Kelly Wilson wins NZ Geographic's People’s Choice Award for 201431st October 2014     By: Panasonic Media

Last night New Zealand Geographic celebrated the best editorial photography across Society & Culture, Landscape, Wildlife and Photostory at the Photographer of the Year Awards.

Each year, the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year competition attracts New Zealand's best photographers who seek to capture our society and environment in original and insightful ways.

This year, Panasonic New Zealand proudly sponsored The People's Choice Award. More than 36,000 public votes were cast at the exhibition and online for this The People's Choice Award.

"The public voting aspect of this competition is one of the things that make it unique," says James Frankham, Editor of New Zealand Geographic magazine. "Never mind what the judges think, every year New Zealanders make remarkably consistent choices about the images that move them most using the electronic voting on-site and online."

Having received 13 percent of all votes, the winning photograph for The People's Choice Award went to Kelly Wilson for Fire and Ice, her image of Kaimanawa horses.

Kelly Wilson captured her winning photograph, Fire and Ice, in the Argo Valley of the Waioru Military Training Grounds during the May 2014 muster. It shows the horses' final moments of freedom as helicopters herd them across the Moawhango River into the mustering yards.

Wild horses were first discovered in the Kaimanawa Ranges in 1876 and their numbers have swelled over the years. The New Zealand government musters and culls the Kaimanawa herd every two years to control numbers in the herd and protect the health of the horses and of their Waiouru habitat. Kelly Wilson and her sisters have helped re-home 21 Kaimanawa horses, and this year created a national training programme for Kaimanawa stallions to save them from slaughter.

The winning photograph was chosen from all of the finalist images in the main categories of Wildlife, Landscape, Society & Culture and Photostory. The photographs depict only New Zealand and its dependencies, and all were shot after January 2013. The photographers are a mix of professional and amateur, and many have entered the competition in the past, but few have won before.

Congratulations to all winners from the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year Awards and thank you to everyone who cast their votes and helped choose the winner of the 2014 People's Choice Award.

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