Matt Tomkins, the overall winner of Icon Water’s spring photo competition, feels that photography helps him to show the beauty of things that people are sometimes unable to see.
To capture the stunning photograph, Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve on a clear spring night, that helped him win the competition, Matt waited patiently until 4 am on a cold, still spring night.
“Through the panoramic picture, I wanted to show the beauty of Canberra,” he says. “When I went to Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve to take the picture, I was astounded by the beauty of the place. There were no clouds on that night which helped me capture Mars, the bright light on the left side of the tree in the picture.
“I had captured many other shots of the location as well, but this one was a panorama which gave the overall best view of the location. I wanted to create a technically interesting photo so I used photographic aspects such as strong composition.
“With that shot, it helps to create a focal point and balance using the tree, reflection and horizon. That’s what I went for to make the photo aesthetically pleasing.”
More than 700 entries were received for the competition, and 30 were shortlisted. As the overall winner, Matt receives a prize of $2000.
“I was quite surprised and pleased to know I have won because there were so many other amazing pictures that were entered into the competition,” he says. “I plan to use the prize money towards the purchase of a Canon EOS R5 camera.”
Matt’s love for photography started at the age of six when he was given his first camera and he started taking pictures while skateboarding and riding.
“I studied photography in high school and my teacher, Mrs Jonquil Mackey, saw the potential in me and helped in driving my passion for it,” he says. “Studying photography is one of the best decisions I have made in life.
“The feeling of being able to capture something other people don’t usually see, photographing a moment in time and sharing it with others and keeping that timeless memory is very special to me.”
The winner in the over-18 category is Early morning fog droplets by Paul Bainton, while Matt Kosec’s Controlling is the winner in the under-18 category. Both winners receive $1000.
Survival, by Bunsong Sy, is the People’s Choice winner, which was also awarded $1000.
Icon Water announced the competition winners on its website and Instagram page on 23 November, and reached out to each individual winner to let them know of their success.
The company’s general manager of customer engagement, Davina McCormick, says there was a lot of diversity in the entries.
“We’d like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who entered the competition,” she says. “It was an incredibly tough decision for the judging panel with a high calibre of entrants.
“It’s been really interesting to see different interpretations of the competition’s themes and the creativity each entrant brought to their photograph.
“We know it’s been a difficult year for many and we wanted to provide an opportunity to bring some fun and creativity to the community while also focusing on the value of water and its role in creating and sustaining life here in the ACT.
“It’s really pleasing so many members of the community took us up on this opportunity to share our passion for all things water.”
Icon Water has set up a pop-up gallery at Fyshwick Markets which will run until the end of December to showcase the 30 shortlisted entries.