NZAC Photographic Competition

New Zealand Alpine Club Photographic Competition 2023 Dates: open noon Friday 11th August - closing midnight Sunday 27th August 2023

Adam Flower - Overall Champion 2021
Rowan Bulpit pulling the final moves of Pitch 1 of Deep Play on the Totem Pole, Tasmania.
Adam Flower Overall Champion Photo 2022

The NZAC holds a national photographic competition each year. The objectives of the competition are to stimulate interest in mountain and rock climbing photography and assist members to attain a higher standard of photography. A panel of selected judges determines the winners. The results of the competition are announced and selected winning entries reproduced in the New Zealand Alpine Journal, the NZAC Photographic Competition Calendar and on the NZ Alpine Club website.


Links to submit your entries will appear here on 11th August 2023. There will be a link for the following;

  • General Entries (CLOSED for 2023)
  • Youth Category (CLOSED for 2023)

Note: The competition is only open to digital entries via the website during the competition dates (open noon 11th August - closing midnight 27th August 2023).

In the meantime check out the 2023 winning entries:

Alpine Activity 2023 Winner 

Alpine Landscape 2023 Winner 

Alpine Nature 2023 Winner

Mountain and Climbing Culture 2023 Winner

Rock Climbing & Overall 2023 Winner

Youth 2023 Winner

Sponsored by:

MSR logo








Potton and Burton logo




Further Faster logo







The North Face



We have a selection of great prizes on offer for the 2023 competition, thanks to our the event sponsors.



There are six categories.

Alpine Activity

Photographs where the main subject is people engaging in activity in the alpine environment (e.g. climbing, skiing, tramping, camping). Emphasis should be on balanced composition and ‘capturing the moment’.

Alpine Landscape

Photographs that display mountain landscapes. Images should be strongly composed with great light. Judges will be weighing technical excellence, colour, tone and detail along with the image’s subject and composition.

Alpine Nature

Photographs of natural subjects in the mountain environment, where the emphasis is on artistic rendition. Subjects may include geological features, plants (or parts of plants), animals, water, snow and ice formations etc.

Rock Climbing

Photographs of rock climbing that authentically express the rock climbing experience, have a balanced composition and pay heed to the aesthetic attributes of the scene.

Mountain & Climbing Culture

Photographs that portray the climbing life and places and people encountered by climbers. Entries might include travel photography (as long as it’s strongly related to climbing) or documentary-style images, covering any aspect of climbing.


Photographs can fall into any of the above categories but must be taken by people 20 years and under on June 15th in the year of the competition. Submissions will be accepted by non-members. Entrants are free to enter other categories but must be NZAC members to do so.


• All images must have been taken by the competitor and be his or her property, but need not have been processed by him or her.
• Images need not necessarily have been taken in New Zealand.
• Entries are permitted in digital format only, uploaded via the website.
• Image files must be named with the initials of the category they are entered into and the name of the entrant before they are submitted. The relevant initials for each category are: Alpine Activity-AA, Alpine Landscape-AL, Alpine Nature-AN, Rock Climbing-RC, Mountain and Climbing Culture-MCC, and Youth-Y. As three entries per category are allowed, each photo entered in a category should be numbered 1-3 in order to differentiate them. For example, the first entry into the Alpine Activity category by Joe Bloggs should be named AA_Joe Bloggs_1.jpg.
• Files must be JPEG format, less than 50MB (but at least 1000 pixels on the long side).
• Digital processing should be mostly restricted to dust removal, cropping, resizing, global exposure and tonal adjustments. HDR, and exposure, focus or sequence blending are permitted. Cloning or removing parts of an image (except in the case of the above) are not permitted. The obvious modification of images is not in keeping with the objectives of this competition and may result in disqualification.
• Images not meeting these specifications will not be judged.


• The competition is open to NZAC members only with the exception of the Youth category. Any ‘youth’ who wants to enter another category must be a member.
• Individual competitors must enter images depicting subjects appropriate to any of the six theme categories (as noted above).
• Each competitor may enter no more than three images in each category.
• Images that have been entered in previous NZAC national competitions may not be entered a second time.
• The winners of the Youth category must supply proof of their age as of September 15th of the year of the competition before the award can be officially made.
• Winners may be asked to supply a higher resolution version of their image after the conclusion of the competition.


• Entries are judged by a panel of two or more judges and individual winners and place-getters are chosen for each category.
• Judging will be carried out on the basis of the criteria listed above. The judges and the organisers of the competition may reject images that are not of an alpine, mountain or climbing nature and may transfer entries from one category to another.
• Points for individual winners and place-getters shall be awarded for an Inter-Section competition (acceptances receive 1 point, honours 2 points and champions 4 points).
• The judges will also select the overall champion image, irrespective of category.
• The judges may choose not to award category winners/ honours/acceptances for any of the above if they feel a suitably high standard has not been achieved.
• Judges decisions are final and no correspondence shall be entered into.


Simon Waterhouse is a commercial Film Director and DoP at Resonate ( Visual storytelling in the outdoors is where he's most at home.  Simon has a personal interest in adventure documentaries, having directed three films in recent years with international recognition on the adventure film festival circuit.

