Here’s some exciting and unexpected news for you, I’ve been selected as a finalist for the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year! Out of over 3100 entries they’ve whittled it down to the best 39. The selected image is of a New Zealand Sea Lion (phocarctos hookeri), in the middle of a massive yawn. It was taken at Sandfly Bay on the Otago Peninsula. A place I love to hate – amazing wildlife, killer walk up the sand dunes.

Those of you who have read my WildShots blog before will know that the NZ Sea Lion is one of my favourite native species, so as you can imagine I’m thrilled that this was the image the judges have selected. Who knows, maybe if it’s successful I can inspire people in the conservation of this extremely endangered species.

For the first time all the images from the finals are being exhibited at the Auckland Museum. I flew up and had a look a couple of weeks ago and I was blown away with the quality of the entries this year and it’s great to be amongst a few names that I recognise from various places including several whose work I admire regularly on Flickr. If you have a spare hour or 2 and you’re nearby, it’s definitely worth going for a look.

Another first this year is the peoples choice award, so if you like my image head over to the voting page and vote for me! Voting is open now until 22nd October and the award ceremony is on 25th October. I’ve got my flights booked, a hot date (sadly my husband can’t join me) and I’m looking forward to a great night.