Marlborough photos in finals for NZ Geographic

12:05, Aug 11 2014
Tim Cuff
LIVES DISRUPTED: Tim Cuff selected a single road, Clifford St, in the hope that photographing its residents would give a snapshot of life after the 6.6 magnitude quake in Seddon.

A photographer who captured the aftermath of Seddon's 6.6 earthquake last August and another who shot all four seasons at Molesworth Station are among the finalists for this year's New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year award.

Out of 3000 entries, photographs from Tim Cuff, of Nelson, and Rob Suisted, of Wellington, were chosen as two of the 42 finalist images, which are now on display at Christchurch's Cathedral Square.

Cuff's photo was of Seddon couple Steve and Renee Hammond the day after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit the town on August 16. Cuff, a New Zealand Herald photographer at the time, was sent to Seddon with a journalist to report on the earthquake.

Ralph Kyte-Powell
RURAL BEAUTY: New Zealand’s largest high-country station, Molesworth, covers a greater area than Stewart Island. Suisted spent three years documenting the region, the fruits of which were published in the book Molesworth in 2013.

"We went walkabout to see some of the residents and Steve and Renee were the last people we came across because most of the houses were empty.

"They were sleeping in their caravan and the last thing they probably wanted to do was talk to a journalist and get a photo but they were so lovely and invited us inside for a cup of tea. The first thing I saw was the crooked photo frames shaken in that position."

The photo told a story, he said.


"The photo didn't show the house, which was shell-shocked, but you could see that in their eyes . . . that shattered look on their faces."

This was the third time Cuff had been named a finalist for New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year and in 2011 he was the winner of the Photo Story category.

Suisted, who took the photo of one of the largest cattle herds at Molesworth Station, said that was just one in a series of photos he entered in the Photo Story category.

All five photos told the story of the Molesworth Station, Suisted said.

His entries came from the time he spent there while shooting photos for a book, Molesworth: Stories from New Zealand's largest high-country station.

"Harry Broad [author] and I teamed up about three years ago because we wanted to document New Zealand's biggest station," Suisted said.

So off they went.

Suisted photographed everything from sunrises and sunsets, to the manager, the stockmen, to the cooks, he said.

"It's about trying to shoot a station, which is so remote, and doing it justice.

"When I first went down there it was hard to shoot photographs because it's so big and barren and the colours are very mute."

He made about 15 trips to the station over two years and would stay for a week at a time.

"It was a pretty incredible experience."

New Zealand Geographic editor James Frankham and internationally recognised professional photographers Andris Apse and Kim Westerskov will judge all the finalist entries and announce the winners of each category - Society and Culture, Wildlife, Landscape and Photo Story - in late October.

The Marlborough Express