Mark Watson is a New Zealand-based photographer and author specialising in landscape, adventure and travel photography. His passion for climbing, cycling and photography have taken him all over New Zealand and many places overseas in search of fresh experiences in the crags and mountains, on trails and among new cultures.

Dennis Radermacher always thought that tramping and landscape photography go hand in hand. Over time, his passion turned into a calling when he started capturing the Christchurch rebuild as an architectural photographer. These days, he counts himself lucky to work with some of the biggest names in architecture and publishing.

Check out Dennis’ work at 


• By entering, competitors must agree to their images being displayed in NZAC publications including the New Zealand Alpine Journal, the NZAC Photographic Competition Calendar, and the NZAC Annual Report. The images can also be used on the NZAC websites and for NZAC promotional material, including promotion of the photographic competition.
• NZAC encourages entrants to support the competition sponsors and negotiate with the sponsors should they wish to use the images for future promotions.
• Ownership of images remains with the photographer. However, NZAC cannot guarantee the copyright of images that appear on the website.
• NZAC may grant usage of select photos to third parties, but only for the promotion of NZAC partnerships and not for profit or unrelated advertising. Full accreditation to the source will be given.



All photographs have the opportunity to be awarded the awards and trophies as listed below. 

There is a Champion photograph selected from each of the six categories. Winners also receive prizes from the Photographic Competition Sponsors - MSR, RAB, Black Diamond, Further Faster, Potton and Burtons, and Alpine Recreation (Youth Category sponsor). Check out the prizes on offer.

Tasmania, Mt Wellington After Midnight by Simon Bischoff
Mt Wellington, Tasmania by Simon Bischoff


John Harrison Memorial Trophy – Overall Champion Photograph

This trophy is a painting by Lois K Cook of Mt D’Archiac donated (in 1969) by friends of the late John Harrison who was killed in an avalanche during the Mt Rolleston rescue attempt 23 June 1966. This painting was missing for some time but was rediscovered hanging at Unwin Lodge at Mount Cook. It was brought back to Christchurch in 2009 and now hangs in the National Office Reference Library.
The trophy is awarded for the overall champion photograph, irrespective of category. Initially, this award was for the ‘champion monochrome print’, but colour is now included in the judging.

Guide Alack Challenge Cup 

In 1948 Frank Alack donated a challenge cup to encourage a higher standard of mountain photography. The cup’s whereabouts is currently unknown. (No image of this award is available). Clarification on judging of this award was received from Frank in August 1953 as follows: ‘The landscape photos can be ruled out. I would really like competing photos to be those taken during the act of mountaineering, but if you interpret that as I do, that is requiring some equipment, footprints, or figure. It eliminates some really satisfying close-up views in actual climbing so that I feel the rules must be slightly flexible to include this type of entry.

In 2014 Peter Garrett, on behalf of Alpine Risk Management, kindly donated a replacement cup for this award. The cup is awarded for the most outstanding photograph of mountaineering, not purely depicting alpine scenery hence why it is open to entries from multiple categories (as judged by a mountaineer).




Dorflinger Trophy

In 1980 Wally Dorflinger (1918-1998), who was a keen photographer of alpine flowers, donated a wooden carving of the native New Zealand flower of the (Dactylanthus Taylorii), or Wood Rose as it is commonly called. The ‘Natural History Trophy’ was the intended title of this award, but the committee vetoed this idea and instead went with the ‘Dorflinger Trophy’. This trophy’s whereabouts had been unknown for nearly 30 years but had continued to be awarded in name only. It was replaced by the Erica Beuzenberg Memorial Award in 2009.

The original trophy was rediscovered at Mt Cook in 2019 and has now gone on display at the National Office. 

Erica Beuzenberg Memorial Award

Kindly donated by NZAC members Paul Corwin and Sally Widdowson for the 2009 Photographic Competition. This award is of the New Zealand native parrot (Nestor notabilis), or Kea as it is commonly called. Carved in wood (Photinia), with wings outstretched. The carving was created by local sculptor Andrew Lyons from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Erica Beuzenberg was a well-known New Zealand climber and guide who was tragically killed on Ball Pass, in the Southern Alps of New Zealand on 3 March 2005. This award is for the most outstanding Alpine Nature photograph.

Alpine Recreation Youth Award – Youth Champion

For the 2009 competition, a new Youth category was created in memory of Gottlieb Braun-Elwert. The prize for this category is a Ball Pass Crossing (or credit to the same value towards an Alpine Recreation climbing course). This is donated by Gottlieb’s family, who continue to run the Alpine Recreation guiding company.

Egmont-Tasman Trophy

Also known as the 'Syme Trophy' after Rod Syme, who donated it in about 1985/6 and who was most associated with these two peaks. It originally depicted the two mountains etched on a metal plate attached to a timber plaque. The trophy went missing in the late 1990’s and when it was rediscovered in 2009, some metal plating was missing and no pictures could be found showing how it originally looked. The remaining plated aluminium was found to be poorly cut and engraved.

In time for the July 2009 Photo Competition, local artist, Corey Koppe, recreated the award with all new graphics on gold dyed anacoil aluminium. An updated Section winners list engraved in this metal shows through as raised silver. The trophy will now remain on display in the Club’s National Office Reference Library, Christchurch.

Awarded as the inter-section competition prize, to the section with the most winner points.