Depicting everything from simians to smiles, the winning images in the 2019 Trustpower Photographic Competition are a sight to behold.

This year, for the competition that’s fast becoming a local institution, photographers all over the world were invited to submit images that related to just one theme: Finding beauty. Of the 3699 entries received, Janet Barratt took the top prize with this incredibly powerful shot (below). Says judge Carolyn Schofield of Trustpower, “Beauty doesn’t always make you feel sunshine and light – sometimes it makes you ask big questions. All of the judges were drawn to the painful beauty of the baboon in this constrained life. You can feel the cool solidity of the glass as you look at the picture.”

FIRST PLACE: Trapped by Janet Barratt. “I was at Chester Zoo in the UK and had taken around 700 pictures of the animals,” says Janet. “I thought about all the animals being cared for in captivity, while we’re out here fending for ourselves in the wild. There’s something about the familiarity of [the baboon’s] hand here that makes you keep looking back. This is the first time I’ve ever put my photos up for public scrutiny. I was so shocked to hear my name called out as the winner.”

2nd PLACE: Strictly for the Birds by Chris Taylor. “This was taken on a wild, stormy day at the beach, which was desolate except for this family facing the gale,” says Chris. “I thought it was a beautiful mix of people, birds and nature in its wild state.”

3rd PLACE: Military Display on Waitangi Day by Joshua Hodgson. “After returning to New Zealand from Japan, I spent some time with my family in Paihia and we attended the Waitangi Day ceremony,” says Joshua. “Seeing the proud display of the Royal New Zealand Navy at this emotional event was such a good experience.”

The highly commended shots below show beauty from every angle:

Whirlpool by Werner Kaffl.
Soar by Elijah Tay.
Innocence by Kyle Barnes.
Flower Power by Andy Belcher.
Pure Joy by Jaymie Donovan.
Fading but Still Beautiful by Rob Duncanson.
Caught in a Kete by Fiona Violich.
Resting Pigs by Elijah Nino Mondero. 
Mama I Love You by Olga Macagon.
Pick Me by Jahl Marshall.
Koi Perspective by Andrew Ogilvie.
Rural Castle by Rob Duncanson.
Unearthing a Hangi by Chris Bold.
Jorja by Ilan Wittenberg.
Life of a Dog in Summer by Sam Murdie.
Take a Moment by Emma Soffe.
Day’s End by Robyn Hay.