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Graham Hughes

Photographer of the Year Again


Te Kauwhata based motorsport photographer Graham Hughes has taken out the Supreme AwardRM with trophy.jpg in the KartSport Photographer of the Year competition for the second time. Graham's shot of Ashleigh Stewart's kart on three wheels at Round 1 of the  2017 NZRMC at KartSport Manawatu also won Best Action Shot category.

Also a repeat winner, Emilee Wright won the  Best Action Shot by a Photographer Under 20 Years category for her shot of Clint Beaumount up on two wheels at ProKart Round 2 at KartSport Bay of Plenty.

Lloyd Palmer traveled up from Dunedin to receive the award for  the Best Story Portfolio which included shots taken at the Sievwright 2017 NZ Sprint Championships held during Easter in Invercargill.

Big thanks to the three member judging panel; Jeff McEwan, Capture Studios, Wellington, Mark Stevens, Fairfax Media's Group Digital and Visual Editor and Brent Melhop, amateur photgrapher.

The Awards were presented at the annual KartSport New Zealand Awards evening held in Auckland on Saturday 26th August. The winning shots are below with their respective judges comments.

Caption: Ross MacKay (right) accepting the Award, on behalf of Graham, from Brent Melhop.

Best Action Shot and Supreme Award

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Mark Stevens:
Graham's nailed it. The missing wheel, the sparks, the driver's steering grip, the proximity to the other kart - perfect ingredients in a recipe for this dramatic shot. 

Jeff McEwan:
Well done Graham right place right time. Using a dramatic angle, plus a tight crop and a super sharp image makes your eye focus on the driver, her hands and then you pan to the sparks….your heart sinks when notice the missing wheel. Game over….. but hats off to Graham for capturing all that in one frame.

Brent Melhop:
 The karting community was lucky to have Graham on the side lines again this year, not only for his amazing skills to stop time through his photography, but also to set the benchmark so high for others to aim for. I call it healthy competition but also its the passing on of knowledge for others to strive to be better. The thing is that Graham knows; the tracks which helps him to know the best places to stand, the drivers to know who’s going to do what and when, the families with the passion to win and the weather to work with the sun and the rain.
He uses it all to his advantage to shoot not only this year's best action shot…..but he also has a dozen of other judges eye catching imagery from this year's and last year's entries for people to study and pass on to help promote the sport of karting.
Once again, Graham has owned the track with his camera. He's managed to marry 'A Grade' photographic skills with an obvious affinity for the sport of karting to come out on top in 2017. It's a back-to-back and very well deserved win.

 Best Shot by a Photographer Under 20 Years 

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 Jeff McEwan:

Emilee's skills are on show again this year with this amazing pan action shot. Getting into the right lines to make sure not to miss the speed and the motion of the kart lift. Using the panning photographic approach means the background detail drops away and leaves the viewers full focus on the driver, kart and action unfolding in front of them.

Mark Stevens:
The sharpness and colour of the kart and driver juxtapose perfectly with the starkness of the blurred boundary fence to create a real sense of speed and motion here. This pic could hold up the sport page in any news site or newspaper.

Best Story Portfolio 

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 Mark Stevens:

Lloyd's images stitch together wonderfully to spin a tale of emotion. Even with a helmet hiding his face, the driver's posture manages to display disappointment; Jacob is a picture of focus and concentration; Mum's smile screams pride; lastly, the shot of #13 leave the viewer with a sense of preparedness.

Jeff McEwan:
A day at the track with all the emotions. Lloyd documentary style working so well with the excitement of on field action, the calmness of getting into the zone pre race & the relief of when it’s all over……for everyone concerned. Lloyd takes you along for the ride with this portfolio of images and leaves you wanting to see more.

KartSport New Zealand