Winner of Photographer of the Year at the 2009 EPSON/NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards is Paul Gummer, last year’s Creative Photographer winner. Gummer, who also won the landscape category, is a lecturer at the Universal College of Learning (UCOL).
UCOL, with campuses in Palmerston North, Wanganui and Masterton, did bloody well out of the event. Nearly half of the photographs awarded gold medals at the awards were by past and present UCOL students and staff. Student of the Year was Kevin Bone, who chucked in an engineering career to study photography at UCOL. Last year’s student winner, UCOL graduate Bradley Boniface, was named this year’s Creative Photographer. Tertiary Institute of the Year? You guessed it.
Photographer of the Year finalists Shelley Amerio-Higgins and Gerald Wilson are also from Palmerston North. Of the 12 major awards available, eight went to people from the central North Island.
The key to Gummer’s skill? “I believe an award-winning image is mysterious in that it is up to the viewer’s imagination to complete the story.”