Nelson photographer in finals for NZ Geographic

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 09:38 11/08/2014
Tim Cuff
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.

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A Nelson photographer who captured the aftermath of Seddon's 6.6 earthquake last August is among the finalists for this year's New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year award.

Out of 3000 entries, Tim Cuff's photograph was chosen as one 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.

"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."

Cuff spoke to the Hammond couple for the first time, on Friday, since that photograph was taken, he said.

‘‘By coincidence, in a week’s time, it will be a year since that photo. They are still putting their house back together but they are good.’’

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.

‘‘In the back of your mind you are always hopeful but you never expect it [to be a finalist again].’’

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.

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.

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.

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- The Nelson Mail

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