Climbing accident leads to photography competition win gallery

University of Auckland student Elena Lochore-Ward, 21, with photography competition judge Simon Devitt.
JESSICA CHLOE GERNAT

University of Auckland student Elena Lochore-Ward, 21, with photography competition judge Simon Devitt.

When Elena Lochore-Ward's holiday was disrupted by a climbing accident she had a go at street photography instead.

Now two of her photos, taken in the United States, have won the Simon Devitt Prize.

The competition recognises the best photograph taken by a University of Auckland architecture student.

One of Elena Lochore-Ward's award-winning photographs, taken in San Francisco.
ELENA LOCHORE-WARD

One of Elena Lochore-Ward's award-winning photographs, taken in San Francisco.

"By circumstance I found myself on the streets of San Francisco taking photos instead of climbing in Bishop, California," Lochore-Ward says.

"I spent those weeks exploring the city with little purpose beyond observing."

Lochore-Ward, who lives in Birkenhead, is a keen photographer but opted to use a disposable film camera for the project instead of her digital camera.

The other image in Elena Lochore-Ward's photo series.
ELENA LOCHORE-WARD

The other image in Elena Lochore-Ward's photo series.

"I wanted to be limited to only 36 shots in order to force myself to take great care with every image."

Judge Simon Devitt says Lochore-Ward's two "very arresting" images were individually strong but also belonged together.

Lochore-Ward, 21, says she was drawn to the duality of her two photos.

"They have a dislocated feeling that I like, as if the subjects don't really know where they are going."

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Devitt says capturing split second moments relies on a lot more than chance.

"These are two very sophisticated photographs that display a strong connection to the environment and moments Elena found herself in."

Devitt specialises in architecture photography and established the annual competition at the School of Architecture and Planning, where he teaches.

It is now in its eighth year.

Lochore-Ward is in her second year of a Masters of Architecture.

She wins a trophy and $1000 cash prize.

 - Stuff

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