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by Rachael Comer

A Timaru photographer’s work has once again been recognised in an international competition.
Simon Schollum’s image of dried flowers and leaves has been awarded a highly commended in the top category of the International Garden Photographer of the Year 2017 awards.
In its 10th year, the competition attracted thousands of garden, plant and botanical photography entries from throughout the world.
The winning works are displayed at an annual exhibition in the Nash Conservatory at Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom, and a book of images is published each year.
This was the second time Mr Schollum had entered the competition and the second time his work has won an award.
“The previous year, I entered and was in the run for the finalists,” he said.
“I’ve been published in two of the books now.”
He joked his highly commended image of “something dead” may harken back to his many years of working as a forensic photographer for New Zealand Police.
However, working in photography was something that went back through his family, he said.
“I’m the third generation in my family to be a photographer,” Schollum said.
“Granddad was a portrait photographer in Dunedin and in 1896 opened his first portrait studio.

Top shot .. The photograph that earned Simon Schollum a highly commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year 2017 competition. PHOTO: SIMON SCHOLLUM

“My father was one of the first police photographers in New Zealand in the 1940s.”
Schollum joined the military police force in the mid-1970s and six years later transferred to the police force. In 1986, he joined the photography services department.
In this role, before moving to Timaru in 2003, he was a senior adviser, photography projects, at police headquarters in Auckland.
In his time in the force he won the Australasian Police Forensic Photography Awards three times.
Schollum said he enjoyed photography, as it was all about the image-making. He has worked in commercial photography as well.
“After 40 years of law enforcement photography, taking a photo of the odd flower is quite nice.”
Simon Schollum’s work, along with that of other photographers, is now on display at the Aigantighe Art Gallery in the exhibition A Local Focus: Contemporary Photography until April 9.