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Skyline News Detail

We have a winner!

Posted on Thursday, 23 April 2015

We have a winner in our Reign Skyline MTB competition!

(See all the finalists and the final vote count here.)

After more than two months, 222 entries, 13 finalists and 300 votes, Skyline Queenstown is happy to announce that Si Williams is the recipient of a brand-new Giant Reign 2 mountain bike, courtesy of Giant Bicycles New Zealand.

"Thank you so much, this was a really tough competition. The standard of photographs entered was exceptional and I'm very grateful to everyone who has voted for this and all the other images in the competition.

"I'd like to give a huge thank you to Skyline Mountain Biking and Giant for making this competition happen. I'd also like to extend many thank you's to QTMBC for all the hard work they put into the trails in Queenstown, making this one of the best places in the world to ride and also shoot!" - Si Williams

Si, a Wanaka-based photographer and designer, told us that for him, photography is more than an artistic outlet. It’s also helped keep him alive and well, by giving him some extra skills and activities to manage clinical depression.

“On the Mental Health Foundation website, it lists the five ways to mental wellbeing. You can get all five out of a photography shoot,” he said.

In periods of deep depression, he finds it difficult to even go outside. Photography gives him motivation and a purpose to keep going.

“If you get an idea in your head about a photo you want to take, it’ll get you out of the house,” he said. “Even if it’s just for two minutes, that two minutes can make all the difference.”

Si said he loves shooting mountain bike events, especially club races, because of the atmosphere and connection between audience, rider and photographer.

“I’m not a good spectator – I need something to do,” he said. “Photographing these events is my way of watching. When you shoot mountain bike races there’s a lot of energy you give to the riders and they give back to you. And the great thing about mountain bike photography in general is that you get to hang out for a long time in nature, on your own, looking at the light through the leaves and waiting for that next rider to come around the corner.”

Si also uses social media to connect his photography with the world, and to promote the message that photos can be healing.

“It’s using images and words to demonstrate to people…that it’s okay to talk about your feelings," he said. "Sometimes it’s not enough to tell a sufferer, ‘You need to talk about it' - often people need to see someone else talking about it first, in order for them to gain the confidence to talk about their own feelings. And they might connect with an image more than just the words.”

Need some help? Here are places to get it.

Lifeline  – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Suicide Crisis Helpline  – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline  – 0800 611 116

Samaritans  – 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 or (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)

Follow Si’s work on Facebook at www.facebook.com/siWilliamsDesignAndPhoto and on Instagram @si_williams_ .

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