AUCKLAND? I was raised in West Auckland and lived in Te Atatu South. I attended the local school’s, finishing my education at Rutherford High so west coast beaches were my local stomping ground.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU GET STARTED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY? My Grandfather and Aunty have always been avid photographers and my Mum was always taking family snaps but it was my art teacher (Gary Shuker at Rutherford High) who taught me the fundamentals of photography like form, composition, lighting, and developing black and white film. Later on, when I had a family of my own, I was always taking family snaps but started stretching my skills by taking landscape and macro shots. Wanting to improve and learn, I joined a local camera group called Focus Photography in 2016 which then merged with the Whitianga Camera Club in 2018. We have some amazing accomplished photographers within the club who are happy and willing to share their time and knowledge with monthly workshops covering topics includiing astro, portraits, and long exposure. HOW DO YOU PUSH YOURSELF TO IMPROVE AND TRY NEW THINGS? With the monthly challenges from the Whitianga Camera Club, I have been pushed outside of my comfort zone, exploring new techniques and styles of photography. Who knew that I would enjoy astrophotography and wandering around at 4am trying to take photos of the Eta Aquarids meteor shower back in May (and yes did manage to capture a couple)! WHAT CAMERA DO YOU HAVE? Currently, I’m shooting with a Canon Powershot G3 x which is a bridge style camera. While it does have some restrictions, at the moment it suits me fine as it’s ideal for travelling – I don’t have to worry about having the right lens with me (it has an incredible long range zoom) and it’s able to perform most tasks a DSLR can. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE GENRE OR PREFER A CERTAIN STYLE? As yet I don’t have a preferred genre as such but I do tend to take more landscape and nature photographs. However, I am interested in developing my skills in street photography. TELL US ABOUT THE DAY YOU TOOK THIS WINNING SHOT… We were fortunate enough to be staying at the family bach at Muriwai which is a quintessential kiwi bach from the 60’s. I decided to hit the beach for a long walk with my camera on a stunning June afternoon as the tide was dropping. My idea was to work on capturing people on the beach in a more abstract way. The light was incredibly beautiful. As I was leaving the beach I climbed the sand dunes behind the surf club watchtower to capture the sunset and silhouette of the tower and was rewarded with a glorious golden sunset where the sky, sea, and sand were ablaze. It wasn’t really a planned shot but one I thought summarized Auckland’s west coast. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE PHOTO? IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY? I like the effect and colour of the image as it was on the day but I should have used a filter so the sun wasn’t as glaring but alas, I didn’t have them with me. HOW DID IT FEEL FINDING OUT THAT YOUR PHOTO HAD WON THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD? To be honest I was surprised but totally thrilled at the same time as there were some amazing images in the competition. HAS WINNING PEOPLE’S CHOICE GIVEN YOU A SENSE OF NEW FOUND CONFIDENCE? Actually, it really has. I guess I have always been my own worst enemy with self doubt but this is my second win of the year as I also had a photo shortlisted in the still life category of the Sigma amateur photographer of the year competition. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR ADVICE FOR FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO MAY BE HESITANT ABOUT SUBMITTING THEIR WORK TO COMPETITIONS? Don’t stop learning and keep trying and experimenting with different genres, ideas, and techniques. For those just starting out, get off Auto mode and start using Manual – Have fun! WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE? Nowhere yet as my photography has just been for me up until this point but who knows what the future may hold! September 2019 7