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Stuff photographer scoops New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year award

A Stuff visual journalist has taken out a prestigious photography competition.

Nelson-based photographer Braden Fastier has been crowned the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year for a broad portfolio of social documentary.

Stuff photographer Braden Fastier is the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the year 2021.

Braden Fastier/Stuff

Stuff photographer Braden Fastier is the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the year 2021.

Fastier won Nikon Photographer of the Year for the first time, and also took home the Resene Colour award.

In a statement published on Wednesday night, New Zealand Geographic publisher James Frankham said Fastier’s images were rich with colour and context, were technically strong, and demonstrated an original and imaginative approach to photojournalism.

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One of Braden Fastier's winning images from his portfolio.

Braden Fastier/Stuff

One of Braden Fastier’s winning images from his portfolio.

“Fastier’s pictures captured a second level of meaning–the humour of red tape around a pair of concrete playground seals, a mask on a statue, phone calls on a golf course–the odd-ball realities of life in Aotearoa in 2021 that go some way towards understanding the year that has been.”

“His approach borrows from street photography, but with the discipline and knack for storytelling of a photojournalist–all values that make Braden Fastier a worthy holder of the title Photographer of the Year 2021.”

New Zealand Geographic publisher James Frankham said Braden Fastier’s images were rich with colour and context.

Braden Fastier/Stuff

New Zealand Geographic publisher James Frankham said Braden Fastier’s images were rich with colour and context.

New Zealand Geographic received more than 6000 entries into Photographer of the Year this season– a record in the competition’s 13-year history.

“2021 started out as a cure for 2020, but in many ways it felt like history repeating. This was reflected in the entries we received. There were images of more lockdowns, more protests, and the cultural themes were a close match to last year too – Covid-19, Black Lives Matter and a process of adapting to smaller and more isolated lives.”

One of Braden Fastier's winning images from his portfolio.

Braden Fastier/Stuff

One of Braden Fastier’s winning images from his portfolio.

“The images were also a reflection, however, of our resilience as a nation, our creativity and determination. There were landscapes of quiet solitude, without the rush of tourists. There were images of smaller circles of family and friends. Even images of wildlife were quiet, careful studies of behaviour that were marked by the patience of the photographer.”

2021 Winners

Nikon Photographer of the Year – Braden Fastier

Young Photographer of the year – Mattheus Elwood

Ockham Residential People’s Choice – Grant Nicholson

Resene Colour Award – Braden Fastier

Electric Kiwi Wildlife – Danilo Hegg

Resene Landscape – William Patino

Lumix Society – George Heard

Resene Built Environment – Matthew Connolly

Progear PhotoStory – Ralph Piezas

Lightforce Aerial – Hunter Smith



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