Hunt on for 'photographer of the decade'

The hunt is on for the amateur "Otago Wildlife Photographer of the Decade".

Hundreds of aspiring photographers around the region will be on the prowl over coming months seeking the shot that could earn them the hotly-contested Otago wildlife photographer title.

A decade after its inception, the annual Otago Wildlife Photography Competition has become one of the region's most popular photography contests, attracting up to 1000 entries every year.

The overall winner of the 2009 contest, chosen from all category winners, will not only gain the Otago Wildlife Photographer of the Year title but also receive a $1500 photographic accessories pack.

However, more than usual is at stake this year, with the latest annual winner also earning the chance to vie with the the nine previous winners to be named the amateur Otago Wildlife Photographer of the Decade.

"The stunning images captured by Otago people amaze the judges year after year," said project co-ordinator Emma Burns.

The contest is presented by the Otago Museum, in association with Natural History New Zealand and Jonathan's Photo Warehouse.

All amateur photographers living in Otago who had taken a great shot of a plant, an animal, or an example of human impact on the natural environment since January 1 last year were invited to enter, organisers said.

The contest is also divided into two age categories: 14 years and under, and 15 years and over.

It opened on Saturday, with entries closing on September 2 and the winners announced at a prizegiving ceremony on September 23, organisers said.

A display including the best of the latest entries and a retrospective exhibition involving past winners will be held in the museum's 1877 Gallery from September 24 until November 29.


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