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Phibbs scoops national photography awards

Flagstaff Team

Award winner… This image of Devonport RSA’s Chris Mullane marking Anzac Day 2020 at O’Neill’s Pt Cemetery in Bayswater was one of Brett Phibbs’ winning media-award entries

Belmont’s Brett Phibbs won the top three photography prizes at the Voyager Media Awards announced last Friday. The long-time press photographer was described as a “master of his craft” by judges Louise Graham and Phil Reid in citing his work to win the Photograper of the Year title.

In a rare triple, Phibbs also won best news photography and best sports photography categories. He was also runner-up in the photo essay category.

Its the third time he has been named press photographer of the year, following title in 2008 and 2015 and has covered Olympic Games and Rugby World Cups.

Phibbs worked at the New Zealand Herald for more than three decades, but has been freelancing for the last few years. His winning work was published by the Herald and NZ Geographic.

News photographer judges Mike Bowers and Rob Taggart said: “In a year dominated around the world by the Covid pandemic Brett has produced a technically brilliant set of graphic photographs to illustrate the many facets and layers of this unfolding and complicated story… a deserving winner with a strong body of work.”

The judges said of Phibb’s sports entry: “A strong portfolio of different sports which incorporated the train -from-home ethos and a graphic new angle on a rugby line-out using a drone. A deserving winner.”

Master of his craft…Brett Phibbs at the Voyager Media Awards night with friend and former New Zealand Herald colleague Suzanne McFadden who won the award for top sports journalist. She writes for online site Newsroom.

Phibbs said 2020 was a difficult year but it created photographic opportunities. He was contracted by the NZ Herald and NZ Geographic to document Covid.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Phibbs, who did a series on Olympic athletes training at home, amongst other pictures.

“It was quite personal in their home environment.”

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