Stunning photos take out inaugural Smorgasboard contest

12 Mar 2018

A striking Surfest image both original and quintessentially Novocastrian has been named one of three winners in Newcastle City Council's Smorgasboard photography competition.

Marcus Correa at Surfest 2018, by Shane Blue

A photo of local skateboarding champion Poppy Starr Olsen in full flight and an epic action shot of Aussie pro skater RJ Barbaro were selected as the other two winners in the contest, which required participants to tag Council in their social media posts from last month's Surfest and Australian Bowlriding Championships.

Up for grabs was a one-of-a-kind "Newcastle" surfboard made by Jye Byrnes, and two custom-made "Newcastle" skateboard decks.

Announcing the winners today, Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes said the variety of entries reflected the colour and amazing athletic feats on offer at both events.

"Surfest and the Australian Bowlriding Championships are two of Newcastle's homegrown events and we are proud to sponsor them both," she said.

"From young skateboarders flying high above the Empire Park skate bowl to crowds soaking up the action at Surfest, the photos we received really demonstrated why these events are must-see attractions for thousands of Novocastrians and visitors to our city."

Newcastle architect and amateur photographer Shane Blue took out the Surfest component of the competition for his excellent shot of Brazilian surfer Marcus Correa.

The Lord Mayor said there were plenty of great surfing entries, but Mr Blue's photo stood out for its originality and composition.

Mr Blue, a keen surfer himself, said he started taking his camera to the beach a few years ago, "so if the conditions aren't good for me to surf, I take photos".

"These professional surfers train hard - and late - and I wanted to capture that," he said. "The ship was a nice bonus."

He plans to ride his prize board before mounting it on a wall at home.

Newcastle's Andzs Kolosovskis won one of two custom-made "Newcastle" skateboard decks for his photo of pro skater RJ Barbaro taking on the formidable Empire Park skate bowl during the Australian Bowlriding Championships.

It was the first time Mr Kolosovskis has photographed a skateboard competition.

RJ Barbaro at 2018 Australian Bowlriding Championships, by Andzs Kolosovskis

"This photo freezes the action perfectly and really gives you a sense of how impressive some of these moves are in real life," the Lord Mayor said.

Sydney courier and keen photographer Eric Chen won the second skateboard deck for his photo of the 2018 Women's Division champion - Newcastle's own Poppy Starr Olsen - inverted on the edge of the skate bowl.

Poppy Starr Olsen at 2018 Australian Bowlriding Championships, by Eric Chen

"At just 17 years of age, Poppy is already one of the top 40 women skateboarders in the world," the Lord Mayor said.

"It's impressive to see her in this photo, right at the peak of her move. The focus is clear on her face."