Behind the camera: Steve moved to New Zealand from the United Kingdom in 2011 with his wife and two teenage children. He had a long association with Aotearoa starting with a honeymoon holiday in 1994 and then returning with his children on their round the world trip in 2006. The family felt that New Zealand was a natural place to reset their lives and have settled into the Wellington lifestyle easily.
“When exploring the Wellington region prior to starting work over here we took a walk-up Mount Kaukau to get a sense of the city from above and couldn’t believe the 360-degree views including of the snow-capped Kaikoura mountains 100kms away on another island. That walk was a primary reason for choosing to live in Khandallah at the foot of Mount Kaukau so we could enjoy that walk regularly. Being from a rural area in England we were slightly apprehensive about living in a city but knew having Mount Kaukau as an escape would be ideal.”
Why photography: Steve doesn’t consider himself a “serious” photographer, rather a lover of hiking and being out in the wilderness. Using only a small digital camera and his phone, Steve tries to capture the experience for personal memories and sharing with others.
The snap: “Mount Kaukau/Tarikaka is very much my tūrangawaewae in NZ.”
Steve regularly races up Mount Kaukau after work to catch the sunset and destress. Knowing the path so well means that he can stay at the summit well after the sun has gone down, when the richer colours appear. “You are one of the privileged few to be present in a beautiful place and to witness the rapid change in colour and intensity of the light as the sun dips to and then below the horizon.”
This photo was taken on one such occasion. Steve says that he loves the view of Mount Kaukau dominating the city with the huge sky and seascape beyond.
Judge’s thoughts: CPotY judge Shalee Fitzsimmons said, “Peaceful and calm, this photo utilises light beautifully. The contrast in colour makes every element sing.”