Teenager first entrant in Auckland Festival of Photography's photo competition
A fear of spending his days toiling away in a boring office led teenager Ben Lowe to a fascination with photography and the great outdoors.
The St Kentigern's College pupil was the first person to submit an entry in the Auckland Festival of Photography's Auckland Photo Day competition on Saturday.
The competition's shooters are only allowed to shoot on June 10, a date specifically chosen for its ideal winter lighting.
Entrants have a week to get their shots in but Lowe wasted no time submitting his early, just hours into the competition.
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His family took labradors Lily and Bolt for a walk along the rugged coast of Kariotahi beach, near Waiuku in south Auckland.
The dogs are standing to attention for a piece of food hidden in Lowe's father's pocket.
Lowe,17, was gifted a Nikon camera for Christmas two years ago and said he immediately fell in love with shooting.
"It's something about looking outside and actually taking into account your surroundings and appreciating everything that's around you. "
He's studying photography at college and hopes to become a professional.
"I'd love to have it as a career because I do not want to be stuck in an office for the rest of my life," he said.
Contestants have a week to get their photos in for judging.
The competition has been running since 2004 and the entrants are asked to capture their perspective of Auckland.
"The competition is about a day in the life of our region, and the different lives that are being lived and the way we enjoy the region," festival director Julia Durkin said.
More than 1000 entries were typically submitted, many of which were a very high standard, she said.
The festival had archived 12,000 images since the competition's inception.
Last year's winner Sylvie Whinray from Swanson in west Auckland took out the top prize with her black-and-white image Pop's Desk.
This year winners can lay claim to a new camera, including a D5600 Nikon camera kit for first prize.