Our Deb's Portrait of a Lady a photography award finalist
HANGING among a collection of 82 photographic portraits at the Tweed Regional Gallery is a Portrait of a Lady.
That lady is 92-year-old Taloumbi resident Rosemary Allcock, and the black and white image of the painting enthusiast outside her home - captured by The Daily Examiner's weekend photographer Debrah Novak - was chosen as one of 82 finalists in the prestigious 2015 Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture.
The $20,000 biennial national award is dedicated to the memory of one of Australia's leading twentieth century photographers.
Ms Novak said it was an honour to have her work chosen from 350 entries across Australia, and exciting to have it displayed at the Tweed Regional Gallery.
The photo was originally taken as part of a photo essay on the Clarence Valley woman, who has lived most of her life in a house purchased by her family in 1888.
"Rosemary grew up in an era where young women were trained to be a lady... and because she still loves to paint on her property I took her outside," she said.
"It really captures who she is in her spirit.
"On that day the lighting was really lovely, and for me it just worked really well."
It is the third time Ms Novak has entered the competition in the last ten years and the first time her work has been chosen.
"I encourage people to enter in competitions so they can benchmark their own work," she said.
"The benefit of entering in competittions is you actually get peer reviewed, and even though it might not be what you like at the time it's a useful personal tool for you to do self-reflection on your work.
"That's what will set you apart from people who just take snaps. You're always looking to benchmark your work."
While the winner of the judge's choice has already been named as Lennox Head photographer Natalie Grono, Ms Novak noted there was still a people's choice award up for grabs.
"So Clarence Valley, head up there," she said.
Ms Novak's work, titled Portrait of a Lady, will be on exihibition at the Tweed Regional Gallery until September 27.