When Plimmerton resident Marie Love takes her grandchildren to the Pauatahanui Inlet with cameras in hand, what do these budding photographers look for?
As regular entrants in the Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet annual photo competition, the Love children all have a winning eye.
Sixteen-year-old Elly won the Nature category in the youth section last year with a photo of a fantail but she thinks her best winning shot was in the Recreation category in the previous year's competition.
She says that photo arose out of boredom.
"I was just sitting in the car, pretty bored, because the weather was rotten and I couldn't get any decent shots.
"Nan was out there doing her own thing with her camera, so I rubbed the cobwebs off the wing mirror and used it to frame a few interesting shots."
Reuben, 12, was lining up a shot of some seagulls sitting on a post, but before he managed to push the button, the seagulls took wing and Reuben was left with an unexpected photo of flying birds, their legs still dangling clumsily beneath them.
It impressed judge Geoff Marshall and won the youth prize in the Nature category.
Elly, Reuben and brother Joe, also a previous winner, credit their Nan with encouraging them to photograph the Inlet and enter the competition.
"It's a great activity to do with grandchildren," Marie says. "I take them one at a time, because it gives us special time together. Besides, they all like to photograph different things. They've learnt to really look at the inlet and see what's there."
The Love children have also learnt that a trip to the inlet with Nan might get a bit grubby. They do an ever-so- subtle eye roll when Marie talks of how they enjoy "sloshing" around on the mudflats to get photos of spoonbills.
"She loves getting her shoes muddy," says Elly.
The competition is now in its 12th year and entries close on April 1.
This year the categories are Nature, Recreation, Human Impact and a new category, Artistic: any subject.
This is for entrants who like to bring extra creative flair to their prints through enhancement programmes such as Photoshop. In the other three categories only improvements to sharpness, straightness, colour and contrast are permitted.
As an incentive for younger photographers, Harvey Norman is giving a Panasonic camera to the best photo by an entrant aged under 18.
Kapi-Mana News will once again be calling on readers to cast their vote for their favourite shot from the category winners, with great prizes up for grabs.
Full details of the competition are available on the Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet website, gopi.org.nz.
- Kapi-Mana News